East Pasco municipalities declare local states of emergency

Responding to concerns about coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) , the City of Zephyrhills passed a resolution declaring a local state of emergency — taking steps to implement protocols suggested by state and federal agencies. The measure allows Zephyrhills flexibility to act quickly, if needed. However, its primary purpose is to allow the city to seek future reimbursement for costs … [Read more...]

Local businesses getting hit with COVID-19 impacts

Drive around the region and the impacts of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) are obvious. Grocery store parking lots are full — with people lining up before the stores open to get their hands on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other scarce items. There’s less traffic on the road because many people are working remotely, and that number may climb if ‘stay at home’ mandates are … [Read more...]

Hospital visitation limited, elective surgeries canceled

Hospitals across the region are limiting visitors and canceling elective surgeries, as they ramp up preparations to treat increasing cases of people infected by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). As of 11 a.m. on March 23, The Florida Department of Health reported 1,096 confirmed cases of Florida residents and 75 cases of non-Florida residents, for a total of 1,171. Of those, 73 involved … [Read more...]

Public schools to go back in session — remotely

Florida students in kindergarten through 12th grades will remain off school campuses until at least April 15 because of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. While students will remain off campus, they will receive some type of online or remote instruction beginning at the end of March, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Superintendent Kurt Browning provided a March 22 … [Read more...]

Coronavirus cancels many sports events

As fears regarding coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) continue to ramp up, so do cancellations on the sports landscape — nationally, regionally and locally. The unexpected cancellations began on March 10 when The Ivy League, a Division I collegiate athletic conference comprised of private schools in the Northeast, announced the cancellation of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, … [Read more...]

Coronavirus poses dangers, disrupts daily life

The ever-evolving threat posed by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has forced schools across Florida to shut down, blocked visitors from nursing homes, caused wide-ranging travel and event cancellations, and stripped grocery aisles — especially of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Locally, parents of students in the Pasco and Hillsborough county school districts are bracing to prepare for an … [Read more...]

Florida responds to threat of coronavirus

The Florida Department of Health declared a public health emergency in Florida on March 1, after two cases tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus disease 19, referred to as COVID-19. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees outlined the state’s response to the threat of the virus during a news conference held on March 2, at the Florida Department of Health’s … [Read more...]

Initiatives aim to help veterans

Veterans statewide could soon see a slew of new and expanded benefits and services, if the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs gets its way in the 2020 legislative session and beyond. The agency is enrolling 17 legislative bills for the upcoming 60-day session, which begins in January, Al Carter, the department’s chief of staff, reported at the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce’s November … [Read more...]

Law seeks to reduce distracted driving

For now, drivers caught using a hand-held phone while driving through an active construction or school zone, will be issued a warning. But, at the beginning of the New Year, a citation can be issued with a $164 fine and three points against a driver’s license for the first offense. The new restriction was included in a law that addressed texting while driving, passed by the Florida … [Read more...]

New Pasco clerk seeks technology upgrades, more

New Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller Nikki Alvarez-Sowles isn’t wasting much time in trying to implement some new initiatives within the clerk’s office. She was formally appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month, following the retirement of her predecessor, Paula O’ Neil. The new clerk outlined a number of her ideas during an Aug. 27 East Pasco Networking Group breakfast meeting in Dade … [Read more...]