Officials urge caution, as COVID-19 cases ramp up

Florida COVID-19 cases continue to rise, with 9,478 cases recorded on July 2, according to Florida Department of Health figures. The day before, 9,529 positive cases were reported. The surge in new cases has prompted additional measures to try to limit the spread, and has prompted cancellations of more planned events. As the Fourth of July weekend approached, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida … [Read more...]

COVID-19 prompts local face mask requirements

As Florida’s positive COVID-19 cases continue to climb, local officials are taking action to require the wearing of face coverings. The requirements vary by jurisdictions. Pasco County has joined the list of local governments imposing restrictions in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles issued an executive order on June 23, requiring everyone in … [Read more...]

Florida’s COVID-19 cases surpass 100,000

Florida’s positive COVID-19 cases have exceeded the 100,000 mark, according to the most recent Florida Department of Health data available on the morning of June 22. The state figures show Florida had 100,217 positive cases, including 98,047 Florida residents and 2,170 non-residents. The state’s death toll stood at 3,173, including a 17-year-old male from Pasco County, whose death was … [Read more...]

Back to school will be different this fall

Efforts are in high gear, as Pasco County Schools prepares for the coming 2020-2021 school year. Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning has said the district will announce its comprehensive plan for the upcoming school year on or before July 1. In light of continuing concerns over the spread of COVID-19, the district must take precautions it hasn’t had to take in previous … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills can handle COVID-19 budget impacts

Cities and towns across the country are gearing up for budget cuts because of prolonged COVID-19 shutdowns, but that isn’t true in Zephyrhills. Zephyrhills City Manager Billy Poe said the city is in good enough shape financially to handle any lingering effects of the shutdown for the rest of this fiscal year, and for next fiscal year, too. He provided that reassuring news to city council … [Read more...]

Performing arts center takes the stage in Wesley Chapel

Construction crews are down to the last details on the new Instructional Performing Arts Center (IPAC). Some of those details, including sound locks to reduce noise inside the music studio, are awaiting shipments from California, New York and Michigan. All of those states have been hit hard by COVID-19. “COVID-19 is what has caused so much delay in production,” explained Kevin O’Farrell, … [Read more...]

Pasco Schools wins national honor

Pasco County Schools has been named the best Advanced Placement school district among large districts in the nation. The school district was among 250 districts across the United States and Canada that were named to the annual AP District Honor Roll, according to a school district news release. From those, three districts were singled out — one large, one medium and one small, based on an … [Read more...]

Pasco School District adjusting amid COVID-19 pandemic

Whether its drive-thru feeding sites or widespread distance learning, the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created myriad logistical challenges for school districts nationwide. Pasco County Schools is no different — operating as the state’s ninth-largest school district, and 49th largest in the nation. Even so, Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning is maintaining an … [Read more...]

Pasco County Schools hits million-meal mark

Pasco County Schools has delivered more than a million meals to students since school campuses closed. The district has been serving bagged meals at numerous sites and bus stops to provide meals to students who, in many cases, rely on schools for their only reliable source of food. Since March 23, when the district began its remote feeding efforts, the district has served 1,095,537 … [Read more...]

Pasco schools brace for tough budget

Pasco County Schools is gearing up for a tough budget year. “We have been working on budget,” Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning told school board members at a May 5 virtual school board meeting. “It’s not a so-rosy picture of a budget. We’re working with department budgets and the district budget as a whole. We know that it’s going to be tight, and we’re very cautious going … [Read more...]