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The cyclists of Project HERO Pinellas literally push each other along the road to recovery.

The group provides an outlet for veterans to recover from physical and psychological wounds through cycling. Every Thursday, dozens of members gather for a group ride on the Pinellas Trail. They motivate new members to become physically active again and help each other prepare for upcoming challenge rides.

Support comes in the form of camaraderie and encouragement. But it often means a hand at your back, boosting your speed, or at the bar of your recumbent bicycle to help propel you up an overpass.
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, July 28
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OLDSMAR - Pinellas County Mosquito Control confirmed a positive test for West Nile virus in a sentinel chicken July 28, marking the third confirmed positive in Pinellas County this year. The chicken was located in Oldsmar.

Two other positive tests were confirmed this month, the first in a chicken located on the grounds of the county’s Keller Water Treatment Facility in Tarpon Springs on July 8, and the second in a chicken located near Lake Maggiore in St. Petersburg on July 14.
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Wednesday, July 22
PALM HARBOR - The Academy of General Dentistry recently announced that Dr. Oscar Menendez, DDS, MAGD, of Palm Harbor, received the association’s Mastership Award at the AGD 2015 annual meeting, which took place in San Francisco at the end of June.

With only 1 percent of all dentists in the United States earning this title, the Mastership Award is the AGD’s highest honor and one of the most respected designations within the profession.

To earn this award, Menendez was required to complete 1,100 hours of dental continuing education. Menendez actually far exceeded these requirements.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Morton Plant Hospital is seeking the community’s help as it prepares to celebrate 100 years of providing high-quality, compassionate care to the community.

The hospital is inviting the community to share their artifacts and their memories.

Do you remember Morton Plant Hospital from past decades? Do you have old photos or articles about the hospital? Were you a medical professional or volunteer who worked at the hospital many years ago or for many years? Were you born there years ago?
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Wednesday, July 15
Pinellas County Mosquito Control confirmed a positive test for West Nile virus in a sentinel chicken on Tuesday, July 14, marking the second confirmed positive in Pinellas County this year. The chicken was located near Lake Maggiore in St. Petersburg.

The first positive test was confirmed July 8 in a chicken located on the grounds of the county’s Keller Water Treatment Facility in Tarpon Springs.

Sentinel chickens serve as an early-warning detection system for some mosquito-borne diseases and can signal the fact that mosquitoes carrying the diseases are present in the area. There are eight locations in the county where chickens are kept and tested weekly.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, July 12
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Pinellas County Mosquito Control reported the first positive test of 2015 for West Nile Virus in a sentinel chicken July 8 at the Keller Water Treatment Facility in Tarpon Springs.

West Nile virus is one of three mosquito-borne illnesses found in Florida that can be spread by a mosquito bite, according to the state Department of Health.

Pinellas County keeps sentinel chickens in eight locations as part of an early warning detection system that alerts officials when mosquitos carrying diseases are present in the area, according to a press release from county Communications. The chickens are tested weekly.
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, July 7
TAMPA - Moffitt Cancer Center recently received a $3.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, over the next five years.

Rather than burning tobacco like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes “vaporize” a liquid that usually contains nicotine, and the user inhales the vapor like they would inhale normal cigarette smoke. The use of e-cigarettes has risen dramatically since their introduction a decade ago.

Although very little is known about the safety of these new products, they are thought to be much less dangerous than conventional cigarettes. Most e-cigarette users report that they began using the product in an attempt to quit or cut down on smoking. However, there has been little research to date on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for quitting smoking.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Suncoast Hospice, a member of Empath Health, has been named a 2015 Hospice Honors Recipient.

The award recognizes hospice agencies throughout the country providing the best patient care as rated by patients’ caregivers.

“It is an honor to have been recognized with this award, and it is a true privilege to be honored as one, of only 11, hospice organizations in Florida providing the highest level of satisfaction,” said Suzanne Rice, RN-CHPN, in a press release. Rice is Empath Health quality improvement manager. “We will continue to demonstrate the highest quality of care to both, our patients and our caregivers.”
 ... Read More 
PINELLAS PARK - Operation PAR, a West Central Florida substance abuse agency, is celebrating Christmas in July and hopes the community will join them.

Approximately 100 adults are receiving residential treatment at PAR facilities and some are moms that have children who actually live on property with them. PAR’s Adolescent Residential Center houses 30 teenage boys and girls and outpatient, intervention and prevention programs have several hundred clients as well. While Operation PAR can help them in their recovery process, it doesn’t receive funding for the extras like Christmas gifts. Last year, with help from the community, all of these adults and children had a merrier holiday season.

Since many people are overwhelmed with donation requests in November and December, Operation PAR is currently seeking donations of new toys and clothing for children from birth to 17 years of age. Suggested donations for adults include socks, T-shirts, paper, pens, markers and toiletries.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, July 5
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Fourteen people have died from lightning in the United States so far this year, including an 81-year-old man from Largo.

Jay Freres was taking a walk near his home in the area of Sandpiper and Egret drives when he was struck and killed by lightning June 19, according to Largo police.

Two other deaths have occurred in Florida attributable to lightning, according to the National Weather Service. Both victims, a 36-year-old male from Bonita Springs and a 26-year-old male from Port Orange, were working on a roof when lightning struck.
 ... Read More 
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