State handheld cell phone ban now in effect
Tuesday was the first day law enforcement officers around Florida could begin to pull drivers over for improperly using cell phones on the road.
If you’re not using a hands-free device to talk to someone, or if you’re caught texting, you can now be pulled over at a designated school crossing, in a school zone or in an active work area. Warnings for such behavior will be issued until Jan. 1, 2020, at which time a distracted driver can be charged with a moving violation, fined at least $60 and hit with three points on their driver’s license.
Keel Farms hosting Harvest Days
Looking for family-friendly fun in October? Keel Farms has something for that.
The winery, located at 5210 W. Thonotosassa Road, is hosting Fall Harvest Days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday in October. The list of activities offered includes pumpkin carving and painting, a pumpkin patch, a bounce house, harvesting, hay rides and farm animals. There’s no cost for parking or admission at any of the Fall Harvest Days.
HCPS wins health award
The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation announced Monday that it’s granted Hillsborough County a 2019-21 Florida Healthy School District Gold Award for “meeting the health needs of students and staff” on a high level.
The two-year award is given to school districts that pass infrastructure, policy, program and practice assessments to maintain “high-quality healthy school teams, suicide prevention and trauma-informed care faculty training, school gardens and breakfast enhancement strategies, and exemplary Florida KidCare enrollment mechanisms and best practices.” Suicide prevention and trauma care were emphasized in particular for this award cycle.
“It’s important that our school systems promote the social, emotional and physical well-being of students and staff, which requires dedication and maximizing resources to follow best practices,” Jeff Dykes, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, said in a press release. “This recognition serves as a reminder to our school districts that their efforts and coordination are greatly appreciated. By identifying and utilizing practices that improve our school districts overall health, Florida’s children will be better equipped for academic success.”
The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation is a non-profit, public-private partnership that expands access to health and dental insurance for children age 5 through 18. It was created by the Florida Legislature and, for this award, partners with the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.
Hungry Howie’s breast cancer research campaign restarts
For the 10th year, the start of October also brought the start of Hungry Howie’s Pizza’s annual Love, Hope & Pizza campaign to fund breast cancer research and awareness.
As long as you’re buying their pizza this month, whether it’s picking up a single slice in-store for $1 or buying an entire pink box, you’re helping. You can also round up your order to help.
The restaurant will make a donation for each pizza sale in October to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which has been active since 1991. To date, Hungry Howie’s has raised almost $3 million for research and free screenings and mammograms at Moffitt Cancer Center.
Hungry Howie’s has two Plant City locations: one at 208 N. Alexander St. and one at 2424 Highway 92 E.
Local PFLAG chapter in the works
Residents of Plant City are looking to start a local PFLAG chapter and are seeking someone to help operate monthly meetings.
PFLAG is a national support group that provides safe and confidential places for people to talk, listen and get support for LGBTQ+ people, parents, families and allies. The current closest chapters are based in Tampa and Lakeland, so residents are banding together to create one in Plant City and provide one-of-a-kind services and support for families.
Anyone interested in joining and helping operate a Plant City chapter is asked to contact Dalton Vanderford at email@example.com.