DEA wants an explanation from Walgreens
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration filed an order this week requiring the Walgreens at 9332 U.S. 19, at Embassy Boulevard, to explain its high distribution of prescription drugs such as oxycodone and demonstrate that it is complying with federal regulations. The order comes three months after the feds issued similar orders for a distribution center and three other Walgreens pharmacies in Florida, including the one at 12028 Majestic Blvd., just off State Road 52. If they fail to make their case, the pharmacies could lose their DEA registration to handle certain controlled substances. DEA agents searched six Walgreens locations last April after noticing unusually high distributions of oxycodone. The DEA said these orders are part of the agency's "ongoing effort to combat the state's prescription drug abuse epidemic and its role as a major source to other states of diverted pharmaceutical drugs." Walgreens officials did not return a call for comment.
Officials contain, monitor brush fire
Firefighters continue to monitor a 250-acre brush fire that was set Monday morning by an arsonist, said Don Ruths, a spokesman for the Florida Forest Service. The fire is south of State Road 52, with Moon Lake Estates to the west and the Suncoast Parkway to the east. By Wednesday, the fire was 100 percent contained, said Will VanGelder, land management supervisor for the Southwest Florida Water Management District, which owns the Serenova Preserve. No one was injured, and no structures were threatened. "Crews continue to monitor it and will continue to monitor it," VanGelder said of the remaining smoldering patches. Drivers were warned of smoke on State Road 52. The fire did not affect activities at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, an employee said. The arson is being investigated, Ruths said.
Adopt a pet for free this month
Pasco Animal Services is offering free pet adoptions all this month. Yes, free — though new pet owners are responsible for a $5 tag fee. In memory of his beloved therapy dog Lucy, Tom Dobies of Dobies Funeral Home and Crematory is footing the bill for all pet adoptions during February at Pasco Animal Services. Pet adoption events will be at the following locations:
• 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel during the "Dogs Day Out" event.
• 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 16 at Woof Gang Bakery in Lutz.
• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Petco in Odessa.
Or visit the Land O'Lakes shelter at 19640 Dogpatch Lane, which is open from noon to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and from noon to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Animal Services will also be open from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 17 to promote free adoptions over Valentine's Day weekend. The free adoption campaign is part of the county's plan to "Save 90 percent" of the animals that come to the Land O'Lakes shelter. For details, call (813) 929-1212.