Officials warn of West Nile virus risk
Health Department officials warned southern Hillsborough County residents Friday of an increased risk for mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus. Several sentinel chicken flocks recently tested positive for the virus, and officials are continuing to test for other illnesses. While there hasn't been a human case of West Nile virus in a few years, people should be vigilant, said department spokesman Steve Huard: Stay inside when mosquitoes start biting, apply repellent, empty containers of standing water and clean rain gutters.
Thief drives off with Scouts' camping gear
A troop of Boy Scouts found out about the sad side of life his week as they prepared for their monthly camping trip. The trailer where they stored their gear was missing from its parking place at Calvary Chapel Church, 8900 U.S. 19 N in Pinellas Park. "It was all our camping gear," said Teresa Carr, a spokeswoman for Troop 375. It took more than seven years to accumulate the Dutch ovens, cooking equipment and other gear, she said, but about 10 minutes to steal it. The trailer and equipment are worth an estimated $5,000. Troop leaders believe the thief was not after the gear, only the trailer. But that's little comfort when everything the 45 troop members owned was in it.