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INQUIRY INTO DEADLY FIRE CONTINUES

NEW PORT RICHEY

The investigation continues at the blackened single-wide trailer where 3-year-old twins died Monday morning.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office and Florida State Fire Marshal have not released any more information about the fire, which began just before 9 a.m. Monday. Neighbors and deputies tried to save the children but couldn't get inside the house. Twins Micah and Miah Shaver died in the blaze. Their mother, Shannon Garza, 30, escaped with burns to her arms and hands.

The Department of Children and Families said the agency had previously been in contact with the family but would not disclose more details until after an investigation, if one is warranted.

Donations for the family are being taken at a table in front of the Volunteer Way, 10012 Moon Lake Road.

Photos of the children are posted on a Facebook page titled "In loving memory of Miah and Micah Shaver." The comments are laden with hearts and messages of love.

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ZEPHYRHILLS

Residents voice support for mayor

In the first City Council meeting since Mayor Steve Van Gorden became embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, residents lined up to show their support of keeping Van Gorden in office.

Van Gorden resigned earlier this month as principal at Zephyrhills High School, where employees said he made unwanted sexual advances and comments toward them, creating an uncomfortable and threatening workplace. He has acknowledged he did not behave appropriately, but said he hopes to continue serving as mayor.

Supporters like Trevor Gray, who met Van Gorden through volunteer work with military organizations, said he should get another chance.

"He hasn't strayed from the truth, he's accepted responsibility," Gray told council members on Tuesday evening. "To me, that is good character.

"It's a shame that all of this had to happen," Gray added, "but people should recognize his service and that he still has many more years of service to give."

Zephyrhills business owner Marsha Decena said she believes Van Gorden is still the right person to serve as mayor, a largely ceremonial position with no voting authority.

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