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Pasco Man Surprised To See Florida Announce His Coronavirus Death

LAND O' LAKES, FL — Despite the Florida Department of Health reporting his death Friday, 46-year-old Land O' Lakes resident Gene Della Sala, the first Pasco County resident to test positive for the coronavirus, said he's feeling "90 percent better." "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," he told Patch lightly, using Star Trek character Capt. Jean Luc Picard's adaptation of the famous Mark Twain quote.

Chefs Call Lawmakers To Help Before Coronavirus Kills Restaurants

CHICAGO — Chicago chefs took to Instagram Friday in attempt to rally public support for federal help to keep their restaurants alive amid the new coronavirus crisis. Chef Carlos Gaytan joined culinary stars from across America posting a selfie video from his home kitchen. Chefs Stephanie Izard from Girl and the Goat, the first woman to win Bravo's "Top Chef," and Kevin Hickey, owner of Duck Inn in Bridgeport, were among the Chicago restaurateurs taking part in the the Instagram campaign, #toosm

Coronavirus: MA School Athletics Adjust To Shock Of New Reality

HINGHAM, MA — The spirit of community is strong around the Hingham High School athletic department. On a typical school day, Hingham athletic director Jim Quatromoni said it's not unusual to have three, four, five coaches hanging out in and around his office, along with waves of high school athletes who come and go through the hallways past the office, on their way to the gym and surrounding athletic fields. "Sometimes I'm involved with those conversations, and sometimes I'm not," Quatromoni to

New Parents Start Cafe In Hoboken, Then Struggle Amid Coronavirus

HOBOKEN, NJ -- Jess and Jeff Dyer of Hoboken have an 11-month-old baby, a 6-month-old small business, and big worries because people in their city have been staying home amid the coronavirus crisis. "We're definitely worried, because it's our only source of income," said Jess, an artist, on Monday night. The pair opened their small coffee shop, "Joey No Nuts," on Oct. 1 in a cozy 450-square-foot sliver of retail space on a corner. The shop has a niche because it's entirely nut free, so people w

How Are Illinois Restaurant Workers Doing? 'Absolutely Terrible'

CHICAGO, IL — For bar and restaurant workers, Tuesday was a St. Patrick's Day massacre. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's order forcing more than 25,000 restaurants and bars statewide that employ about 474,500 people to shut down in-house service for two weeks in attempt to stem the spread of the new coronavirus started Tuesday. "This is a f------ disaster," said chef Kevin Hickey, owner of Duck Inn. "We're on Day 1 looking down the barrel at little to no income, scrambling to try to set up food delivery an

'Where's Your F---Ing Mask?': Asian Man Harassed In Forest Hills

FOREST HILLS, QUEENS — An Asian man in Forest Hills says he was harassed while bringing his son to school Thursday morning by a man clad in camouflage who shouted, "Where is your f---ing mask?" and tried to attack him. The man — who asked to be identified only by his first name, Jeff, to protect his family — told Patch he was bringing his son to a school bus stop on Yellowstone Boulevard when the man started cursing at him and tried to hit him in the head. "Where's your f---ing mask, you Chine

Coronavirus In New Rochelle: Life At The Epicenter

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — At the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak in New York, an unsettling quiet hovers over a usually bustling Hudson Valley community filled with people darting in and out of shops and doctors' offices and mothers pushing strollers on the sidewalks. It stands to become even more quiet Thursday with the beginning of a mile-wide containment zone centered on Young Israel of New Rochelle, a Jewish synagogue at the heart of one of the country's largest cluster of COVID-19 cases.

Trademark, Animal Cruelty Concerns Stoked By Chantilly Pet Store

CHANTILLY, VA — The owners of Woofie's, a pet services company with locations in Loudoun and Fairfax counties, are preparing to file a trademark lawsuit next week against a new Chantilly pet store, Woofys, over its use of a similar business name. As they were investigating the ownership of the new store, the owners of Ashburn-headquartered Woofie's also learned that the new store's manager is one of the former managers of the Fairfax City Petland, which was shut down last September over alleged

Residents Call For Stratford School Board Member To Resign

STRATFORD, CT — Stratford residents seeking the resignation of a school board member who took a plea deal after he was accused of sexually assaulting a young girl were limited at a recent meeting in what they could say due to a new public comment policy. But their presence spoke volumes. Such a large crowd turned out for the Monday meeting that it was moved from the conference room at the school district administration center to the Stratford High School cafeteria, where police looked on as res

Fossil Hunter Finds 400 Million-Year-Old Worm Named After Oswego

OSWEGO, IL — A lifelong hobbyist fossil hunter recently presented the Oswego village board with a unique fossil. It's not the type of animal preserved - a minuscule worm-like creature - that makes it so; it's the fact that this particular animal is named after Oswego, and that the specimen is so well preserved after more than 400 million years in the earth. The fossil hunter who found the specimen - official name Tentaculites oswegoensis - is a Sugar Grove resident by the name of Tom Cesario. He

Ex-Hinsdale Official Gets $315K Pension

HINSDALE, IL — There must have been something about Mary — former Hinsdale schools Superintendent Mary Curley, that is. In her final two years before retiring, she received two 20 percent raises. She left the school system with a salary of $385,378, up from $267,624 two years before. That's more than $100,000 in increases. From 1999 to 2007, Curley led Community Consolidated School District 181, which serves kindergarten through eighth grade. While Hinsdale taxpayers bore the brunt of the sa

Mother Of Man Killed By Police Is Still Seeking Accountability

SEATTLE, WA — Rose Johnson had waited months to hear whether the two Seattle police officers who shot and killed her son would face any sort of disciplinary action. In February, the city's police watchdog released its findings, clearing everyone involved. Ryan Smith, 31, died on May 8, 2019, after his girlfriend called 911 from their Queen Anne neighborhood apartment, saying Ryan was drunk, armed with a knife and threatening to kill her and himself. She told the dispatcher she had barricaded h

Evanston Man Sues Police Chief, City Over 'HIV' Social Media Post

EVANSTON, IL — One of the dozens of men whose images, birthdays and addresses were publicly posted to a personal social media account of Evanston Police Chief Demitrous Cook filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Sunday against the city, the police department and the chief, in both his personal and official capacity. Kevin Logan's personal information was annotated with handwritten notes saying, "Pending" and "HIV" in screenshots of the chief's since-deleted post. Notes next to other booking phot

Elderly Veteran's Death Raises Questions For The VA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cherished memories filled Gerald Keenan's life. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, created wonderful bedtime stories when his children were young and always anticipated "life's next greatest adventure." Now Congressman Jeff Van Drew seeks answers on the events that led to Keenan's death. In a letter to President Donald Trump and the local Department of Veterans Affairs, Van Drew requested a review of how this could happen. Keenan, 86, had to travel a significa

Saving Blind Man A Defining Moment For Police Drone Unit

VERNON, CT — Helping locate a missing, distressed blind man in Enfield amid frigid conditions — and essentially saving his life — over the Presidents Day weekend is being considered the high point in the five of so years the Vernon Police Department Drone Unit has been around. There have been other assists: • Spotting for crews getting a hiker off a cliff at Valley Falls Park. • Pinpointing the exact location of suspects in a standoffs in Vernon and Enfield to assist negotiators (both ended pea

Dog Who Can't Walk, Pigeon Who Can't Fly Become Friends

ROCHESTER, NY — Last week, Sue Rogers sparked a friendship that warmed the hearts of millions. Lundy, a Chihuahua who can't walk, and Herman, a pigeon who can't fly, became unlikely buddies at the Mia Foundation, a rehabilitation center for animals with birth defects. Rogers, the founder of the Mia Foundation in Rochester, New York, cares full time for 10 animals with birth defects, with 20 more animals living with fosters. On Thursday evening, Rogers had Herman in a small dog bed. She put Lun

Father Urges Judge To Have Hoggle Kids' Mom Face Murder Charges

ROCKVILLE, MD — A decision on whether to drop murder charges against Catherine Hoggle in the disappearance of her two young children has been delayed. Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Robert Greenberg declined to issue a decision Tuesday after hearing arguments about Hoggle's ability to stand trial, but said he will provide a written opinion on his "momentous decision" in the coming days. There are two key legal issues Greenberg must address: Could Hoggle be restored

Oak Lawn's 'Waving Man' Nick Sanello Dies At 96

OAK LAWN, IL — Longtime Oak Lawn resident Nick Sanello, who forged community connections by waving at every car, child, adult and dog that passed by his house, died Feb. 10. He was 96. Born Sept. 20, 1923 on Chicago's Near West Side where he grew up "100 percent Italian," Sanello remembered his Taylor Street neighbors sitting on their front stoops while kids played games in the street on summer evenings. "It was important for him to maintain that neighborhood feeling," his daughter Nickolette

Court Rushed After 'We Want Stewy' Chanters Get Their Wish

DUBLIN, CA — Dublin High School senior Stewy Thalblum gets to school around 7:30 a.m., spends 2½ hours at baseball practice after school wraps up at 3:30 p.m., swings by basketball practice and gets home by 9:15 p.m. It's a long day for anyone, but it's an especially long day considering Thalblum volunteers his time as the basketball team manager. But last week — after four years of hearing peers chant "We want Stewy!" from the bleachers — Thalbum stepped off of the sidelines and onto the court
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