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manatee county

Manatee County administration bulding with an American Flag
Cathy Carter

Manatee County Commissioners in June approved a plan to provide millions of dollars in federal money for businesses and organizations hit hardest by the coronavirus. 

The first phase of funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security -- or CARES Act --  is arriving through the State of Florida.

A county government building with American flag.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County residents who have lost their jobs or significant income because of the coronavirus can apply for help to pay rent, mortgage and utilities bills.

A man and woman in blue scrubs and face shields near a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County commissioners have voted to purchase additional COVID-19 testing kits.  The move comes as the county continues to ramp up its testing capacity.

Health Care worker's hands holding COVID-19 testing kit.
Manatee County Government

Governor Ron DeSantis was in Sarasota Tuesday to discuss the state’s latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a new COVID-19 testing site at the University Town Center Mall, the governor said Florida is ramping up testing and loosening restrictions on who can get screened for the virus.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Manatee County beaches will reopen Monday under social distancing guidelines, and with restrictions on parking.

2 people in medical scrubs and personal protective gear collect specimens from a car at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County has had a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases and deaths when compared to the rest of the state.

According to the Florida Department of Health, as of Thursday afternoon, 55 people in Manatee County died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That’s the fourth most in the state. Meanwhile, 580 people have tested positive for the virus which represents a 15.4 % presumptive positive test rate, compared to a statewide rate of 8.8%.

Manatee County administration bulding with an American Flag
Cathy Carter

After almost two-and-a-half weeks, Manatee County Commisioners have lifted a temporary local curfew.

The board first voted to enact the measure on April 3. It was in effect every night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Following a 3 hour-long emergency meeting, Manatee County Commissioners have approved a resolution to create a temporary curfew.

A male and female medical officials take a medical test sample from a person in a car at a drive-thru sitesample
Manatee County Government

The Florida Department of Health announced the first positive case of COVID-19 in Manatee County on March 1.

Twenty-five days later, the county is opening its first drive-thru testing site. The four-day event starts Thursday and is limited to 200 people with an appointment and a doctor's prescription.

A green lifeguard stand on Siesta Beach, with a few people milling about.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Sarasota and Manatee counties will close all public beaches amid worries about the spread of the coronavirus.

Woman and man stand next to Vote sign
Cathy Carter

As Floridians continue social distancing, many others headed out to the polls on Primary Day.

Before heading into Lakewood Ranch Town Hall to vote, Karen Toney of Bradenton took a minute to snap a selfie. The 27-year old said, yes, she was a bit concerned about venturing out -- but not enough to stop her from casting her ballot. 

WikiCommons

Manatee County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes as the total cases in Manatee County climbed to five over the weekend.

Hospital building at night
Wikimedia Commons

The state Department of Health early Saturday reported 25 more cases of the coronavirus, with most of the patients in South Florida. Manatee County reported two new cases, while a third Floridian has died from the disease.

Congressman Vern Buchanan at podium
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

As the number of coronavirus cases in Florida continues to rise, Congressman Vern Buchanan on Monday said the pace of testing is still too slow and called for more transparency from health officials.

Three doctors stand at a podium during a press conference.
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF Public Media

Fourteen patients have tested negative for coronavirus at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, officials said Thursday.

iStock

Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed Monday the first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida, in Hillsborough and Manatee counties.

List of ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Hillsborough County

After two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Hillsborough and Manatee counties, governmental agencies, universities, and private companies are stepping up their response.

Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

One of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Tampa Bay area is a patient who has no recent history of travel. 

The man is in his 60s, and is a resident of Manatee County. His name has not been released.

coronavirus
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Florida has its first two cases of COVID-19 as patients in Hillsborough and Manatee counties tested positive for the virus, officials from the Florida Department of Health announced Sunday night.

In the gym at Bayshore High School in Bradenton, 16-year-old Yazmin Ramirez is handed a sheet of paper describing her life's work.

"I'm a maid-slash-housekeeper. My yearly income is $19,510. I'm a dropout. I'm single. I have no children. And my balance right now is $1,202,” said Ramirez. “This is depressing, but we'll see what I can do with it.”

A fight is underway in Manatee County between some residents and the Florida Department of Transportation over a drawbridge that leads onto Anna Maria Island.

While FDOT officials say a renovation to the Cortez Bridge will ease traffic congestion, residents say it could hurt both their daily activities and a historic site.

Manatee Literacy Council Executive Director Lillian Santiago Bauza and adult English language learner, Cecilia Cortez, a native of Colombia.
Cathy Carter

Public schools are known for helping children who don’t speak English as a native language. But there isn't as much focus on "English Language Learner" education for adults with a similar language barrier.

Everyday situations like filling out a job application, reading street signs or going to the doctor can be daunting for someone born in a non-English speaking country.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

By Steve Newborn

In 1950, Manatee County had 34,000 people. Today, there are around 400,000.  In another generation, it's expected to have more people than Sarasota County. A forum was held Thursday at Bradenton's Pier 22 on how to plan for that growth.

The Board of County Commissioners for Manatee County hopes to decide between Rye Preserve and a portion of land off of Church Street to finally put the confederate monument.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County commissioners are tasked again with deciding what to do with a Confederate monument that used to stand in front of the county courthouse.

Hillsborough County evacuation zones.
Hillsboroughcounty.org

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Emergency management officials say it's important residents know which evacuation zone they live in. Florida residents should have an evacuation plan in place before a storm is on the radar. 

  

When counties mandate evacuations, they will do it by zones A-E. The zones are set based on a home’s vulnerability to deadly storm surge, with Zone A being most vulnerable. Evacuation zones are not the same as FEMA flood zone designations.

The Bruzon family celebrate Jonathan's acceptance to Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio.
Cathy Carter

The recent college admissions scandal exposed the role of wealth and privilege in gaining entry to America's best schools.

But its also helped bring attention to the issue of access to education for low income students and communities of color.

Downtown Bradenton in Manatee County.
Manatee County Government

Housing prices and rents continue to rise across Florida. Thursday, a group of community leaders and advocates gathered in Bradenton to discuss Manatee County's ongoing affordable housing crunch at an event sponsored by the Manatee Tiger Bay Club.

Nationwide, an average wage earner would need to spend 32.7 percent of his or her income to buy a median-priced home. But for Manatee residents, that figure is 46.3 percent.

FPL Plans 'Mega' Solar Battery Facility

Mar 30, 2019

In what the company said will be the largest system of its type in the world, Florida Power & Light on Thursday announced plans to build a battery facility in Manatee County that will store solar-generated energy.

The moon will travel into Earth's shadow early next week.

Overnight from Sunday into Monday, North Americans will have a prime view of a total lunar eclipse.

Pinellas County Government

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is updating its flood zone maps in the Tampa Bay area and the changes could affect thousands of home and business owners.

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