83.8 F
The Villages
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
83.8 F
The Villages

Top Story

Frustrated Villagers want answers about COVID-19 testing site at the polo fields

Consternation boiled over this week as exasperated Villagers sought answers about the UF Health Coronavirus drive-through testing site at the polo fields.

Letters

I didn’t bargain for loss of community feel in The Villages

A Village of Belvedere defends points made - and roundly criticized - in a Letter to the Editor earlier this week.

Your dog is your responsibility

A Village of Bonnybrook resident urges her fellow Villagers to take responsibility for the dogs.

Around Florida

DeSantis vows fixes to online system overwhelmed by unemployment claims

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced plans to rapidly repair the online system Floridians are using to file for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 crisis.

Obituaries

Richard B. Dodge

As the City of St. Petersburg (FL) administrator, Rick Dodge led the efforts to attract the Salvador Dali Museum, a major league baseball park, and win an expansion franchise, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Health

Singer-songwriter David Olney died onstage of heart attack

The death of singer-songwriter David Olney, who suffered a heart attack and died while performing onstage, reminds us of the value of knowing CPR. Dr. Gabe Mirkin offers his thoughts.

Business

Wal-Mart limiting number of customers inside stores amid COVID-19 outbreak

A major chain store with locations in and around The Villages has made a sweeping change that will impact customers amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

Villages restaurants’ dining rooms shut down following governor’s order

Restaurant owners in The Villages were busy closing down their dining rooms Friday afternoon after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered them to do so.

The executive order came on the day when COVID-19 cases in Florida topped 500 and the death toll rose to 10. It became effective immediately and meant that restaurants across the state must now rely on takeout and delivery services to keep their doors open.

City Fire joined with other Florida restaurants on Friday in shutting down its dining rooms following an order from Gov. Ron DeSantis to do so.

The order also means that no alcohol can be consumed at any restaurants. But it does allow eateries to sell alcohol with food that is picked up or delivered, as long as the customer has an ID proving they are of legal age.

In a community where the standing joke is that the kitchen is the least-used room in the house, the order means life will change drastically for many of the 130,000 residents who call the mega-retirement community home.

Gina Buell, owner of City Fire in Lake Sumter Landing and Brownwood, said they’ve constantly kept their customers in mind during the Coronavirus outbreak and will now shift entirely to a curbside and delivery business. She said they are offering all of their regular menu items, as well as a platter menu that features larger meals for two or four people.

“We are 100 percent making sure we’re taking care of them,” she said of the many Villagers and others in the tri-county area who have frequented her eateries for many years.

Buell said she and her husband, Mike, also are scrambling to help their employees, many of whom have been with them for years. She said they’ve had to lay off some of them and it’s been a very sad time for everyone involved.

“This came on us so fast but we jumped on it from the get-go,” Buell said of efforts they launched to constantly clean and sanitize surfaces at the restaurants when the Coronavirus outbreak first came to light. “It’s unprecedented in the world and things are constantly changing.”

Owner/operator Allen Musikantow says he plans to reopen all three of his Cody’s Original Roadhouse restaurants in The Villages as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. The eateries are located in Lake Sumter Landing, Brownwood and the Mulberry Plaza.

Earlier Friday, all three Cody’s Original Roadhouse restaurants in The Villages temporarily closed their doors in the wake of the outbreak. Owner/operator Allen Musikantow said it was a difficult decision to make but it was in the best interest of his employees and customers.

“There is no precedent for this outbreak,” he said. “We have been using our best judgment on how to continue to operate and follow the mandated procedures as they are issued by the state and federal government.”

Billy’s Cafe in Summerfield.

On Thursday, two local mainstays in the community also announced they were temporarily shutting down. The Starbucks at U.S. Hwy. 27/441 and Rolling Acres Road closed at 6 p.m. Friday and Billy’s Cafe, a longtime breakfast and lunch eatery on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 in Summerfield, had a sign in its window announcing it will be closed for at least two weeks.

LIVE: Coronavirus Updates

Latest Posts

I didn’t bargain for loss of community feel in The Villages

A Village of Belvedere defends points made - and roundly criticized - in a Letter to the Editor earlier this week.

Joe Diffie and many other musicians have died from COVID-19

Dr. Gabe Mirkin looks at the death of country performer Joe Diffie from COVID-19 and attempts to determine if musicians are somehow more at risk of the Coronavirus.

Richard B. Dodge

As the City of St. Petersburg (FL) administrator, Rick Dodge led the efforts to attract the Salvador Dali Museum, a major league baseball park, and win an expansion franchise, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Frustrated Villagers want answers about COVID-19 testing site at the polo fields

Consternation boiled over this week as exasperated Villagers sought answers about the UF Health Coronavirus drive-through testing site at the polo fields.

More Headlines

Fenney food truck to re-open weeks after numerous violations

A food truck is returning to serve residents of the Village of Fenney after an inspection last month turned up several health code violations.

No tee times after 4 p.m. at any golf course in The Villages

Starting Wednesday, April 8, all Championship and Executive Golf Courses will close at 4 p.m. following the last tee time.

Photos

Opinions

Joe Diffie and many other musicians have died from COVID-19

Dr. Gabe Mirkin looks at the death of country performer Joe Diffie from COVID-19 and attempts to determine if musicians are somehow more at risk of the Coronavirus.

Crime

Wildwood police seeking help in locating stolen older-model Chevy pickup

Wildwood police officers are searching for a pickup truck that was stolen in the city recently.

Belleview man popped on multiple drug charges after ramming deputy’s patrol vehicle

A Belleview man was arrested Monday night after fleeing from Marion County sheriff’s deputies and then ramming into a patrol vehicle.