Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Community news you can use

FAFSA help for students and parents: Financial aid experts will help college-bound students and families from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Northeast High School, 5500 16th St. N, St. Petersburg. Students should bring their Federal Student Aid PIN (for a PIN, go to pin.ed.gov); email address; W-2 and federal income tax forms; documents on untaxed income such as Social Security, disability or workers' compensation; photo ID; Social Security card; and parents' Social Security numbers and dates of birth. For information, call (727) 302-6802.

St. Petersburg Audubon Society: This meeting's program is "Wildlife of India's Kaziranga National Park" at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Science Center of Pinellas County, 7701 22nd Ave. N. Free. For info, email [email protected]

Learn to teach swimming: Pinellas Park offers American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor classes in April and May at Skyview Pool, 9040 54th Way N. The program is for proficient swimmers 16 and older and provides a two-year certification as a water safety instructor for $171.95, which includes all but one of the books required. Participants must pass a swim test. Visit Pinellas-Park.com or call (727) 541-0805, ext. 2437.

African Children's Choir concert: The internationally acclaimed choir will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Christ United Methodist Church, 471 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Donations appreciated. For information, email [email protected]

Sports medicine lecture: Psychologist Mark Sinz will explain how to replace unhealthy attitudes and beliefs with more healthy ones to optimize athletic performance at "Getting in the Zone" at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Anthony's Outpatient Center (Carillon), Meeting Rooms A and B, 900 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg. Free. Call (727) 825-1445 or visit StAnthonys.com.

Donate blood at Walgreens: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, donors to Florida Blood Services can visit the Pinellas Park store at 7400 66th St. or one of two St. Petersburg Walgreens at 945 62nd Ave. S or 5405 66th St. N. Donors will receive a voucher, which must be redeemed at that location the day of the drive to receive a free $10 Walgreens gift card. Donors will receive a checkup of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and iron count, plus a cholesterol screening. Generally, healthy people 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can be donors. Identification is required. Call 1-800-682-5663 or visit fbsblood.org.

Senior Hall of Fame: The Office on Aging is seeking nominations for inductions into the 29th annual Senior Hall of Fame honoring volunteers over age 65. Nominees must residents of Pinellas County and have dedicated their service to benefit the residents or community of St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster will emcee the awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. May 23 at the Sunshine Center, 330 Fifth St. N. For info, call (727) 893-7101 or visit tinyurl.com/8y6vn3a. The deadline for application entry is May 4.

Charity dinner: The Pinellas Medical Foundation will host its first major fundraiser, the "Health Care for All" charity dinner, from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, to benefit the Suncoast Health Council. Dinner tickets cost $100. A table reservation for eight costs $750. RSVP to (727) 342-0822.

Identity theft talk: The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce will host its next Learn @ Lunch at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Palms of Largo, 200 Lake Ave. NE. Fifth Third Bank will provide tips to protect your identity and finances. $15 for members, $25 for nonmembers. Registration required. Call Amanda Page at (727) 360-6957 or email [email protected]

Green expo: Largo is seeking vendors with eco-friendly products, services and food to participate in the LarGoing Green Expo noon to 6 p.m. April 21 at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive. The expo is part of the fifth annual Trashy Fashion Show. Vendor applications will be accepted through April 13. $35. Call Tanya Fazekas at [email protected] or (727) 587-6740, ext. 4063, or visit LargoRecycles.com.

Community Values workshops: The city of Largo is holding three workshops to seek input from residents, property owners and business owners on values and priorities in order to help the city in budgetary decisions. They are from 7:45-9:15 a.m. March 27 at the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive; 6-7:30 p.m. March 29 at the Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road; and noon-1:30 p.m. April 10 at Largo City Hall, 201 Highland Ave. To register, visit Largo.com/values or call (727) 587-6790. If you are not able to attend but would like to share your ideas, take the online survey at Largo.com/values. Results will be posted May 1 at Largo.com.

Collection for the troops: Troops in the Middle East need candy, cookies, microwave popcorn, peanut butter, crackers, canned fruits and meats, flavored soft drink mix, beef jerky, small microwavable products, women's hygiene products, baby wipes, lip balm, sunscreen, bandannas, socks, resealable plastic food-storage bags and cotton swabs. Donations can be dropped off at the Army Recruiting Office, 11223 78th Ave. N, Seminole; American Legion Post 273, 600 American Legion Drive, Madeira Beach; American Legion Post 7, 1760 Turner St., Clearwater; and Extra Space Storage, 4319 Duhme Road, Madeira Beach. Cash donations are also needed to cover shipping. Checks should be made payable to UPS Store and mailed to Joe Tapp, P.O. Box 86223, Madeira Beach, FL 33738. Call Tapp at (727) 432-1057.

Comments
Florida love triangle led to a murder-for-hire plot, police say. But the wrong woman was killed.

Florida love triangle led to a murder-for-hire plot, police say. But the wrong woman was killed.

Heartbreak and jealously were the twin engines driving the scheme, police would later say. Ishnar Marie Lopez-Ramos was in love. The object of the 35-year-old Floridian’s affection, however, was tangled up with another woman. To solve her hear...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Panic ensued after casino shuttle caught fire, survivor recalls

Panic ensued after casino shuttle caught fire, survivor recalls

By HOWARD ALTMANTimes Staff WriterPORT RICHEY — Before directing them to abandon the burning ship, the crew of The Island Lady casino shuttle moved passengers around the 72-foot wood-hulled vessel as fire began smouldering on both sides, one passenge...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Times StaffAFI Mortgage, a subsidiary of an Arizona-based bank, is opening its first Florida locations in St. Petersburg and Lakeland. Its parent company, AmeriFirst Financial Inc., specializes in mortgages. "This Florida team is innovative, knowledg...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

By CRAIG PITTMANTimes Staff WriterAT THE SHELL KEY PRESERVE — From a boat puttering along in the water, the sandy beach seems to go on and on. Then, abruptly, it ends at a mass of tangled, overturned mangroves where a great blue heron sits on an expo...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTINTimes Senior CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown.The new projects, all by out-of-state developers, will add mo...
Updated: 25 minutes ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pope begs forgiveness for ‘irreparable harm’ from sex abuse

Pope begs forgiveness for ‘irreparable harm’ from sex abuse

SANTIAGO, Chile — Pope Francis begged for forgiveness Tuesday for the "irreparable damage" done to children who were raped and molested by priests, opening his visit to Chile by diving head-first into a scandal that has greatly hurt the Catholic Chur...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Some fear Spa Beach billowing net sculpture could catch birds and storms

Some fear Spa Beach billowing net sculpture could catch birds and storms

By WAVENEY ANN MOORETimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — International artist Janet Echelman may have fulfilled her $75,000 feasibility contract with the city and previewed her billowing, parasol-inspired sculpture for Spa Beach, but for some, key ques...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Florida boy, 6, dies of rabies contracted from a bat

ORLANDO — A 6-year-old Florida boy has died from rabies he contracted after being scratched by an infected bat.The father of Ryker Roque told NBC that the boy died Sunday at an Orlando hospital.Father Henry Roque said he had found a sick bat, put it ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Pasco man fatally struck on Interstate 70 in Kansas

SALINA, Kan. — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a Florida man died after he was hit by a car as he walked along Interstate 70 near Salina.The patrol says 35-year-old Cody Nordlund of New Port Richey died Sunday night.He was walking in an eastbound lane...
Updated: 4 hours ago