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Jan. 3 is deadline to register to vote, party affiliation

COUNTYWIDE

Change parties or register by Jan. 3 to vote

Residents have until Jan. 3 to register to vote or change their party affiliation to vote in Florida's presidential primary. The Jan. 31 election is a closed primary, meaning only registered Republicans can vote for one of nine candidates to challenge President Barack Obama in November. Voter registration forms can be mailed to the Supervisor of Elections Office, P.O. Box 300, Dade City, 33526. Applications can also be dropped off at elections offices in New Port Richey, Land O'Lakes and Dade City. For information, call toll-free 1-800-851-8754 or visit pascovotes.com.

ZEPHYRHILLS

Sanitation worker gets city honor

City officials selected longtime sanitation worker Nathaniel Stewart as Zephyrhills' first Employee of the Year. He started working on the back of a garbage truck and later became a driver, serving 32 years in the department. He received a plaque, a city lapel pin and a designated parking space. He also will receive a watch with a city emblem, and an anonymous donor has provided him with a paid weekend getaway to the beach next summer.

PORT RICHEY

City offices close for Christmas

City Hall will close at 1 p.m. Friday for the Christmas holiday weekend. City offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Synagogue plans cooking seminars

Beth-El Shalom Messianic Synagogue will hold "Eat Smart Cooking Seminars" at 4 p.m. on the second Sunday of the month, starting Jan. 8. The seminars will feature expert lectures, cooking demonstrations, food and fellowship. Free and open to all. Beth-El Shalom is at 6209 Congress St., one block south of Main Street. For information call (727) 375-7502 or visit Jewishheritage.net.

TRINITY

Group helps with grieving process

HPH Hospice invites newly bereaved adults or those who are coming to terms with their grief over the death of a loved one to participate in its free, eight-week Grief's Journey support group. An HPH Hospice bereavement counselor will help the group understand the grief process and explore coping strategies. The group will meet from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays from Jan. 5 through Feb. 23 at Generations Christian Church, 1544 Little Road, Trinity. Preregistration is required and attendance at one of the first two meetings is necessary to continue with the group. To register or for information, call Jill Wiegand at (727) 863-7971.

Section B

Jan. 3 is deadline to register to vote, party affiliation 12/21/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 7:40pm]
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  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
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    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]