Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

North Pinellas community news for April 6


U.S. 19 to close over three nights

The Florida Department of Transportation will close the intersection of Belleair Road and U.S. 19 and all southbound lanes of U.S. 19 from Nursery Road to Belleair Road every night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Tuesday and lasting through 6 a.m. Friday.

The eastbound lane of Nursery Road at U.S. 19 will also be restricted.

The closures are due to the ongoing U.S. 19 project and girder work for the overpass at Belleair Road.

Southbound traffic on U.S. 19 will be detoured onto Nursery Road, over to Belcher Road and east on Belleair Road to get back onto U.S. 19.

Vice mayor vote gets awkward

After wishing farewell to outgoing Vice Mayor Paul Gibson on Thursday, the City Council got busy selecting his successor to the ceremonial position.

The job, which mainly involves filling in for the mayor when he is absent or on a bathroom break during meetings, proved to be an appealing prize for three council members. Bill Jonson, Jay Polglaze and Doreen Hock-DiPolito all threw their political hats into the ring.

Mayor George Cretekos had suggested at Monday's council work session that the position be rotated annually, which wouldn't require a vote of the five council members, but that idea didn't gain any traction.

When faced with three candidates, Cretekos quipped: "Y'all understand why I said this was awkward?"

It fell to newly elected council member Hoyt Hamilton to anoint the honorary second. Hamilton chose Hock-DiPolito. Jonson seconded that motion. Cretekos voted for her and she voted for herself.

Polglaze voted no.

Hock-DiPolito, who was elected to the council without opposition in 2012, will fill the vice mayor role for the next year.


Share stories at Pioneers picnic

The Pinellas Pioneers Association will hold its 51st annual picnic on Saturday at Eagle Lake Park, 1800 Keene Road in Largo.

Lunch starts at noon but socializing will start at 10 a.m.

The get-togethers were started at the Largo Fairgrounds by a group led by J.B. Starkey and were moved to Phillippe Park until Pinellas County's Eagle Lake Park in Largo opened in 2010.

Members and interested visitors should bring a potluck dish; keepsakes, photos or stories about the county to share; and lawn chairs. For more information, call Bob DeLack at (727) 441-1338 or Bill Wallace at (727) 446-2676.


Dog wash offering grooming, vaccines

A "Suds on Sunday Dog Wash" will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Pinehurst Pub. Visitors should park in the back of the pub at 1270 San Christopher Drive.

Dog washes will cost $7 to $13. Nails and ears will be cleaned and groomed by veterinary technicians and groomers. A mobile vaccine clinic will be onsite from 1 to 3:30 p.m. A number of adoptable dogs will be available and there will be free consultations with a certified pet trainer.

Visitors will receive a free 16-ounce Dunedin Brewery beer with each wash and free cake, and there will be a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

Highlander pool open for swimming

Dunedin's Highlander Pool has opened for the season. Visitors will get to enjoy the slides and diving boards and can also participate in water aerobics and aqua Zumba classes.

Pool hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday,

Children who are not potty trained must wear a swim diaper and plastic pants. Children 8 and under must take a swim test before going off the diving board.

For more information, call Alicia Castricone at (727) 298-3266 or email her at [email protected]

East Lake

First Little Free Library has books

The East Lake Community Library has opened its first Little Free Library location, provided in partnership with the Friends of the East Lake Community Library and East Lake Fire Rescue.

Little Free Library is a program that promotes book sharing. Small boxes often designed and built by individuals in the community are filled with books that individuals are free to borrow and then return.

East Lake's first box has been erected in front of East Lake Fire Station 57 at 3375 Tarpon Lake Blvd. It was designed and built by East Lake resident John Little, a library benefactor.

Other boxes are scheduled to be erected in other parts of the community.

Palm Harbor

Seminar explores financial issues

Florida Master Money Mentors will present a Basic Saving and Investing seminar at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave., at 1 p.m. April 24.

Learn how to create and meet your financial goals, including how to save, how to build an emergency fund and the basics of investing.

The Florida Master Money Mentors are from the Pinellas County Extension Office and offer free financial coaching to people age 18 and older.

To register for this class, go online to:, or phone (727) 582-2103.

For additional questions, call the library at (727) 784.3332, ext. 3006.


Pa. Supreme Court redraws districts

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court drew new boundaries for the state’s congressional districts on Monday, releasing a map that, if it stands, could play a significant role in Democratic Party efforts to gain control of the House of Representatives in the...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

Police identify man found dead in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police on Monday released the identity of the man who was found dead inside an apartment last week.Officers said it was Abdirashid Ali, 50, who was discovered around 3 p.m. Friday at The Courtyard on the River Apartments, 5217 Sonora Court.De...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
‘Lysol defense’ fails. Alcohol violation keeps man convicted of DUI manslaughter in jail.

‘Lysol defense’ fails. Alcohol violation keeps man convicted of DUI manslaughter in jail.

LARGO — Brock Troutman, freed on bail while he appeals his DUI manslaughter conviction, wasn’t drinking when his ankle monitor detected high levels of alcohol last month, his defense attorney said on Monday.They told the court that Troutman, 35, was ...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
ISIS ambush kills at least 27 Iraqi Shiite-led fighters

ISIS ambush kills at least 27 Iraqi Shiite-led fighters

BAGHDAD — Islamic State militants ambushed a group of Iraq’s Shiite-led paramilitary fighters, killing at least 27, more than two months after Baghdad declared victory over the extremist group, officials said Monday The Popular Mobilization Forces, a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.’’ A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he won’t raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trump’s claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

CLEARWATER — A simmering feud between Tampa and the regional water authority avoided boiling over Monday, but little was resolved.At a Tampa Bay Water meeting, board members requested Tampa work with the agency on the city’s plan to convert tens of m...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Updated: 2 hours ago