Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

North Pinellas community news for June 13


Greektown joins national register of historic places

The National Park Service has added the Tarpon Springs Greektown Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places — Florida's first Traditional Cultural Property listing.

The Greektown District, which includes hundreds of buildings and about a dozen sponge boats, preserves a strong ethnic and maritime character. It includes about 140 acres, bounded by the Anclote River on the north, Tarpon Avenue and Spring Bayou on the south, Hibiscus and Pinellas streets on the east, and Roosevelt and Grand boulevards to Spring Bayou on the west.

As a prominent traditional cultural property, Greektown features the only Greek-American community based on the sponge industry. Since Greeks first arrived in large numbers in 1905, the area it has continued traditional culture and built extensive Greek infrastructure.

Tarpon Springs's curator of arts and historical resources, Tina Bucuvalas, researched and wrote the district's nomination.

The National Register of Historic Places, a list maintained by the National Park Service, includes historical, archaeological, or cultural properties considered worthy of preservation because of their local, statewide and/or national significance.

City development official resigns

In the wake of controversy over the city's plans to enhance the Sponge Docks tourist district, Tarpon Springs is parting ways with a high-ranking city official.

City commissioners have accepted the resignation of Joseph DiPasqua, the city's development review services director who ran the city when city manager Mark LeCouris was away. DiPasqua had been a city employee for nearly 24 years.

Officials are being tight-lipped about the reasons for DiPasqua's departure. LeCouris said it wasn't just one thing.

However, DiPasqua signed off on permit applications the city filed with state and federal authorities regarding the Sponge Docks enhancement plan. Critics of that plan have questioned the truthfulness of those applications and have argued that city officials should have known there would be problems.

Under the resignation agreement, DiPasqua will continue working until his resignation is effective July 1 and will be paid through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. DiPasqua is agreeing not to sue the city.

Rotary Club tickets on sale for benefit dinner

Tickets are on sale now for the 2014 Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs Spaghetti Dinner. It will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill, 937 W Dodecanese Blvd. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, 111 E. Tarpon Ave. Cost is $15 with proceeds going to scholarships and projects for Tarpon Springs' youth. For information, call Sue Thomas, (727) 515-7767.


City manager honored for career excellence

City Manager Bruce Haddock was presented with the Career Excellence Award by the Florida City and County Management Association on May 30 at an annual luncheon in Orlando.

Haddock, 63, has served as city manager for 28 years. During his tenure, he has overseen construction of a new library as well as the development of an independent water supply and distribution system that includes a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. The plant received silver LEED certification in 2013.

Haddock has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of South Florida and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Tampa.


Register for boating safety course June 21

Register now for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Dunedin Flotilla's "About Boating Safely."

Designed for experienced and novice boaters, it will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 21 and June 22 at the Dunedin Marina, 51 Main St.

Discussion will include handling emergencies, navigating the waterways and legal requirements of operating a boat. Register by Monday to receive course materials before the class begins. The fee is $35, with a $5 discount each for 2 or more signing up at the same time.

For information, call Larry O'Brien at (727) 736-1191, or email [email protected]


Call center moving in with 300 jobs

One of Largo's biggest white elephants has finally found a new use.

The nearly 200,000-square-foot Centerpointe building on U.S. 19 had been vacant for five years. The cavernous structure just north of Tri-City Plaza had been sitting empty since the last tenant moved out in 2009.

Now it's being filled by a major new tenant — a national call center operation called 24-7 InTouch, which handles customer calls for Netflix and a number of other entertainment, retail and hospitality corporations.

The company is recruiting to fill 300 customer service jobs by the end of summer. Job seekers should go online to for details.

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

PHILADELPHIA — Not even a coat of Crisco on light poles across the city could keep Philadelphia Eagles fans from scaling new heights in celebrating their team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years and setting up a rematch with the AFC champion N...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Hillsborough County deputies are searching for the driver who seriously injured a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash in Dover on Monday morning.Deputies say the suspect was driving a Toyota Camry that is now missing part of its right front air dam afte...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

TAMPA — Next victim, please.Shouldn't we just start penciling the Patriots into the Super Bowl before every season?It would save us a lot of time.Mind you, the rest of the NFL is fighting Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and this foregone conclus...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater police investigate taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

Clearwater police investigate taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

CLEARWATER — Investigators are searching for a suspect in a taxi carjacking Monday morning near Crest Lake Park.Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw said the taxi was taken about 7:40 a.m. and abandoned a few blocks away. No one was injured, Shaw sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Woman, 35, struck and killed while walking across SR 60 in Valrico

VALRICO — A 35-year-old Thonotosassa woman was struck and killed by a car while walking across State Road 60 west of Mount Carmel Road on Sunday night, the Florida Highway Patrol said.Brandi Eckelstafer was walking south across SR 60 just after 8 p....
Updated: 2 hours ago

Hooper: Deal with sea-level rise or prepare to be inundated

When fans again flock to Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard for the annual Gasparilla Festival on Saturday, I hope they ask a question: Will the floats need flotation devices in 2035?Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Astrid Caldas and Kate Cell, members of the Union ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

The Daystarter: PolitiFact Florida analyzes prison costs; breaking down the Super Bowl matchup; free dental clinic services in high demand; Arrrrr you ready for Gasparilla?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• We’ll have a mild and sunny start to the week, with highs in the upper 70s, according to 10Weather WTSP. A weak cold front brings a chance of rain on Tuesday and slightly coo...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Police: 2 IEDs detonated at a Florida mall, no injuries

LAKE WALES — Police say two improvised explosive devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.Lake Wales police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze tells news outlets that at 5:22 p.m., the Lake Wales Fire ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
St. Pete spilled 266,000 gallons of waste into Smacks Bayou

St. Pete spilled 266,000 gallons of waste into Smacks Bayou

ST. PETERSBURG — It may be a new year but the city finds itself still dealing with an old problem: spilled sewage.The city announced Thursday that two spills at its Northeast sewage plant at 1160 62nd Ave. NE had been contained.But the release — with...
Updated: 9 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

Advocates of Florida prisoners protested outside of the Florida Department of Corrections in Tallahassee on Tuesday, demanding answers to questions of alleged price-gouging in prisons across the state.Protesters from dozens of grass roots organizatio...
Published: 01/22/18