Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

North Pinellas news briefs for Jan. 12


New Walmarts open Wednesday

Two new Walmart stores will open Wednesday in Clearwater and Largo.

Walmart will open a new supercenter at 2677 Roosevelt Blvd. next to U.S. 19 in Largo, and a new Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2171 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd. in Clearwater.

At both stores, the public is invited to these events:

8 a.m. Wednesday: Shoppers can see the store for the first time when the doors open at 8 a.m., following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m.

Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday: Neighbors are invited to stop by, meet the store manager and enjoy a celebration with face painting, cupcake decorating and free food samples.

Coalition speaks on two hot issues

The Clearwater Neighborhoods Coalition voted Wednesday to support two hot-button issues involving public transportation and flood insurance.

President Carl Schrader asked the group, made up of city neighborhood and homeowner associations, to make its voice heard on the recent increase in flood insurance rates after the federal Biggert-Waters Act went into effect in October. The law removes subsidies for homeowners in flood plains, leading to hikes of thousands of dollars per year in insurance premiums.

About 50,000 homeowners in Pinellas County are affected.

The organization also backed the Greenlight Pinellas initiative, which will be on the November ballot. The plan would create a 1-cent sales tax to expand bus service countywide and build a light-rail system.

Schrader also announced that the group would hold a forum for the five candidates running for Clearwater City Council in the March 11 election. The forum will take place at the Salvation Army's Joy Center, 1521 Druid Road, this Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Court Street road work is beginning

Various lanes of Court Street from Missouri to Highland avenues will be under construction now through May 6, causing lane closures, delays and congestion.

Contractors for the Florida Department of Transportation will be resurfacing the road and upgrading the pedestrian signals and sidewalks.

A detour is in place, and alternate routes include Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, Cleveland Street and Myrtle Avenue.


City Commission invites public to LDO workshop

Residents are invited to sit in this week on a city workshop where the Dunedin City Commission will discuss possible changes to the city's land dedication ordinance and design review process for new developments.

The LDO talk will focus on a city requirement that housing developers building new projects either include green space or contribute to a city parks fund. Some commissioners and residents have complained that developers are discouraged from doing business due to stringent park size requirements and high LDO fees.

The design review discussion will assess whether commissioners want to relax rules on how many public hearings are required for certain new development projects and which require staff approval only.

The public workshop is set for 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday at City Hall, 542 Main St.

Frenchy's Outpost Bar closes for renovations

Starting Monday, Frenchy's Outpost Bar and Grill, 466 Causeway Blvd., will be closed roughly eight weeks for renovations.

Spokeswoman Jen Carlisle said the revamp will mean a new kitchen, seating areas, deck and signage for the restaurant, which assumed operation of the former Island Outpost restaurant in June.

"We're not straying too far off (from the current look). We're just keeping it more in line with our brand, with our decor, with the casual beach feel," she said. "Construction's never 100 percent, but our goal is to be back open by early March."

The overhaul had originally been scheduled for last fall, but Carlisle said design and permitting took longer than expected. Frenchy's main draw is outdoor seating, and the plan is to quickly complete renovations in time for patrons to enjoy Florida's spring weather, she said.

Frenchy's will post construction updates online at or

Dunedin to celebrate sister city anniversary

In celebration of Dunedin's 50th anniversary of its sister city relationship, the Dunedin Historical Museum is planning a trip to Stirling, Scotland.

The "Tale of Two Sister Cities Tour," set for June 24 to July 3, will feature two nights in Edinburgh, four nights in Stirling and two nights in Glasgow.

Travelers will attend a re-enactment marking Stirling's 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, a decisive victory in the country's war for independence from England; join local Stirling dignitaries for a gala dinner; witness the unveiling of a Dunedin exhibition at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum; visit the medieval Rosslyn Chapel and the St. Andrews golf club, castle and cathedral; tour the Blair Athol Distillery and Castle; and enjoy a cruise on the Loch.

The $2,495 cost for historical society members and $2,695 for non-members covers airfare, hotels, meals and admission/tour fees. Full payment is due by Feb. 28.

For more information, contact the historical society's George Nigro at (727) 686-6750 or [email protected], or Mary Kolb at (727) 733-3498 or [email protected]


Tree recycling ends Monday

You've got only two more days to take advantage of the city's Christmas tree recycling service. After you've removed all lights and decorations, drop off the tree either today or Monday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at R.E. Olds Park, 107 Shore Drive W (across from Shore Boulevard). For more information, visit


High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 1 hour ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to 2, 3, 4, 5Fri., Dec. 15, midday:01 563 0000e_SRit95765Fri., Dec. 15, evening:12 287 1492e_SRit04851Fantasy 5Fri., Dec. 15...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is very little these days that can dampen the mood of Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise, whose Gators knocked off reigning national champion Stanford in Thursday’s NCAA semifinals and face Nebraska tonight for the title. Not...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Updated: 5 hours ago