Sunday, December 17, 2017
News Roundup

North Pinellas news briefs for Nov. 24


General Electric to bring 263 manufacturing jobs

As anticipated, General Electric is bringing 263 manufacturing jobs to Clearwater and spending $49 million to turn a current operation here into a national "Center for Excellence."

The local GE subsidiary, Instrument Transformers Inc., has been at 1907 Calumet St. in Clearwater for 28 years and has 436 employees.

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, who credited the city's tax exemption program for helping lure GE, said the news "shows that we can compete for high-quality jobs."

As the Times first reported in September — when a decision was still pending — union members at the Fort Edward facility in New York blasted GE for proposing moving jobs to Florida as a wage-cutting move. GE said it also considered other sites in the United States and abroad. The Fort Edward plant makes electric capacitors — devices that store energy. The Clearwater facility currently makes low- and medium-voltage transformers.

City Council races turn into three-way contests

Both City Council races are now likely three-way contests as a 28-year-old pastor has announced his candidacy against Seat 4 incumbent Bill Jonson.

Konrad McCree Jr., a pastor at Simply Kingdom Ministeries, a nondenominational church that he describes as having about 100 members, also works as a senior business analyst at WellCare Health Plans Inc.

He said he decided to enter politics because the City Council isn't attuned to the interests of young people.

"Unfortunately, as times change, the issues change. The City Council — it's always the same faces, the same people," McCree said. "I'd like to shake the City Council up a little bit, too."

More attention needs to be paid to affordable housing and keeping working- and middle-class citizens in Clearwater, McCree said.

Jonson and David Allbritton have already announced for the seat. McCree's entry "makes things more difficult for me and for him in a three-way race with an incumbent," said Allbritton, who is the chairman of the Downtown Development Board.

Jonson said he was "just doing my thing. Come December, we'll see who is in the race."

Candidates for city office must get at least 250 signed petition cards to the city clerk's office by mid December.

The race to replace term-limited Vice Mayor Paul Gibson already has three aspirants, former City Council member Hoyt Hamilton, military veteran Jon Paul Rosa and pawn shop owner Morton Myers.

The election is March 11.

Tarpon Springs

Police collecting clothing, cash for kids

The Tarpon Springs Police Department is accepting gift donations for its Christmas program.

Police are asking for unwrapped gifts that will be given to children ages 5 through 14 living in Tarpon Springs.

New clothing, shoes and underwear, as well as cash donations, will be accepted and can be dropped off at the department at 444 S Huey Ave.

Checks should be made payable to "Tarpon Springs Police Department Cops/Kids Program."

Gifts will be accepted through Dec. 20. Monetary donations will be accepted any time.

For more information, contact officer Albin Quinones at (727) 934-4800.

Food, toy donations wanted for families

Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue is accepting nonperishable foods that will be donated to families in need during the holidays.

Residents can drop off foods throughout the city, including at city hall, public safety building, public library, recreation center, and the Stonehenge and Tarpon Shores mobile home parks. Unwrapped toys will also be accepted. For more information, call Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue at (727) 938-3737.


Volunteers sought for Marina committee

The city of Dunedin is looking for residents interested in volunteering on the Marina Advisory Committee. The committee's job is to make recommendations that assist the City Commission in the operation of the Marina as a self-sufficient enterprise. Members meet the third Monday of each month at 5:15 p.m. in the Harbormaster's Office at the Dunedin Marina.

Fill out an application online at For more information, call Sharon Toner at (727) 298-3035.

Donate food, gifts

Dunedin's Operation Twinkle is collecting nonperishable food, gift cards and new toys for charity through Dec. 20. To donate, drop off items in the lobby of City Hall, 542 Main St., or Solid Waste, 1070 Virginia St., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

There will also be a Christmas card to sign at each location.

The items will be delivered to a local charitable organization selected by Dunedin's Social Services Committee. For more information, call (727) 298-3001.

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Updated: 8 hours ago
Aquarium reopens to divers

Aquarium reopens to divers

Florida Keys News BureauVisitors to Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters dive with among indigenous Keys fish Friday in Marathon. The attraction reopened Friday after closing just before Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sept. 10. Although tourism f...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

MIAMI — With burrowing iguanas showing up in people’s toilets and damaging expensive sewer lines, Florida wildlife managers are stepping up efforts to control the state’s booming population of the wild, invasive reptiles. The Florida Fish and Wildlif...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Fan helps fund Miami Stadium’s historic marker

MIAMI — For thousands of kids who grew up in Miami, going to the old Miami Stadium in the Allapattah neighborhood was a part of coming of age. Opened on Aug. 31, 1949, with a game between the Miami Sun Sox and Havana Cubans, two Class B Florida Inter...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

OCEAN CITY, Md. — Phil Heasley of Naples caught the fish of his life, but the $2.8 million in tournament prize money got away. Heasley reeled in a 6-foot white marlin last year off Maryland’s coast. But in a sign of how concerned some big money tour...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Updated: 9 hours ago