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North Pinellas news in brief

Clearwater

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Patel pays into escrow to keep hotel plans alive

Tampa Bay mogul Dr. Kiran Patel paid $1 million into an escrow account last week to keep his hotel project on Clearwater Beach alive for another year.

Patel missed a Feb. 12 deadline to pull building permits.

Members of Patel's development team, which didn't respond to a request for comment, applied for a foundation permit and told the Tampa Bay Times last month that they planned to break ground in March on the 450-room, $170 million project that is slated to be a Wyndham Grand.

Patel has until February 2015 to begin construction or he will lose up to $3 million in escrow.

Aquarium updates

On Thursday night, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium will host the latest in a series of forums called "Making Waves: An Evening With Experts."

This month's presenter is Joe Malo, the aquarium's manager of video productions, who will talk about the Dolphin Tale 2 filming and give an update on the aquarium's resident animals and recent patients.

Socializing and refreshments start at 6 p.m., with Malo's presentation from 6:30 to 7:30, and a Q&A until 8.

Belleair

Commission to revisit delay of Biltmore rezoning vote

The Belleair Town Commission on Tuesday will discuss whether to reverse last month's 3-2 decision to wait six months before voting on rezoning the Belleview Biltmore property.

Current zoning on the Biltmore site allows only for a hotel or single-family homes.

Town staffers will present new zoning categories a developer could apply for if he or she wanted to tear down the historic structure to build either condos or a mixed-use project that might include a portion of the 117-year-old hotel.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Belleair Town Hall, 901 Ponce De Leon Blvd.

If commissioners vote Tuesday to proceed with more discussion, more information about the zoning categories would be presented at a future meeting.

Tarpon Springs

Trail around the lake is topic

The Council of North County Neighborhoods will host a community meeting to discuss a walking/bicycling trail that would circle Lake Tarpon and connect to the Pinellas Trail.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the Crescent Oaks Country Club, 3300 Crescent Oaks Blvd.

Visit cncnpc.org for more information.

Fine arts festival could use a hand

Organizers are seeking volunteers for the 40th annual Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival, which will be held April 5 and 6 at Craig Park on the Bayou.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Volunteers are needed to work two- to three-hour shifts in various roles on either day.

To volunteer, contact Kim O'Kelley at (727) 831-1282 or kim.okelley@onehourair.com.

Each spring, the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce presents the festival, which has space for 235 artisans showing paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media, wood, fiber and glass.

Dunedin

Lawyer will give a talk Tuesday

A local lawyer will talk about legal issues involved in the sale and transfer of automobiles, repair work, safety standards, warranties, accidents, automobile laws, consumer protection laws and "lemon law" statutes at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Dr. William E. Hale Senior Activity Center, 330 Douglas Ave. It's free.

Bicyclists, make a note of March 22

The city will present "Lock It or Walk It," a session on bicycle theft prevention, bicycle laws and local paths.

The free seminar, hosted by the citizen-led Public Safety Committee, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon March 22 at the Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road.

People who attend will receive a picnic lunch and a chance to win door prizes.

Call (727) 812-4530 for information.

Bids taken in branding campaign

Dunedin is accepting bids from public relations firms interested in vying for a contract to develop a strategy that markets the city to a regional, national and international audience.

Commissioners rolled out a new city logo and slogans — "Home of Honeymoon Island" and "Dun Our Way" — last year as part of a $73,150 initiative to brand Dunedin as a desirable destination for tourists and new residents.

The branding plan's final phase calls for hiring a PR consultant that will help the city gain exposure through print, digital and social media.

Proposals are due March 11. For information, call city purchasing director Chuck Ankney at (727) 298-3001.

North Pinellas news in brief 02/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 14, 2014 6:22pm]
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    Retail

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    World

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    Blogs

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    Crime

    SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill couple was arrested Wednesday on several drug charges after a months-long investigation by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

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    Human Interest

    EAST LAKE — Mike Siebel bikes the Pinellas Trail four days a week and loops up and down the Suncoast Trail at least a couple times every year. A 68-year-old cycling diehard, he was so eager for the opening of the 5-mile segment extending the Pinellas Trail to the Pasco border that he would often drive across …

    Cyclists wait for the official opening of the Pinellas Trail's newest segment. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times