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Pinellas County news in brief


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woman, boy able to escape fire at duplex

Firefighters were called to a fire at a home at 1308 N Madison Ave. in Clearwater at 9:56 a.m. Wednesday morning, authorities said. Clearwater Fire and Rescue workers were able to control the fire after about 10 minutes, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. A 53-year-old woman and 3-year-old boy escaped and refused medical treatment. Firefighters were called when neighbors noticed smoke coming from the rear unit of the duplex, authorities said. Damage was contained to the rear unit.


Burn conducted at Honeymoon Island

Did you see smoke rising from Honeymoon Island State Park on Wednesday? From about 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m., the Florida Park Service conducted a controlled burn along the park's nature trail. The operation is an environmental management technique used to lessen the possibility of wildfires and encourage new growth.


Author to sign during open house

Katie Bush of Atlanta, author of the children's book 1206 Third Street, will do a book signing during an open house at the Whimzey house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. A children's educator, Bush wrote and illustrated the book about Whimzey. The book will be available during the open house for $10. The Whimzey house, also known as the bowling ball house, is at 1206 Third St. N.


SPCA looking for teen volunteers

Are you a young animal lover? SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave., Largo, needs teenagers to join the SPCA Youth Volunteer Program. Applications for the summer 2013 program will be accepted starting in January. The program requires only three hours each week. Teens must be at least 16 and commit to at least one semester of work. Visit for more information.


Get advice from a lottery winner

Want some advice on playing the Florida Lottery? Tickets are on sale now for "An Evening with Richard Lustig," a seven-time lottery grand prize winner and author of Learn how to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery. The program will be at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive. Tickets are $16.50 in advance, $21.50 at the door. For tickets, call (727) 587-6793 or visit

Pinellas County news in brief 12/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 7:18pm]
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  1. What ever happened to the Zika epidemic?


    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika, sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz Institute in Recife, Brazil. Cases of the virus are down dramatically this year in Florida, the result of awareness efforts, experts say. But the public, they add, should not let its guard down. [Associated Press]
  2. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  3. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again


    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  4. Craig Butz, executive director of Pepin Academies and former professional hockey player, died in a crash with a boat Saturday. His daughter Teagan, 4, remained in critical condition Sunday afternoon. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   TIMES, 2013]
  5. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash


    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.