SPC thrift store founder named hometown hero
Michelle Piccione of Oldsmar has been named the Hometown Hero in the annual LeRoy Collins Distinguished Alumni Awards competition sponsored by the Association of Florida Colleges. She will be honored at the group's fall convention on Oct. 27 in Naples. Piccione founded St. Petersburg College's Dollars for Scholars Thrift Shop, which is run by a nonprofit group that is tied to the national organization Scholarship America. The shop opened in 2009 and provides jobs for high school and SPC students as well as senior citizens. The store supplies textbooks for students and sells medic and nursing uniforms to new students at just above cost. The thrift store project was aimed at expanding access to higher education for Pinellas County residents, generating funds for student scholarships and awards and creating jobs and mentoring opportunities for students. Piccione's connection with the college began when she enrolled as a student 25 years after completing high school. When she graduated from the college in 1993 she received the Apollo Award, given annually to the outstanding graduate.
Library supporters to hold book sale
The Friends of the Clearwater Library are having their annual fall book sale beginning tomorrow. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. The books come in all sizes and genres and prices. There will also be a special presale event from 4 to 7 p.m. today with an entry donation of $10.
SPC theater group to present comedy
St. Petersburg College's theater program will present its fall production beginning tonight. The production, called All in the Timing, is a collection of six one-act comedies by David Ives. Performances for the show will be at SPC's Clearwater Campus Arts Auditorium, 2465 Drew St., at 7 tonight through Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free for students, faculty and staff, and $10 for the general public. Directed by SPC associate theater professor Scott Cooper, the comedies explore the mysteries of life and human behavior through words and wordplay. The production is recommended for mature audiences.
PSTA wins $5M grant for buses
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority has won a $5 million federal grant to replace its eight oldest buses with hybrid-electric models. "This news couldn't have come at a better time," said Brad Miller, PSTA's chief executive officer. The economic downturn has caused PSTA to defer bus replacements, he said. The 13-year-old buses that will be replaced have the most breakdowns of the nearly 200 buses in PSTA's fleet. "We'll not only be able to take the old buses off of the road, but we can replace them with hybrid models that get nearly twice as many miles per gallon and cut engine emissions by 90 percent," maintenance superintendent Billy Johnson said.