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In celebration of Black History Month, the school district is seeking entries for its Learn, Empower, Advocate, Dream (LEAD) Student Contest. The contest challenges students to create an artistic interpretation expressing how they have been inspired by a local black leader. There are three arts categories: Literature, Performance, and Visual Arts. Winners will be selected in each category from each student division. The district has extended the deadline to Wednesday (Jan. 18). For more information, visit


Computer Mentors will be hosting the fourth annual Teen Business Competition on Feb. 18-19. The event will feature 20 teens, learning entrepreneurship and developing business ideas as a competition. All High-school-aged teens, 14 through 18 years of age, and living in Hillsborough County are qualified to apply. For more information, visit


Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts (TBBCA) is now accepting applications for the 2017 Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarships Program, which is open to high school juniors and seniors in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco County. Each year, TBBCA awards $15,000 to six Tampa Bay area students based on merit and artistic ability. Scholarships are awarded in the fields of instrumental music, vocal music, theatre, dance, visual arts and literary arts. It can be used for tuition at the college, university or professional arts training program of the students' choice. For more information, visit


Students at Hill Middle School collected 1,119 pairs of socks during a "Socktober" Holiday drive for charity. The socks were delivered last month to New Beginnings of Tampa, a transitional housing and homeless recovery program, by students led by NJHS president Olivia Krause and Vice President Gina Ricci-Bean.

Class notes 01/11/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 3:15pm]
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  1. Early morning fire breaks out at Clearwater Beach motel


    Clearwater Fire and Rescue is at the scene of an early morning fire that broke out at a motel on Clearwater Beach.

  2. Florida education news: Free speech, Schools of Hope, student voices and more


    FREE SPEECH: The University of Florida reluctantly hosts white nationalist activist Richard Spencer for a rally officials are encouraging students to ignore. Campus president Kent Fuchs, who tried to prevent the activity from taking place, Troopers prepare for Richard Spencer's speech at the University of Florida. Gov. Rick Scott has declared a State of Emergency for Alachua County ahead of the event.

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    Human Interest

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    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The cost of dredging a dozen coastal canals serving seven west Pasco communities could reach nearly $13.5 million, according to a consultant's report.

    WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
 A consultant recommends that Pasco County consider a dozen canal dredging projects in west Pasco's coastal communities at a cost that could reach nearly $13.5 million. [WILL VRAGOVIC, Times 2011]
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    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The three former chiefs of the defunct Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department, arrested in September, are collectively accused of defrauding the taxpayers of Hernando Beach, Aripeka and Forest Glenn of tens of thousands of dollars.

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