Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

North Pinellas news briefs for Sunday, Sept. 1

Tarpon Springs

Producer is following march to Macy's parade

Since learning last year that they were invited to perform in the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, members of the marching band from the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts at Tarpon Springs High School have been working hard rehearsing and raising the $400,000 they will need to make the trip.

Their efforts will be the subject of a PBS documentary being made by Mia Laurenzo, a producer for WLRN-TV in Miami-Fort Lauderdale. The documentary will be titled Journey to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"I have never seen a finer group of individuals strive for perfection," Laurenzo said.

The band, under the direction of Kevin Ford, has won numerous regional and national awards and is known for elaborately choreographed outdoor shows that tell a story.

The band expects to have just over one minute on national television as it performs in front of Macy's on Nov. 28, but Ford has promised the performance piece will be creative and unique.

Laurenzo is maintaining a blog on the band's efforts, complete with photos and regular updates. It can be viewed at

Get creative: Help design a children's playground

The Tampa Bay Rays, Citizens Alliance for Progress Inc. and organizers from KaBOOM! will host a children's playground design day from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Union Academy Family Center, 401 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Tarpon Springs.

Children from the area will put crayon to paper to draw features they would like to see included in a new community playground to be built in November at the Union Academy Family Center.

For the next nine weeks, a playground planning committee will meet to discuss and prepare for the construction of the new playground, which will take place during a residents' build day Nov. 16.

To learn more, call (727) 934-5881, ext. 13.


Health agency closed Monday

In observance of the Labor Day holiday, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (formerly the Pinellas County Health Department) will be closed on Monday.

Normal hours will resume on Tuesday. For information about DOH-Pinellas and its services, go to pinellas

Riders should check holiday schedule

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) buses will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule for Labor Day and the PSTA administrative offices will be closed. Riders are urged to check the PSTA website for schedule information before traveling.

The Sunday/holiday schedule means buses will be running less frequently and for shorter periods of the day on most routes.

Regular weekday service will resume on Tuesday.

Water treatment method to be modified temporarily

The method of drinking water treatment utilized by Pinellas County and the cities that are its wholesale customers will be modified between Sept. 3 and 23. This short-term change from chloramine to chlorine disinfection is a routine maintenance measure.

Those affected by this maintenance program include Pinellas County customers as well as customers in the cities of Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs.

Many communities using chloramine convert back to chlorine for a short period to maintain system water quality.

Pinellas County switched to chloramine in 2002 to ensure compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Kidney dialysis patients should not be affected, but should contact their dialysis care provider for more information about chlorine treatment. Fish owners should not be affected if they already have a system in place to remove chloramines, but they should contact local pet suppliers with any questions.

According to the county, there are no major indications of significant bacteriological contamination problems, but the disinfection program is designed to minimize the potential for any future problem.

Customers may notice a slight difference in taste and/or odor of the water during this temporary change in treatment.

For more information, visit utilities or call (727) 464-4000.

Safety Harbor

Tax hike on agenda for public hearing Tuesday

The Safety Harbor City Commission will discuss a proposed tax hike during a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall. It will be the first of two public hearings this month before commissioners adopt the final budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

If the proposed budget is approved, this will be the city's first millage rate hike in more than a decade.

During six budget workshops throughout the summer, several residents urged commissioners to vote for an increase. "I am proud of my city and don't want to see it 'slip,' " resident Jan Tracy emailed Mayor Joe Ayoub.

The hike would limit how much the city must take from its reserves to balance the budget, and will help pay for rising health care costs, among other things.

The proposed rate of 3.7343 mills would generate a tentative operating budget of roughly $20.9 million. Last year's rate was 3.3808 mills. A property owner with a home assessed at $150,000 with a $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $373 next year. The same property owner paid $338 this year.


City to check for sewer line trouble

Starting Wednesday, crews from the Clearwater public utilities department will begin smoke testing sewer lines to determine if there are areas where stormwater or groundwater is entering the system.

The area to be surveyed is along Jeffords Street between Lake and Hillcrest avenues. White smoke will be circulated into the sewer lines and manholes to locate broken pipes and other defects. The smoke will exit from vent pipes on home roofs.

The smoke will not enter a home unless there is defective plumbing present or the drain traps are dry. If potential problems are found on private property, residents will be notified of repairs that may need to be made. The testing will run through Sept. 20. For more information, call (727) 562-4960 or (727) 562-4600.

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Updated: 7 hours ago

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Updated: 7 hours ago

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. U.N. humanitarian ch...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Updated: 8 hours ago
Call her more than just a survivor

Call her more than just a survivor

TAMPA — On the quiet morning of Oct. 8, 2011, a 30-ton freight truck ran a stop sign in the small town of Clinton, Conn.It ran over Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was riding a bicycle.The truck's front wheels crushed her, then spit her to the bac...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Published: 02/24/18