Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

April 9: North Pinellas news briefs


Board considers two projects

The Local Planning Agency, a citizen advisory board that makes land-use recommendations to the City Commission, will consider two new downtown projects tonight.

Mease Manor is seeking city approval to expand its campus with a 24,850-square-foot, 32-bed memory care residence for Alzheimer's patients at 603 to 655 Virginia St., between Orange Avenue and Milwaukee Street.

Also, local developer Joe Kokolakis and St. Petersburg developer Mike Cheezem's JMC Communities are proposing a $15 million retail, office and condo project for the vacant lot at 200 Main St. and Edgewater Drive. They are seeking a development agreement, which would offer discounted impact fees for things like high-quality architecture and a small linear park or courtyard.

Tonight's meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 542 Main St.

Visit for more information.

Get a free tree for Arbor Day

Free trees are available to Dunedin residents this weekend as part of the city's Arbor Day Tree Give-Away.

Visit Florida Auto Exchange Stadium starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Each household is eligible to receive two 3-gallon trees, while supplies last. Proof of residency in Dunedin, such as a utility bill or driver's license, is required.

For more information, call (727) 812-4530.

Rec plan needs citizen input

Dunedin's Parks & Recreation Department is hosting meetings this week to get the public's opinion on a long-range strategic recreation plan for the next five to 10 years.

Residents are "highly encouraged" to share their ideas at one of the following forums:

•10 a.m. today: Hale Senior Activity Center, 330 Douglas Ave.

•10 a.m. Saturday: Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 550 Laura Lane.

Residents are also invited to go to to fill out a parks and recreation survey by midnight April 30. Paper copies are also available at the above locations.

For more information, call (727) 812-4531.


Teens invited to sheriff's academy

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is offering a free six-week citizens academy for teenagers this summer.

Called the Sheriff's Teen Citizens Academy, the program will provide a "free and fun avenue for interested students to learn first-hand" about law enforcement careers, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. Students will learn about a variety of topics, including defensive driving and tactics. They will also get a tour of the Pinellas County jail.

The academy will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays from June 14 to July 26. Students must be between 14 and 18 years of age, be enrolled in an education program, and undergo a criminal background check. Teenagers with criminal histories are not eligible to participate.

The deadline to apply is June 1. For more information, call Ricky Butler at (727) 582-5732.

Tarpon Springs

Two high schools score grants totaling $27,000

Two Pinellas high schools, Lakewood and Tarpon Springs, were among 22 schools from around the nation to receive a Muscle Milk Recovery Grant to help benefit their athletic programs.

Tarpon Springs High will use its $15,000 to upgrade the weight room, which is in need of repair. The grant will allow the school to also purchase and replace equipment for the weight room.

Lakewood High in south Pinellas will receive $12,000 to help with a new treatment station for the training room, portable waterboys to be used as hydration stations for outdoor sports, new weight and fitness equipment for the weight room, and new basketball backboards and rims for the gymnasium.

North Pinellas

Three workshops for parents

Parent Academy Workshops for parents and caregivers focus on promoting academic success, parenting and advocacy, and on personal and individual growth. These are the upcoming workshops, known as P2ACC (Preparing Parents to Advocate for their Children and Community):

• Sending Your Child Off to College: College Planning, Preparation, Applications & Scholarships, 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Clearwater High School, 540 S Hercules Ave., Clearwater.

• Internet Safety, Social Media, Bullying and Your Child, 7-8 p.m. Monday, Citizens Alliance for Progress, 401 E Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Tarpon Springs.

• Common Core/Florida Standards 101, 6-7 p.m. April 15, Clearwater Aquatic Center, 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater.

The workshops are free. To register or learn more, contact the Office of Strategic Partnerships at (727) 588-6405, visit or email parent [email protected]


GIVE INPUT online TODAY in the 2015 budget talks event

The blog for Pinellas County's 2015 Budget eTownHall opens at 9 a.m. today. The online event is part of the Pinellas County Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Public Meeting, to be held in the St. Petersburg College digitorium at 9200 113th St. N in Seminole tonight.

Residents can meet personally with county commissioners and the county administrator from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and then participate in the eTownHall from 7 to 8 p.m.

Citizens can also participate in the eTownHall by being a part of the live audience or by logging on to to view the panel discussion.

The blog will remain open throughout the event for questions that will be addressed by the commissioners and county administrator.

Here are the ways to participate:

• Call in at toll-free 1-888-409-5380.

• Log on to Twitter. Enter a comment in the message field and add #pinellasetown to the end of the tweet.

• Blog at, starting at 9 a.m.

• Watch the event live on PCC-TV (Bright House Ch. 622, WOW Ch. 18 or Verizon Ch. 44).

Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

DAYTONA BEACH – No, Bubba Wallace did not win the 60th running of the Daytona 500.But you wouldn't have known that after seeing his emotions after he placed second – the highest finish ever by a black driver in the Great American Race.Wal...
Updated: 5 hours ago
After Irma evacuation gridlock, new energy for Interstate 75 options

After Irma evacuation gridlock, new energy for Interstate 75 options

OCALA — In mid-2016, a regional task force that spent almost two years exploring ways to improve safety on a crowded Interstate 75 decided to take a conservative approach: make changes to the highway rather than build or expand other roads. Then Hurr...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

DAYTONA BEACH – As Austin Dillon celebrated his Daytona 500 win Sunday, he couldn't help but remember the time he was standing there, in Victory Lane, 20 years ago this week.He was 7 then, and his index finger jutted into the air triumphantly t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said.How the 19-year-old turned into a man now arrested and charged with 17 co...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Open-mic night at Pilars is a hot spot for Disney talent

WINTER GARDEN — At the end of the day, when the tourists are gone, Disney performers head out to their favorite spot to keep on singing after their shifts are over. Every Thursday, they perform at open-mic night at Pilars, a Winter Garden martini bar...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

FORT LAUDERDALE — Pot smokers aren’t the only law breakers able to get a second chance in South Florida. Underage adults buying alcohol, those stealing property worth less than $300 and people nabbed for trespassing, loitering or disorderly conduct a...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Facebook turns to postcards to snuff foreign ads

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook will soon rely on centuries-old technology to try to prevent foreign meddling in U.S. elections: the post office. Baffled in 2016 by Russian agents who bought ads to try to sway the U.S. presidential campaign, Facebook’s...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

TALLAHASSEEAhundred students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will travel to Tallahassee for a march on the state Capitol on Wednesday in the first organized protest of their #NeverAgain movement.Their demand: that Florida legisl...
Updated: 7 hours ago
EPA chief Pruitt cancels visit to Israel

EPA chief Pruitt cancels visit to Israel

WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has canceled a nearly weeklong trip to Israel, agency officials confirmed Sunday.Pruitt, who had been scheduled to leave this past weekend for an extensive tour of the Mideast al...
Updated: 7 hours ago
As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

PARKLAND — On the Sunday after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost 17 of its own, a minister in Parkland implored his flock not to let the horrific shootings lead them away from their faith."Our world is broken, but Jesus is not," the Rev. Eddi...
Updated: 7 hours ago