Sunday, February 18, 2018
News Roundup

North Pinellas news briefs for Feb. 2


Commissioners to hear more on hotel's injunction

In a followup to last month's contentious debate over whether to rezone the Belleview Biltmore hotel property, on Tuesday Belleair commissioners will discuss their attorney's legal opinion that Belleair has no grounds to seek an injunction blocking the former hotel's owners from selling to a developer who won't restore the landmark.

Commissioner Stephen Fowler had called for the injunction, saying such a sale would violate the town's historic preservation ordinance.

But Town Attorney Dave Ottinger wrote in a memo last week that "adequate protection" to preserve the hotel is already built into the ordinance's stringent demolition permitting process.

"Attempting to enjoin the sale of the hotel property would be a substantial violation of private property rights, which could be actionable against the town," he wrote.

Ottinger said he was still researching Fowler's request that Belleair file a demand that hotel owners perform repairs or routine maintenance on the hotel to avoid what essentially amounts to "demolition by neglect" under Belleair's ordinance.

Also on Tuesday's agenda, commissioners will hold the first of two votes to affirm Green Golf Partners' management lease for the Biltmore Golf Course.

Officials will also consider whether to allow golf carts on town streets.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.


Waterfront Task Force to deliver presentations

The Dunedin Waterfront Task Force, a citizen advisory group, will deliver its first of four presentations to the City Commission with a report on its findings about St. Joseph Sound and islands surrounding Dunedin.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 542 Main St.

Other agenda items include a contract to purchase rest rooms for Eagle Scout Park and a speed limit reduction on Michigan Boulevard. Go online to or visit the city clerk's office, 750 Milwaukee Ave., for a copy of the full agenda.

Blue Jays shop opens Monday

With spring training less than a month away, the Blue Jays Shop at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave. in Dunedin, will open Monday.

The store will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fans can also shop online at

The Jays Shop will feature dozens of new items, including official 2014 Toronto Blue Jays jerseys, hats, novelty gifts and signature spring training gear.

The shop will be open to ticketholders during home games, and open to the general public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on nongame weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on nongame Saturdays.

Toronto will play 14 games in Dunedin from Feb. 27 to March 26, welcoming the Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Pirates, Yankees, Rays, Twins, Orioles and Astros.

Fans can purchase tickets over the phone at (727) 733-0429 or online at


Driver education set for summer

Pinellas County Schools will offer free driver education this summer in two sessions to public and private school students who haven't yet graduated from high school. Students must be residents of Pinellas County.

Registration begins Monday. Only 40 students will be accepted per session.

Each session has 10 class days from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Session 1 is June 9-12, 16-19 and 23-24. Session 2 is June 25-26 and 30, and July 1-3 and 7-10.

Students must be at least 15 years old and have a learner's permit or operator's license when the session begins. Students who miss two classes will be withdrawn from the course (three tardies will equal one absence).

To register, select a site from this list and call the school directly. The site must confirm the registration before it is official:

• Boca Ciega High School, Bob Medici or Randy Shuman, (727) 893-2780, ext. 2158. First session only.

• Clearwater High School, Tom Shaneyfelt or James Casey, (727) 298-1620, ext. 2172.

• Countryside High School, Kevin O'Sullivan or Scott Hernon, (727) 725-7956, ext. 2059.

• Dixie Hollins High School, Lynn Keiser or Tim Lopez, (727) 547-7876, ext. 2002.

• Dunedin High School, Brian Bruch or Robert Beckman, (727) 469-4100, email [email protected]

• East Lake High School, John Baker or Vincent Parisi, (727) 669-1131, ext. 2250.

• Lakewood High School, Anthony Givins or Victor Williams, (727) 893-2916, ext. 2368.

• Northeast High School, Dave Redding or Larry Rudisill, (727) 570-3138, ext. 1133.

• Osceola High School, Pete Eagleson or David Angelo, (727) 547-7717.

• Pinellas Park High School, Ralph Young or Paul Hanson, (727) 538-7410, ext. 2102.

• St. Petersburg High School, Chris Blackwell or Dusty Boylson, (727) 893-1842, email [email protected]

Dessert battle to benefit kids

Tickets are on sale for Dueling Desserts, a fundraiser benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County.

The event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Getaway, 13090 Gandy Blvd. N in St. Petersburg.

The dessert battle will feature specialties from local sweet spots, including Schakolad Chocolate Factory, Sweet!, Dulce Cafe and Bakery, Mike's Pies and Frida's Cafe & Bakery. Guests can vote for their favorite treat.

Tickets cost $25 and include one complimentary drink and free dessert from each vendor.

Go to for more information.

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Facebook turns to postcards to snuff foreign ads

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

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EPA chief Pruitt cancels visit to Israel

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