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North Pinellas news briefs for Jan. 19

Walmart serves cake at opening A new Walmart Supercenter opened Wednesday on the former site of the Crossroads Mall at the southeast corner of Roosevelt Boulevard and U.S. 19 in Largo. Customers were treated to a grand opening cake, and later in the morning Tampa Bay Rays player Desmond Jennings came and signed autographs and helped with a ball toss game outside the front of the store. The land had been a vacant eyesore for years.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Walmart serves cake at opening A new Walmart Supercenter opened Wednesday on the former site of the Crossroads Mall at the southeast corner of Roosevelt Boulevard and U.S. 19 in Largo. Customers were treated to a grand opening cake, and later in the morning Tampa Bay Rays player Desmond Jennings came and signed autographs and helped with a ball toss game outside the front of the store. The land had been a vacant eyesore for years.

Clearwater

MLK breakfast kicks off day of celebration

The NAACP Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County Branch and the city will host the 30th annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day with several events Monday.

The public is welcome to attend the Leadership Breakfast, march and rally fostering King's message of love, peace, diversity and human rights.

The organizers also extend an invitation to church members and staff from businesses, government entities and organizations in mid- and north Pinellas County.

Doors open for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the North Greenwood Aquatic Center, 900 N Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. in Clearwater. The cost is $4 at the door.

At 9:45 a.m., march participants will assemble at the Aquatic Center and proceed west on Drew Street to Coachman Park, where the rally, featuring a speaker, food and entertainment, is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Marchers are invited to bring their banners and wear their colors.

For more information call Bertha Kelley at (727) 461-1369 or email bayline2@tampabay.rr.com.

City will help fund memorial to veterans

The Clearwater City Council approved three initiatives Thursday:

• By unanimous consent, the council approved a memorandum of understanding with the Tampa Bay Veteran's Alliance to fund a Veterans War Memorial at Crest Lake Park.

The city would pay $750,000 toward the project if the veteran's group raises half of the $1.3 million project cost. The city would also build a parking lot for $100,000.

• The council unanimously approved extending the Clearwater Marine Aquarium's use of the Harborview Center on the downtown waterfront until 60 days after it opens a new downtown aquarium, tentatively scheduled for April 2017.

The city can cancel the Harborview lease within six months if it can't negotiate an agreement with CMA on the downtown aquarium by June 2015 or if CMA can't raise enough money for the new aquarium by August 2016.

• By unanimous consent, the council approved a revised payment schedule for the Capitol Theatre to create a $1 million reserve fund.

Under the terms of an agreement last year, Ruth Eckerd Hall was supposed to have the $1 million in place before its December opening. Instead, REH will pay $100,000 a month beginning in April until the end of 2014.

Dunedin

Glow-in-the-dark volleyball evening

The Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center staff and Volleyball Vibe will host a high-energy night of glow-in-the-dark volleyball from 7 to 10 p.m. this Friday.

Enjoy upbeat music, scrimmages, contests and prizes while learning skills like how to bump, set, spike, serve and block.

The program aims to build new friendships and create a positive community for youth ages 8 to 14.

Cost is $15 per person before the pre-registration deadline Tuesday, after which the cost jumps to $25 per person.

For more information, call (727) 738-2920.

Palm Harbor

Smirlis returns to PHCSA board

The Palm Harbor Community Services Agency, the board that oversees the Palm Harbor and East Lake libraries and Palm Harbor Parks and Recreation, welcomed back a familiar face at its Jan. 15 meeting: Marguerite Smirlis.

Smirlis, who was appointed by the advisory board of the Palm Harbor Library, served as PHCSA chairwoman from 2009 to 2011.

She replaces Sharon Pikulinski, who had to step down from her post on PHCSA because her term with the library advisory board expired at the end of 2013, according to PHCSA chairman Rex Haslam.

Safety Harbor

PSTA celebrates Jolley Trolley link

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and the city of Safety Harbor will host a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new Jolley Trolley service that will link downtown Safety Harbor to downtown Dunedin.

The ceremony will be at 4 p.m. Monday in the John Wilson Park Gazebo at 401 Main St. The public is invited.

The ceremony will feature comments from area leaders, refreshments and free trolley rides.

To learn more, visit www.PSTA.net.

North Pinellas news briefs for Jan. 19 01/17/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 5:45pm]

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