Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Pinellas County changing way it awards grants to nonprofits

Pinellas County will again dole out roughly $550,000 to social service agencies next year, but plans to change how it prioritizes which organizations get help.

Every year, the county sets aside money to give to groups that help the homeless and feed the elderly. But that amount, divided among 15 organizations last year, usually comes in grants that are about $30,000, often less than 1 percent of the organizations' budgets.

"We need to distribute these resources so we have the greatest impact," said Gwendolyn Warren, director of the county's Health and Human Services Department. "And it might not be doling out $30,000 awards."

Commissioners recently agreed to give Warren and her staff more control over which groups receive funding, which currently goes to organizations such as the Salvation Army of St. Petersburg and Religious Community Services. When considering which groups to fund next year, Warren said she might look at organizations that provide housing for homeless families, which is in short supply in Pinellas, and deliver meals to low-income seniors.

That could mean more money for groups focusing on these issues and less for others.

Commissioner Ken Welch said that although the amount is about half of what Pinellas was once able to spend on local charities, he was pleased the board agreed to fund it.

"Those dollars ought to be there," he said. "We know the need outweighs the available resources."

Some of the groups that receive county support have been badly hurt by the federal sequestration, including the Pinellas Meals on Wheels program, which delivers meals to homebound seniors. It lost nearly $200,000 to the cuts.

In letters to individual commissioners, Debra Shade, the president of the Neighborly Care Network, which oversees the program, said more than 600 people are on the wait list for Meals on Wheels and Senior Dining, which serves meals to seniors at community centers and churches around the county.

"Along with our seniors, I am counting on your support to help us get the funding that we need in order to continue these programs," Shade wrote.

Comments
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass?You need police to protect those folks...
Updated: 0 minutes ago
Now that we’ve got Gators-Bulls, what about the Willie Bowl?

Now that we’ve got Gators-Bulls, what about the Willie Bowl?

Now that USF has added another proverbial prime cut (Florida) to its non-conference football slate, one can only ponder how much beefier it can get.We know you've tossed around a few tantalizing matchups in your head, and truth be told, so have we.Re...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Winston: Bucs’ Ryan Jensen ‘one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers’

Winston: Bucs’ Ryan Jensen ‘one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers’

It's hard to miss new Bucs center Ryan Jensen at OTA workouts this week, with his long red hair visible from across the field even when he's wearing a helmet."Any recommendations for anti frizz shampoo and conditioner?" Jensen wrote on Twitter with a...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Forecast: Relative calm before Invest 90L threatens to deluge Tampa Bay this weekend

Forecast: Relative calm before Invest 90L threatens to deluge Tampa Bay this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — While rain chances will decrease over the next two days, it is only a relative calm before a broad low pressure system moves into the Gulf of Mexico, producing strong storms across an already drenched Tampa Bay for Memorial Day weeke...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Woman, 87, killed in collision while driving wrong way near Brooksville, FHP says

Woman, 87, killed in collision while driving wrong way near Brooksville, FHP says

BROOKSVILLE— An 87-year-old motorist died Tuesday night after she collided with a pickup truck while driving on the wrong side of the road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash occurred about 8:50 p.m. as Patricia Green Marlette of Brook...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: Stat to watch in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Stat to watch in Game 7

We asked the Times' Lightning coverage team what's the statistic to watch in tonight's Game 7 of the Lightning-Capitals series (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network). Here's their answers. Share yours in the comments section below:Martin Fennelly, columnist:&#...
Updated: 2 hours ago
At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

TAMPA — The name of the new Bay 3 co-working space at the Armature Works goes back to World War I, when the red-brick warehouse overlooking the Hillsborough River was the maintenance barn for Tampa Electric’s streetcar system.As the name suggests, it...
Updated: 2 hours ago
FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

A woman state authorities say was scammed out of $480,000 by two of her employees is an heiress to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Tuesday that the victim in the case is Helen Rich, 69, formerly Hel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: All on the line for Lightning; Wrigley gum heiress is scammed; booze at the Magic Kingdom; Kendrick Lamar review

The Daystarter: All on the line for Lightning; Wrigley gum heiress is scammed; booze at the Magic Kingdom; Kendrick Lamar review

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The forecast calls for partly sunny weather with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms mainly in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. The chance of rain is...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: The most compelling Game 7 personality

Lightning-Capitals: The most compelling Game 7 personality

Who is the most compelling personality in Lightning-Capitals Game 7?We asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for their answer. Who's yours? Please share in the comments section and feel free to take issue with our answers.JOIN the Lightning Strike...
Updated: 7 hours ago