Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Seminole fire chief to retire, train firefighters at East Lake

RECOMMENDED READING


SEMINOLE — This city will be looking for a new fire chief now that George Bessler has announced his retirement.

Bessler, who has been Seminole's fire chief for three years, gave his notice to City Manager Frank Edmunds in a short note dated Aug. 1. His last day will be Aug. 30.

"It has been my pleasure to serve the city of Seminole and the greater Seminole community for over 31 years. I have truly enjoyed and have found it very rewarding to work with dedicated emergency response personnel that sincerely care about the wellbeing of each other and our community. I have also been fortunate to work for a city manager that genuinely cares about the welfare of our employees and of the community."

Bessler told Edmunds he won't be taking it easy. He's taking a new job as training chief with the East Lake Fire Rescue Department.

"George has served our community for more than 30 years and has performed well as our fire chief," Edmunds said. "I wish him well in his new position and will soon begin a search for a new chief."

Bessler, 53, said Thursday that he had always planned to fully retire when he reaches age 60. Although he has enjoyed being Seminole's fire chief, helping firefighters learn has always been his first love. So when he saw that East Lake was searching for a training chief, he thought that's what he'd like to do for the last seven years of his working life.

He sent an email to his firefighters with some final thoughts:

"The thing that I enjoyed the most working here, the thing that makes our department what it is, is the people working here now, and all those who preceded us. It has been a privilege to spend 31 years at a place where each and every one continues to have the passion, compassion and desire to serve our community the way it deserves to be served, even when some in our community don't act like they deserve it.

"Be proud of what you do, why you do it, and the difference you make within our community.''

Bessler began working with the Seminole department in April 1982, He beat out 36 other applicants to become chief in 2010 after the retirement of Dan Graves. As chief, he earns about $93,781 a year.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

Comments

Motorcyclist, 27, dies in crash with taxi cab in Largo

LARGO — A motorcyclist died after crashing into a taxi cab Thursday morning, police reported.Sydney Pender, 27, was riding a 2012 Yamaha motorcycle southbound on 66th Street about 10:30, according to a Largo Police Department release.At the same time...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 6 hours ago
President Trump presents his report card, passes with flying colors

President Trump presents his report card, passes with flying colors

PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump has a Thanksgiving Day message for the nation: Look at all I’ve done. Trump is telling followers in an early-morning holiday tweet that, "your Country is starting to do really well." He says: Jobs are "coming back,...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Lutz pedestrian dies in accident on U.S. 41

LUTZ — A man is dead after deputies said he walked into the path of a car on U.S. Route 41 Wednesday night.Charles Miller, 69 of Lutz, was walking east across the highway at 7:34 p.m., according to Florida Highway Patrol.Daniel Johnson, 35 and also o...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tarpon Springs seeking to honor sponger George Billiris

Tarpon Springs seeking to honor sponger George Billiris

TARPON SPRINGS — The city is considering a way to honor the legacy of the late longtime sponge merchant George Billiris at a city building. "We know how he promoted Tarpon Springs," Commissioner David Banther said at a recent City Commission meeting....
Published: 11/23/17
New Weeki Wachee basketball coach transitions from years on college sidelines

New Weeki Wachee basketball coach transitions from years on college sidelines

WEEKI WACHEE — Mark Lee was looking for an accomplished coach to take over Weeki Wachee High’s boys basketball team. Not only did he find what he was searching for, but he may have gone above and beyond with the hiring of Rick Scruggs.The 30-year vet...
Published: 11/23/17