Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Swiftmud governing board lifts watering restrictions


Rains allow Swiftmud to ease watering restrictions

Thanks to recent rains, the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Governing Board voted Tuesday to allow the Phase III Extreme Water Shortage Order and the Phase I Moderate Water Shortage Order to expire.

Beginning Thursday, residents of unincorporated Pinellas County will return to less stringent year-round conservation measures. Customers using potable, well, lake or pond water will be allowed to irrigate their lawns on two authorized watering days per week according to this schedule:

• Addresses ending in an even number may water on Thursday and Sunday.

• Addresses ending in an odd number may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday.

• Properties with mixed or no addresses may water on Tuesday and Friday

• Properties that are two acres or greater in size may water half on Thursday and Sunday and the remaining half on Wednesday and Saturday.

Lawns may not be watered between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Those with new lawns must follow the schedule posted at utilities/water-restrict.htm.

Car washing, hand-watering of plants, pressure washing and operating fountains are no longer restricted.

Democratic club hosts schools, PSTA officials

The Greater Pinellas Democratic Club will host Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority CEO Brad Miller at its Aug. 8 meeting.

Grego will discuss the challenges and plans for the county's public schools. Miller will speak about PSTA's transportation assets and plans for the future.

The meeting will be held at Banquet Masters, 8100 Park Blvd. It will start with a cash bar and social time at 6 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner at 6:30 for $15. Reservations are required by calling Betty Morgenstein at (727) 360-3971.

Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks male volunteers

With less than 50 days left of the 100 Men in 100 Days campaign, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County has successfully engaged 71 new Big Brothers.

Big Brothers Big Sisters serves children who often reside in single-parent homes, live with a grandparent or relative caregiver or have incarcerated parents. 100 Men in 100 Days, created to recruit male volunteers for the abundance of boys on a waiting list, will end Sept. 8.

There are 194 children waiting to be matched with a mentor; 75 percent of them are boys.

Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers ("Bigs") and children ("Littles") ages 6 through 18, in Pinellas, Citrus and Hernando counties.

Call (727) 518-8860 or visit to learn more about the enrollment process and volunteering.


Back to school event to help kids of North Greenwood

The North Greenwood Community Coalition will hold its ninth annual Back to School Health and Wellness Event for the children of Clearwater's North Greenwood community from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the North Greenwood Aquatic Center, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.

Community churches and more than 20 local organizations have joined together for the event. The Turley Family Health Center and the Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center are contributing health professionals and supplies for blood pressure, weight, dental and eye checks. Immunizations also will be available for children. Backpacks containing school supplies will be distributed.

"We have a great core of over 100 volunteers who love to help children," said Sherry Van Hootegem, an organizer for the event. "And the volunteers are key to helping to make the event a success."

Tarpon Springs

Open house planned for SPC's Tarpon campus

The Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College will hold an open house from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday. All the information needed to apply and enroll in classes will be available. The Tarpon Springs campus is located at 600 Klosterman Road in Tarpon Springs, just off U.S. 19.

Nia Vardalos book-signing raises $4,800 for charity

When My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos attended a June book-signing party in Tarpon Springs, guests paid $60 per ticket to eat, dance and hear the award-winning actor talk about the joys and trials of adoption, the subject of her new book.

Proceeds from the event, combined with book sales and donations, came to about $4,800. The money will be presented today to the Children's Home, a Tampa nonprofit that offers family services, including foster care and adoption. Children's Home CEO Irene Rickus said the money could help buy shoes, diapers, medicine or other things that kids need.

Demetra Tsavaris Lecourezo worked together with Greek-American organizations AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope to organize the event and raise the money.

Palm Harbor

Master Gardener plant clinic set for Wednesdays

The Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave., will host a Master Gardener plant clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.

This workshop presents Pinellas County master gardeners who provide a weekly gardening help desk for the public. Bring your gardening questions and plant samples.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Dade City man turns himself in on warrants for Polk armed robbery

Dade City man turns himself in on warrants for Polk armed robbery

DADE CITY — A 25-year-old man wanted in connection with the attempted robbery of a taxi driver in Lakeland turned himself in late Wednesday night after being prompted by his mother, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Edner Dely of Dade Ci...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Two Tampa area widowers whose wives died of ovarian cancer are suing Johnson & Johnson, joining nearly 5,000 other plaintiffs across the country who blame their illness on the daily use of the pharmaceutical company’s talcum powder.Bryan Isa’s wife, ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Pinellas judge: U.S. Army major found incompetent to stand trial can leave Florida

Pinellas judge: U.S. Army major found incompetent to stand trial can leave Florida

LARGO — A Pinellas circuit judge ruled this week that Roman Izzo, a U.S. Army major charged with murder but found incompetent to stand trial after he was injured in a motorcycle crash, can move to Kansas with his family.Izzo was released on $1.5 mill...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lawsuit attempts to end conversion therapy ban in Tampa

Lawsuit attempts to end conversion therapy ban in Tampa

TAMPA — A conservative advocacy group is asking a federal court to overturn Tampa’s ban on conversion therapy for minors.The City Council approved an ordinance in March that bars the controversial practice, which tries to change a person’s sexual ori...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

ST. PETERSBURG — Jabil Circuit Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for both profits and revenue Thursday.The St. Petersburg-based contract electronics manufacturer — one of Tampa Bay’s biggest public companies — posted fiscal first-quarter earnings of...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Deputies: Fleeing suspect shoots, injures dog as he runs through yards

DOVER — While fleeing from deputies, a man shot a dog inside a fenced yard Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said they were attempting to pull over a vehicle that might have been stolen near Milagro Court and Bl...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Amtrak train strikes, kills 60-year-old woman in Lakeland

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a 60-year-old woman who was hit by an Amtrak train on Thursday.The woman was struck at 12:30 p.m. in the railroad intersection of Highway 92 East and Fairway Avenue in Lakeland, deputies ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Palm Harbor woman, 23, killed while crossing Seminole Boulevard

SEMINOLE — A 23-year-old Palm Harbor woman was fatally injured when she was struck by a sport-utility vehicle while crossing Seminole Boulevard on Wednesday night, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.The incident took place at about 8:4...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

For once, it would be nice to see Sen. Marco Rubio stand up as the independent leader he aspires to become. For once, the Florida Republican should hold his position rather than bow to pragmatic politics. Rubio can stick with his threat Thursday to v...
Updated: 2 hours ago