Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

North Pinellas News Briefs for Jan. 8

Safety Harbor

Steingold qualifies to run in mayoral race for former seat

Former Mayor Andy Steingold qualified to run for mayor Tuesday morning, opposing his successor, Mayor Joe Ayoub.

Steingold collected the appropriate qualification paperwork from the city just after 8 a.m., obtained the 100 signatures necessary to qualify for the election and dropped off the completed forms in time for the Tuesday-at-noon deadline, said Matt Spoor, city manager.

Ayoub, a former city commissioner who ran unopposed in 2013 after Steingold resigned from office early to run unsuccessfully for judge, qualified to defend his office.

It will be a three-way race for mayor. City Commissioner Nancy Besore announced in December that she would resign her seat to run against Ayoub.

Dean Harmeson and Andy Zodrow qualified to run for City Commission seat 3, and Carlos Diaz and Ray Irvin are set to contest seat 4.

The election is March 11.


Planting needs volunteers

The city is asking for volunteers to help city staff with a large-scale planting project this weekend at Sid Lickton Little League Park.

The park at 714 N Saturn Ave. is scheduled to reopen in February after a $3.3 million makeover.

Generally, project planners are looking for volunteers of all ages, but organizers would prefer that those ages 10 and younger be accompanied by a parent, said city volunteer specialist Krystal Epperson.

"We're hoping this will be a cool community effort," she said.

Temperatures for the planting should be balmy with a high in the low 80s.

The planting project will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and will be coordinated by city staff. Students can use the opportunity to earn volunteer service hours. The planting will end at noon.

Anyone interested can contact Krystal Epperson at (727) 562-4803 or email her at [email protected]

Chamber offers networking event

Tickets are available for the Upper Pinellas Chamber Coalition's January Mega Mixer, a networking event open to the general public. The event will be held 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. A cash bar and light hors d'oeuvres will be provided by Island Way Grill.

Entry is $5 for chamber members in advance or $10 at the door. Tickets for non-members cost $10 or $15 at the door.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call (727) 447-7600 or go online to beachchamber.com/secure/payment_form/7chamber.html.

YMCA help for cancer patients

The YMCA of the Suncoast has scheduled new LIVESTRONG group exercise classes for 2014 that will address the special needs and interests of cancer patients and survivors. The free 12-week group exercise programs begin this month and last through April at the YMCA of the Suncoast's five largest branches, including three in North Pinellas. For information on classes at the Clearwater Branch, contact Jason Dirienzo at (727) 461-9622.

To get details about classes at the Greater Palm Harbor Branch, contact Ashley Smith at (727) 787-9622. Information about classes at the North Pinellas Branch can be obtained by calling Leslie Stallings at (727) 772-9622. You do not have to be a member of the Y to join the classes.

Palm Harbor

Planning agency hearing Thursday

The Pinellas County Local Planning Agency will hold a public hearing Thursday on the campus of St. Petersburg College Seminole and several of the items on the board's agenda concern requested changes to properties in Palm Harbor.

The board will hear a request to change the zoning on 3.6 wooded acres on the west side of Belcher Road south of Nebraska Avenue to R- Single Family Residential, which allows minimum lot sizes of 9,500 square feet. It is currently zoned Agricultural Estate with a minimum lot size of 2 acres. The applicant is Menorah Manor Senior Living.

Another request on the board's agenda is a change in zoning from Institutional Limited to General Professional Office on almost 5 acres on the north side of Nebraska Avenue west of U.S. 19. The applicant is Palm Harbor Montessori School, which is located on the property. According to county documents, the school doesn't intend to close but may want to market some of the property for future office uses. Both requests are scheduled to go to the County Commission for final action later.

The Local Planning Agency meeting will be at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Library Annex-Conference Center conference room on the SPC-Seminole campus, 9200 113th St. N in Seminole.


Big Brothers Big Sisters chooses board officers

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County has announced the officers for its 2014 board of directors.

The president of the board is David Fox, senior vice president of manufacturing and advertising content for Cox Target Media/Valpak. He follows immediate past president Lisa Letizio, chief human resources officer at HSNi.

Board co-vice presidents include Joe Murray, Christian International School of Healthcare Professions, and community volunteer Beth Vivio.

Michael Attinella of HSN Inc. is treasurer.

Bethlee McLaughlin, Todd Simmons and Debbie Booth are new board members.

Pasco County loans $500,000 for neighborhood rebuild

Pasco County loans $500,000 for neighborhood rebuild

NEW PORT RICHEY – West Pasco Habitat for Humanity’s new partner opened its checkbook Tuesday to help redevelop the Van Doren Avenue and Leisure Lane neighborhood west of U.S. 19.Pasco commissioners agreed to lend $500,000 from a reserve account to th...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Neighbor stunned after woman, 71, raped in ‘safe’ neighborhood

Neighbor stunned after woman, 71, raped in ‘safe’ neighborhood

NEW PORT RICHEY— Iris Ramos couldn’t sleep Monday night after what deputies said happened four houses away.Ramos, 70, lives near 7437 Heather St., where the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said a 71-year-old woman was raped in a home invasion-style att...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Pasco commission balks at landfill plan

Pasco commission balks at landfill plan

NEW PORT RICHEY – Pasco County commissioners put the brakes on expanded trash hauling to an out-of-county landfill, saying its solid waste department showed poor planning in seeking last-minute authorization on what should have been a thoroughly vett...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Hernando commissioners discuss disbanding planning board

Hernando commissioners discuss disbanding planning board

BROOKSVILLE — One day after the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of a controversial Cemex mine expansion, county commissioners — a majority of whom have spoken in favor of expanded mining — discussed eliminating the p...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Upset by grade, Robinson High student threatens to shoot up campus, police say

Upset by grade, Robinson High student threatens to shoot up campus, police say

Schools nationwide are on heightened alert in the wake of last week’s fatal shootings in Broward County, and in the Tampa area, that means official warnings about social media posts and more calls for police action.Two Tampa boys, one 15 and one 16, ...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Bed bugs found in books at Brandon library branch

Bed bugs found in books at Brandon library branch

BRANDON — The unwelcome appearance of a lowly insect is forcing county officials to close the Brandon library branch for three days.No, not bookworms. Bed bugs.The county is bringing in a pest control company to inspect and treat the 25,000-square fo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Syria’s starved, rebellious suburb under attack

Syria’s starved, rebellious suburb under attack

BEIRUT — The airstrikes came at a rate of one a minute, with horrible results: civilians fleeing collapsing buildings, children trapped under slabs of concrete, paramedics grimly rushing the bloodied victims away on stretchers. At least 100 people we...
Updated: 1 hour ago
County gives initial support to adding deputies at Hernando elementary schools

County gives initial support to adding deputies at Hernando elementary schools

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Commission on Tuesday informally supported adding as many as 10 school resource officers in county schools, including one for every elementary school, in an effort to bolster security in the wake of the deadly school...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Video: Gator corralled from underneath pickup truck in Pasco

Video: Gator corralled from underneath pickup truck in Pasco

This rascally gator may have tried to get out of the heat, but its retreat underneath a pick-up truck in Pasco County on Tuesday morning was short-lived. That’s when the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office posted a video on its Facebook page o...
Updated: 2 hours ago