Clearwater / North Pinellas

  1. General Electric breaks ground on new Clearwater manufacturing center


    JIM DAMASKE | Times

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott, center, is joined Thursday by, from left, General Electric energy management president and CEO Mark Begor, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche and state Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, at a groundbreaking for the company's new …

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott (middle) gives instructions on the proper groundbreaking form flanked by (L to R:) Mark Begor, President and CEO of G.E. Energy Management, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, Scott, Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche and State Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, during the groundbreaking ceremony for GE Energy Management’s Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Clearwater Thursday 7/24/14. The ceremony was held inside out of the rain and box of dirt was used for the occassion. The expansion will create 250 new jobs in Pinellas County.
  2. Arty mannequins to strike a pose for AIDS research

    Human Interest

    SAFETY HARBOR — In a little, old-style barbershop, artist and barber Brian Feist daubs oil pastels on a female fiberglass torso. A montage of Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea and a blazing sunset emerges.

    Heather Richardson adds colored tiles to her Dude, part of the Outdoor Arts Foundation’s new project. In a first, the foundation will set up a virtual gallery of all the terrific torsos.
  3. Frenchy's rooftop bar opening at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre


    CLEARWATER — When the renovated Capitol Theatre reopened for business last December, concertgoers were wowed by its acoustics, its lineup of shows, its state-of-the-art sound system, its wraparound exterior balcony and the cool bars in its lobby and mezzanine.

    Frenchy’s Rooftop Terrace, at the newly renovated Capitol Theatre, will offer drinks and free hors d’oeuvres on show nights.
  4. Senior Center of Clearwater will close in September

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — The five friends gathered around the wooden table for their biweekly game of pinochle at the Senior Center of Clearwater. But before they could shuffle the first deck of cards, they received sad news from Robert Wittenberg, the executive director of Senior Citizens Services Inc.

    Senior Citizens Services Inc. will close its Senior Center of Clearwater at 1204 Rogers St. on Sept. 15. It will then move its administra­tive office to Prospect Towers. 
  5. Belleair explores cheaper drinking water alternatives

    Local Government

    BELLEAIR — A rise in utility rates could be on tap for residents if town leaders can't figure out a safe, affordable way to keep drinking water clean.

  6. Tarpon Springs splash park offers free, safe family fun


    TARPON SPRINGS — Getting soaked, squirted or squealed upon was all part of a day's fun at the new splash park in Tarpon Springs.

    Trygg Savage, 3, left, and Liam Hartigan, 4, play in the new splash park at 508 Live Oak Street in Tarpon Springs. Greek- and maritime-themed features include a manatee and sponge diver. “A stingray sprayed water out of its mouth at me,” Trygg said.
  7. Klondike parent company closing North Pinellas ice cream factory, laying off 210


    PINELLAS PARK — The world's largest ice cream maker will close a plant here that pumps out frozen treats for Klondike, Good Humor and Popsicle, axing hundreds of jobs.

  8. Dunedin aims to create St. Petersburg-inspired arts district

    Local Government


    If city leaders get their way, Dunedin — home of Honeymoon Island, craft beer, baseball and many things Scottish — could soon add another identity: arts capital of Florida.

    Stained glass artist Dee Rodriques of Clearwater creates a mosaic on a steel and fiberglass sculpture at her Dunedin studio.
  9. Clearwater Beach parking garage approved despite opposition

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — A seven-story parking garage at the north end of Clearwater Beach's tourist district keeps moving closer to reality despite persistent opposition by an assortment of nearby residents.

    The proposed seven-story, 642-space parking garage, shown in this rendering, would be built at the Pelican Walk Plaza on Mandalay Avenue. Many spaces would be set aside for local workers.
  10. Oldsmar, firefighters resolve pension impasse

    Local Government

    OLDSMAR — A yearlong dispute ended at Tuesday night's City Council meeting during a bathroom break.

  11. Oldsmar council votes to allow tattoo parlors downtown


    OLDSMAR — The City Council voted Tuesday to allow tattoo and piercing businesses downtown.

    Jillian Langley Santiago, paying rent on a downtown Oldsmar storefront since February, is now clear to open her tattoo shop.
  12. Failed funding puts public housing renovations on hold in Tarpon Springs

    Real Estate

    TARPON SPRINGS — Rosanna Corbo, 45, has spent the last decade trying to get her life in order. It's hard to focus, though, when you have to slap cockroaches off the toilet just to sit down.

    Teresa Mosley sweeps the porch of her Mango Circle apartment while her mother, Anne Gooden, watches Mosley’s kids, from left, Zay, Zyrie and Neavean Gooden, and friend Sabastien Gonzalez.
  13. Scholarship still helps young athletes 20 years after fatal Clearwater accident

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Since he was a boy playing Little League baseball, Gregory Richardson's family noticed he had a talent for the sport.

    Gregory Richardson was killed by a drunken driver.
  14. WWII flier, Italian still allies after all these years


    PALM HARBOR — Frank Bolek arrived in Lesina, Italy, as part of the U.S. Army Air Forces 325th Fighter Group in December 1944.

    Tom Ricci, whose family hails from Lesina, Italy, visits with Frank Bolek in Palm Harbor. Bolek was based in Lesina in 1944.
  15. Five Questions with Episcopal priest, fighter of human trafficking


    It was just a few days before terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and Washington, D.C., targets in 2001 that Father Ray Bonoan took over as the rector at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Safety Harbor. "On 9/11, I was still moving in. We decided to leave the church open. So many came and just sat. …

    Father Ray Bonoan has diversified his Episcopal church in Safety Harbor and leads anti-human trafficking efforts from there.