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St. Pete Times

  1. Pinellas County gives awards for fire service distinction


    First-Responders honored: The Pinellas County Commission announced the recipients of the inaugural Fire Service Professionals of the Year awards at its meeting Sept. 23. The awards honor those who provide exceptional service to the community. Pinellas County 911 Telecommunicator Patrick Lavender was named …

    Fire Service Professionals of the Year awards went to, from left, Largo Fire Rescue District Chief Keith Daliendo; Palm Harbor Fire Rescue vehicle extrication team members Lt. William M. Fisher, Joshua Lovetere, Matthew Quinn, Ryan Fisher, Kyle Drozdowski and Andrew Bittner; and Pinellas emergency dispatcher Patrick Lavender.
  2. Pinellas Park council okays affordable apartments on Park Boulevard

    Local Government

    PINELLAS PARK — Council members narrowly approved a zoning change to transform a used car lot into low-cost apartments.

  3. Some Treasure Island residents annoyed the homeless use gazebo

    Human Interest

    TREASURE ISLAND — Some downtown business owners are asking the city to demolish a gazebo used as a tourist welcome center. They say the homeless are using it as a shelter.

    The welcome center in downtown Treasure Island is a source of tension.
  4. Largo commission says car dealer can have bigger sign

    Local Government

    LARGO — City commissioners narrowly approved a car dealer's request to put up a bigger sign than allowed by Largo rules.

    The current sign at the Dick Norris dealership at 18200 U.S. 19 N is 127 square feet. The business was granted a variance for a 226-square-foot sign.
  5. At Dr. Jay's Suncoast Hospice clinic, East meets West



    He had writhed in pain for 12 years before he reached for the gun.

    Dr. Jay Poonkasem, who runs the Integrative Medicine Clinic at Suncoast Hospice, applies acupuncture to the scalp of Ronald Britton, 70, who has found relief from chronic pain and turned from skeptic to big believer.
  6. Times Recommends: Yes on Largo charter amendments


    At least every seven years, the Largo City Commission appoints a committee of residents to review the city charter and suggest changes. A city charter contains the laws under which a city government must operate, and it can only be changed by the voters. Here are the Times recommendations on proposed changes that …

  7. Times Recommends: Smith, Fenger and Crozier for Largo City Commission


    A new mayor, Woody Brown, and a new city commissioner, John Carroll, were automatically elected in Largo when no one filed to run against them, but six candidates are vying for three open commission seats on the Nov. 4 ballot.

    Political newcomer Samantha Fenger is running for Largo City Commission's Seat 2, the seat that Commissioner Woody Brown is vacating to run for mayor. Fenger, formerly a community outreach coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County, recently left her job to run for office full-time.
  8. Five in running for St. Pete Beach manager job

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — The five candidates vying for the job as the city's next manager will face a broad number of issues, including unifying a community deeply divided over how the city's tourism sector will be redeveloped.

    Robert Kellogg
  9. Dancing With the Stars competition benefits charities

    Human Interest

    Dancing With the Stars benefit

    Tampa Bay's Dancing With the Stars, which benefits Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg, Angels Against Abuse, Housing & Education Alliance, Pepin Academies, Relay for Life, the Kind Mouse and Voices for Children, and Julie Weintraub's Hands Across the Bay, runs from 6 to 11 …

  10. Garden party benefits Great Explorations Children's Museum

    Human Interest


    The grounds were too sodden for lawn games and the synchronized swimmers were unable to put in a full performance, but the show did go on at "Great Extravaganza: The Garden Party," the 1920s-themed bash for Great Explorations Children's Museum.

    From left: Simone, Silvia, Dan and Nico Leeper attend Great Extravaganza: The Garden Party, a fundraiser for Great Explorations Children’s Museum that Silvia and Dan co-chaired.
  11. Three questions with St. Pete High QB Austyn Causey


    With his 5-foot-10, 140-pound frame, shaggy brown hair and crooked smile, St. Petersburg High School sophomore Austyn Causey looks more like the team's starting kicker than the starting quarterback. Coach Joe Fabrizio calls him "Skinny.'' And sometimes he has to convince classmates that he actually does play on the …

    “I know everyone thinks St. Pete is a running team,” says QB Austyn Causey. He also talks of the team’s passing attack.
  12. Work at intersection of First St. and 30th Ave. N nearly done


    Hey Doc, work on the traffic circle/roundabout at First Street and 30th Avenue N in St. Petersburg seems to be done, but now I see there are sawhorse barricades on the four corners of the intersection. Last week it looked like workers were digging. What in the world is going on now?

    Joe …

    The former roundabout at First Street and 30th Avenue N is getting flashing pedestrian crosswalk signs.
  13. Neighborhood community news: Pinellas Park locks property tax rate

    Local Government


    City's Property tax rate will hold steady…

    Chef Michael Ostrander plans to offer baking classes at his newly opened St. Pete Bakery at 1961 Fourth St. N. He will teach one-session Saturday classes and six-month courses.
  14. St. Petersburg Fire Chief's hiring decision comes under scrutiny


    ST. PETERSBURG — A city internal investigative report obtained Friday by the Tampa Bay Times concluded that St. Petersburg fire Chief Jim Large made missteps when he hired a rescue chief in April.

    Jim Large changed a job’s level and hired an applicant who didn’t meet original qualifications.
  15. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman says he's working on a secret plan to fund the arts

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For months, arts advocates have waited for city officials to discuss a proposal City Council member Charlie Gerdes made this spring to carve out a portion of the Weeki Wachee Fund to use as a permanent source of arts funding.