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St. Pete Times

  1. St. Pete's Downtown Looper expands service with $900,000 grant

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG ­— The Downtown Looper will expand its route and its hours starting in October 2018 thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

    A $900,000 DOT grant will finance two more trolleys, a longer route and longer service hours.
  2. Latest sewage crisis fallout: Higher utility bills in St. Pete

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For months, the cost of the city's sewage crisis has been measured in terms of environmental damage, legal ramifications and political repercussions.

    Now residents are about to get the bill.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage during the height of the city's sewage crisis. Now the City Council is considering how much to raise utility rates to pay the $326 million bill to fix St. Petersburg's sewage system. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. St. Petersburg considers ban on plastic bags, but it won't be easy

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The next city in Florida to ban single-use plastic bags could be St. Petersburg.

    St. Petersburg is considering a ban on single-use plastic bags.
  4. Memory Cafe offers friendly get-togethers

    Briefs

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Memory Cafe, a regular get-together designed to help caregivers and people with a dementia diagnosis, is starting up in St. Petersburg. The event is billed as "an opportunity to get out, meet new people, share stories, learn a little, laugh a little and make new friends in a safe and friendly …

  5. Assistant city manager in Largo was a contender in Oldsmar

    Local Government

    LARGO — Assistant City Manager Mike Staffopoulos made the short list of applicants for a city manager opening in Oldsmar.

  6. Ramsberger chosen for Chief Justice Award

    Courts

    The Florida Supreme Court's Chief Justice presented Pinellas Circuit Judge Peter R. Ramsberger the 2017 Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence.

    Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Peter R. Ramsberger was presented the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga.
  7. Bar review: Cheap drinks do fine at the Joint in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits

    The Tyrone area of St. Petersburg is a little light on drinking spots, so the locals must have been happy when a long-running neighborhood spot — formerly Donk's Sports Tavern and Double J's Sports Bar — reopened earlier this year as the Joint.

    Patrons sit at the bar in The Joint in Pinellas Park on July 21, 2017.
  8. Largo commissioners raise ceiling on next year's property tax rate

    Local Government

    LARGO — The proposed budget included a recommendation for the property tax rate to remain the same, but city commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to increase the maximum rate in a move to give city officials more flexibility.

    City Manager Henry Schubert says the city needs to take a look at its operation.
  9. Doctors at Northside sue hospital claiming voter fraud

    Courts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Two doctors are suing Northside Hospital, seeking an injunction for what they're calling fraud in the election of the medical staff.

    Two doctors have filed a lawsuit against Northside Hospital, seeking an injunction for alleged voter fraud in a staff election.
  10. Rick Baker's debate answer revives painful St. Pete controversy

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Former Mayor Bill Foster fired one of his top administrators, Goliath Davis III, six years ago for disobeying an order to attend the funeral of a slain police officer.

    St. Petersburg police officers stand by two caskets before the beginning of the 2011 funeral services for Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |  Times]
  11. PSTA, wary of future cuts, keeps property tax rate steady

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority stands to lose $2 million a year if voters approve an expansion to Florida's homestead property exemption on the 2018 ballot.

    One of The PInellas Suncoast Transit Authority's hybrid busses. The PSTA's governing board voted Wednesday to maintain the current property tax rate. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |   Times]
  12. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  13. Pinellas news brief

    Briefs

    Clothes to Kids seeking donations for annual "Drop (off) Your Drawers" drive: The Drop (off) Your Drawers drive is collecting new, unopened underwear, specifically boys' sizes 4-16 (briefs and boxers), young men's sizes 30 and up, girls' sizes 6-16, juniors sizes 5 and up (primarily bikini style). Each …

  14. Uber driver shot in abdomen while driving, says he was 'jumped'

    Public Safety

    LARGO — An Uber driver is in the hospital after he was shot in the abdomen early Tuesday morning while driving, causing him to crash his car.

  15. Live from St. Pete: Kriseman, Baker square off in TV debate

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayoral race goes into the home stretch starting Tuesday.

    Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman. [Times files]