Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Times editor to lead St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership

ST. PETERSBURG

Downtown group gets new leader

Former Tampa Bay Times editor Joni James is the new chief executive officer of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. James will replace Peter Betzer, who has served as CEO and president the past seven years. He will continue as the partnership's president.

James, 48, most recently was an assistant metro editor at the Times, overseeing coverage of St. Petersburg government among other things. For seven years prior she was the Times' deputy editor of editorials. James, a graduate of Wake Forest University, also covered the Legislature in Tallahassee and worked for the Miami Herald and the Wall Street Journal.

The nonprofit St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership is more than 50 years old and supported by individuals, businesses and organizations who are members. It has worked to bring more marine science to the area as well as the Blue Ocean Film Festival and establish and expand the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

SEMINOLE

Interim provost for SPC

St. Petersburg College has chosen someone to temporarily fill the shoes of Seminole Campus Provost Jim Olliver when he retires in May.

Mark Strickland, associate provost for the Downtown Campus, will serve as interim. His starting salary will be about $105,600 a year.

With nearly 45 years in higher education, Olliver has worked at St. Petersburg College since 1989. During his first seven years at SPC, Olliver served as vice president for institutional and program planning. He helped secure an $11 million Project Eagle grant and has been the driving force behind SPC's eCampus, Florida's largest online campus.

He was named the provost of the Seminole Campus in 1996. The first classes were offered at Seminole Mall and groundbreaking for the new campus was in 1997. Enrollment had climbed to 23,000 student semester hours in fall 2014.

Among Olliver's accomplishments: creation of the Career and Entrepreneurship Center and the 40-acre Natural Habitat Park, the collaboration with the city of Seminole for the joint-use Seminole Community Library and the negotiating of free bus service for SPC students, faculty and staff from the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.

A permanent replacement has not been named.

LARGO

Sewer work set to begin

Work on a massive sewer upgrade is expected to begin this month in the following neighborhoods:

•Fulton Drive and the East Bay Drive intersection;

•Fulton Drive between Keene Park Drive and 16th Avenue S;

•Largo Lift Station No. 20 on Wilcox Road near Mia Circle;

•Largo Lift Station No. 16 on Seacrest Drive;

•Largo Lift Station No. 12 at Eighth Avenue SW and Pine Street.

Construction along Fulton Drive is scheduled through July. The lift station construction is scheduled through November. Work at the East Bay Drive/Fulton Drive intersection is expected to take about two weeks.

Largo officials are asking drivers to be careful at all times and be aware of temporary road or lane closures and traffic delays that will occur in various locations across the city.

PINELLAS PARK

Drainage bid awarded

Council members recently awarded a $6 million bid to MTM Contractors of Pinellas Park. The bid is for work on the fourth phase of drainage improvements to Park Boulevard.

Park Boulevard has had a long history of flooding, but a little more than a decade ago, council members decided to fix the problems.

The latest construction will take place in the area near the Garnett and N Disston subdivisions of the city, north of 82nd Avenue N and between 43rd and 49th streets.

The project is partly funded by a SWIFTMUD grant of up to $560,807 and a Florida Department of Transportation grant of about $2.8 million. Additional funds are expected to come from other grants.

Staff writers Katherine Snow Smith and Anne Lindberg contributed to this report.

Former Times editor to lead St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership 04/15/15 [Last modified: Thursday, April 16, 2015 11:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Demonstrators protests the passage of a House Republican health care bill, outside the the Capitol in Washington, on May 4. The House took the unusual step of voting on the American Health Care Act before the Congressional Budget Office could assess it. That analysis was released Thursday and it showed the bill would cause 23 million fewer people to have health insurance by 2026. Many additional consumers would see skimpier health coverage and higher deductibles, the budget office projected.
  2. Florida Specialty Insurance acquires Pinellas Park's Mount Beacon Insurance

    Banking

    Tens of thousands of homeowners who were pushed out of Citizens Property Insurance for a private carrier since 2014 are finding themselves changing insurance companies yet again.

  3. Pope Francis presents Trump with a 'politically loaded gift': His encyclical on climate change

    Global Warming

    VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, Pope Francis appeared to make his point with a gift.

    Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Wednesday.  [Evan Vucci/Pool via The New York Times]
  4. Tampa police say 41-year-old man shot and killed by ex-boss, investigation ongoing

    Crime

    TAMPA — A 41-year-old man was shot and killed by his former boss Wednesday morning outside the West Tampa auto body shop where they once worked together, according to Tampa police.

  5. Father and brother of alleged bomber detained in Libya

    World

    The father and younger brother of the man who British police say bombed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have been detained in Libya, where anti-terror authorities said the brother confessed to knowing "all the details" of the attack plot.

    Hashim Ramadan Abedi appears inside the Tripoli-based Special Deterrent anti-terrorism force unit after his arrest on Tuesday for alleged links to the Islamic State extremist group. Abedi is the brother of Salman Abedi, who has been identified as the man behind the bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester. [Ahmed Bin Salman, Special Deterrent Force via AP]