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  1. Pinellas news briefs

    Briefs

    STETSON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW OPEN HOUSE: High school students or college students interested in attending law school are invited to attend an open house, "The Stetson Experience," from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 27. Prospective students can meet with professors, and learn more about studying abroad or specializing their studies in advocacy, environmental law, or elder law. Professors and admissions staff will lead workshops and presentations. Free. To register, visit lawadmissions.law.stetson.edu/attend-the-stetson-experience or contact admissions and student financial planning at (727) 562-7802 or lawadmit@law.stetson.edu. …

  2. Pinellas social scene

    Humaninterest

    2.6.16 They say getting there is half the fun. This certainly was the case for the Museum of Fine Arts' Great Escape party. Guests were picked up at their homes by limousines and taken to an undisclosed destination. …

    Hillary Cone of St. Petersburg and Lynda Jollay, member of the Host Committee, ride in a limo to the Wine and Whiskey Wonder, A Grape Escape, a Museum of Fine Arts fundraiser.
  3. Editorial: Pinellas takes positive steps on student discipline

    Editorials

    The Pinellas County School District finally appears to be headed in the right direction on overhauling discipline policies that have been unequally applied to black students. The School Board agreed this week to reduce the number of days students can be suspended out of school and to other changes aimed at refocusing on education rather than punitive punishment. But there is more to be done, and black families and civil rights groups should continue to demand fairer treatment for minority students and a greater investment in more progressive approaches to student discipline. …

    The Pinellas County School District, under superintendent Mike Grego, finally appears headed in the right direction on overhauling discipline policies that have been unequally applied to black students.
  4. Seminole man who threatened Pinellas mosques pleads guilty to hate crime

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Martin Alan Schnitzler formally pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime charge as expected on Friday for leaving threatening voicemails with two Pinellas County mosques in November. …

    Martin Alan Schnitzler, 43, of Seminole, formally pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime charge on Friday for the threatening voicemails he left with two Pinellas County mosques in November. [Photo courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.]
  5. Pinellas, Hernando school districts brag about derided baseline grades as "improvements"

    The Gradebook

    Florida's 2015 school grades became official Friday, concluding a monthslong saga over their validity and how superintendents across the state lost confidence in the new grading system. Some speculated that no one would care about the debut of the new grades based on the Florida Standardized Assessments. …

  6. North Pinellas Hometown

    News

    . St. Cecelia students pay it forward: Each year the second-grade students at St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School participate in several Pay it Forward projects. In January, students helped an organization called Food for the Poor and its We Pledge 100 campaign. Students were so inspired by the words of Colossia Butts, the organization's school outreach representative, they painted bowls to auction off at the Discovery Night. Students sold 47 bowls and raised $1,030. The donations will go directly to help Food for the Poor meet its goals of building a clean water well, building homes and a school, planting trees and providing food for the people of Ti Limbe, Haiti. …

    Second-graders Annabella Maiguel and Gianna Kopczynski paint their bowls for the auction.
  7. Pinellas deputy resigns while under investigation for road rage incident

    Publicsafety

    Sheila Langlais had a rocky start in police work. Within five years of becoming an officer, she had resigned from two agencies following internal affairs investigations. Two years ago, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri decided to give her another chance in law enforcement. …

    Sheila Langlais, 46, who initially denied being armed in the incident, resigned Monday.
  8. Amid war of words, Pinellas changes discipline policy

    The Gradebook

    UPDATED VERSION POSTED AT 5 p.m. …

  9. South Pinellas Hometown

    News

    m GULF BEACH MASONS PREPARE AND DELIVER HOLIDAY FOOD BASKETS: The Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge helped bring holiday cheer to 12 families in need this season. Masons, friends and family helped prepare and deliver holiday food baskets to less fortunate families. The basket included a turkey, sides and pies. The lodge has provided holiday baskets for more than 40 years. …

    Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Anthony Garno from St. Petersburg loads food into a conveyor aboard the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.
  10. Pinellas School Board workshop agenda items missing — again

    The Gradebook

    Update: Five out of the eight workshop agenda items have been posted on the Pinellas County Schools website as of 2 p.m. The Pinellas County Schools administration has a history of not posting School Board workshop agenda items ahead of time — and they've done it again. …

  11. Pinellas school news: District ranks high for school choice

    K12

    Pinellas ranks No. 7 for school choice in national survey …

    Samuel B. Joyce is a senior at St. Petersburg High.
  12. Pinellas school officials ask community to help with plans for Melrose Elementary

    K12

    ST. PETERSBURG — While everyone agrees that 53-year-old Melrose Elementary School needs a face-lift, a question remains for officials, community leaders and concerned citizens: keep some of the school's old charm and build around existing buildings, or raze it and start anew? …

    Melrose Elementary School, 1752 13th Avenue S, St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  13. Former Pinellas teacher arrested for impregnating student

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A former Pinellas County teacher faces a criminal charge of sexually abusing a student who gave birth to his child in August, according to St. Petersburg police. …

    Robert Celeste Jr., who last taught at Pinellas Park High School, has pleaded not guilty.
  14. Acceptance period for magnets to start in Pinellas

    The Gradebook

    Here's an important reminder for families: …

  15. Pinellas social scene

    News

    1.22.16 Eyes teared up more than once at the Five Fabulous Females luncheon, which honors community volunteers and raises funds for Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg.  …

    Five community volunteers were honored at the event. The Fabulous Five, from left, are Dr. Pallavi Patel, Betty Sembler, Sherry Sacino, Nikki Gaskin-Capehart and Anne Von Rosenstiel.
  16. South Pinellas Hometown

    News

    Seminole children's choir performs in Vatican City: Thirty young people from second to 12th grades from the Diocese of St. Petersburg joined more than 5,000 youth from around the world to participate in the 40th International Congress of Pueri Cantores in Rome and Vatican City last month. Fifteen children from the Children's Choir of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Seminole joined 15 from the Choristers of Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in San Antonio to travel with their choir directors and family to this event. The singers sang in various churches in Rome and Vatican City. The conclusion was singing during the World Peace Day Papal Mass, celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica on Jan. 1. …

    Thirty young people from second to 12th grades from the Diocese of St. Petersburg joined more than 5,000 youth from around the world to participate in the 40th International Congress of Pueri Cantores in Rome and Vatican City last month.
  17. Pinellas news briefs

    Briefs

    AUTHENTIC ISLAND FOOD AND DANCE: A Winter Luau, a fundraiser for St. Patrick's School, will be held at 5:30 p.m., Saturday at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1501 Trotter Road, Largo. Food and entertainment will be provided by the parish's Tongan community. Tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for kids (at the door). Call (727) 581-4865. …

  18. Chicken pox cases on the rise at Pinellas elementary school

    The Gradebook

    The number of chicken pox cases at a Clearwater elementary school has risen from eight to 14 students, according to the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.  …

  19. North Pinellas Hometown

    News

    Clearwater nurse recognized for excellence: Jackie Munro, director of development and practice for Morton Plant Mease hospitals, received statewide recognition through the Excellence in Nursing Leadership award from the Florida Organization of Nurse Executives. She was recognized for her use of innovative approaches, leadership skills, ability to facilitate change, community contributions, promotion of her profession, dedication to mentoring and use of research and evidence-based practices to improve care. With Morton Plant Mease, Munro also has been instrumental in developing programs to advance the profession. Munro has worked at Morton Plant Mease for 28 years and has been the director of development and practice for eight. She earned her doctorate of philosophy in nursing science and her master's of science in nursing from the University of South Florida. She is an active member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Florida Organization of Nurse Executives and the Tampa Bay Organization of Nurse Executives. For the past two years, she has served as co-chair of the FONE research committee. …

    Jackie Munro, director or development and practice for Morton Plant Mease hospitals, received statewide recognition through the Excellence in Nursing Leadership award from the Florida Organization of Nurse Executives.
  20. Pinellas all-star girls hoops rosters announced

    Home Team

    The Pinellas vs. Pinellas girls senior all-star game will be played Saturday, March 5 at Keswick High School. Game time is 7:15 p.m. Cost is $4 for adults, $2 for students. Here are the rosters for both teams: Team White …

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