Sunday, November 19, 2017


Tracey McManus

Tracey McManus

Tracey covers Clearwater government and general topics in the city. Before joining the Times in August 2015, she spent five years covering everything from education reform to animal welfare for The Augusta Chronicle in Georgia. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was raised in Palm City, Fla., and graduated from University of Florida in 2010 with degrees in journalism and Spanish.

Paid parking spots are taken as businesses open on Tuesday on Main Street in downtown Dunedin. The Dunedin City Commission on Dec. 12 will decide the future of the controversial paid parking program..DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

After a vitriolic trial year, Dunedin City Commission to decide fate of paid parking next month

DUNEDIN — It has been, without question, the most contentious issue to consume the city in decades, bringing residents out in droves to public meetings and pitting neighbor against neighbor. At a recent town hall meeting to discuss the yearlong...
Published: 11/16/17
The Clearwater City Council approved a 3 percent raise for City Manager Bill Horne and City Attorney Pam Akin. (Photo courtesy of Bob Bentz).

Clearwater gives raises to top officials

CLEARWATER — The City Council approved 3 percent raises for City Manager Bill Horne and City Attorney Pam Akin following their favorable evaluations. The raises passed 4-1 with Mayor George Cretekos voting no, saying he was opposed to giving...
Published: 11/09/17
More than $80 million in upgrades for the Toronto Blue Jays' facilities will keep the team in Dunedin for another 25 years. {Image created by  Populous}

Dunedin, Toronto Blue Jays finalize 25-year deal

DUNEDIN — After two years of discussions, the city has locked in the Toronto Blue Jays to play another 25 years in the city, signing a new licensing agreement with the team last week. The contract had to be finalized before the city could...
Published: 11/09/17
JIM DAMASKE   |   Times 
Now that voters passed a referendum allowing construction on the downtown waterfront, city officials can begin implementing the $55 million Imagine Clearwater redevelopment plan. The design phase could take up to a year and construction is expected to begin early 2019

Clearwater voters give blessing for waterfront redevelopment. Now what?

CLEARWATER — City residents made one thing very clear on Tuesday. They are ready for a new and improved downtown waterfront, voting 75.8 percent in favor of allowing construction on the charter-protected area. So what happens...
Published: 11/09/17
Renderings that show proposed renovations to Coachman Park in Clearwater, including a new permanent amphitheater. The renderings come from New York City's HR&A Advisors, brought in by the city to create a master plan for its waterfront, dubbed

Clearwater voters easily pass referendum allowing waterfront redevelopment

CLEARWATER — Voters in Tuesday’s election overwhelmingly agreed to amend the City Charter and allow construction along the downtown waterfront, effectively greenlighting the city’s $55 million Imagine Clearwater redevelopment plan.The...
Published: 11/06/17
Updated: 11/08/17
PBS Newshour Anchor Judy Woodruff, right, talks with Indira Lakshmanan after receiving the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism on stage during the Poynter Institute Bowtie Ball on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

Q&A with Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour anchor and pioneering journalist

ST. PETERSBURG — Judy Woodruff, a pioneer of political reporting in the 1970s when few women were accepted in the industry, received the Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Saturday evening at the Poynter Institute’s Bowtie Ball.
Published: 11/06/17
Ray Emmons, the former Clearwater Police officer tasked with investigating the Church of Scientology for the city in 1981, died on Friday. He was 75.{Family photo]

Epilogue: Ray Emmons, early Clearwater police investigator of Scientology, dies at 75

CLEARWATER — Ray Emmons was an experienced vice and intelligence sergeant with the Clearwater Police Department in 1981 when he began the assignment that would become his legacy.By then, the mysterious group that arrived six years earlier and...
Updated one month ago
The Clearwater Municipal Code Enforcement Board has fined Chris and Nicole Dufala $35,000 for illegally using their home at 3439 Northridge Drive, in Clearwater, as a short-term rental since at least August. . DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times

Real estate agents slapped with $35,000 fine for breaking Clearwater’s short-term rental law

CLEARWATER — In April, Nicole Dufala stood before the Municipal Code Enforcement Board and said she "honestly didn’t know" it was against city law to rent out her Countryside home by the night.Neighbor and homeowner association president Walter...
Updated one month ago
Downtown Clearwater's waterfront would undergo massive changes if voters approve the $55 million Imagine Clearwater plan. [Luis Santana | Times]

Is ‘Imagine Clearwater’ redevelopment plan downtown’s last hope?

CLEARWATER — When voters in 2000 handily rejected a referendum to build along the depressed waterfront, developer Al Justice wondered if dreams of a vibrant downtown were gone forever.He had spent decades bringing major projects — the Bank of...
Updated one month ago
A view of the Church of Scientology's Flag Building in downtown Clearwater, where a 17-year-old girl fell with the back of her head hitting the marble landing Oct. 15, according to Clearwater police. Police investigated after the Child Protection Investigation Division of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office received a tip about the case. Police concluded the fall was accidental. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

Police: Girl’s fall, skull fracture at Scientology building was accidental

CLEARWATER —The Clearwater Police Department has closed its investigation into a 17-year-old girl who fractured her skull at the Church of Scientology’s international headquarters, stating the fall was accidental and nothing criminal took...
Updated one month ago