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Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer

Anne Lindberg

Anne Lindberg covers Pinellas County's emergency medical services system and a swath of mid-Pinellas that includes the municipalities of Largo, Pinellas Park, Seminole and Kenneth City, as well as the unincorporated Lealman and Seminole areas.

Phone: (727) 893-8450

Email: alindberg@tampabay.com

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  1. Ambulances staying too long at some trauma scenes

    Local Government

    Ambulances are spending twice as long at the scene of some serious injuries than the county says they should.

    Using an international standard, Dr. Angus Jameson, the Pinellas emergency medical service system's medical director, set a goal that no more than 10 minutes should elapse between the time an ambulance arrives on the scene of a trauma alert and the time it leaves for the hospital with the patient inside 90 percent of the time. Instead, that number in 2014 ranged on a monthly average from just under 19 minutes to nearly 26 minutes....

    The St. Petersburg Police Department investigates a three-vehicle crash on 34th Street N on Jan. 14. Both St. Petersburg Fire Rescue and Sunstar paramedics crews responded to the scene. The county oversees the $119 million EMS system and contracts with 18 cities and fire districts.
  2. St. Petersburg, Clearwater ask cities to support Safe Harbor homeless shelter

    Local Government

    The mayors from St. Petersburg and Clearwater want other Pinellas cities to kick in more money to support Safe Harbor, the sheriff's homeless shelter.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg and George Cretekos of Clearwater sent a letter to the county's other 22 cities last week making their case. Homelessness, they said, is a countywide issue that can best be solved by working together. And, Kriseman said Wednesday in an interview, some cities could be doing more....

  3. Largo commission agrees to adopt censure policy

    Local Government

    LARGO — A lukewarm commission has given the go-ahead for the city attorney to draw up a policy allowing the board to censure members.

    The idea of creating such a policy was broached last year by then-commissioner Harriet Crozier in the wake of a bid to censure Curtis Holmes for downloading inappropriate content to his city-owned iPad. The move to censure was dropped after Holmes apologized, but Crozier urged a policy be established because of the many questions surrounding the commission's ability to reprimand one of its own....

  4. New development coming to Ulmerton Road and 66th Street

    Local Government

    LARGO — The last piece of industrial land on Ulmerton Road in the city is about to be turned into a commercial property.

    City commissioners have tentatively approved a change that would clear the way for a fast-food restaurant and a gas station to be built on Ulmerton Road at 66th Street.

    To pave the way for the project, commissioners on Jan. 6 unanimously agreed to change the land use designation on 11 parcels on the northwest corner of Ulmerton and 66th from industrial to commercial. The property, totaling about 3.6 acres, is the last industrial land on Ulmerton in the city. ...

  5. Pinellas Park police Chief Dorene Thomas announces retirement

    Local Government

    PINELLAS PARK — Dorene Thomas began her policing career about 40 years ago as a tricycle-riding parking meter reader on Pass-a-Grille for the St. Petersburg Beach Police Department, as it was called then.

    "I wasn't very good at it," Thomas said. Despite that, she had career goals: "I was hoping that one day I'd be sergeant."

    She made sergeant and a whole lot more. When she retires from the Pinellas Park Police Department on April 24, she'll leave behind a string of firsts. First female police chief in Pinellas Park. First woman to head the Tampa Bay Area and Florida Police Chiefs associations. First chief, male or female, in the state to go through the Crisis Intervention Training program, a 40-hour intensive course designed to teach police the safest ways to interact with mentally ill residents they encounter on the job....

    Mike Haworth, the department's second-in-command, takes over after Thomas retires.
  6. Largo commissioner says city manager needs to go

    Local Government

    LARGO — Commissioner Curtis Holmes demanded last year that two employees be disciplined after they spoke against him for downloading inappropriate material on his city-owned iPad.

    Largo City Manager Mac Craig refused to do so.

    Now Holmes wants Craig fired. Craig's refusal to fire or otherwise discipline the two, Holmes says, is a violation of the manager's contract. The remedy, Holmes said, is to fire Craig and strip him of his severance pay. ...

    Description: Norton "Mac" Craig. Largo acting city manager. one of two candidates for Largo city manager
  7. 'Turtle Tale' tells the story of missing Largo owl

    Human Interest

    LARGO

    Four years ago, two vandals released JR, a great horned owl, from his cage at McGough Nature Park.

    The subsequent search for JR and the relationship between the owl and his caretaker, Joel Quattlebaum, created headlines.

    Now, their story is being turned into a movie, Turtle Tale, told from the viewpoint of the many turtles at McGough.

    "It's the first movie contract in the city," Largo parks superintendent Greg Brown said. "I thought it was a cool idea. Obviously, the bird got a lot of attention."...

    Actors Noah Schnacky, left, and Mary Rachel Dudley celebrate after finishing a scene at McGough Nature Park. Turtle Tale by Totem Films tells the story of JR, an Owl released by vandals, through the eyes of turtles
  8. Largo to consider banning e-cigarettes in city buildings

    Local Government

    LARGO — When city library patrons recently complained about people using electronic cigarettes inside the building, officials couldn't do much. There were no city rules against it.

    That could be changing. Largo commissioners have told their city attorney to draft an ordinance that would prohibit the smoking of e-cigarettes in city-owned buildings. If they approve it, Largo could be one of the first local governments in the Tampa Bay area — and one of only a handful nationwide — to impose such a ban....

    Dominic Crupi, 24, of Clearwater smokes an e-cigarette at Vape Joe in Largo in February. 
  9. Kenneth City mayor's spouse jumps into race

    Local Government

    KENNETH CITY — Voters here in November soundly defeated a proposal to eliminate term limits, thus preventing Teresa Zemaitis from seeking a third term as mayor.

    Now, Zemaitis' husband, Leonard, has qualified to run for mayor in the March 10 election. He'll be facing Wanda Dudley, a current Kenneth City council member. It is the first time Leonard Zemaitis has sought public office....

    Council member Wanda Dudley, 57 is an educator.
  10. Epilogue: Patricia Bailey-Snook changed political landscape in Pinellas Park

    Local Government

    PINELLAS PARK — Saying her goal was to help people, Patricia Louise Bailey-Snook volunteered to serve on a Pinellas Park advisory board.

    When she retired from political life more than 30 years later, Mrs. Bailey-Snook left behind a series of firsts — first woman to serve on the Pinellas Park City Council, first woman to serve as vice mayor and the first woman to serve as mayor. She also served a term in the state House of Representatives before returning to serve on the council....

    Patricia Bailey-Snook was Pinellas Park’s  first woman mayor.
  11. For creative exhibit design crew, no job is too far-fetched (w/video)

    Human Interest

    PINELLAS PARK

    Tucked away as it is on the edge of this city's major shopping district and a small industrial area, Creative Arts has remained largely unknown to the public for the past 23 years.

    But that's ending. A new reality series, Museum Men, is focusing on Creative Arts Unlimited and what it does in an industry also largely hidden, even though millions have seen the company's handiwork....

    Roger Barganier, president and creative director at Creative Arts, signed the company onto a new TV reality series.
  12. Largo puts Southwest pool on long-term wish list

    Local Government

    LARGO — City commissioners envision building a family aquatics center to replace the pool at the Southwest Recreation Complex.

    The projected cost: $7.7 million. Largo staff members say the new center would bring in enough money to pay for most, if not all, of the operating costs.

    But don't expect to see bulldozers at Southwest, 13120 Vonn Road, anytime soon. Though commissioners agreed Tuesday to put the project on their official wish list, they didn't earmark any money for it. Instead, they'll likely wait to fund it out of the next Penny for Pinellas. The current penny ends in 2020. Continuing it past that date will require voter approval....

    A synchronized swim team works out under the watchful eye of their coach at the Southwest Recreation Complex pool.
  13. Largo commission offers financial support to proposed affordable apartments for seniors

    Local Government

    LARGO — Commissioners here unanimously agreed Tuesday to give a developer $75,000 to build an affordable apartment complex for seniors.

    The offer is designed to improve the developer's chances of getting tax credits from the state for building the project. Largo would have to pay the money only if JPM Development is awarded the credits, which will go to only one project in each of Florida's 67 counties. ...

  14. Pinellas Park worker bitten by rabid bat

    Local Government

    PINELLAS PARK — A public works employee is undergoing treatment for rabies after being bitten by a rabid bat while helping clear trash from the site of a former sewage disposal plant, Pinellas Park officials say.

    Although the worker, whose name was not released, was bitten Monday, city officials did not have confirmation until Wednesday that the bat was rabid.

    The employee, who has been with Pinellas Park a little less than a year, began treatment Wednesday. He was back at work Thursday and is expected to recover. City officials say the Pinellas County Health Department has been notified....

    Francine Prager holds a tiny evening bat for students to look at but not touch during a visit with 1st graders at Guardian Angels Catholic School. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  15. Pinellas Park, Lealman: Take EMS oversight away from County Commission

    Local Government

    The war between the cities and fire districts that provide emergency medical services and Pinellas County, which parcels out the money to pay for those services, stretches back to the beginning of the system in the 1980s.

    Now, two providers say it's time to permanently stop the war.

    And the way to do that, they say, is to change the system by taking control out of the County Commission's hands. ...

    Pinellas Park City Council member Rick Butler wants to work on the proposal immediately.