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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. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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....

    With various props and creations hanging around him, Brad Newman, a Creative Arts Unlimited crew member, airbrushes 
a project in the Pinellas Park workshop. Creative Arts creates large-scale installations and props, often for museums.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. ...

  7. 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]
  8. 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.
  9. Seminole Mall developer wants city to lobby Pinellas for millions in tax rebates

    Business

    SEMINOLE — Developers want millions in tax rebates from Pinellas property owners for redeveloping Seminole Mall and they want the city's help in convincing county commissioners to agree to the deal.

    "It's a huge project, which impacts more than just the city," said Richard Trzcinski, president of Primerica Group One. "That's why we feel it's necessary to have the county work with us."...

  10. Seminole mayor wants to paint the town red, white and blue

    Local Government

    SEMINOLE — Mayor Leslie Waters recently drove up and down the city's main streets taking down names of businesses and looking for neighborhoods that display the American flag.

    "I … have observed that there are not enough flags, in my opinion, displayed at businesses and in neighborhoods on holidays or throughout the year," Waters told City Council members in a recent memo....

    “The city has to lead the way,” Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters said.
  11. Voters in four cities, towns decide on charter issues

    Politics

    Voters in four mid and south Pinellas municipalities had a chance Tuesday to weigh in on proposed changes to their city or town charter. The charter acts like a constitution, setting forth the framework for the way the town is run.

    ST. PETERSBURG

    City Council members will no longer have to worry about losing their positions if they speak up about high-level mayoral appointments.

    Voters approved a change to the city's charter, which had forbid council members from voicing their opinion about the hiring of a police chief, fire chief or department head. ...

  12. Candidates see landslide victories in races for two South Pinellas fire districts

    Politics

    Winners of races in two South Pinellas fire districts romped home in Tuesday's election with massive victories.

    In one race, the incumbent was victorious. In the other, a first-time challenger defeated the incumbent.

    Becky Harriman won another term on the Lealman Fire Comission, a position she has held since being appointed in 2001. She campaigned on her experience. Harriman defeated first-time candidate Jorge Mercado, who said he wanted to bring a fresh, reasoned viewpoint to the board....

    Becky Harriman won another term on the Lealman Fire Commission.
  13. Newcomer beats longtime incumbent Crozier for Largo commission seat

    Local

    LARGO — Longtime incumbent Harriet Crozier lost her seat on the City Commission to first-time candidate Donna Holck.

    According to unofficial results, Holck narrowly defeated Crozier by 235 votes: 10,400 or about 50.5 percent of the vote to Crozier's 10,165 votes, or about 49.5 percent.

    The outcome of the other two races for the Largo commission was never in doubt.

    Seat 1 incumbent Michael Smith was winning a landslide victory with 65 percent of the vote (13,472 votes) to Bronson "O" Oudshoff's 35 percent (7,256 votes). It was Oudshoff's first run for public office....

    Holck
  14. Seminole goes for familiar faces in council race

    Local

    SEMINOLE — Voters here went with two familiar faces, according to unofficial election results.

    Incumbent Bob Matthews — who has served on the council since 1990, with the exception of eight months in 2006-07 — was re-elected. First-time candidate Roger Edelman, well-known as president of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, claimed the other open seat.

    Matthews, who received 26.8 percent (2,906 votes) of the vote, and Edelman, with 23.8 percent (2,582), easily defeated the other four candidates in the race. Thomas J. Christy, who was making his fifth run at the council, claimed 15.4 percent (1,672)....

  15. Seabird Sanctuary founder sued twice, accused of selling car to two different buyers

    Human Interest

    INDIAN SHORES — Last spring, a Virginia man sued the founder of the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, accusing him of taking money for a car he later refused to sell.

    Now, two others have filed a second suit also accusing Ralph Heath of taking money for the same car but failing to turn the vehicle over to them.

    The plaintiffs in both lawsuits want Heath to turn over the Chevrolet, described in court documents as a "unique, one of a kind Corvette collector's automobile. It is the only triple red un-restored and all original 1963 Corvette of its kind and is the first fuel-injected Corvette ever known to be delivered in the state of Florida, and it is irreplaceable since it is one of a kind."...

    The suits are the latest in a string of problems for Ralph Heath.