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Dunedin Fire Department District Chief William "Trip" Barrs has been named the Pinellas County Firefighter of the Year. Barrs, 38, has been with the Dunedin Fire Department for 15 years. He is a graduate of Tarpon Springs High School and has a bachelor's degree from Eckerd College. Barrs was also the recipient of the 2007 City of Dunedin Firefighter of the Year Award. He lives in Dunedin with his wife, Melissa, and two daughters.


Volunteers needed at nature preserve

Volunteers are needed to help out in the Ozona Nature Preserve. Pinellas County workers cleared out a lot of debris but had to pull their equipment out of the preserve after heavy rains. So there is still plenty of work to do. Bring tools such as garden rakes and shovels. Meet at 9 a.m. today at the North Street entrance to the park. Call Reggie Hall at (727) 784-2131.


Seniors can get help with taxes

Representatives from the Pinellas County Property Appraiser's Office will be at Oldsmar Senior Center, 127 State St. W, from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday to take applications for an additional property tax exemption if applicants are qualified. The city of Oldsmar offers the additional property tax exemptions to Oldsmar residents if the following requirements are met:

- At least one property owner is 65 or older on Jan. 1, 2008.

-The applicant qualifies for or already receives a Homestead Exemption.

-Total household income is $24,214 or less, plus a cost of living adjustment determined by the Department of Revenue.

First-time applicants should bring proof of age and income. For information, contact the Property Appraiser's Office at (727) 464-3294, or go to


Doctor to speak at chamber luncheon

Register now for the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce Business Luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Feb. 12 at Pinecrest Place, 1150 Eighth Ave. SW, Largo. The topic is Love Yourself this Valentine's Day - Get Heart Smart! The guest speaker will be Dr. S. Masood Gilani, a cardiology specialist at Largo Medical Center, who will provide information about ways to be heart-healthy while living a fast-paced and often stressful life. The cost to attend is $10 in advance and $15 at the door for chamber members and $20 for nonmembers. To register, call (727) 584-2321 or e-mail