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Josh Solomon - St. Petersburg City Hall, Pinellas Courts reporter

St. Petersburg City Hall, Pinellas Courts reporter

I cover St. Petersburg and the Pinellas County legal beat. When I'm not roaming city hall or sitting in court, I’m sleeping late or watching cooking videos on YouTube. I’m proudly from New Jersey, with a tattoo to prove it, and I graduated from Northwestern University before coming to the Times in 2014.

  1. A sign seen on the front door of Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria in March, after owner Tom Woodard stopped serving drinks with plastic straws. The St. Petersburg City Council voted 5-2 on Thursday night to ban single-use plastic straws. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    The City Council tweaked its own ordinance banning single-use plastic straws, which is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
  2. St. Petersburg's single-use plastic straw ban kicks in starting Jan. 1, 2020.
    The City Council on Thursday is set to adopt some tweaks to the ordinance, including making all straws by-request-only.
  3. St. Petersburg's City Council just passed a tenant bill of rights.
    The new ordinance is meant to reduce housing discrimination and lower eviction rates.
  4. Workers repair a broken pressurized sewer line along 62nd Avenue N.
    The ordinance was set for adoption Dec. 5.
  5. St. Petersburg voters decided to keep two incumbents on the City Council (from left: Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, Ed Montanari) and elected two new members (Deborah Figgs-Sanders, Robert Blackmon).
    Voting and demographic data reveal another layer about the dynamics of the race.
  6. In July, this sign stood at the corner of Seventh Avenue S and 22nd Street S at Commerce Park, which still sits empty after numerous attempts to attract industrial jobs. The sign has since been taken down.
    The funds were used to buy land to attract industrial jobs to Commerce Park. That hasn’t happened yet and the federal government is tired of waiting.
  7. The St. Petersburg skyline looking west from the waterfront in June 2018.
    Voters made decisions affecting park preservation grants, what date elected city officials will be sworn in and the St. Petersburg Sailing Center’s lease.
  8. Incumbent St. Petersburg City Council member Ed Montanari heads in to vote at the St. Petersburg Woman's Club during Tuesday's city election. He won re-election to his District 3 seat over Orlando Acosta.
    Orlando Acosta narrowed the gap between the two by running a partisan campaign in this nonpartisan race. But Montanari will serve a second four-year term.
  9. Robert Blackmon works the phones after voting in Tuesday's election at the Pasadena Community Church. He won the District 1 seat on the St. Petersburg City Council.
    Blackmon, a real estate investor, took a strong early lead and held onto it over opponent John Hornbeck to join the City Council in his second run at office.
  10. St. Petersburg City Council District 7 member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, right, waves to passing motorists with her husband Lynnie Bowman, outside of the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. She won re-election.
    The incumbent won by the widest margin of any of the St. Petersburg City Council races on Tuesday’s ballot.