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Pinellas County community briefs for Oct. 3


bicycle shop to move when new walgreens is built

When a new Walgreens is built on the south side of downtown Clearwater, bike shop owner Mike Riordon will have to move his business, City Cycle & Supply at 703 Court St.

However, Riordon finds himself assuring customers that this isn't happening soon.

"I'm here at least until May 1," Riordon said after conferring with his landlord. "I might be here through the end of May. I'm not going out of business. My goal is to get to a place that's convenient for existing customers."

Last week, a developer appealed a ruling by Clearwater staffers and won the right to build a new Walgreens on a lot between Court and Chestnut streets and between Myrtle and East avenues, displacing Riordon's shop. He's been at the location since 2010. Before that, he had been just across the street since 2007.


Family Dollar may open by end of the year

Family Dollar's newest Clearwater store is expected to open by the end of the year.

The 8,300-square-foot store is going up at 1200 N Myrtle Ave., just north of the Pinellas Trail.

Chain spokeswoman Bryn Winburn said officials will post job openings at

The store will be Family Dollar's fifth Clearwater location.


New medical clinic planned for Gulf-to-Bay

A new 25,000-square-foot medical clinic is planned for the north side of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard across from Clearwater High School.

Dr. Ashraf Ragab, an orthopedic surgeon whose office is at 1988 Gulf-to-Bay, won approval from the city to expand his clinic to a lot behind that property.

Ragab plans to convert an existing 17,500-square-foot office building and to construct a new 7,500-square-foot building on the lot at 407 S Aurora Ave.


Participants sought for Holiday Parade

It still feels like summer out there, but it's not too soon to start preparing for the holidays. The city of Dunedin is calling for participants for its 2014 Holiday Parade. It will be held at 4 p.m. Dec. 13 beginning on Douglas Avenue at Beltrees. Each entry costs $25. Applications are available at the Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road. Spaces are limited. For more information, call (727) 298-3265 or visit

Tarpon Springs

City Commission passes $58.9M budget

The City Commission has unanimously passed a 2015 budget. For the fifth consecutive year, the tax rate will be $5.45 for every $1,000 of assessed, taxable value. That means the owner of a home valued at $150,000 with $50,000 in homestead exemptions would pay $545 in city taxes.

The $58.9 million budget went into effect Wednesday, the start of the new fiscal year.


Couple breaks ground on 'Casco Viejo'

Owners of downtown's The Living Room broke ground Monday on a new mixed-use development going up next door, on the vacant lot between their current restaurant and the Dunedin Smokehouse.

Rene and John Johnson have dubbed their new project at 479 Main St. "Casco Viejo," which translates to "the center of old town."

The environmentally friendly building, designed by LEED architect Roberto Sanchez and built by Kenyon & Partners, will feature two condos above two retail spaces.

The Johnsons plan to live in one condo and use the other as a seasonal rental. They have letters of intent from two experienced female entrepreneurs interested in filling the retail space. Construction is expected to take 10 months.


Three-day festival aims to Cut Cancer Out

Cricketers British Pub & Restaurant, 2634 Bayshore Blvd., hosts its seventh annual Cut Cancer Out Weekend today through Sunday.

The free three-day festival features bands, a dunk tank, a silent auction, raffles, pizza-eating and costume contests, face painting, a 5K run/walk across the Dunedin Causeway and more. Proceeds benefit the Children's Cancer Center of Tampa, the Morton Plant Mease Foundation's Mammogram Voucher Program and two locals currently battling cancer.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to donate hair to the nonprofit Children With Hair Loss.

Go online to or call (727) 736-1322 for more details.


Black journalists have scholarships to offer

The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists is accepting applications for its 2014 scholarship contest. TBABJ will distribute thousands of dollars to high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students of color who are pursuing a college degree in journalism.

Applicants must have a connection — for example, attended school or once resided there — to Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk or Sarasota counties.

Applications must be emailed to by midnight Oct. 10. Visit for rules and application materials. Questions? Contact scholarship coordinator Dalia Colon at (813) 419-2490 or

Times staff writers Mike Brassfield, Piper Castillo, Keyonna Summers and Julie Kliegman contributed to this report.