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The land of the free and the home of summer storms

 
Folks around Tampa Bay know that fireworks are always “weather permitting” on the Fourth of July around here. And sure enough, rain hit the south part of Pinellas in the early evening Tuesday, but the clouds conceded enough of the sky for the fireworks to have their moment. Here, fireworks light up the night over Upham Beach in St. Pete Beach. The view is looking south from Mansions by the Sea in Treasure Island.
Folks around Tampa Bay know that fireworks are always “weather permitting” on the Fourth of July around here. And sure enough, rain hit the south part of Pinellas in the early evening Tuesday, but the clouds conceded enough of the sky for the fireworks to have their moment. Here, fireworks light up the night over Upham Beach in St. Pete Beach. The view is looking south from Mansions by the Sea in Treasure Island.
Published July 5, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG

Health fair Saturday at USF St. PeterSBURG

The Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative will hold a Community Health Awareness Event, Working Towards Health Equity, Saturday at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

The program will include exhibitors and an interactive health fair. Medical screenings and testing services, along with referral and follow-up information, will be offered.

There will also be film screenings and prize drawings, as well as dancing, yard games, coloring and craft activities for children.

Organizers say the event is part of a citywide movement to raise community awareness and knowledge of health disparities and the social and environmental factors that affect health.

The event is free and will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at USF St. Petersburg, 140 Seventh Ave. S. For more information, call or text Marissa Davis at (813) 382-0299, or email clccoordinator@tampabayhealth.org.

LARGO

Sewer repairs to block part of 126th Avenue N

A portion of 126th Avenue N between Cross Street and 66th Street will remain closed until Aug. 1 for a sewer repair.

According to the city of Largo, the road will be completely closed for the project, which began June 29. Traffic will be redirected to 121st Avenue N.

LARGO

Highland rec center plans back-to-school event

The city's recreation, parks and arts department will host a free back-to-school expo and open house next month at the Highland Recreation Complex, 400 Highland Ave. NE.

The open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 5 will include youth- and family-oriented vendors offering information and wellness exams, according to a Largo bulletin. Florida Family Primary Care Centers will be on site offering school and sports physical exams. The city will give out back-to-school prizes hourly.

The Highland Family Aquatic Center also will offer buy-one-get-one-free admission from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call Christina Lorenz at (727) 587-6740, ext. 5008.

CLEARWATER

Film at SPC explores lionfish problem

St. Petersburg College's Clearwater Campus is hosting a free showing of Reef Assassin, a documentary about the growing threat that the invasive lionfish poses to Florida's fishing and seafood industries.

The lionfish was introduced to U.S. waters in the late 1980s and has since spread up the East Coast, down to the Gulf of Mexico and into South American waters. The fish has no natural enemies, can lay 3,000 eggs every five days and can eat 15 to 20 small food and game fish in a single day, according to oceanographer and SPC professor Heyward Mathews.

The showing will be sponsored by Reef Monitoring Inc. and the St. Petersburg College Underwater Research Society. It will play at 7:30 p.m. July 20 in SPC Clearwater's fine arts auditorium, 2465 Drew St.

SAFETY HARBOR

Cities working to preserve African American cemetery

A group of citizens in Safety Harbor, led by Jacqueline Hayes, is moving forward with efforts to preserve the African American cemetery on South Drive.

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Hayes, along with Lou Claudio, Janet Hooper and Chris Vitale, recently met with Safety Harbor City Manager Matt Spoor, Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne and Chris Moore of Pinellas County's planning division. They discussed how the two cities and the county could work together to restore and maintain the cemetery and clear up ownership issues with the property.

A new name for the cemetery, Whispering Souls, also is in the works. The cemetery has been added to the July 19 agenda of the Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board.

DUNEDIN

Habitat completes long-delayed project

On June 24, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County welcomed five families who will live in the last five townhomes built along Shady Grove Drive.

Shady Grove Townhomes, a project begun in 2009, started with eight units in Dunedin, said Mike Sutton, Habitat for Humanity's CEO. The project was halted during the recession, he said, but in the last couple of years the organization finished off the last subdivision. Along with the 19 townhomes, Habitat for Humanity built about 20 other homes in Dunedin, he said.

"For our families, it's just a great place to raise their children," Sutton said. "The community is one where I feel like the folks who live there have really come together."

The hardest part is finding affordable property to build homes on, but Sutton said collaborating with the city and county made it possible.

Times staff writers Waveney Ann Moore,Kathryn Varn, Piper Castillo, Tracey McManus and Melissa Gomez contributed to this report.