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Westminster Day School closing; Seminole chamber to get new home

 
Published April 30, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG

Struggling church shuts Westminster Day School

After 54 years of finger painting, creative play and ABCs, Westminster Day School is closing. The school inside Westminster Presbyterian Church at 126 11th Ave. NE has been in limbo since February when parents received notice that it may not enroll students for the 2015-16 school year. Though the school is thriving with full classes, the church is struggling financially.

After meetings and much consideration, the Presbytery of Tampa Bay decided the school alone cannot support the building, according to Patrice Hatley, coordinator of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay. The church is struggling because of declining membership. The presbytery should decide the future of the church itself in May, Hatley said.

ST. PETE BEACH

Christmas shop parks sleigh

Christmas 2015 will be the year without a Santa Claus for St. Pete Beach. After 15 years the Kris Kringle Christmas Shoppe at 400 75th Ave. is shuttering. The landlord isn't renewing the store's lease, according to co-owner Lindsay Stanton.

A liquidation sale is in progress. Stanton doesn't know an exact closing date. This week, most of the thousands of items including ornaments, wreaths, snow-covered ceramic village scenes and more were marked down 25 percent. Discounts will continue until everything is sold.

Business at the 5,000-square-foot store has been pretty good, Stanton said, adding it's not closing for financial reasons. Since her daughter and co-owner is expecting a baby, however, they will not rush into another location but may reopen later.

The store carries decor for Halloween, Easter and other holidays but Christmas accounts for about 80 percent of its merchandise.

SEMINOLE

Chamber gets rent-free home

This Chamber of Commerce will be getting a new home, free of charge. Seminole City Council members agreed Tuesday to accept a $500,000 gift from the Edward J. and Vivian E. Lurie Charitable Fund. The bulk of the money — $425,000 — is to be used to build a chamber on vacant land off 113th Street just north of 84th Avenue N that was donated to the city about 20 years ago. Under the terms of the agreement, the chamber will pay no rent to the city, but will cover its own operating costs.

The remaining $75,000 is to ensure that Seminole provides a meeting place for nine civic groups at its new community center at City Park. Other civic organizations can apply to be on the list.

SEMINOLE

City, SPC enter partnership

Council members here agreed Tuesday to partner with the Seminole campus of St. Petersburg College in the creation of a program to provide on-the-job-training for one graduate of the college's public policy and administration program.

Under the program, the city would hire for one year a graduate of the program. The graduate would be paid about $30,000 a year and would rotate through the city departments performing special projects and other tasks.

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The goal of the program is to help the city with a well-educated employee while allowing that graduate to get real-time job experience and build a resume.

ST. PETERSBURG

Get 15 minutes with a lawyer

"Ask a Lawyer" day is Saturday at First United Methodist Church 212 Third St. N. The St. Petersburg Bar Association is hosting the free event for anyone in the community to receive 15 minutes with a lawyer to discuss legal questions and receive guidance. This event is an extension of "Ask A Lawyer" seminars that the St. Petersburg Bar hosts on a monthly basis.

The event, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will have 30 Bar attorneys from 10 areas of the law. It's a chance for someone who may not need full legal representation to ask a few questions about divorce, probate, DUIs, real estate, bankruptcy, estate planning and more.

Staff writers Katherine Snow Smith, Charley Frago, Anne Lindberg and Waveney Ann Moore contributed to this report.