1. Pinellas

Pinellas education news: free back-to-school screenings, oil-spill art at USF St. Pete

A collage of the paintings featured in an exhibit on display throughout the summer at USF St. Petersburg’s Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. [Courtesy of Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative/Maggie Dannreuther]
Published Jul. 10

District offers free physicals, other screenings for start of school

Needy students in grades K-12 can get free physicals, vision screenings, hearing screenings and immunizations for school and sports by appointment from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday now through Aug. 13. The services are offered at Boca Ciega High, 924 58th St. S in Gulfport, as well as at Northeast, Gibbs, St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park high schools. Registration is required. For more information, call (727) 824-6900, ext. 4.

Some choice programs still have open seats

Many of the Pinellas County school system's magnet, fundamental and career programs still have seats available for the 2019-20 school year. Geographic application area restrictions for several programs have been lifted, allowing students who live in other areas of the county to apply. After parents apply, schools with available seats will contact parents to invite students to attend. Parents can also contact program coordinators to find out the status of their late applications. For information about choice programs visit or contact the Student Assignment office at (727) 588-6210.

At USF St. Pete, an artists' view of the oil-stained gulf

Nine years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, three artists and a photographer grapple with the disaster in a pair of exhibits on display throughout the summer at USF St. Petersburg's Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. Their works in After the Oil Spill: Life Below the Surface and Visions of Local Artists blend science and art to highlight research conducted on the largest marine oil disaster in history. Scientists are still collecting and rummaging through data to understand the consequences of the 210 million gallons of oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico's marine ecosystem. Among them are researchers at the Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystems, a consortium hosted by the USF College of Marine Science. "We can publish studies as researchers, but to the general public, that doesn't always mean something," said Ben Prueitt, the center's marketing and communications officer. "Having visual representations of the research through this artwork makes it more relatable." Tampa Bay artists Tessa Wilson, Teresa Navajo and Curtis Whitwam provided original artwork for the exhibit based on major findings by the center's researchers. And photographer Dante Fenolio showcased his photographs of marine life captured during excursions of the gulf by the DEEPEND consortium.


  1. In this image from a Pinellas County school district video, former School Board member Lee Benjamin motions to someone he knows while sitting with family members during at 2013 ceremony to name the Northeast High School gymnasium in his honor. Mr. Benjamin was the school's first basketball coach in 1954 and later became Northeast's principal in a long career with Pinellas schools that included 14 years on the School Board. He died Wednesday at age 92. Pinellas County Schools
    He was a teacher, coach and eventually the principal of Northeast High in St. Petersburg. Then he became a district administrator and later, a School Board member.
  2. Tech Data's headquarters in Clearwater. The company is one of the largest in the Tampa Bay area. TD AGENCY  |  Courtesy of Tech Data
    The Clearwater company’s stock price soared Wednesday following the report, which the news service based on information from “people familiar with the matter.”
  3. 2 hours ago• Business
    Col. Jennifer Crossman smiles as Boomer, a 5-year-old dog, sits in the passenger seat of her car during the firefighter challenge at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. [Times (2016)] Tampa Bay Times
    Uber customers can now be connected with willing animal chauffeurs — for a fee.
  4. The home of Daniel Schuh, 82, once a well-known St. Petersburg lawyer, at 2420 Driftwood Road SE, is being demolished. Built in 1939 and since expanded and renovated, it was considered a contributing property to the recently approved Driftwood Historic District. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Preserve the 'Burg considers establishing a revolving fund to buy and save endangered historic properties
  5. Firefighters brought a fire at a furniture store under control on Tuesday night that resulted in traffic on S Missouri Avenue being blocked in both directions, according to Clearwater Fire and Rescue.
    Heavy smoke was reported pouring out of GreenBenches & More. Traffic was blocked on S Missouri Avenue.
  6. Former NFL running back Warrick Dunn spends time with new homeowner LaToya Reedy and her son, AnTrez, at 918 43rd St. S. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    The retired Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back partnered with Habitat for Humanity and others to give a hardworking nursing assistant and her son the home of their dreams.
  7. Alexandra Toigo, 32 and Sabrina Pourghassem, 23, pose for a photo at Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg holding their signature beer mugs during Oktoberfest 2018. "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The beer hall’s property owners filed a lawsuit saying the restaurant missed its rent starting in August.
  8. Nearly a year after it was left abandoned and half-sunk off the Tampa side of the Howard Frankland Bridge, a salvage crew finally raised and towed the Moonraker II to the Courtney Campbell boat ramp. It is slated to be crushed. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The boat was an eyesore to those who live off Tampa Bay. Then it became a political statement. Now it’s been towed and will soon be crushed.
  9. The 40-year-old Fire Station on Franklin, which could be the future site of an affordable housing development -- if the city's developer can win some major tax credits. Clearwater Fire & Rescue
    But the proposed complex on land controlled by the city will need to win $17 million in tax credits to become a reality.
  10. The traffic signal for eastbound traffic on Drew Street at McMullen-Booth Road in Clearwater. Image by Archive
    A reader wonders why the sign at the end of Bayside Bridge instructs trucks heading north to exit during specified hours rather than stay on the bridge.