1. Pinellas

Pinellas news briefs

Published Aug. 19

The city of Clearwater announces the Signal Box Art program, an artistic program where participants can help inspire and create an artistic design on a Clearwater signal box. For a few years, the Clearwater Arts Alliance has been contracting with local artists to create artwork for the signal boxes, but now the city has opened up the program to residents and neighborhoods. The program offers an opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other and work together on a fun, artistic project. The signal box themes should be meaningful to the community. Participants should consider selecting a theme that speaks to the neighborhood's identity and will serve as a source of neighborhood pride. The program has several requirements that must be met, including an online application and city approval of the final art design. Applicants are responsible for funding installation and design costs. Visit to learn more about the city's Signal Box Art Program, learn where the signal boxes are located and complete the application form.

Registration now underway for Largo's Scrapbook "Crop Til You Drop" event

Join fellow scrappers as you crop, trim, and embellish till your heart's content at this year's Crop Til You Drop at the Largo Community Center at 3 p.m. on Sept. 27 and will continue until 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 29. The ballroom will feature electrical outlets at every table, a large selection of background music and dining areas away from your crafting. Event also includes door prizes. Cost for registrations received before Sept. 1 is $120 full weekend with food, $80 full weekend without food and $85 Saturday only including food. Cost for registrations received after Sept. 1 will be $140 full weekend with meals, $100 full weekend no meals and $105 Saturday only with meals. The full weekend includes four meals, drinks and snacks throughout the weekend.

USCG Safe Boating Program

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 78 will hold a 12-week repeating cycle of boating safety meetings every Tuesday at 7 p.m. from Sept. 3 until Nov. 19 at 1500 Pass-a-Grille Way, St. Pete Beach (at the Warren Webster Building). Guests can start at any point in the cycle, and are encouraged to arrive the first time at 6:30 p.m. to register. The program includes detailed and illustrated materials that cover a variety of program topics based on the new USCG Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship 14th Edition 400-page manual. All materials will be included in the cost of the program which is $45 per participant for 12 weeks ($60 for couples sharing the materials).

St. Petersburg gears up for its 10th annual "Thrill the Burg" event this fall

Thrill the Burg Children's Charity, a nonprofit that raises money to help local youth, is hosting lessons to teach anyone in the community the moves to Thriller and inviting them to participate in St. Petersburg's rendition of "Thrill the World" at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26. "Thrill the World" is a worldwide attempt to break the world record for the largest simultaneous dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Thousands of people in various cities worldwide participate by learning the dance and performing it precisely at the same time. This year marks St. Petersburg's 10-year anniversary of participation and it will take place at Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill under its "World Famous" sign. The event includes a benefit concert by Tampa Bay's own "The Black Honkeys," costume contests for dogs, kids and adults, and local DJ Rob Snyder. Proceeds efforts will benefit local youth with The Kind Mouse, Lift Academy and Melrose Elementary. All are welcome to learn the dance and join lessons taking place now at Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill, Best Day Fitness & Floats, Broadway Arts and Dance Academy, The Bayou Dance Club and The Littlest Trunk Children's Consignment Store. Video dance lessons are also available online, and registration is open for the Oct. 26 event for $10 at Compiled by Monique Welch, Times Staff Write. Contact at or Follow mo_unique_.


  1. Reclaimed water rates are increasing 6 percent in St. Petersburg.
    Potable, waste and reclaimed water fees will all increase. So will garbage fees, though the stormwater fee will drop for some.
  2. Joshua Russell, 26, faces a charge of aggravated manslaughter, according to deputies. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    A dose of kratom caused the caretaker to fall asleep for hours inside the hot car with the disabled man in the back seat, investigators said.
  3. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri spoke Friday about a child protection investigator who was arrested on charges of falsifying reports. JOSH SOLOMON  |  Josh Solomon
    It’s the second time in two years a Pinellas child protection investigator has faced falsification charges.
  4. Former Tarpon Springs police Officer Steven Bergren, seen in this 2012 picture with his K-9 partner Dobies Jr. Bergren resigned before he could be fired by the Tarpon Springs Police Department for threatening a mass shooting. Bergren said he was joking. Tampa Bay Times
    The detective said he was joking. The Tarpon Springs Police Department said it would have fired him had he not resigned.
  5. The city is accepting applications for its Commercial Revitalization Program. The city has allocated $175,000 for the program this year.
  6. Plans for the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District Board of Commissioners referendum March 12 call for a $100 increase in the annual assessment for single-family units. Tom Germond
    The winner will fill the seat of a board member who moved.
  7. The Florida Association of Museums has named St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman its Outstanding Public Official for 2019.
    The organization recognizes those who contribute to the museum profession.
  8. The Walmart supercenter at 990 Missouri Ave. faced fines in December for these storage containers in the parking lot. City officials are debating whether to make a short-term arrangement with the city two’s Largo stores this year so they can store their holiday inventory. City of Largo
    In the end, city commissioners say yes, with some reservations.
  9. More construction is on the way to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, thanks to $19.75 million in Federal Aviation Administration grants to rehabilitate the airport’s runway. (Times file photo)
    The work is expected to be complete by spring 2021.
  10. Former St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Tony Love hired Elle Resources as the agency's media and communications firm in 2018. The firm, owned by Michelle Ligon, was paid $5,000 every month, twice the limit on the fixed-price contract, a review by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development found. The review found eight violations of federal regulations and the federal agency has given the Housing Authority until Oct. 29 to explain the violations and come up with a corrective action plan.
    A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development review finds eight violations of federal rules at the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, including “serious lapses” in the award and payment of...