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Front Page
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CLEARWATER - It was nothing more than routine business March 24, when Pinellas County Commissioners, sitting as the Emergency Medical Services Authority, authorized staff to negotiate a contract for ambulance services with the No. 1 ranked firm, Paramedics Plus of Largo.

It was the first year in some time that the Commission’s Assembly Room wasn’t packed with fire chiefs, firefighters and paramedics voicing objections to the use of a private company to provide emergency and nonemergency transport services.

Commissioner Charlie Justice thanked County Administrator Mark Woodard for the work he did to take the controversy out of renewing the ambulance contract. He said in the past, some of the people on the evaluation committee “didn’t feel they had a voice.”
 ... Read More 
Just 4 Women
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ST. PETE BEACH - Winston Churchill once said success is not final and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.

That phrase sums up the actions of retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Gary Littrell of St. Pete Beach who for four days in early April 1970 took command of a South Vietnamese Ranger battalion under siege by more than 5,000 North Vietnamese troops. Out of an original group of 477, Littrell was among 41 walking and wounded to safely leave the hill they gallantly defended.

His actions and decisions led him to receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1973.

He is the only Medal of Honor recipient in the area, one of three in Florida and one of 79 currently alive in the U.S.

This weekend Littrell will be honored again when the Bayway Bridge is rededicated in his name by city officials from St. Pete Beach.

“I don’t look at it as honoring me,” said Littrell, 70, who spent 22 years in the Army, mostly as an Army Ranger. “I look at it as honoring the men and women in uniform, present and past. It just shows the patriotism the citizens of Florida have toward our men in uniform.”
 ... Read More 
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It’s that time of year again - tax filing season. And while many taxpayers like to get a head start on filing their returns, there are those of us who always find ourselves scrambling at the last minute to get our tax returns filed on time. Fortunately, even for us procrastinators, there is still time to take advantage of some last-minute tax tips.

If you need more time

Failing to file your federal tax return on time could result in a failure-to-file penalty. If you don’t think you’ll be able to file your tax return on time, you can file for and obtain an automatic six-month extension by using IRS Form 4868. You must file for an extension by the original due date for your return. Individuals whose due date is April 15 would then have until Oct. 15 to file their returns.
 ... Read More 
With the April 15 tax filing deadline looming, the United Way Suncoast Free Tax Preparation program has 42 tax preparation sites across Hillsborough and Pinellas counties offering free assistance.

All sites are staffed with IRS-certified volunteers who are knowledgeable about the Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions. Volunteers will help residents who made earned than $60,000 in 2014 prepare and file tax returns. All services rendered are confidential and tax returns are electronically filed for faster refunds.
 ... Read More 
Pinellas County
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CLEARWATER - For years, Pinellas County kept a pot of money to help people with emergency financial needs. It was part of its arsenal to prevent homelessness.

But the program fell victim to the budget axe wielded by previous county administrator Bob LaSala.

“We went many years without an emergency fund,” County Administrator Mark Woodard said March 24 during a presentation about a new pilot program that will restore money to provide a one-time hand up for those in need.
 ... Read More 
More Pinellas County news, click here
Seminole Beacon News
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SEMINOLE - Demolition of the former Seminole 8 Touchstar Cinema located next to the Seminole Mall is slated to begin Monday, April 6, said Jim Ford, a city building official.

Because of the demolition, 80th Avenue east of 113th Street and Liberty Lane north of Temple Terrace will close for approximately 45 days starting Thursday, March 26. Traffic will be routed through the mall parking lot.
 ... Read More 
More Seminole Beacon news, click here
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Pinellas County’s places of worship are offering special Holy Week and Easter services, including the following.

St. John’s Episcopal Church

CLEARWATER - Holy Week services will include:

- Maundy Thursday - Thursday, April 2, 7 p.m.
- Good Friday - Friday, April 3, noon
- Easter Eve - Saturday, April 4, 5 p.m., featuring Holy Eucharist
- Easter Day - Sunday, April 5, 8 and 10 a.m., with Holy Eucharist
 ... Read More 
Out & About
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The Easter Bunny is planning to make the rounds in Pinellas, with events beginning March 28 and continuing through April 11. Easter fun for 2015 includes egg hunts, an eggstravaganza, carnival, ecofest and more, including the following.

Highland’s egg hunt

LARGO - Come meet the Easter Bunny and hunt for eggs at Highland’s Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 28, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at 400 Highland Ave. Cost is $8 per child.
 ... Read More 
More Out & About news, click here
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From the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring, “All men are created equal,” women have been fighting for their rights.

The first Women’s Rights Convention took place in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. The predominantly female group of participants adopted 12 resolutions advocating equal treatment for men and women.
 ... Read More 
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Health News
•  FDA approves new lung cancer therapy
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Pinellas County
•  PSTA offers chances to win bus passes
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Belleair Bee
•  Water main break closes Indian Rocks Road
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School News
•  Garrison Jones counselor named best in Pinellas
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Dunedin Beacon
•  World War II revisited - Re-enactors portray 1940s Dunedin residents
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Clearwater Beacon
•  Clearwater Beach Chamber sounds off about noise ordinance
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Outdoors & Recreation
•  Runner's World features Weedon Islandís Rave Run
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Largo Leader
•  Veterans share stories - Telling Project comes to Largo stage
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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