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The mission of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is to serve and protect, 24/7, 365 days a year.

But during the holidays, it takes on a bigger role, one that goes to the heart of the community.

Ride & Run with the Stars celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. Since the event’s inception in 1995, $500,000 has been raised to help thousands of children and their families through the Sheriff’s Christmas Sharing Project.

The money goes to purchase items - food, clothing and toys - that are delivered to the families by community policing deputies.

“It makes it more personal,” said Cristen Smith with the Sheriff’s Public Information Office.

This year’s big event is Saturday, Dec. 6, at Fort De Soto Park. Registration is $35 per person and includes a long-sleeved T-shirt, food and giveaways.

Register online at www.rideandrunwiththestars.com or at the event, beginning at 7 a.m.

Activities include a 25-mile bike ride, 10K Family Ride, 5K Chipped Run, 1-mile Family Fun Walk, silent auction, the Everest Challenge 25-foot climbing wall and a visit from Santa.
 ... Read More 
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Pinellas Park Beacon
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PINELLAS PARK - Pinellas Park police are looking for a male suspect who robbed the Bank of America at 5100 Park Blvd. about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18.

According to the police report, a white man entered the bank, approached a teller and handed him a note demanding money. The note mentioned a weapon, but none was seen.

The man received an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene.

Police conducted a search enlisting the use of a K-9 unit, but were unable to locate the suspect. Area schools were notified.
 ... Read More 
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Pinellas County
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More than 40 percent of residents living in Pinellas, DeSoto, Hillsborough and Sarasota counties don’t make enough money to afford basic necessities, according to a report released Nov. 11 by local United Way agencies.

“working Hard and Barely Making It: The ALICE Report 2014” revealed that 16.5 percent live below the poverty threshold and 28 percent who live above the poverty threshold are unable to afford the high cost of living.
 ... Read More 
For the 12th year, Sen. Jack Latvala is partnering with Farm Share to distribute free fresh Florida produce to local citizens on Friday, Nov. 21, at three Pinellas County locations.

Scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m., Latvala’s first distribution will take place at the Oldsmar CARES agency, 163 State Road 580 West in Oldsmar. The second distribution will be at the Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center, 1108 North MLK Jr. Ave. in Clearwater, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The third distribution is at the Ridgecrest YMCA in Largo,1801 119th St. N., and will run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Free produce will be available at all three locations while supplies last.
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Health News
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Pinellas County and St. Petersburg officials announced at a Nov. 14 press conference in St. Petersburg that Health Care Navigators are ready to help residents sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act as open enrollment begins.

Open enrollment period started Nov. 15, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015.

Through the Affordable Care Act, those who do not have health insurance, are under-insured or are not old enough for Medicare may enroll in an insurance plan that will match their household’s budget and family’s needs.
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School News
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LARGO - With $30,000 in prize money from a national contest, Indian Rocks Christian School decided to makeover its cafeteria with healthier food options.

The school was one of three winners in last year’s Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest, using Uncle Ben’s brand rice in a recipe explained in a video. Boden deVries and his parents Eva and Kurt deVries of Belleair Beach produced the winning video, making pizza rice balls with the help of his father’s production company, Bobaloo Films.
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Belleair Bee News
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Everyone seems to agree a canopy effect would be nice all along Gulf Boulevard in the city; they just can’t agree on how it should be done. The idea of formalizing the canopy effect was brought before the commission meeting on Nov. 12, and it was clear early in the discussion that agreement on how to achieve the goal was a long way off.

The idea of a canopy effect first came up at a Planning and Zoning Board meeting earlier this year. To get professional advice on the matter the board asked a Pinellas County extension agent to weigh in.
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Palm Harbor Beacon News
CLEARWATER - Pinellas County commissioners will take public comment about changes to the Old Palm Harbor Downtown Master Plan and supporting amendments to the land development code on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

The public hearing section of the meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the fifth floor Assembly Room in the county courthouse, 315 Court St. in Clearwater.

Amendments would allow outdoor sales and two new types of permitted uses - artisan establishments and alcoholic beverage production facilities.
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Latest Updates
Clearwater Beacon
•  No one injured in Clearwater shooting
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Pinellas County
•  Pinellas unemployment continues decline
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Belleair Bee
•  Golf course development rights to end soon
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School News
•  TSHS marching band named best in country
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Tarpon Springs Beacon
•  Cleaning up - Tarpon Springs tackles nuisance property
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Dunedin Beacon
•  Dunedin considers downtown parking
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Outdoors & Recreation
•  Fish Tales - Cold fronts make fishing tough
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Health News
•  Affordable Care Act enrollment begins
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Largo Leader
•  Largo to restrict townhouse project
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Palm Harbor Beacon
•  Three injured in multi-vehicle crash
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Beach Beacon
•  Madeira Beach gets bowl game bash
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News