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The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Pinellas County in effect through Monday evening.

Forecasters say tropical moisture already in place combined with the tropical moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Erika will create the potential for very heavy rainfall across central and southwest Florida Sunday and Monday. As much as 3 to 5 inches with locally higher amounts are possible.
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Tropical Storm Fred strengthened into a hurricane early Monday morning. Fred is the sixth named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season and the second hurricane.

Fred will likely be a short-lived storm. National Hurricane Center forecasters say it will travel through an area of favorable environmental conditions for about 36 hours before encountering vertical shear and an area of dry air. The latest intensity forecast shows Fred becoming a depression by Friday night.
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TALLAHASSEE - With summer coming to an end and the school year right around the corner, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is promoting Child Safety Awareness Month. The theme of this awareness campaign is “Every Child is a Human Caution Sign.”

“Children are living caution signs, whether riding in cars, playing in the park, or waiting for the school bus,” said Lt. Col. Troy Thompson, deputy director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Very soon, kids will be using all modes of transportation to get to school. It’s the perfect time to remind everyone of the ‘Rules of the Road’ regarding pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and seatbelt safety.”

During the school year and especially as school starts, DHSMV is focusing on traffic-related safety concerns involving Florida’s children. Troopers are asking parents, caregivers and guardians to talk to your children about these important safety tips for going back to school.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety

In 2014, there were 2,306 crashes involving child pedestrian and bicyclist that resulted in 48 fatalities. These safety tips can help prevent crashes:
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SEMINOLE - Tampa Bay Newspapers office will be closed Monday, Sept. 7, for the Labor Day holiday. Early deadlines are in effect Thursday and Friday, Sept. 3-4, for the Seminole Beacon, Beach Beacon, Largo Leader, Belleair Bee and Clearwater Beacon.

Deadline for press releases and other editorial copy is noon Thursday, Sept. 3.
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With the likelihood of additional rainfall early next week due to Tropical Storm Erika, residents are being urged to take steps to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and use repellants to prevent being bitten.

The first human case of West Nile Virus was confirmed in a 32-year-old male in Pinellas County Aug. 28. Health officials issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory Aug. 21 to alert the public of the need to protect against the threat.

Twenty-three sentinel chickens have tested positive for WNV so far in the county’s Mosquito Control coops located in Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Oldsmar and Seminole. 
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Outdoors & Recreation
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The recent heavy rain and rough weather along southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast impacted sea turtle nests along the beaches along the Florida's west coast, jeopardizing the eggs and hatchlings emerging from the nests.

Many nests of loggerhead and green turtles have been documented this year in Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties by people working under Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission permits to survey the beaches for sea turtle activity.
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Crime, Crashes & Fires
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SEMINOLE - Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Largo High School student Thursday afternoon after he reportedly displayed a BB gun on a school bus.

Logan A Burton, 15, of Seminole was riding the bus home from school when the incident occurred about 2:38 p.m. Aug. 27. The bus was near 9200 113th St. N., according to a media release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the school bus driver saw the student holding what she thought was a black-colored handgun. She called 911 and pulled the bus off to the side of the road.
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Seminole Beacon
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SEMINOLE - Spoto’s Grill 131, 13079 Park Blvd. N., changed hands earlier this month. James Gilbert and his son, Christopher Gilbert, purchased the restaurant from Bob Spoto, who retired.

Spoto is a well-known local restaurateur whose previous eateries included Spoto’s Stockyard Inn and Spoto’s Supper Club in Seminole, Smokey’s Texas Barbeque in Pinellas Park, and Spoto’s Steak Joint in St. Petersburg and Dunedin.

James, who lives in California, has been in the restaurant business for 60 years, and owns several seafood restaurants and steakhouses in Monterey and Santa Cruz.
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