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Front Page
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More than 28 percent of Pinellas County’s 623,605 registered voters had already cast a ballot for the Nov. 4 general election, as of Wednesday, Oct. 29.

As of Oct. 29, less than a week to Election Day, 158,638 (58.56 percent) of 270,883 mail ballots distributed had been returned to an Elections Office. Republicans were leading the Democrats with 106,794 mail ballots requested to the Democrats with 103,211. Another 60,883 ballots had been mailed to voters registered as other than Republican or Democrat.

Turnout totals include 9,038 ballots cast since Early Voting began Oct. 20. Registered voters can vote early from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at any Election Office through Sunday, Nov. 2.
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Welcome Back 2014
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LARGO - The public is invited to vote for their favorite businesses in a city-sponsored “Best of Largo” contest to promote Small Business Month this November.

The Largo Leader is hosting the contest, which will name a favorite business in four categories: restaurants, service providers, retail and office. Participants can vote online or by mailing or dropping off the ballot, available inside this week's Largo Leader, to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.

The contests will run through Wednesday, Nov. 19. Participants can vote as many times as they wish, but all submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on the last day of the contest. Anyone can vote, and any Largo-based business is eligible for the contest. Business owners can throw their hats into the ring by voting for their own businesses.

Winners will be announced in the Nov. 27 edition of the Largo Leader. Owners of four “Best of Largo” businesses will be interviewed for individual feature stories in a December issue of the Leader.
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Out & About
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Demonic decorations herald the haunting season: Halloween will soon be upon us!

Bewitched and bedeviled, Pinellas residents busily prepare their costumes, stockpile sweets and seek out some of the area’s most terrifying Halloween happenings.

During this creepy season, communities throughout Pinellas and around the Tampa Bay area play host to horrifying haunted houses, fiendishly fun festivals and tantalizing trick-or-treating. With such a variety of activities, there’s plenty to do for the adult crowd as well as all the little ghouls and goblins.
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TALLAHASSEE - Everyone loves a good Halloween scare, but not when it comes to safety. Friday, trick-or-treaters will be out haunting the neighborhoods, and the Florida Highway Patrol is reminding motorists and pedestrians to use extreme caution and to safely share the road.

Parents and drivers should take extra care in safeguarding children. Low visibility and heavy pedestrian traffic can make Halloween roadways a bit “tricky;” These safety tips can help keep this holiday a “treat.”

Motorists

Pay attention and eliminate distractions; turn off the radio and put down the phone.
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TALLAHASSEE - Halloween is frightening enough without the added terror of drunk drivers on the road. This weekend, the Florida Highway Patrol will join thousands of law enforcement and highway safety agencies across the nation in enforcing Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

This safety campaign, which runs through Nov. 2, is designed to discourage impaired driving using targeted enforcement and increased visibility of law enforcement on the roadways.
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Clearwater Beacon News
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CLEARWATER - Fire doors were added for safety. An air conditioning system was added for comfort. The once-red brick building was painted white. But other than minor changes such as these, the three buildings of South Ward School at 610 S. Fort Harrison Avenue are just about the same as when they were built.

The original building was built in 1906 and was called simply Clearwater School at the time, said Bill Wallace, president and board member of the Clearwater Historical Society. In 1912, a second building on the property opened, which was the first Clearwater high school. A third building was added in the 1950s which added a cafeteria, media center and kindergarten, and South Ward remained an active school until it was closed in 2008. South Ward was added to the U.S. National Registrar of Historical Places in 1979.
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Pinellas County
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Pinellas County is recovering. Adverse effects of the Great Recession, 2010 oil spill and tragic events of 9/11 are fading. Signs are pointing the way toward better times ahead.

Property values are up. Tourism is up and so are bed tax collections. More passengers are using St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport than ever before. Pinellas County seems to be rebounding nicely.

“It is amazing to see how much the tourist industry has improved since 9/11; we went from collecting $15 million to over $33 million today. I recall it was a difficult time for many in the hotel industry. It is exciting to see that we have more than doubled our collection of tourist development taxes over the past 13 years,” said Diane Nelson, Pinellas County Tax Collector. “Tourism is alive and well not only in Pinellas County but throughout the State of Florida.”
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Largo Leader News
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LARGO - Alakai Defense Systems, a small company based in the Largo area, recently secured an $8.7 million U.S. Army contract to mass produce its innovative Stand-off Covert Eye-safe Explosive Detection System, or SCEEDS.

The system is designed to detect explosives from a considerable distance, to be used at checkpoints and forward operating bases as soldiers screen incoming traffic. Its exact range is classified; Alakai President Ed Dottery described it only as “very, very, very long” during a demonstration of the system Oct. 24.
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Latest Updates
Pinellas Park Beacon
•  Good Samaritan welcomes new pastor
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Volunteer News
•  Pinellas County seeks volunteers
  MORE >>
Dunedin Beacon
•  Dunedin schedules work session on parking
  MORE >>
Health News
•  Avoid the flu and common colds this season
  MORE >>
Clearwater Beacon
•  Historical Society hosts annual fish fry
  MORE >>
Pinellas County
•  Voter turnout passes 28 percent - Last day to vote early is Nov. 2
  MORE >>
Belleair Bee
•  Belleview Biltmore west wing to be saved
  MORE >>
Outdoors & Recreation
•  60-year-old Largo nurse to race in Florida Ironman
  MORE >>
Largo Leader
•  Best of Largo - City celebrates Small Business Month
  MORE >>
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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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