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9911 Seminole Blvd.,
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Phone: (727) 397-5563
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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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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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Beach Beacon News
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ST. PETE BEACH - City commissioners unanimously approved a contract Oct. 21 for new city manager Wayne Saunders.

Saunders, who served 27 years as city manager of the city of Clermont, has agreed to an initial 3-year contract that will pay him a base salary of $135,000 per year with annual performance evaluations. The agreement calls for annual 1-year contract extensions unless either party gives notice.
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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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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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ST. PETERSBURG - Tampa Bay Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg issued the following statement Friday, Oct. 24, regarding Joe Maddon's contract.

"Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out in his current contract, a contract which was not scheduled to expire until after the 2015 season. We tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision. As of yesterday afternoon, Joe enabled himself to explore opportunities throughout Major League Baseball. He will not be managing the Rays in 2015. Joe has been our manager for nine seasons, and the foundation of success laid during his tenure endures. We thank him for all that he's meant to the organization."
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Latest Updates
Pinellas County
•  Voter turnout passes 28 percent - Last day to vote early is Nov. 2
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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 >>
Clearwater Beacon
•  FHP responds to two morning crashes
  MORE >>
Beach Beacon
•  Madeira Beach Publix store opens
  MORE >>
Seminole Beacon
•  PSCO looking for credit card thief
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Pet News
•  SPCA workshop explores science of animal actions
  MORE >>
Viewpoints
•  Carl Hiaasen - Days of ‘friendly skies’ a dim memory
  MORE >>
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News