CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Commissioners have made it clear. They want the Tampa Bay Rays to stay in Pinellas and they want to have a voice in the team’s future, especially its choice of a stadium site.
To that end, Mike Meidel, director of Economic Development; Tim Ramsberger, deputy director at Visit St. Pete Clearwater; and Cindy Margiotta, senior Economic Development manager, prepared an overview of possible sites for a new professional stadium for the Rays in Pinellas.
CLEARWATER - A tragic crash forever changed the life of a St. Petersburg man who spent his 21st birthday in the hospital fighting for his life. Now, the Sheriff’s Office will pay his family a $16 million settlement, which is possibly the biggest settlement in the history of the PCSO.
The man’s injuries occurred when his 2005 Honda motorcycle crashed into an unmarked 2011 Buick LaCrosse driven by an on-duty undercover narcotics detective Jan. 12 on Martin Luther King Street North near 62nd Avenue North in St. Petersburg.
LARGO - A 69-year-old Largo man is being held on $900,000 bond after being charged with six counts of possession of child pornography Wednesday morning.
According to Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit, John M. King was arrested about 7:20 a.m. July 20 at his mobile home on 126th Avenue in Largo.
Detectives began their investigation in April 2016 after receiving information that King was in possession of child pornography. Subsequently, detectives were able to recover six images depicting child pornography from electronic devices belonging to King.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Planning for a new fire station on city-owned property across from Belleair Bluffs City Hall continues to move forward.
Design of the station is now being finalized, and the construction phase will come next, said Largo Assistant Public Works and Facilities Manager Chas Jordon at the July 18 Bluffs commission meeting.
Jordon is heading up the fire station project. Concerns expressed by residents at last month’s meeting about the station design have been taken into account, Jordan said. In response to residents’ worries about noise coming from the station’s air-conditioning units, Jordan has made a change in their placement. He said the units would be recessed into the roof instead of outside the building, so the noise would travel upward instead of outward to the neighborhood.
The Florida Department of Health is investigating two cases of Zika virus that may have been locally acquired.
State Health Department officials announced July 19 it was investigating a possible non-travel related case of Zika virus in Miami-Dade County. On July 21, officials announced an investigation of another possible non-travel related case of Zika virus in Broward County.
If either were to be confirmed, it would be the first case of locally acquired Zika virus in the continental United States. Mosquito control in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have already conducted reduction and prevention activities in the areas of investigation, according to a press release from the DOH.
LARGO - Beware, Largo residents. Invisible monsters have invaded Central Park.
But don’t fret, because hordes of gamers armed with smartphones are hunting them down in a hurry.
That’s the idea behind “Pokemon Go,” Nintendo's new scavenger hunt game that utilizes geo-positioning. It allows participants to become part of the game, and thousands have flooded Largo parks in search of the rare Pokemon that spawn there.
“I love it because I grew up watching it,” said Ruben Avellan, 22, of Clearwater. “It’s like a dream come true.”
TARPON SPRINGS - Dual efforts to attract local business and help existing Tarpon Springs storefronts spruce up their exteriors will be receiving an injection of fresh funding.
While sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency board Tuesday, July 5, city commissioners voted unanimously to approve a fund transfer to a pair of successful initiative: the CRA Façade Improvement Grant Program and CRA Restaurant Recruitment Grant Program.
“The façade grant and the new restaurant recruitment grant have been very successful,” said Economic Development Manager Karen Lemmons while briefing commissioners on the programs. “I think they’ve made a big difference within our Community Redevelopment Area.”