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Pinellas County school students return to class Monday, Aug. 18, and the state wants to help reduce the burden on households budgeting for the necessities of learning.

Florida’s 2014 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1, and continues through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3. During the three-day period, purchases of certain school supplies, clothing, and computers and computer-related accessories will be exempt from sales tax.

The state’s first sales tax holiday occurred in 1998 and it ran for seven days. For the first few years, the tax holiday applied only to clothing and footwear. In 2001, lawmakers added school supplies to the tax-exempt list. In 2013, legislators added computers and related accessories valued at $750 or less for personal or home use.
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LARGO - Logan Hofstetter, 11, like any competitive surfer, pays close attention to weather patterns, winds and storms. Catching waves big enough for him to surf can be a bit of a challenge - based, as he is from Largo, closest to the often-lackluster Gulf waves.

But it’s nothing Logan’s focused self-motivation can’t handle. He and his father, Mike Hofstetter, travel to prime surfing spots on both Florida’s west and east coasts to catch the best waves. They’re usually trekking across the state on the weekends.

“It’s nothing for me to ... get 20 texts: ‘The wind’s blowing.’ ‘When are we going?’ ‘Where are we going?’ ‘The truck’s loaded.’ ‘Let’s go.’ ‘I don’t care about your meeting.’ ‘Let’s move,’ ” Mike explained with a smile. “Things of that nature is what we deal with.”

Mike and his wife, Debbie, are proud of their son and his determination. And they admit that they had a part in his love for the beach.

“We’ve always been water people,” said Debbie. “Logan’s been in the water since he was a baby.”
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Clearwater Beacon News
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CLEARWATER - Daniel Slaughter, a veteran of more than two decades with the Clearwater Police Department, has been named the agency’s new chief.

City Manager Bill Horne made the announcement Tuesday morning, picking the patrol commander as the 13th chief of the department after an internal search, necessitated by the recent resignation of Chief Tony Holloway.

Slaughter meets all the criteria that we are looking for and need in a police chief. He is a highly competent police professional with the appropriate education credentials, field experience, and respect and support from his peers, subordinates, police unions, city department directors, neighborhood leaders and the Tampa Bay law enforcement community, Horne said.
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Pinellas County
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CLEARWATER - After more than seven years on the job, the executive director of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is moving on.

D.T. Minich announced the news Monday morning that he is leaving Pinellas County to work for the Kissimmee Convention Visitors Bureau effective Aug. 15.

“As you might imagine, this was not an easy decision to make,” Minich said in an email sent out Monday morning. “I have many fond memories of my time here, and I'm extremely proud of all the accomplishments we have achieved together as an industry. I'm also extremely proud of my incredibly talented and dedicated CVB staff, whose hard work and dedication is responsible for the amazing leaps we have made in Pinellas County tourism.”
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Dunedin Beacon News
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DUNEDIN - City officials continue to talk to the Toronto Blue Jays about the team’s needs for spring training, including the possibility of building a new stadium on 22 acres off Patricia Avenue.

The Jays’ contract with Dunedin expires Dec. 30, 2017, and city officials hope to get a commitment from the Jays for at least another 20 years.

In a memo City Parks and Recreation Director Vince Gizzi said city officials and Jays executives discussed expanding training facilities at a meeting March 24. After further discussion a suggestion came up that 375 Patricia Avenue, known as the former Neilson property, would make a better site to meet the needs of the Blue Jays.
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Largo Leader News
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LARGO - The second anniversary of the Barley Mow Brewing Company July 19 was a testament to the success of a business with humble beginnings, at a time when the business is expanding.

The brewery, at 518 West Bay Drive, began in a home, when Jay and Colleen Dingman started brewing beer for their personal consumption. And while home brewing is fairly common, the growth of the resulting business however is not.
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Outdoors & Recreation
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BELLEAIR - The Belleview Biltmore Golf Club was abuzz on July 20 as the annual Special Olympics golf tournament took over the field. Eighty-five athletes from four counties participated in the event.

The coordinator of the event, Andrew Medlin, said the event serves not only as a way for the athletes to show their stuff, it also changes the common perception of the Special Olympic athlete.
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SEMINOLE - Tampa Bay Newspapers won 17 awards in the Florida Press Association’s 2013 Better Weekly Newspaper Contest, including six first-place awards, in categories for design, writing, editing, photography, special sections and online coverage.

The newspapers’ awards are TBN’s strongest showing in the annual contest, Executive Editor Tom Germond said.
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Clearwater Beacon
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Palm Harbor Beacon
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Pinellas County
•  Pinellasí tourism guru takes new job
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Movie News & Reviews
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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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