SEMINOLE - Following a Florida House vote to kill Enterprise Florida and limit Visit Florida earlier this month, Gov. Rick Scott is back on the road in an effort to save the agencies ahead of a State Senate vote.
Joined by new Visit Florida CEO, Ken Lawson, Scott’s latest stop brought him to Seminole’s Allen Sports Center, where he defended the agencies to local leaders and business owners, March 22.
BELLEAIR - Town Manager Micah Maxwell, who led the community through some of its toughest challenges, has resigned. He will become the assistant city manager of Clearwater. Maxwell has held his current position since 2006.
Hints that Maxwell might be looking to move on came about a year ago when he applied for the open position of city manager in Dunedin. When that didn’t happen he said he stayed with Belleair without thinking about looking for another job - that is, until a week ago.
“I hadn’t really been thinking about anything else until last week when I got a call from the city manager’s office in Clearwater and asked if I would potentially be interested in the assistant city manager’s job. I expressed an interest, met with Mr. Horne (Bill Horne Clearwater city manager) and it all worked out,” he said.
More motorcyclists die in traffic crashes in Florida than any other state in the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Pinellas County ranks fifth in the number of fatality crashes among the state’s 67 counties.
NHTSA statistics show a 30 percent increase in deaths in 2015, making it a record year. Motorcyclists accounted for 20 percent of the state’s motor vehicle fatalities that year; however, they accounted for only 3 percent of registered vehicles.
CLEARWATER - John Morroni has served on the Pinellas County Commission since 2000, but this will be his fourth and final term in office. Morroni announced March 21 that he would not be running for a fifth term in 2018.
He said he had given it a lot of thought and talked the decision over with his wife Eileen and son Mike.
“This is the right decision for me,” he said. “It’s time to let someone else sit in this chair.”
He added that his announcement was not a “goodbye speech,” saying there was still a lot of work to do.
DUNEDIN - Mike Bowman recalled that when he was young he wanted to play at the Dunedin Golf Club, but the course was off limits to him.
“They didn’t want 12-year-old, 14-15-year-old kids out there tearing up their course,” Bowman told city commissioners March 2.
Bowman, who is on the club board of directors, and other club members encouraged city commissioners to take action to help get the club out of a financial hole.
“I have been a member for 16 years now, and it’s really kind of painful to me because I grew up here and I remember this course in its heyday,” Bowman said. “My father at one time tried to join it and they had 450 members on the waiting list. It was really fantastic.”
CLEARWATER - Pretty much everyone has dreams of flying when they’re young, as we know kids are often awed by the sight of birds in flight or airplanes cruising high in the sky above them. The problem nowadays is not nearly as many of those adventurous kids are migrating into the aviation industry like they were before, as the number of certified pilots across the country has been in steep decline over the last several decades, according to numerous reports. But thanks to organizations such as the Experimental Aircraft Association and its Young Eagles Flight Rally program, kids have an opportunity at an early age to find out if they have the right stuff to become a pilot.
LARGO - Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista had a rough 2016. The 36-year-old had an injury-plagued season, played in only 116 games and batted just .234 with 22 homers.
But the six-time All-Star who has been a routine contender in the MVP race appears to have regained his form during spring training in Dunedin, batting .563 and slugging over 1.000 in his first six games.
Physical Culture, a new Largo gym that mixes an old-school mentality with modern-day technology and techniques, has been part of that turnaround.
MADEIRA BEACH - The second major development proposed for the Madeira Beach east gateway area got a final approval from the city commission at its March 7 meeting.
The Holiday Isle Marina, to be built on the Holton property at the foot of the causeway bridge, has been significantly downsized from the original plan.
The number of buildings was reduced from six to two, and includes a 150-room hotel and a five-floor condominium building that replaces three previous seven- and nine-story structures. The number of condo units is being reduced by more than half, from 68 to 31. The buildings were also moved eastward on the property to open up the view corridors for residents living in nearby condos, and redesigned with a “fishing village” look.