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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 - The Haskell family, owners of Pellon Consumer Products, has been in the fabric and textile industry for four generations.

“This dates back to when my great-grandfather was selling war patches to the government during World War II,” explained Cris Haskell, CEO of the company, which recently moved its headquarters to Largo.

The business expanded into Dubin Haskell Jacobson, or DHJ, a publicly traded international company selling “non-wovens” to the apparel industry. DHJ was sold in the 1970s, but “non-wovens” still describe what the Haskell family manufactures and distributes within the craft and home goods markets.

The Haskells own the Pellon brand, a name that has come to describe the structural material in quilts, within North America. Pellon Consumer Products still works with the German company Freudenberg, which first brought the innovative material to the United States six decades ago.

“The Pellon brand has a lot of equity. It’s been around in the craft and hobby world for about 60 years,” Cris Haskell explained. “Consumers know and trust this brand.”

John Haskell, representing the third generation of Haskells in textiles, took over the Pellon brand at the start of the new millennium. The move to retail was a new direction for the family, his son explained.
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School News
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As summer draws to a close, I am optimistic about the journey ahead for Pinellas County Schools. It promises to be an exciting school year for our district as we strive to meet the needs of students and respond to the changing landscape of the 21st century.

This spring our district was awarded a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Systems Initiative grant to expand personalized learning opportunities for students. Personalized learning tailors what, when, how and where students learn to each student’s individual needs and interests.
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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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Seminole Beacon News
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SEMINOLE - For over a decade, since his retirement, James Swart has regularly met his friends at Seminole Mall.

The group sits in the same spot every day - at a table at the center of the mall, right in front of Stein Mart. Sometimes there are just a handful of them; sometimes their numbers swell to more than a dozen.

“It’s just someplace to sit,” he said. “You don’t have to buy anything, and we can catch up on things, talk about life, what we’re going to eat that night.”
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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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Latest Updates
Pinellas Park Beacon
•  Sexual battery suspect gets to 36.5 years
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Pinellas County
•  15 teens graduate from sheriff’s academy
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Health News
•  DOH reports rise in cryptosporidiosis
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Volunteer News
•  Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies merge
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Outdoors & Recreation
•  Largo All-Stars headed to southeast regional
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Belleair Bee
•  Indian Rocks Beach may sell sewer
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Largo Leader
•  Pellon moves headquarters to Largo
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Beach Beacon
•  Madeira plans sizeable marina project
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School News
•  Superintendent's message - Exciting year ahead for Pinellas schools
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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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