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ST. PETE BEACH - Plans were unveiled last week for the first major hotel redevelopment on the beach since issues surrounding the city’s comprehensive plan were resolved in May.

Robert Czyszczon, general manager of the Plaza Beach Resort, 4506 Gulf Blvd., explained his vision for The Allure, a new 66-room boutique hotel, during a community meeting Sept. 28 at the St. Pete Beach Community Center.

Plans call for a majority of the rooms to be two-bedroom, two-bath units offering 870 square feet of space. The remainder would be one-bedroom, two-bath units with 750 square feet.

“There are no two-bedroom, two-bath products on St. Pete Beach and that’s really the product this beach needs and is desired,” said Czyszczon.

Czyszczon has high expectations for the project based on similar two-bedroom, two-bath suite hotels in Treasure Island.

“The Sunset Vistas in Treasure Island is completely two-bedroom, two-bath and has one of the highest occupancy rates in Pinellas County,” he said. “They’re about 90 percent occupancy, which is unheard of in this area.”
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Crime, Crashes & Fires
SEMINOLE - Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies are asking the public for help to locate a man last seen Wednesday morning at a Seminole assisted living facility.

According to a media release, 69-year-old James Rodney Northcraft left the Safe Haven Assisted Living Facility, 9000 86th Ave. N. in Seminole, in his wheelchair about 7:15 a.m. Oct. 7.

The administration of the facility reported him missing on Friday and told deputies that Northcraft usually leaves the facility for the day, but returns in the evening. Deputies said that Northcraft has Parkinson’s and does not have his medications with him.
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Pinellas County
CLEARWATER - Two individuals and one team received Fire Professional of the Year awards during the Sept. 24 Pinellas County Commission meeting.

A video highlighted each of the awardees in the second year of this program.

First up was Lt. Warren Cargill, who has been fighting fires with Largo Fire Rescue for 29 years. Cargill is the Fire Professional of the Year. An event early in his life set the tone for the three decades of his service, according to the video’s narrator.
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Health News
One of the scariest diagnoses a woman will ever hear is “You’ve got breast cancer.”

The National Cancer Institute estimates that 231,840 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,290 will die. Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics show that one in eight women, about 12 percent, will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
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Pinellas Park Beacon
PINELLAS PARK - After months of hard work, the Pinellas Park Better Block is finally here. The pop-up event, designed to showcase the city’s growing business and arts district in the 5600, 5700 and 5800 blocks along Park Boulevard, will take place Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Better Block event falls within the Community Redevelopment District, where, in recent years, the city has purchased a number of blighted properties to revamp the area and encourage the growth of small businesses. An international program that was founded in Dallas, this unique pop-up event, which focuses on urban redevelopment, is designed to build a life-sized working model of what the area could look like. It will include pedestrian-friendly transportation, pop-up art galleries, boutiques, vendors and public art, and arts and entertainment programming.
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Outdoors & Recreation
LARGO - Sarah Malone and several members of the Largo Tidal Waves swim team can’t wait to compete at the upcoming state championships of the Special Olympics. They have one problem, though.

“The medals are like huge. They are not easy to carry on your neck,” she said.

It’s a problem her teammates know all too well. Five of the six qualifiers from the team that practices at Southwest Recreation Complex in Largo twice a week have come home with medals from the state competition in the past.
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School News
OLDSMAR - Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis, city council members and City Manager Bruce Haddock celebrated the ribbon cutting for the new Workforce Institute at St. Petersburg College, at 127 State St. W. in Oldsmar, Sept. 15.

Formerly the Oldsmar Senior Center, the new facility will have courses in manufacturing, business management and technology, according to the SPC press release from Rita Farlow, director of marketing and strategic communications.

“The goal is to bring training options to a specific area of the county, where local businesses have expressed the need to close skills gaps and to expand education opportunities for residents in north Pinellas,” Farlow said.
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Community Calender
• Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015
Homespun by Hands and Hearts Arts and Crafts Show
LARGO – The 20th annual Homespun by Hands and Hearts Arts and Crafts Show will be Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Christian Life Enrichment Center of St. Paul United Methodist Church, on the corner of Highland Avenue and Rosery Road.

The show has featured the best of local artists and craftspeople for the last 20 years. This year’s show includes unique handcrafted items from more than 85 local vendors. Children are invited to create their own arts and crafts in the Children’s Activity Center and enjoy the St. Paul pumpkin patch across the street.

The $1 cost of admission to the craft show benefits the homeless of Pinellas County. For information, visit
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Arts and crafts fair
LARGO – The 20th annual Arts and Crafts Event will be presented Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1199 Highland Ave.

The event will feature 85 vendors, door prizes, a children’s activity center and pumpkin patch. All crafts are original, handcrafted and created by the artists themselves. The craft show is being held inside and outside the Christian Life Enrichment Center of the church.

There is a $1 donation at the door with the proceeds going toward the homeless and other select ministries in the church. For information, call 585-0273.
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Blessing of the Animals
LARGO – A Blessing of the Animals will take place Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. and noon, at St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church, 2790 Sunny Breeze Ave.

Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis, St. Dunstan’s invites the general public to bring their pets for an individual blessing by the Rev. Fr. James Derbyshire. The blessing will take place on church grounds in a shaded area. Water stations will be available, and each pet will receive a small, appropriate goody bag.
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Boat Safety Course
CLEARWATER – A boating safety class will be offered Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, 8 a.m., by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-1 at the Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion, second floor, at Morton Plant Hospital, 455 Pinellas St.

Materials are $50. Parking is free.

The class, taught by certified instructors, covers topics including boating emergencies, getting underway, navigation and legal requirements.

All graduates receive a Florida state certification card.

For information or to register, call Leslie Long, 469-8895 or email
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Boating safety course
TARPON SPRINGS – The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Tarpon Springs Flotilla offers a boating safety course the second Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. to noon, at the auxiliary’s classroom at Turtle Cove Marine, 827 Roosevelt Blvd., at the west end of the sponge docks.

The course, titled “About Boating Safely,” is designed for both experienced and novice boaters. Some of the topics presented will be boating emergencies, know your boat, getting underway, navigating the waterways, operating your boat safely, and legal requirements.

The fee is $40, which includes all printed materials. Florida boater safety certification cards are given to individuals who successfully complete the course.

For more information, call Roy Warner at 938-8568 or email
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Boca Ciega High class of 1965 50th reunion
ST. PETE BEACH – Boca Ciega High School’s class of 1965 will host its 50th anniversary reunion on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9-10, at Silas Dent’s Bayside Banquet Hall, 5501 Gulf Blvd.

The event also will feature a tour of the BCHS campus on Friday at 4 p.m. Attendees should meet in the lobby of the BCHS administration building. Friday evening, there will be a meet-and-greet from 7 to 11 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and music in the gazebo.

On Saturday, attendees can hang out at Harry’s Beach Bar at the Sirata Beach Resort, across from Silas Dent’s. Saturday evening, from 6 to 11 p.m., there will be a barbeque buffet and sundae bar, cash bar and sock hop music with The Impacs. Cost is $80 per person.

For information, call Mardell McCormick Ammon at 391-3520 or
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Bonner Park guided nature hike
LARGO – A guided nature hike will be offered Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m., at Bonner Park, 14444 143rd St. N. Guests will take a guided walk through the woods, seeking out animals at the park.

The hike is part of a series of monthly nature hikes, offered second Saturdays, at different nature parks in Largo. The hike is free but donations are accepted. To preregister, call 518-3047.
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Fall Campout
LARGO – A Fall Campout will be offered Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9-10, at Bonner Nature Park, 14444 143rd St. N., Largo.

The program will begin Friday at 4 p.m. and will conclude Saturday at 10 a.m. Cost is $10 a person. Children age 2 and younger are free.

The Friends of the Largo Nature Parks will host the family camp out. Food, campfire events and nature programs will be presented under the stars at Bonner Nature Park. Advance registration and payment are required. To register, visit For information, call 518-3047.
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Festival of Service
DUNEDIN – The First United Methodist Church of Dunedin will host a Festival of Service Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to noon, in downtown Dunedin.

FUMC Dunedin and supporting local businesses will work with volunteers to pack 10,000 compassion meals on Main Street. The meals will be distributed to people experiencing hunger – right here in Pinellas County and abroad.

In addition to feeding 10,000 families, the church will be celebrating its centennial with carnival games and a bounce house for children and families, a mobile blood donation unit, and a pet blessing at 9 a.m. in Pioneer Park.

This street party also will feature fun games and treats. There is no cost to participate in any of the event activities.

For information, email Chrissy Krampert at or call 850-766-9250 or email Lauren Wolf at or call 813-951-5632.
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Fish broil
ST. PETE BEACH – Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet School PTA will host its annual fish broil Saturday, Oct. 10, 2 to 8 p.m., at 8600 Boca Ciega Drive.

This annual school fundraiser supports the recently re-opened Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet School. This event brings staff, students, their families and friends together for an afternoon of community, fun and fundraising featuring great food, games, and activities.

This event opens the campus to the entire community and brings students and families together to celebrate the start of a new school year. Funds raised will provide educational materials and support for programs at our school. 

The event will feature local artists, live music, food and drinks. Attendees can purchase fresh fish or barbecue chicken dinners with two sides for $5. There will be carnival games, fish painting, a bounce house, face painting, photo booth, dunk tank and local vendors.

For information, call Heather Ames at 641-9090 or email  
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Community Focus Online
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