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The mission of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is to serve and protect, 24/7, 365 days a year.

But during the holidays, it takes on a bigger role, one that goes to the heart of the community.

Ride & Run with the Stars celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. Since the event’s inception in 1995, $500,000 has been raised to help thousands of children and their families through the Sheriff’s Christmas Sharing Project.

The money goes to purchase items - food, clothing and toys - that are delivered to the families by community policing deputies.

“It makes it more personal,” said Cristen Smith with the Sheriff’s Public Information Office.

This year’s big event is Saturday, Dec. 6, at Fort De Soto Park. Registration is $35 per person and includes a long-sleeved T-shirt, food and giveaways.

Register online at www.rideandrunwiththestars.com or at the event, beginning at 7 a.m.

Activities include a 25-mile bike ride, 10K Family Ride, 5K Chipped Run, 1-mile Family Fun Walk, silent auction, the Everest Challenge 25-foot climbing wall and a visit from Santa.
 ... Read More 
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Welcome Back 2014
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Roadways most likely will be crowded this weekend as locals and visitors take time off for the holiday.

According to AAA Auto Club’s Thanksgiving travel forecast, released Nov. 20, more than 46 million Americans are planning trips of 50 miles or more over the long weekend - the most since 2007.

About 4.2 percent (1.9 million) more will travel this year than last. AAA says it is the greatest growth rate for any holiday since Independence Day 2012. AAA considers the holiday travel period as Wednesday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Nov. 30.
 ... Read More 
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Signs are pointing to a green holiday season for retailers relying on the generosity of this year’s gift-givers to improve their bottom lines.

The National Retail Federation recently released results of the annual Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, showing that the average person will spend $804.42 on gifts in 2014, nearly 5 percent more than last year’s actual spending of $767.27 a person.
 ... Read More 
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According to a recent report from United Way, 12 percent of Pinellas County households (50,486) live in poverty. Another 34 percent (136,874) don’t make enough to pay for basic needs.

The holidays are difficult for people who are barely getting by. Fortunately, the United Way report says that community support is “good” in Pinellas. Helping others is a tradition in, especially during the holidays.
 ... Read More 
Pinellas County
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CLEARWATER - Pinellas County has released a new and improved mobile app, called Doing Things for You! The app makes it easier for smartphone users to communicate with county staff.

The county introduced its first app, See Click Fix in January 2012. Its purpose was to simplify reporting of local infrastructure needs. The online tool allows residents to report and track non-emergency problems, such as potholes, illegal dumping, mistimed traffic signals and other issues.
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More Pinellas County news, click here
Tarpon Springs Beacon
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TARPON SPRINGS -- A decade after returning from flying combat missions for the Air Force in Afghanistan, Greg Ferris says he’s finally getting his life back.

“Back then, the military really never helped out. I couldn’t even get my disability pay,” said Ferris, who was diagnosed with anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. “I was doing it alone for 10 years. I didn’t know what was happening with me, what was happening with my wife. I got to the threshold of just giving up.”
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More Tarpon Springs Beacon news, click here
Health News
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Pinellas County and St. Petersburg officials announced at a Nov. 14 press conference in St. Petersburg that Health Care Navigators are ready to help residents sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act as open enrollment begins.

Open enrollment period started Nov. 15, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015.

Through the Affordable Care Act, those who do not have health insurance, are under-insured or are not old enough for Medicare may enroll in an insurance plan that will match their household’s budget and family’s needs.
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More Health News news, click here
School News
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LARGO - With $30,000 in prize money from a national contest, Indian Rocks Christian School decided to makeover its cafeteria with healthier food options.

The school was one of three winners in last year’s Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest, using Uncle Ben’s brand rice in a recipe explained in a video. Boden deVries and his parents Eva and Kurt deVries of Belleair Beach produced the winning video, making pizza rice balls with the help of his father’s production company, Bobaloo Films.
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More School News, click here
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Dunedin Beacon
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Clearwater Beacon
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Pinellas County
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Belleair Bee
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School News
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Tarpon Springs Beacon
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Outdoors & Recreation
•  Fish Tales - Cold fronts make fishing tough
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Health News
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Largo Leader
•  Largo to restrict townhouse project
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Palm Harbor Beacon
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Beach Beacon
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News