CLEARWATER - In November, Pinellas County voters will be asked to approve renewal of Penny for Pinellas sales tax for a fourth 10-year cycle.
But before the voting begins, local government officials have to decide how to spend the money and interlocal agreements between the county and municipalities have to be signed that determine how the money will be shared.
LARGO - Of the people deemed eligible to participate in Pinellas County’s Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program during the last quarter of 2016, 179 completed it successfully, and 105 didn’t make it.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri released a report Feb. 17 of activity that occurred from Oct. 17-Dec. 31, 2016.
The diversion program began Oct. 17, 2016 as a means to help county residents avoid having a criminal arrest record for minor offenses and give law enforcement an alternative to making an arrest under certain conditions. All cities in the county participate in the program, which has the support of the state attorney, public defender, chief judge and clerk of the court.
REDINGTON SHORES - A Pinellas County Sheriff’s employee lost her job after she was arrested for DUI about 1:45 a.m. Monday, Feb. 20, near the intersection of Coral Ave and Gulf Boulevard, in Redington Shores.
Deputies were conducting traffic enforcement on Gulf Boulevard in North Redington Beach when they observed a 2013 white Chevrolet sport utility vehicle traveling northbound on Gulf Boulevard at a high rate of speed. Deputies conducted a traffic stop at Coral Avenue and Gulf Boulevard for speeding. The vehicle was traveling 67 mph in a 35 mph speed zone, according to a press release.
DUNEDIN - Changes to the current Dunedin Downtown Pilot Parking Plan took effect Feb. 13.
The City Commission at the Feb. 2 meeting approved the ordinance change, which allows more free parking downtown.
The Downtown Parking Plan is a one-year pilot program that was implemented in October 2016 to offset the current costs of leased lots that the city pays for and to raise funds for a potential parking garage in the future. Changes were made due to public feedback, data collected from SP+ Parking Management Company and through observance of parking needs/trends during the first quarter of the pilot program.
SEMINOLE - Just earlier this year, Bill Miller thought he might not have much longer to live. For two months, he was in and out of the hospital. First, his kidneys failed. Then he had to have his gallbladder removed.
“I almost didn’t make it,” he said. “I get very emotional. I almost passed away in the hospital and the Lord saved me for something. He took care of me.”
Miller, who bought the Lewis W. Mohn Funeral Home last year, rallied, though, and he was able to attend the Seminole Chamber of Commerce’s 52nd annual Mr. Seminole awards banquet at Holiday Inn Harbourside Feb. 18.
CLEARWATER - Much like the annual early-February spectacle of Punxsutawney Phil searching for his shadow, the arrival of the Philadelphia Phillies equipment truck signifies the unofficial start of spring in Clearwater, the only difference being “Truck Day” is more reliable than the legendarily fickle Pennsylvania groundhog.
The 53-foot-long tractor-trailer carrying thousands of pieces of assorted baseball and spring related equipment (i.e. golf clubs and fishing poles) made the 1,000-mile journey from frigid Philly to comparatively balmy Clearwater last week, arriving at the team’s newly christened Spectrum Field on Old Coachman Road in the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 10.
LARGO - Walking through Eagle Lake Park in Largo, it’s easy to forget you’re in an oasis of green space located in the heart of bustling Pinellas County.
Wandering along the county’s 163-acre park’s crushed-shell trails and 2,000 feet worth of shaded boardwalks while observing dozens of species of flora and fauna, the speeding traffic on nearby Keene Road is reduced to a low hum, and the only congestion inside the park’s borders comes in the form of birdwatchers and nature lovers, joggers and dog walkers and kids playing at the playground.
Tampa Bay area venues, both large and small, will welcome a diverse selection of musical artists during the month of March. A number of concert festivals will be presented in addition to headliners such as Tony Bennett, Dwight Yoakam, Paul Anka and Celtic Woman.
Guys should slick back their hair and girls can put on their poodle skirts because it’s time once again for Richard Nader’s Doo Wop Reunion. The annual Doo Wop will be presented Friday, March 17, 7 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets start at $45. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.