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  9911 Seminole Blvd. Seminole, FL 33772       Ph. 727-397-5563   View TBN's FREE e-Edition today!  
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LARGO - Even two weeks later, the plaza at 12580 Seminole Blvd. looks much as it did the morning of July 5, after a fire destroyed the longtime businesses that called it home.

The roof of the L-shaped building is collapsed, and its insides are charred black. The iconic brick fireplace of the Fireplace Restaurant still stands, and a bench still sits outside Debbie Allen’s hair salon.

But it will be months before the local businesses can return, and much depends on how well and fast insurance claims can be paid. Until then, the business owners are in a state of limbo.

“It’s hard to put a price tag on what I had in there: hundreds of dollars worth of equipment,” said Allen, who opened her salon in the plaza 26 years ago.

The family that owns House of Shades, Lamps and Lighting is renovating an old convenience store across the street, at 12691 Seminole Blvd., into a suitable display room for their merchandise. Michael and Sharon Carter will reopen their business relatively soon after the fire, but in many ways, it’s like starting over again, 18 years after the first time around.
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Pinellas County
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CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard’s preliminary budget contains no real surprises and, best of all, no millage rate increases.

That’s primarily due to participation by commissioners, constitutional officers and other stakeholders during the preparation process, Woodard said, after he presented his budget at the July 21 commission meeting.

“Developing a $2 billion budget requires a village,” he said, adding that while not all “needs and wants” were included, he had done his best to provide for all within the available revenue.
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Crime, Crashes & Fires
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PINELLAS PARK - A 57-year-old Pinellas Park man was charged with first-degree arson Saturday morning after allegedly setting fire to his home on 97th Terrace.

Pinellas Park police responded to a call to assist firefighters at the scene of a suspicious fire the morning of July 25. When officers arrived, they found the home’s occupant, Gregory Gallagher outside cleaning his motorcycle in the driveway of a neighbor’s house, according to a media release. Gallagher was “acting erratically and indifferent that his house was on fire,” the responding officer reported.
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Tarpon Springs Beacon
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TARPON SPRINGS - For 30 years, Island House Restaurant, opened in 1963 was a stable along Clearwater Beach, home to locals and tourists alike. It was a favorite spot for Philadelphia Phillies officials during spring training, complete with a baseball wall in the dining room that featured the autographs of hundreds of players who had made their way through the restaurant over the years.

Owner Manuel Houllis, who retrieved the Epiphany cross in 1943, was as well-known as his Greek cuisine.
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Clearwater Beacon
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CLEARWATER - From the world’s first coffee filter to the first 100 percent recyclable single-serve coffee capsule, Melitta has always been known for innovation.

It all started with Melitta Bentz, a German housewife who cut up a piece of her son’s blotter paper to create the world’s first coffee filter. This July marked the 107th anniversary of Bentz’s coffee filter patent. The now worldwide company Melitta continues to churn out new coffee inventions, all while continuing to preserve the family business mindset and integrity that it was founded on.
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Outdoors
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Did a boater have to steal normal life from an innocent dolphin? A grievously wounded dolphin haunts John’s Pass in shock, panic and profound pain. In critical condition and fighting for its life, “it” is Babyface.

She was born in 2006 in the shadow of the VA Hospital. Capt. John Heidemann and I named her after her mother, Face, named for the silhouette of her dorsal fin. Babyface is a notably gentle “only child” dolphin with a very special mother.
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INDIAN SHORES - Calling himself “an effective conservative who delivers results,” U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, announced his candidacy July 20 for the U.S. Senate.

He will be seeking the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who is retiring in 2016 to run for U.S. President.

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to represent the people of Pinellas County in the U.S. House, taking their voice to Washington, D.C., and delivering results for our neighbors and community,” Jolly said in a press release. “I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and I am confident that the best is yet to come for our region and our state. It is with this sincere belief and focus on the future of Pinellas County and the entire state of Florida that I proudly announce my candidacy for the United States Senate.”
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WASHINGTON DC - The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation cosponsored by Congressman David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, July 27 to fight the problem of illegal fishing from foreign vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 774) passed the House by voice vote.

“Illegal fishing from foreign vessels is a direct threat to the livelihood of thousands of hardworking Americans along the Gulf coast as well as the quality of life throughout our Bay area communities. This bill will strengthen enforcement mechanisms against those who illegally fish our waters and will protect this important resource for our recreational, commercial, and charter boat fisherman,” Jolly said.
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9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
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