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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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The National Hurricane Center reports that the second tropical storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season formed Thursday night east of the Southern Lesser Antilles.

Tropical Storm Bertha was located about 275 miles east-southeast of Barbados at 11 p.m. Maximum sustained winds were 45 mph. Bertha was moving west-northwest at 20 mph.
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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 - In a speedy, smooth transition Daniel Slaughter is set to be sworn in as the new Clearwater police chief on Aug. 7, barely over two weeks after Police Chief Anthony Holloway announced that he had accepted the top job in the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Selecting a new leader

Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne said there were three very strong internal candidates, and after meeting with them and reviewing their resumes, he said it was clear that Slaughter was an excellent pick for the position. Horne said he used the same criteria that he used when he selected Holloway as the last police chief.
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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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Health News
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SEMINOLE - Pinellas County Mosquito Control announced Thursday, July 31, that two sentinel chickens had tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis. Officials urge residents to use mosquito repellant and rid their property of standing water.

Sentinel chickens are used as an early-warning detection system for some mosquito-borne arboviral diseases. The chickens are tested to determine if mosquitoes carrying diseases are present in the area.
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Palm Harbor Beacon
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Health News
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Dunedin Beacon
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Clearwater Beacon
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Beach Beacon
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Volunteer News
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Outdoors & Recreation
•  Largo All-Stars headed to southeast regional
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