Pinellas County is closing the Park Boulevard Bridge for at least 30 days beginning Monday Sept. 29 to make needed repairs. The bridge connects mainland south-central Pinellas County with the barrier islands at Indian Shores and Redington Shores.
The 35-year-old bridge, constructed in 1979, has a history of mechanical failures. The primary reducer failed in 2013 and prompted the need to replace the primary reducer, motor, brakes and rebuild the air buffer mechanisms of the bridge mechanics.
The 120-day project includes replacing parts of the machinery that open and close the leaves of the drawbridge, including the primary reducer, motor, brakes. In addition, the air buffer mechanisms of the bridge mechanics will be rebuilt.
While campaign action continues ahead of the upcoming Nov. 4 elections, the voting has begun.
Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark mailed 2,696 ballots to overseas voters Sept. 19; another 252,563 went out Tuesday, Sept. 30, to domestic voters who have requested a ballot.
All eligible voters can request a ballot by mail by visiting www.votepinellas.com, calling 727-464-VOTE (464-8683), or send an email to email@example.com, and include date of birth. The deadline to request a ballot be mailed is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29.
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Monday, Oct. 6. Visit www.votepinellas.com or call 727-464-VOTE for more information.
Early voting is scheduled from Oct. 20-Nov. 2.
On the ballot
There’s a lot to decide by Nov. 4. Floridians will elect a governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, chief financial officer and commissioner of agriculture.
SEMINOLE - To help citizens go to the polls as informed voters, St. Petersburg College is presenting a debate for local candidates seeking public office in the Nov. 4 general election. The debate, sponsored by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions and co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, in the Digitorium of the Seminole campus, 9200 113th St. N.
Facing off will be candidates for Pinellas County Commission from Districts 2 and 4, and candidates for the eight most highly contested seats in the state Legislature. Also up for debate will be two proposed amendments to the State Constitution.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit are warning residents of a telephone scam that informs seniors a loved one is in trouble and asks them to wire money to different locations to help the loved one.
According to investigators, a group of individuals are targeting elderly residents in Pinellas County. The telephone scam has been in existence for a while and has been called several different names.
During the phone scam, the caller identifies themselves as a relative or someone trying to help a relative. The caller is careful not to initially mention a specific person’s name, instead engages the victim as if they are the victim’s grandchild or similar type relative. Eventually the confused victim will mention their relatives name while trying to gather additional information.
Resumes are now being accepted for a four-year appointment to the Pinellas County Health Facilities Authority.
The Health Facilities Authority is a conduit financing authority that issues revenue bonds for non-profit health care facilities, including hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospice facilities.
Meetings of the authority are held as needed to consider applications for financing approval.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Clearwater Police Department and partnering agencies conducted Operation Cyber Justice Thursday, Sept. 25 through Sunday Sept. 28, resulting in 10 arrests.
The four-day operation ran in 10-hour shifts. Through the course of the operation, investigators posed as minors on various websites, including classified pages, social media and chat rooms.
Investigators established a rapport with the subjects where the subjects would arrange to meet with the “minor” for the purpose of sexual activity. Suspects were arrested on a variety of charges to include traveling to meet a minor, transmission of material harmful to minors, battery on law enforcement officer, resisting with violence and possession of marijuana.
Pinellas County reclaimed water seasonal restrictions begin Wednesday, Oct. 1. These restrictions limit reclaimed water irrigation during authorized hours to three days per week based on house number.
Restrictions for reclaimed water irrigation are in effect from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.
Since late May, north Pinellas County reclaimed water customers have been under an extended reduced availability two days per week schedule. Through the successful implementation of reclaimed water conservation measures and the return of seasonal rainfall, the storage levels in north county have returned to normal.
CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Commissioners made no changes to tentative millage rates and budgets before unanimously adopting them all, one-by-one, during a Sept. 23 public hearing.
No millage rate increases were included in budgets for fiscal year 2014-2015, as reflected in the Truth in Millage notices sent out from the Property Appraiser Aug. 22. The general fund countywide millage rate remains at 5.2755 mills.
CLEARWATER - Mobile home park owners, managers and residents still aren’t happy, even though county staff recalculated surface water fees, bringing some bills down by as much as 200 percent.
The group packed the Pinellas County courthouse in Clearwater Sept. 11 and returned in fewer numbers Sept. 23 to plead with commissioners to defer the higher bills until next year.
County staff explained that the tax rolls had already been certified, meaning the bills can’t be changed; however, adjustments can be made based on credits for reducing a properties impact on the stormwater system.
ST. PETERSBURG - A 15-year-old St. Petersburg teen was arrested Sept. 25 after reportedly admitting he had sexually battered a 4-year-old girl.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives said the incidents occurred on two separate occasions at a private residence in the county.
Detectives began their investigation on Thursday, Sept. 25, after the victim disclosed to deputies that she had been sexually battered by the suspect. Deputies talked to the victim during an unrelated call and contacted detectives once the victim disclosed that the suspect had sexually battered her while she was in his care.