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Pinellas County
As the economy improves, so does development. According to a recent report, plenty of projects are in the works throughout Pinellas.

Pinellas County Economic Development staff released its annual Development Updates, sortable by city and project, in September.

“We’ve been very pleased with the response to this year’s Pinellas County Development Updates,” said Stacey Swank, Business Development manager for PCED Marketing & Communications. “The economy is recovering, and redevelopment in Pinellas is paramount for our expanding companies to find room to grow and create new jobs.”

Several projects were spotlighted in the 26-page report, including an addition of 45,000 square feet to Tech Data’s existing 240,000-square-foot facility in Largo, and BayCare Health System's new $99 million headquarters campus in Clearwater.

Another highlight is a new 20,000-square-foot addition to the Technology and Innovation Center at Oscor in Palm Harbor. GE Digital Management is building a new 190,000-square-foot manufacturing Center of Excellence in Clearwater.

“In retail, there are too many projects to list in their entirety. From Pinellas’ first Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's, to the re-imagined Sundial and Seminole Mall, local consumers will have more convenient and upscale shopping choices and temptations,” the report said.
 ... Read More 
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Pinellas County is recovering. Adverse effects of the Great Recession, 2010 oil spill and tragic events of 9/11 are fading. Signs are pointing the way toward better times ahead.

Property values are up. Tourism is up and so are bed tax collections. More passengers are using St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport than ever before. Pinellas County seems to be rebounding nicely.

“It is amazing to see how much the tourist industry has improved since 9/11; we went from collecting $15 million to over $33 million today. I recall it was a difficult time for many in the hotel industry. It is exciting to see that we have more than doubled our collection of tourist development taxes over the past 13 years,” said Diane Nelson, Pinellas County Tax Collector. “Tourism is alive and well not only in Pinellas County but throughout the State of Florida.”
 ... Read More 
LARGO - The second annual Pinellas County Reverse Tradeshow will be Thursday, Nov. 6, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Magnolia Room at the Pinellas County Cooperative Extension, 12520 Ulmerton Road.

The event schedule is as follows:

- 7 to 9 a.m. - On-site registration
 ... Read More 
Nov. 4 General Election
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More than 28 percent of Pinellas County’s 623,605 registered voters had already cast a ballot for the Nov. 4 general election, as of Wednesday, Oct. 29.

As of Oct. 29, less than a week to Election Day, 158,638 (58.56 percent) of 270,883 mail ballots distributed had been returned to an Elections Office. Republicans were leading the Democrats with 106,794 mail ballots requested to the Democrats with 103,211. Another 60,883 ballots had been mailed to voters registered as other than Republican or Democrat.
 ... Read More 
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Plans to expand mass transit systems continue to take shape across the country, with hopes of moving people more effectively in areas as large as Washington, D.C., and as small as Yulee, Florida.

And the projects are not without controversy.

Advocates for mass transit say their plans are necessary to reduce congestion and that the indirect benefits, such as reduced accidents and economic development, are undervalued.
 ... Read More 
Two new faces will join Pinellas County Commissioners in November.

One of the two will be decided in the race for the at-large District 2 seat currently held by Commissioner Norm Roche, who was defeated in the primary. The second will be the winner of the single-member District 4 seat of longtime Commissioner Susan Latvala, who is retiring.
 ... Read More 
Four candidates are running in the Nov. 4 election for a chance to represent District 4 on the Pinellas County Commission. Commissioner Susan Latvala, who has served the district since 2000, is retiring.

The winner of the race will be one of two new faces joining the commission in November. The second will be decided in the race for the at-large District 2 seat currently held by Commissioner Norm Roche, who was defeated in the primary.
 ... Read More 
U.S. Rep. David Jolly is facing two previous challengers for his District 13 seat in the Nov. 4 election.

The no-party-affiliated candidate, Ed Jany, withdrew from the race Sept. 22. His name will appear on the ballot, but votes will not be counted.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, October 26
Pinellas County businesses have the opportunity to dispose of canceled, suspended and unusable pesticides at no cost through the Operation Cleansweep program being offered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Operation Cleansweep is a mobile pesticide program, which is offering statewide pick-up of pesticides for farms/groves, nurseries, pest control services, greenhouses, forestry services, ranches and golf courses at no cost for the first 500 pounds and 89 cents per pound thereafter. Wholesalers and governmental entities can also participate at the state contract rate of 89 cents per pound.

Registration is now open at www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/cleansweep-pesticides. There are a limited number of spaces available. For more information, businesses can contact the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 877-851-5285.
 ... Read More 
Storm surge is the deadliest, yet least understood, threat posed by hurricanes. Many residents do not heed mandatory evacuation orders because they don’t understand just how high the water can rise where they live.

Residents should be aware that evacuations are ordered because of storm surge, except for those living in mobile homes.

Pinellas County Emergency Management recently unveiled the Storm Surge Protector. Visit egis.pinellascounty.org/apps/stormsurgeprotector/index.html to use the new online application. For best results, use Internet Explorer version 9 or above, Chrome or Firefox.
 ... Read More 
Saturday, October 25
Take charge of the energy in your home during National Energy action month this October. On average, Floridians use about 1100 kWh per month or spend about $120 per month on energy needs. Making homes more energy efficient can help reduce high energy bills improve comfort and protect the environment.

The Pinellas Energy Efficiency Project offers free educational classes that provide tips and incentives to make residential homes more energy efficient without sacrificing comfort.

Residents can register for classes by visiting www.pinellascountyextension.org, calling the number provided for each location, or emailing sustainability@pinellascounty.org. For general information about these classes, call 727-582-2656. 
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - The Suncoast Hospice Retail Shoppes donation truck is visiting four Pinellas County Tax Collector offices throughout the month of October.

The donation truck travels to the North County office, 29399 U.S. 19 N., Suite 100 in Clearwater, Friday, Oct. 31, 11 to 2 p.m.

It has already visited offices in St. Petersburg, Largo and the Gulf-to-Bay office in Clearwater
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, October 22
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CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Commissioners received a briefing Oct. 21 on the county’s state of readiness to identify and treat patients infected with Ebola.

“I hope you have your flu shot,” Dr. Claude M. Dharamraj, Department of Health Pinellas County director, told commissioners. “More people will die in the U.S. from flu than Ebola.”

She explained that thus far the only Ebola outbreak in the United States had occurred in Dallas Texas.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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