CLEARWATER - It was nothing but good news as representatives from Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce updated Pinellas County Commissioners about the continued success of its Dolphin Trail project.
Commission Chair John Morroni introduced Carol Haig, chamber president and CEO, Bob Clifford, senior vice president of tourism and economic development, and Anita Treiser, tourism marketing consultant and Dolphin Trail project manager, who did most of the talking for the group.
“I need to tell you what an impact this project has had throughout Pinellas County and beyond,” Treiser told the commission during their April 7 meeting.
Morroni gave a brief overview of the project that features about 150 6-foot dolphin sculptures decorated by mostly local artists located throughout the county and beyond that make up the trail.
“We’re proud that our own courthouse here in downtown Clearwater recently became part of that trail with the Playing on the Water dolphin,” he said.
The county’s dolphin is located on the northwest corner of the courthouse at 315 Court St. Morroni welcomes everyone to come by to see it.
LARGO - To kick off the new Faith Build campaign, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County held a special ceremony at the beginning of construction of a home in Largo April 17.
Ten Pinellas churches in Largo are sponsoring the home for the Acevedo family. As the foundation of the home was poured, a blessing was said and a Bible signed with good wishes for the homeowner candidates was placed in the footer to be part of the foundation.
“So we are literally ‘Building on Faith!’” explained Communications Officer Rob Macar.
CLEARWATER - Pinellas County’s Family Housing Assistance Program pilot is providing a way to help families with minor children out of homelessness.
The program is designed to assist working families with case management services, rental support, job training and financial literacy referrals for families that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. There are currently 27 families in the program.
“This was the best thing that ever happened to us,” said Antonia Nieves, a mother whose family was assisted by the program. “I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to attend the program.”
Many seniors in Pinellas and Pasco counties struggle with a lack of healthy food. April’s Aging on the Suncoast show goes over what constitutes inadequate nutrition, the reasons why older adults may suffer from this and some ways to combat it.
Additionally, the show highlights the need for community volunteerism, its benefits, and the ways one can get involved.
Guests Peggy Coleman, a licensed dietitian and nutritionist with the Neighborly Care Network, and Diane Cunningham with Pasco County Elderly Nutrition discuss what food insecurity looks like as well as the programs they offer to promote better nutrition. During the second half of the show, Sandra Narron, the director of marketing with the Neighborly Care Network and Cunningham examine excellence in volunteerism.
LARGO - Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is encouraging residents who live on the county’s barrier islands to register now to receive an access permit to get back home after an evacuation for a hurricane or other disaster.
Municipalities that will require an access permit are Belleair Beach, Belleair Shore, Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, St. Pete Beach, Tierra Verde and Treasure Island. Access permits are available through each local government.
LARGO - Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri hosted a promotion ceremony April 17 recognizing five Sheriff’s Office members.
The ceremony was held at the Sheriff’s Administration Building, 10750 Ulmerton Road in Largo.
As part of the promotion ceremony, family members and friends pinned new badges on their fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, who have just been promoted.
Four were promoted to sergeant, including Mark Eastty, Alyson Henry, Gregory Horton and Thomas Montgomery. The ceremony also included one civilian promotion. Joan Hallmark was promoted to assistant Forensic Science shift supervisor.
CLEARWATER - Following a series of public input sessions, advisory group meetings, and dedicated research, a new proposal for increased countywide arts funding is emerging.
Creative Pinellas executive director, Mitzi Gordon, will present the plan during the Pinellas County Commissioners May 12 meeting.
Commissioners are expected to vote on this potential arts funding increase for fiscal year 2016 in their budgetary session. At the county arts workshop on Oct. 14, 2014, the commissioners voted unanimously to have Creative Pinellas develop this new proposal.
Pinellas Realtor Organization released the latest statistics for Pinellas County real estate March 25, and the news is good.
January was “sluggish,” which is typical of the market for the past four years, according to PRO’s February report.
“Historically, January 2015, was a good month for Realtors in Pinellas County, but this year’s February was spectacular,” PRO said. “Year-over-year, closed sales and cash sales saw a jump of 26 percent and 19 percent respectively. Those increases show things are good and people are taking notice.”