Everyone’s invited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Pinellas Trail Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. at John Taylor Park, where the trail opened Dec. 1, 1990 with a six-mile segment connecting to Seminole Park.
Today, Pinellas Trail is a 47-mile long linear park extending from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. Officials estimate that more than 90,000 residents and guests use the multi-modal transportation facility each month.
CLEARWATER - Allegiant announced Nov. 19 two new, nonstop flights to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, beginning April 13, 2016 from Flint, Michigan and beginning April 15, 2016 from Dayton, Ohio.
The new flights will operate twice weekly and expand on the service Allegiant currently operates to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, call letters PIE. Focusing on leisure travelers, the new flights will bring nearly 37,000 additional visitors each year to the St. Pete-Clearwater area. Flight days, times and fares can be at Allegiant.com.
“We are pleased that Allegiant continues to see growth opportunities at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport by adding our 48th and 49th non-stop destinations,” said Airport Director Tom Jewsbury. “With this new low-fare, air service from Dayton, Ohio and Flint, Michigan, visitors and residents of the Tampa Bay area will have a convenient way to travel to their respective destinations.”
Pinellas County’s unemployment rate continues on a downward trend, according to the Nov. 20 report from the state Department of Economic Opportunity.
The county’s October not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, compared to 4.7 percent reported in September and 5.4 percent reported in October 2014. Pinellas’ unemployment is lower than the state and national rate.
Florida’s October rate was 5.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent in September and 5.8 percent in October 2014. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in October, down from 4.9 percent reported in September and 5.5 percent in October 2014.
LARGO - The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has received a $43,255 contract from the Florida Department of Transportation for a High Visibility Enforcement Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Project.
The purpose of the project is to educate and enforce safe pedestrian, bicyclist and driver behavior in designated hot spot areas in an effort to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
The project began Oct. 29 and runs through May 26, 2016.
Members from all areas of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office participated in the annual Great American Teach-In Nov. 18 at elementary and high schools countywide.
The Great American Teach-In is a day set aside for students of all ages to listen to volunteers from a variety of professions talk about their work, and about how education played a big role in their personal and professional success.
Eighty schools participated this year; and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office had over 100 members attending, representing all areas of the Sheriff's office, to include the K-9 Unit, Marine Unit, Community Policing, Forensics, Crime Prevention, Patrol, and Detention and Corrections.
ST. PETERSBURG - Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus operator Faysal Monzer has two priorities in his life - his job and his family.
“I’m happy that I can make my family proud,” Monzer said, when asked how he felt about earning PSTA’s highest honor - 2015 Driver of the Year.
In the 12 years Monzer has been at PSTA, he has received many awards and recognitions. Earlier in his career, he was presented the Driver of the Quarter award and has also received numerous safe driving pins.
CLEARWATER - For the thirteenth year, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, is partnering with Farm Share Inc. to distribute free fresh Florida produce to Pinellas County citizens on Friday, Nov. 20, at three locations.
The distribution in the Highpoint neighborhood is sponsored jointly with Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, who represents District 67 in the Florida House.
Scheduled from 9 to 10:30 a.m., the first distribution will take place at the Citizen’s Alliance for Progress agency, 401 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. in Tarpon Springs.
Pinellas County is conducting a survey to identify barriers to housing choice and is encouraging realtors, mortgage brokers, homeowner and condominium association managers and board members, members of community based advocacy groups and the general public to participate. The survey can be accessed online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/AIFairHousing.
Interested persons may also request a comment form for submission to the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights by calling 727-464-4880, or submit written comments by mail to Pinellas County Office of Human Rights; Attention: Impediments Survey, 400 S. Fort Harrison Ave., fifth floor, Clearwater, FL 33756.
CLEARWATER - The decision was unanimous, 6-0, Nov. 10. Employees who don’t get their pay as promised in Pinellas County can get help, starting Jan. 1.
Pinellas County Commissioners received nothing but support from the public as they discussed last minute changes to the Wage Theft and Recovery ordinance Tuesday morning. Commissioner Pat Gerard was absent.
The city of St. Petersburg already has a similar ordinance, as it used the same Miami-Dade model that county staff followed. One difference in Pinellas County’s is that local governments are not exempt. Municipalities can opt out. The ordinance does not apply to state and federal workers.
CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Commissioners said yes, 6-0, Nov. 10 to code amendments regarding irresponsible owners and animal bite incidents.
Commissioner Pat Gerard was absent.
The code changes apply countywide and allow staff to “assertively address” problem animals that do not meet the state’s classification of dangerous, according to a staff report. Approval of the amendments allows Animal Services to issue a citation to owners of an animal that severely injures or kills another animal, starting with the first occurrence. A second amendment addresses bite incidents. Irresponsible owners will be charged an extra $50 on their annual animal license.
Detectives assigned to the Sheriff’s Economic Crimes Unit will host various fraud awareness workshops to discuss the most common phone scams today; as well as provide tips on how to prevent becoming a victim.
Pinellas residents are invited to attend the presentations, which will be held at multiple locations across the county as part of Fraud Awareness Week, Nov. 16-20.
The workshops will be held on the following dates/times and at the following locations: