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Pinellas County
The mission of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is to serve and protect, 24/7, 365 days a year.

But during the holidays, it takes on a bigger role, one that goes to the heart of the community.

Ride & Run with the Stars celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. Since the event’s inception in 1995, $500,000 has been raised to help thousands of children and their families through the Sheriff’s Christmas Sharing Project.

The money goes to purchase items - food, clothing and toys - that are delivered to the families by community policing deputies.

“It makes it more personal,” said Cristen Smith with the Sheriff’s Public Information Office.

This year’s big event is Saturday, Dec. 6, at Fort De Soto Park. Registration is $35 per person and includes a long-sleeved T-shirt, food and giveaways.

Register online at www.rideandrunwiththestars.com or at the event, beginning at 7 a.m.

Activities include a 25-mile bike ride, 10K Family Ride, 5K Chipped Run, 1-mile Family Fun Walk, silent auction, the Everest Challenge 25-foot climbing wall and a visit from Santa.
 ... Read More 
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CLEARWATER - Pinellas County has released a new and improved mobile app, called Doing Things for You! The app makes it easier for smartphone users to communicate with county staff.

The county introduced its first app, See Click Fix in January 2012. Its purpose was to simplify reporting of local infrastructure needs. The online tool allows residents to report and track non-emergency problems, such as potholes, illegal dumping, mistimed traffic signals and other issues.
 ... Read More 
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Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources maintenance crews recently installed new markers along the Pinellas Trail for trail users needing emergency assistance.

Nearly 700 markers are being affixed to the pavement at 200 to 300 foot intervals along the Pinellas Trail from downtown St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. Each marker has a unique, easily readable number which trail users can give to a 911 operator in case of an emergency to identify their exact location along the 47-mile trail, allowing for faster response times.
 ... Read More 
The deadline has been extended to Dec. 5 to apply for openings on the county’s Value Adjustment Board, Unified Personnel Board and Board of Directors of the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County.

The Value Adjustment Board position is a one-year citizen volunteer appointment. The Board serves as the decision-making authority when there is disagreement between a property owner and the Property Appraiser concerning exemptions, valuations and classifications.

The Value Adjustment Board meets a minimum of three times per year, scheduled as needed. The applicant should have homesteaded property in Pinellas County and cannot be a member or an employee of any taxing authority, and cannot be a person who represents property owners in any administrative or judicial review of property taxes.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Tampa Bay Water’s 15.5-billion gallon regional reservoir is operating again at full capacity.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection approved the permit for Tampa Bay Water Nov. 5 to fill the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir to capacity and use the stored water as needed.

“We’re pleased that the renovation was completed on schedule,” said Matt Jordan, general manager for Tampa Bay Water. “Having our water savings account back in service makes the region’s water supply more reliable and drought-resistant.”
 ... Read More 
Congressman David Jolly has been named to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, which oversees the entire federal discretionary budget.

“I am honored and humbled to be named to the Committee on Appropriations,” Jolly said. “It is the ultimate watchdog committee, scrutinizing virtually every federal program, identifying and eliminating duplicative federal services and areas of waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Jolly is one of only four Members of Congress added to the Appropriations Committee. Appointments will be made official in January.
 ... Read More 
Friday, November 21
ST. PETERSBURG - Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating an early morning fire at a residence in Lealman.

According to a report from the sheriff’s office, deputies and Lealman Fire personnel responded to the home at 3715 57th Ave. N. in unincorporated St. Petersburg about 4:25 a.m. Nov. 21.

According to investigators, a neighbor observed sparking and glowing on the east side of the residence and immediately started knocking on the door and woke the residents. Deputies said the five people inside the residence were able to exit safely. One person was treated for smoke inhalation and released at the scene. The two dogs and two cats inside the home also exited safely.
 ... Read More 
Pinellas County’s unemployment is continuing a downward trend, according to the report released Nov. 21 by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The county reported not seasonally adjusted unemployment of 5.7 percent in October, down from 5.8 percent in September and 6.5 percent in October 2013.

The county’s labor force also declined, going from 455,112 in September to 452,499 in October. Still, 25,732 were reportedly without jobs last month.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, November 20
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CLEARWATER - More than 3,000 children are in foster care each day in Pinellas and Pasco counties, with around 100 available for adoption.

The search for a forever family is finally over for some of those kids, who were adopted on Pinellas County’s 11th annual Adoption Day celebration on Nov. 14 in the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater.

One day a year, the courts open their doors and allow the public and media to witness the finalization of adoptions in order to bring awareness to the public about the happy and important subject of adoption.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Back by popular demand, the Pinellas County Tax Collector announces the expansion of its express drop off and drive-thru tax payment service, which runs Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following offices:

- South County (drop off service), 1800 66th St. N., St. Petersburg

- Gulf to Bay (drop off service), 1663 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater

- Mid County (drive-thru service), 13025 Starkey Road, Largo
 ... Read More 
Pinellas County residents can learn about their home’s flood status and more with the new online Flood Map Service Center.

By allowing the page to access their location or entering their address, citizens will see floodplain boundaries and elevations for their home as well as other information typically included on a flood insurance rate map. In addition, users can find county-specific information including parcel boundaries and hurricane evacuation levels.

The Pinellas County Flood Map Service Center is available through the county’s Floodplain Management Web page, at www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/floodplain.htm.

The page is linked directly to data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is updated through a live database connection.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News