Lots of folks are making plans to celebrate the upcoming three-day weekend, but don’t forget that Memorial Day is a special holiday. It is a time to remember the men and women who died in service to our country.
Memorial Day started as Decoration Day on May 5, 1868 - three years after the end of the Civil War. It was a day when people decorated the graves of people who died in that war. In 1971, an act of Congress made Memorial Day a National holiday and a time to honor military personnel who have died in all American wars.
One of the biggest local tributes happens at Bay Pines National Cemetery, 10,000 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg. This year’s ceremony is Monday, May 30, 10 a.m. More than 3,000 are expected to attend this year’s event.
The method of water treatment for Pinellas County and its wholesale customers will be temporarily modified between Tuesday, May 31, and Monday, June 20. The first of two short-term changes from chloramine to chlorine disinfection in 2016 is a routine maintenance measure designed to optimize water quality.
Those impacted include Pinellas County water customers as well as customers in the cities of Clearwater, Pinellas Park and Safety Harbor.
This disinfection program is designed to maintain distribution system water quality and minimize the potential for any future problems. There have been no indications of significant bacteriological contamination problems in the system. The water will continue to meet federal and state standards for safe drinking water.
LARGO - Pinellas County is offering free hazardous waste training for the healthcare industry on Wednesday, June 1, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, at Gus A. Stavros Institute, Achieva Conference Room, located at 12090 Starkey Road in Largo.
The training is designed to provide a general overview of hazardous, biomedical and other waste management practices specific to the healthcare industry. Topics include:
- Differentiation between hazardous vs. biomedical vs. non-regulated waste
CLEARWATER - Sen. Jack Latvala received Drug Free America Foundation’s 2016 Moxie Award May 18 for his work in protecting children and families from the harmful consequences of drugs.
The Moxie Award is given to people who work to keep drugs out of the hands of youth.
“I’m honored to receive the 2016 Moxie Award, but more importantly I’m glad to play even a small role in keeping today’s youth from being exposed to the negative impact that drugs cause in a person’s life,” Latvala said in a media release. “Drugs have destroyed not only individuals but families all across our country and we have a responsibility to keep them out of the hands of our children.”
LARGO - More than 120 members were recognized during the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office annual awards Thursday, May 19, at the city of Seminole Recreation Auditorium, 9100 113th St. N.
The Jackie Clement Award, for outstanding performance by a support staff member in the Child Protection Investigations Division, went to office assistant Carol Jagde. She was selected for her commitment to excellence and because she is one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable employees in the Case Assignment Unit.
ST. PETERSBURG - A homeless family moved into a newly-renovated rental property May 21 as the result of a successful partnership between Florida Dream Center and Pinellas County Human Services.
The newly-renovated home is at 2000 43rd St. S in St. Petersburg. Human Services identified an eligible homeless family to move into the home, Wells Fargo Bank donated the foreclosed property to Florida Dream Center. Teams of Florida Dream Center volunteers remodeled the home with the help of donations from a number of local companies.
The Florida Dream Center is a Clearwater-based nonprofit organization providing a broad array of human services in the community. Their services include: helping the homeless, revitalizing neighborhoods through its Adopt-A-Block program, ministering to those who are imprisoned, assisting survivors of human trafficking, feeding the hungry and collaborating with other service providers to achieve those goals.
Pinellas County is conducting economic, demographic and market analyses on the U.S. 19 corridor from Curlew Road to just north of East Klosterman Road.
This study will help access the need for future action plans to address transportation, land use, economic and community-identified issues and opportunities in this portion of unincorporated Pinellas County.
The Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization and Pinellas Planning Council, together as Forward Pinellas, will coordinate efforts with the Pinellas County Planning Department to engage the public and establish compatible land use and transportation goals and objectives.
CLEARWATER - Unlike last year, Pinellas County Commissioners seem more confident about its local arts agency, offering lots of positive feedback during a May 17 budget information session.
But they stopped short of greenlighting the increased budget request for fiscal year 2017 presented by Creative Pinellas Executive Director Barbara St. Clair. This year, the agency received $200,000 in combined money from the general fund and tourist development tax. For next year, the budget request is more than double at $476,670.
Pinellas County’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continued to decline in April, dropping to 4 percent compared to 4.2 percent in March and 4.7 percent in April 2015, according to the May 20 report from the state Department of Economic Opportunity.
The April unemployment rate for the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area was 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent in March and 5 percent in April 2015.
The state reported an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in April. The U.S. rate was slightly higher at 4.7 percent.
CLEARWATER - Five years of budget cuts made necessary by the Great Recession have taken a toll on the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The target amount provided by the county’s Office of Management and Budget for next year isn’t enough to fund the need.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri provided a detailed look at his proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 during a May 17 meeting. His budget target from OMB was nearly $270.85 million. But, the sheriff says he needs $278.1 million - a difference of about $7.25 million.