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July 2 issue

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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Local community beautification group Action 2000 installed a butterfly garden last month outside of city hall, planting a splash of colorful flowers that have become home for a variety of butterflies and pollinators.

“The garden was a joint project between the city of Indian Rocks Beach and nonprofit organization Action 2000,” said city manager Gregg Mims.

Action 2000 meets with the city every six months to discuss potential projects to improve the community. Past projects include the creation of free beach libraries as well as the addition of lighting to the yacht basin on Gulf Boulevard.
 ... Read More 
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The Rotary Club of IRB June 24 welcomed two exchange students from the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

The RYE program was started back in 1929, when the Rotary Club of Copenhagen, Denmark, initiated the first exchange. RYE has grown from that first exchange of one student to sending over 8,000 students from over 40 countries, in 2015.

Qualified RYE participants generally spend a school year (August-June) between their junior and senior high school years in another country chosen from a list of five countries submitted by the student. The RYE student must finance their trip and will live with one or more local Rotarian families in their host country. They will attend their senior year in a high school in their host country. They are expected to be able to communicate in the language of their host country both in and out of school. They are also expected to be a contributing member of their host family and do all those chores” that a teenage member of the host family might do. They are strongly encouraged to create and update a journal/blog of their ongoing experiences during their time away.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, June 24
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BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Instead of a football, Shelton Quarles picked up a hammer and a pair of gloves. The former NFL player helped to demolish the interior of an existing housing unit at Shepherd’s Village on June 19.

Over the next month and a half, the unit will undergo renovations before becoming the home for a single mother and her children.

In the past 23 years, Shepherd’s Village has been able to help 250 families and nearly 500 children. The housing facilities in Belleair Bluffs offer a safe, steady home for up to 15 families annually.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The city of Belleair Bluffs’ participation in the Federal Emergency Management Association’s Community Rating System will give residents a break on their flood insurance premiums.

The CRS program rates participating communities on their success in meeting FEMA requirements for various activities relating to flood control. These include public outreach, keeping certain documents as CD’s, website content and other activities.

This is the first year Belleair Bluffs has been rated in the program. The city signed up to participate last year, which gave residents an immediate 5 percent discount on their flood insurance policies.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR SHORE - This tiny upscale beachfront community of Belleair Shore led the beaches with the largest increase, 9.16 percent, in taxable property values last year.

One super-sized home, the mansion of Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, valued at around $9 million, was the main cause of the increase, figures released by Pinellas County Property Appraiser Pam Dubov show.

The impact on the total market value of the town’s homes is even more significant. That value increased by 40 percent, from $135 million to $190 million, by far the greatest increase for any of the county’s municipalities.
 ... Read More 
Friday, June 19
INDIAN SHORES - Better response times to emergencies is expected with the planned opening of Fire Station 26 at the town on Indian Shores Municipal Center Monday, June 22.

In conjunction with the re-establishment of Station 26 in Indian Shores, the district will have an opening ceremony Tuesday, July 7, 11:30 a.m. at the Municipal Center.

“It’s an exciting day. The crews are excited, and we are looking forward to getting the unit in service,” Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District Fire Chief Sal D’Angelo said June 16 at the district fire commissioners meeting.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, June 17
BELLEAIR BEACH - Heavy traffic, mostly from tourists headed to and from Clearwater Beach, has become a major issue in this quiet, mostly residential beach community.

Bumper-to-bumper tie-ups on Gulf Boulevard have become a common occurrence, especially during the winter and spring break tourist seasons. The in-season traffic jams often extend over the Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge and onto West Bay Drive through Belleair Bluffs and Largo.

Worsening traffic tie-ups along Gulf Boulevard, the only transportation route in and out of the city, caused the city council to ask Pinellas County’s Metropolitan Planning Authority to look into the situation and come up with some potential solutions.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR - Police Chief Bill Sohl says a recent armed robbery in Belleair is the most serious crime there has been in the community in quite a while.

Sohl told the city commissioners at their meeting June 16 that back on June 3 a 20-year-old woman was parked on the side of the road along the bluffs in the early evening.

“She was a young lady just sitting there enjoying the sunset,” he said. “She was playing games on her phone and texting her friends and minding her own business. Then a car pulled up behind her and stayed there for about ten minutes.”
 ... Read More 
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - It began as just a routine day at the beach but ended in near-tragedy and a woman looking for the person who saved her life.

Dorothy Rodriguez, 75, of The Villages was with her beach-going group on April 27. It was a dull day and the water was a bit rough. Most of her group stayed on the beach, but Rodriguez liked what she saw and went into the water.

“I went in by myself, I think there were only five other people in the water at the time,” she said. “It was pretty rough, but to me it was delightful. There were wonderful swells that you could jump in and enjoy. I’ve been in the water half my life; I’m very familiar with the water.”
 ... 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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