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Clearwater Beacon
The Sena Ehrhardt band performs Saturday afternoon during the ninth annual Sea-Blues Festival Feb. 21-22 at Coachman Park.
CLEARWATER - City council members were given an update on the state of Hispanic affairs in Clearwater during a regular meeting Feb. 19 at city hall.

Sandra Lyth, CEO of the InterCultural Advocacy Institute, and Robin Gomez, city auditor and Hispanic-Latino liaison with the city of Clearwater, gave a presentation detailing the growth of the Hispanic population in Clearwater and some of the challenges and developments it has faced and continues to face each day.

“The present is not dissimilar from the past,” Lyth said. “But our future is very different from where we have been.”
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, Civil Air Patrol Clearwater Composite Squadron, dignitaries from MacDill AFB and representatives from Florida Federation of Garden Clubs will join Alice L. Jarvis, president of Clearwater Garden Club, on Sunday, March 1, 2 p.m., for the dedication of the newly refurbished Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker on the Clearwater Memorial Causeway.

Ceremony events will include the presentation of a wreath, unveiling of the refurbished marker, patriotic singing led by a member of Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and the presentation of the colors by the youth members of CAPCCS. Mayor Cretekos will speak as will an official from MacDill.

The Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker Project of NGC was established 65 years ago to honor and memorialize men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. For information about the program, visit www.gardenclub.org.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, February 19
CLEARWATER - Florida Citrus Country, a family-owned and operated citrus business, recently made the move back home to Clearwater.

Orange Blossom Groves, the former name of Florida Citrus Country, originated in Clearwater in 1946.

Florida Citrus Country, a local favorite, is now located at 301 S. Belcher Road. Dempsey Lee and his wife, Tina, took over the old Orange Blossom Groves in 2011, after Mr. Repetto, the Orange Blossom Grove’s previous owner, requested the Lee family be his successor. The name was then changed to Florida Citrus Country.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - The RADCO Companies, real estate developers, recently closed on its first acquisition of 2015.

The 228-unit Bay Park Apartments in Clearwater was purchased for $29.6 million. The luxury apartment community is strategically located near the intersection of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and U.S. 19. RADCO financed the acquisition with a mixture of Freddie Mac financing obtained through Walker & Dunlop and private capital. Since August 2011, the company has raised more than $218 million of private capital to fund its purchases.

The Class B+ property features nine three-story buildings across 15.6 acres. Bay Park includes 24 studios, 48 one-bedroom units, 120 two-bedrooms and 36 three-bedroom apartments, with an average unit size of 1,010 square feet. The community also offers a pool, putting green, dog park, centrally located lake and lighted tennis courts. Bay Park’s leasing center features office space, meeting rooms, an exercise facility and movie theater.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan recently finalized the purchase of PODS, a leader in the moving and storage category.

The transaction value is in excess of $1 billion.

The acquisition was led by Teachers’ Long-Term Equities group, which focuses on direct investments with steady cash flow, growth potential over a long-term horizon and a low to moderate level of risk.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, February 18
CLEARWATER - Only minor injuries were reported after a tractor-trailer veered out of control, crashing into a concrete barrier, and exploding just after 6 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18 on U.S. 19 near Harn Boulevard in Clearwater.

The driver had been traveling northbound when he veered and slammed into the barrier wall. The impact knocked the truck on to the top of the wall, where the cab burst into flames, according to a report from Clearwater police.
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, February 17
CLEARWATER - A New Port Richey man is facing allegations of unlawful sexual activity with a 16-year-old.

James Millard Knuckles, 44, a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps instructor at Clearwater High School, has been charged with two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a female minor following an investigation by the Clearwater Police Department, officials said. He was arrested on Feb. 13.

According to police, Knuckles met the minor through the JROTC program, where he was an instructor. It is believed that the two had sexual contact for an extended time, police said.
 ... Read More 
Friday, February 13
CLEARWATER - Friday the 13th turned out lucky for two residents of a home on Pine Street in Clearwater.

Although, their home was damaged neither were injured when a vehicle plowed into the house.

Clearwater police received a call about the crash about 12:45 p.m. The unidentified residents told officers that the car had been abandoned by the time they made it outside to check to see who was driving.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, February 12
CLEARWATER - A Clearwater Police crossing guard killed in the line of duty last year was honored during the regular meeting of the Clearwater City Council on Feb. 5.

Doug Carey was posthumously awarded the 2014 Florida Crossing Guard of the Year Award For Bravery and Outstanding Service. His widow, Jean, along with his daughter and grandson, attended the meeting to accept the award on his behalf from representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation. 

Carey, a retired Clearwater police officer, was killed May 20, 2014, when he was struck by a car that had run a red light at Belcher Road and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard.
 ... Read More 
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Community Calender
• Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
5K run/walk fundraiser
CLEARWATER – The Willa Carson Health and Resource Center will host its seventh annual 5K run/walk on Saturday, Feb. 28, 7 to 11:30 a.m., just south of Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater.

Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to attend the race which is being hosted to raise funds to benefit the Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is the presenting sponsor of the race. In previous years, the Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center 5K boasted more than 100 runners and walkers.

Plaques will be awarded to overall male and female winners in the 5K and 1-mile run. Registration will begin at 6 a.m., with the run beginning first at 7 a.m. and the walk beginning at 8 a.m. The cost to preregister is for the 5K is $25; the entry fee for the 1-mile walk/run is $10.

Participants should make checks payable to Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center and may bring or mail pre-registration entries to Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center, 1108 N. Martin Luther King Ave., Clearwater, FL 33755.
 ... Read More 
Adult Prom
LARGO – The second annual Adult Prom will be Saturday, Feb. 28, 7 to 10 p.m., at the Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road

The cost is $25 per couple or $15 for individuals. Travel to romantic Paris for a magical evening complete with live music, dancing, light hors d’oeuvres, assorted desserts, individual and group photos and the crowning of the King and Queen. A cash bar will be available.

For more information, visit LargoCommunityCenter.com or call 518-3131.
 ... Read More 
American Legion cookout
SEMINOLE – American Legion Post 252, 11433 Park Blvd., holds a cookout every Saturday and Sunday at the Tiki Bar from 1 to 5 p.m.

Breakfast is held the first Sunday of every month from 8 to 11 a.m. and the monthly spaghetti dinner is held the first Tuesday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m.  

The dining room is open to the public. Legion membership is required to purchase alcohol.  

For more information, call 391-6324.
 ... Read More 
Bluegrass concert
PALM HARBOR – Palm Harbor Museum, 2043 Curlew Road, continues its fourth Saturday concert series Feb. 28, 1 to 3 p.m., with the acoustic sound of Bill Monroe and the Kentucky Blue Grass Boys.

Admission is free. Other concerts will be held March 28 and April 25. For more information, call 724-3054 or 315-292-2599.
 ... Read More 
Celebrate the Quilt – Explore the Art VIII
SEMINOLE – Three quilt guilds have joined together to present the largest quilt show in Pinellas County, Celebrate the Quilt – Explore the Art VIII, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27 and 28, at the Holland G. Mangum Recreational Complex, 9100 113th St. N.

The show hours are Friday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The grand opening of the event will feature Saint Andrews Pipes and Drums of Tampa Bay performing outside the facility on Friday at 9:45 a.m.

The participating quilt guilds are the Largo Cracker Quilters in Largo, Hidden Stitches in Seminole and Procrastinating Quilters in Clearwater.

There will be 300 art, contemporary, traditional and modern quilts shown as well as many vendors, a traveling Hoffman Challenge quilt collection, a boutique and 100 beautiful filled baskets that will be raffled as part of a Chinese auction. Three quilts will be given away in an opportunity drawing to support charities in the community.

Participants will be able to get their quilts appraised and view demonstrations. A café will be on site and there is plenty of free parking. For more information, call 595-8837.
 ... Read More 
Corks, Forks & Crafts Brews
TARPON SPRINGS – The Tarpon Springs Rotary Club will host the fourth annual Corks, Forks & Crafts Brews Festival at the Historic Train Depot on Feb. 28.

The event will include wine, craft beer, appetizers, desserts and two auctions – a Treasures & Trinkets auction and a silent auction.

The event will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot, 160 E. Tarpon Ave. Tickets are $20 each; all proceeds will support local projects, including Cops ’n Kids and the Tarpon Springs Football Club. Tickets can be purchased from a Tarpon Springs Rotarian or at the door before the event.

For more information, call Dennis Garvey at 935-5352 or email him at denniskat@msn.com.
 ... Read More 
Dunedin Fire Department fundraiser
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin Fire Department is hosting a fundraiser on Honeymoon Island State Park Saturday, Feb. 28, 4-7 p.m., to equip its new Fire/Rescue/EMS boat.

The ticket price is $25 and includes park admission, live entertainment, food, and two drinks, including beer or wine.

Cafe Honeymoon will be roasting pigs and preparing side dishes. The High Surf Band will be playing beach music and you can dance in the sand while enjoying a beautiful sunset.

Contact Trip or Michelle at Dunedin Fire Administration for tickets or questions at 298-3102.
 ... Read More 
EVOS blood drive
ST. PETERSBURG – February is American Heart Month and EVOS restaurants are teaming up with OneBlood to host an EVOS Keeps You Heart Happy blood drive Saturday, Feb. 28, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at select EVOS restaurant locations, including the one at 2631 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg.

Donors get a free meal offer from EVOS, plus a limited edition T-shirt. In addition, blood donors will receive a wellness checkup of blood pressure, pulse, temperature, iron count and a cholesterol screening. Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood.

For information, visit oneblood.org.
 ... Read More 
Florida-Friendly Landscaping class
ST. PETERSBURG – Doris Heitzmann, Florida-Friendly Landscaping community outreach coordinator, will present a free class on Saturday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE.

The class will focus on easy home landscaping practices that can have a positive effect on local water bodies. Participants will learn how actions in their landscape can affect the water bodies both near and far.

This class is intended for an adult audience but all ages are welcome. Registration is requested. Call 453-6500 or visit www.weedonislandpreserve.org.
 ... Read More 
Garage sale fundraiser
INDIAN SHORES – A garage sale to raise funds for a team of bicycle riders that will participate in the 2015 Bike MS Citrus Tour is Saturday, Feb. 28, 8 a.m. to noon, in the parking lot of the Indian Shores Municipal Center. Items for sale include furniture, lamps, household goods and clothing.

Participants in Bike MS: The Citrus Tour are required to raise money or receive donations for Multiple Sclerosis Society. The event takes place May 2-3 when teams will ride from Fantasy of Flight in Polk City to the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando and return the following day. The event goal is to raise $850,000 for Multiple Sclerosis.
 ... Read More 
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