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April 21 issue

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A fantaSEA on Clearwater Beach
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Photo by LOGAN MOSBY
The fifth annual Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival will conclude its 10-day run this weekend on Clearwater Beach. This year’s theme, “Sugar Sand FantaSEA: A Magical Adventure Above and Below the Sea,” celebrates everything that’s enchanting, mythical and otherworldly down below.
CLEARWATER - After weeks of public and private discussions, widespread resident outcry and an enigmatic courting effort by the Church of Scientology, members of the Clearwater City Council finally put to an end the campaign for control over a downtown parcel of land identified as vital to the future growth of the city.

The council voted 5-0 on April 20 to move forward with the $4.25 million purchase of a 1.4-acre parcel of land adjacent to City Hall, which now gives the city a contiguous tract of 2.1 acres of property along the north and south sides of Pierce Street between Osceola Avenue and the waterfront.

The unanimous decision effectively blocked the Church of Scientology’s bid for the coveted property, currently owned by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and cut short the Church’s hopes to develop the parcel into a swimming pool and playground area for guests of its adjacent hotel, The Oak Cove.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, April 20
CLEARWATER - City economic development leaders made one last pitch to their bosses for the purchase of a parcel of property they’ve identified as vital to the activation and future growth of downtown Clearwater.

Clearwater city council members were presented with a number of reasons why moving forward with the purchase of a 1.4-acre parcel of land located adjacent to City Hall would be in the best interest of the city as it sets the stage for a $55 million redevelopment plan for its underutilized downtown waterfront area.

The property, located at 301 Pierce St., was purchased by Clearwater Marine Aquarium a number of years ago in anticipation of building a new aquarium in downtown Clearwater. CMA, instead, decided to renovate its current facility on Island Estates and put the property on the market.
 ... Read More 
A Cincinnati-based transportation firm has filed a federal lawsuit against the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority following a decision by the PSTA to award a trolley contract to a local provider.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, comes two months after the PSTA board of directors went against its own staff recommendation on Feb. 22 when it unanimously voted to extend its contract with local transportation provider, the Jolley Trolley, to provide transportation services in Clearwater and Dunedin.

The Jolley Trolley, a Clearwater-based nonprofit, was at risk of losing its contract with the PSTA - which accounts for approximately 75 percent of its business - when members of the PSTA financial committee unanimously recommended a Cincinnati-based firm, First Transit, following a proposal process that saw both organizations neck and neck with one another, with First Transit eking out a small numerical lead.
 ... Read More 
Jeanne Lenore Laurine, formerly of Weirton, West Virginia, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2017, in Houston, Texas at the age of 84.

She was born to the late Lucian and Anita Laurine on July 20, 1932.

Jeanne Lenore and her family relocated to various locations before she traveled to and fell in love with Clearwater Beach, Florida, and made it her home for nearly 35 years. She made many good friends who loved her sense of humor and very quick wit.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, April 13
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CLEARWATER - They say you can’t go home again, but Shawn Williams is proving that old adage to be untrue.

Williams, son of former Major League manager Jimy Williams, played high school baseball at Clearwater Central Catholic and spent seven years in several Major League Baseball organizations before going into coaching in 2012, and he has returned home this year to coach the Clearwater Threshers, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Single-A Florida State League affiliate.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Amid growing concerns over the purchase of a parcel of land adjacent to City Hall, residents, business owners and Scientologists urged city leaders to look past any religious bias they might feel and focus on the redevelopment of downtown Clearwater.

It was a sentiment shared by the majority of residents who spoke during a regular meeting of the Clearwater City Council on April 6 at City Hall.

The property, located at 301 Pierce St., is 1.4 acres and is atop the Clearwater bluff. The property was purchased by Clearwater Marine Aquarium a number of years ago in anticipation of building a new aquarium in downtown Clearwater. CMA, instead, decided to renovate its current facility on Island Estates and put the property on the market.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Local public safety officers will don gloves and batter up Saturday for some good-natured rivalry - all for a good cause.

The 14th annual Charity Softball Challenge will kick off at 3:30 p.m. at Spectrum Field in Clearwater.

Public safety officers and dispatchers with the Clearwater Police Department will face off against officers with the Largo Police Department and Pinellas County State Attorney Office. The game will be followed by a matchup between the Clearwater Threshers and the Palm Beach Cardinals at 6:15 p.m.
 ... Read More 
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CLEARWATER - Quincy, the accelerant detection dog for Clearwater Fire & Rescue, is in the running for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards.

Voting continues through May 3. Eight four-legged finalists and their two-legged companions will be flown to Hollywood for an awards show to be telecast live in the fall on the Hallmark Channel.

Quincy was a 4-month-old Labrador mix when Assistant Fire Marshal Ron Neuberger, who quickly noticed he always wanted to smell and look for things, adopted him from Pet Pal Animal Rescue. He is now almost 9 years old and has helped investigate hundreds of fires and has assisted in the conviction of more than 100 people.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Clearwater Chorus Singers, an auditioned group from the Clearwater Chorus at Ruth Eckerd Hall, will be traveling to New York City to sing at the legendary Carnegie Hall in June.

Manhattan Concert Productions, the presenting organization, specifically chose the chorus to participate in this unique event. The Clearwater Chorus Singers and other select choirs from across the country will come together for a weekend of musicianship and education, culminating in a performance of Duruflé Requiem with the New York City Chamber Orchestra under the baton of guest conductor Karen Kennedy on Monday, June 19 at 8 p.m.

With more than 40 years of tradition, the Clearwater Chorus, the official adult chorus of Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts for more than 11 years, receives partial funding from the city of Clearwater. The Clearwater Chorus Singers is an auditioned group of singers from the Clearwater Chorus under the direction of Conductor Yohance Wicks.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, April 6
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CLEARWATER - The 2017 spring training season was extended due to the World Baseball Classic, but baseball fans and visitors to the greater Clearwater area didn’t seem to mind.

For five weeks in March, newly christened Spectrum Field was routinely packed with patrons rooting on the home team, the Philadelphia Phillies, or their opponents, and the Grapefruit League finale against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, March 31, was no different.

On an unseasonably warm Friday afternoon, the Phillies and Rays played a thrilling 7-7 tie, and before the players and coaches boarded the buses waiting to take them to the airport for the next flight to Philly, fans basked in their enjoyment of the final nine innings of the spring.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - City of Clearwater leaders moved forward with the final phase of the Cleveland Streetscape Project during a workshop on April 3 at City Hall.

Council members approved a work order from Bellomo Herbert and Company Inc. in the amount of $217,520 as the project enters into its third and final stage.

The final stage of the Cleveland Streetscape project will extend from Missouri Avenue to San Remo Avenue to the east, and will include Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, from its intersection with Cleveland Street up to the downtown gateway at Court Street.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - The city of Clearwater is seeking volunteers for upcoming events, including the following:

- 2017 Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, April 14-23

The city is in need of 450 volunteers to act as sand ambassadors, who will help in staging, exhibit area, merchandise area, sand sculpting and giant sandbox area, VIP and entertainment. Visit sugar­sandf­estiv­al.co­m and click on the volunteer link at the top of the page.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Double R Restaurant Group, a franchise partner of the southern-inspired concept Another Broken Egg Cafe, continued its Tampa Bay expansion with the opening of a new location in Clearwater Beach on April 3.

This award-winning daytime cafe ranks among the fastest growing breakfast and brunch concepts in the nation.

Open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, the newest Another Broken Egg Cafe is at 470 Poinsettia Ave. in Clearwater Beach.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - Prime-Scape Services recently announced important changes within the company.

Tim Lockhart became the majority owner of Ameri-Pride Inc. in 2016, and in January 2017, Lockhart became the sole owner of the company as part of the fulfillment of their five-year strategic plan.

“Customers were continuously expressing the need for high quality integrated services, so we made the decision to change our name to Prime-Scape Services to better align our new name with our clients’ service expectations along with our company’s commitment to achieve best-in-kind quality standards for our industry,” Lockhart said in a press release. “Certainly, we strive to be prime in everything that we do.”
 ... Read More 
Thursday, March 30
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CLEARWATER - Armed with brushes, ladders, buckets of paint and the will to make a difference in their community, more than 400 volunteers took the day to help their neighbors in need.

The 25th annual Paint Your Heart Out outreach program kicked off at 8 a.m. on March 25 and less than six hours later more than 10 homes sparkled with a fresh coat of paint courtesy of the city of Clearwater and a contingent of business and community donations.

For a quarter of a century, Paint Your Heart Out has helped low-income and disadvantaged homeowners make their homes bright and beautiful.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - The city of Clearwater is wasting no time as leaders move forward with the implementation of the recently adopted downtown waterfront master plan that will dramatically redevelop an area of the city identified as a vastly underutilized asset.

City leaders formerly adopted the plan during a regular meeting of the Clearwater City Council March 14 at city hall.

The 10-year, $55 million revitalization plan that includes a variety of strategies that would help develop the waterfront to its full potential.
 ... Read More 
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Send news to editor Logan Mosby
E-mail news to lmosby@tbnweekly.com.
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