DUNEDIN - When Katie Ducharme was 6 years old, her mother arranged for her to sing the Star Spangled Banner at a college basketball game in her hometown of Detroit. Today, more than 20 years later, Ducharme is still singing the same song.
She’s performed the national anthem at Detroit Tigers baseball games, Detroit Red Wings hockey games and Detroit Pistons basketball games. She’s sung at the White House, Dave Coulier’s “Full House” Celebrity Golf Classic and in a Kenny Rogers Christmas Show. Locally, she’s done live performances for the Tampa Bay Rays, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Clearwater Threshers. But it was her experience singing both the Star Spangled Banner and the Canadian National Anthem at every home game for the Detroit Plymouth Whalers hockey team for more than 10 years that attracted the Toronto Blue Jays.
“I sing the Canadian and American national anthems, and the Blue Jays knew that when I talked to them,” Ducharme said. “And I think I can bring a hometown feel.”
DUNEDIN - A Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy and K-9 are doing OK after suffering injuries while responding to a burglary in progress Friday morning.
Deputies arrested the man and changed him with battery against a police dog and battery on a law enforcement officer.
According to the sheriff’s report, deputies responded to a burglary in progress call at Countryside Manor, 1275 Belcher Road in Dunedin, about 10:28 a.m. Feb. 28 after it was reported that a male suspect was seen breaking in through a window.
DUNEDIN - Dunedin has long valued nature, the environment and preserving its natural resources. Even as the city continues to reach green goals and achievements, it always strives to do even more. Recently, Dunedin became the first city in Florida to become a Certified Platinum Florida Green City by the Florida Green Building Coalition.
The city hired its first sustainability coordinator, Valerie Brown, in 2007, and she set out to apply for Dunedin’s first Green City certification. At that time, the city achieved Silver Certification status. Then in 2011, she submitted an upgrade for the city’s certification, which brought Dunedin up to Gold status.
DUNEDIN - For a few years, the Dunedin City Commission has struggled between the good intentions of the Parkland Dedication part of the Land Development Ordinance and the unintended consequences that it has on bringing desired businesses to downtown. So on Feb. 20, the commission unanimously approved the first hearing of an ordinance to amend this requirement. The second reading is set for Thursday, March 6.
A memo to the commission from City Manager Rob DiSpirito gave some background on this issue.
“While the LDO (land development ordinance) has positively impacted the landscape of Dunedin by helping to create unique parks, the changing financial and development climate led the city commission at its retreat in April 2013 to unanimously direct staff to explore ways to adjust the LDO in order to foster development, while not compromising the LDO’s ability to generate funds for parks,” the memo said.
DUNEDIN - The Waterfront Task Force presented its report to the Dunedin City Commission on Feb. 20 and numerous suggestions for improvements of the Dunedin Marina.
The main suggestions were to construct a breakwater, replenish sand and eliminate riprap, expand the fishing and viewing pier, accommodate a water taxi, add day slips, and expand the dinghy dock to encourage visitors.
The marina consists of Edgewater Park, a single boat launch, wet slips for 180 boats, the Dock Master, restaurant and fish market, Peninsula Sunset Park, Marina Beach, the Boat Club building, and pram shed. Furthermore, there are numerous programs that use the area, including the Dunedin Boat Club, Windlasses, Sail ability, Dunedin Youth Sailing Association, Sea Scouts, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Streets closed for Highland Games March DUNEDIN - The Dunedin City Commission on Feb. 20 unanimously approved road closures for the Dunedin Highland Games March on Friday, April 4, 4 to 8 p.m. to accommodate setup and breakdown of traffic barricades and signage on several streets.
This is the 48th year of the games, and the Dunedin Highland Games & Festival Committee wanted to let the citizens of the city enjoy what a celebrated event it has become by bringing a march through the downtown area the night before the games begin, according to a memo to the commission from City Manager Rob DiSpirito. Participants of the march would include the pipe bands, athletes, dancers and Clan Members, as well as other dignitaries in full dress regalia.
The march is from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and roads closed will be Douglas Avenue from south of the public parking lot to Scotland Street; Virginia Lane from Douglas Avenue to Main Street; Monroe Street from the Pinellas Trail lot to Douglas Avenue; Highland Avenue from Grant Street to Scotland Street; Louden Avenue from Main Street to Wood Street; Virginia Street from Highland Avenue to Louden Avenue; and Grant Street from Douglas Avenue to Highland Avenue.
DUNEDIN - Mayor Dave Eggers, 56, said Feb. 25 that he has filed paperwork to become a candidate for Pinellas County Commission, District 4.
Eggers, a Republican, joins 10 other candidates that have announced they are making a bid for the seat currently held by Commissioner Susan Latvala, who announced Jan. 28 that she is not seeking re-election in November.
A lot of reasons people run for a county commission seat are the same as those they have for running for city offices, Eggers said, noting that he has served for about 12 years as commissioner or mayor in Dunedin.
DUNEDIN - City Commissioner Ron Barnette will not seek re-relection in November, saying that his decision comes after “much thoughtful reflection” in the past year.
First elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2011, Barnette has served on the Dunedin City Commission for almost six years.
“Holding political office for its own sake is not my goal. It is a treasured, but finite opportunity to serve one’s community, and then make way for others to do the same. It is not a right, but a privilege, and I encourage others to come forward and to get involved in the governance of our city,” he wrote in a letter.
DUNEDIN - Dunedin City commissioners Feb. 6 embraced a plan for mass transit in Pinellas County that’s expected to improve bus service substantially in the city.
The commission voted 5-0 to approve a resolution endorsing the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s Greenlight Pinellas Plan.
A countywide referendum is slated for Nov. 4 on a proposed of a 1 percent sales tax to pay for public transit uses, including expanded bus service, bus rapid transit, and local passenger rail service. If approved, the county would discontinue the PSTA property tax levy, about three-quarters of a mill, which currently pays for countywide transit services.