CLEARWATER - Molly, 8, of Largo lives with malignant neoplasm of the eye but recently embarked on a journey from Clearwater Marine Aquarium to San Diego Zoo courtesy of Make-A-Wish and the United Health Foundation.
According to Molly’s wish granters, she chose a San Diego Zoo wish because of her love for animals, specifically Australian animals - koala bears and kangaroos. Molly’s one specific request is to attend the Roar N’ Snore at the San Diego Zoo, which is an overnight camping experience inside the park with the animals. Finally, she would like to spend a day at the beach with her family surfing. Molly is traveling with her parents Ashley and Sean.
Employees from UnitedHealthcare hosted a send-off party for Molly April 13 at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where she was able to meet Winter the dolphin.
LARGO - Largo police arrested a 70-year-old man April 14 for sexual battery against a 13-year-old autistic girl.
A neighbor witnessed an elderly man kissing the girl and reported it, Largo police said. Officer Matthew Desjardins went to Largo Middle School to talk with the girl, who told him the man had touched her.
Two detectives were called in to help with the investigation. After the child told police more about what happened, she was given a sexual assault victim examination.
LARGO - The city of Largo became the first fire district to officially reject Pinellas County’s proposed budget cuts for EMS funding April 15.
During their meeting, Largo commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to initiate governmental conflict resolution procedures with Pinellas County government. The city cannot afford to lose what Largo Fire Chief Shelby Willis has estimated to be as high as $9 million in funding over the next 10 years if they accepted the county’s contract as written.
“There’s a lot of money at stake for the city,” City Attorney Alan Zimmet said. “We have a statutory right that’s being compromised. That’s a very important issue.”
LARGO - Pinellas Heights, a new 153-unit complex built for low-income seniors, is nearing completion.
The Pinellas County Housing Authority is waiting for the final inspections to be completed to obtain the certificate of occupancy for the building, hopefully this week, said its executive director Debra Johnson. The complex was built at 11411 Ulmerton Road in Largo, next door to the headquarters of the nonprofit.
LARGO - The city of Largo has increased the allowable number of watering days for its reclaimed water customers from two per week to three.
Due to an increase in reclaimed water availability, the Largo City Commission approved a pilot test program on April 1 to allow the three-day-per-week watering schedule for one year. At the end of the pilot year, reclaimed water availability will be reassessed to determine if the three-day schedule will continue.
Allowable watering days are determined by address. Addresses ending in even numbers now can water Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Addresses ending in odd numbers can now water Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
ST. PETERSBURG - A Largo man died at the scene of a one-vehicle crash about 9:25 a.m. Wednesday, April 16.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Jose Quinones, 35, was traveling southbound on I-275 when he exited onto the ramp to 118th Avenue. As he was traversing a right curve on the ramp, he lost control of his 2002 Ford Explorer and traveled onto the inside shoulder.
Troopers say he then overcorrected to the right, traveled back across the single-lane ramp and onto the grassy shoulder on the north side of the road. The vehicle overturned multiple times. Quinones, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected for the vehicle. He died at the scene.
LARGO - Six Largo residents were arrested in a year-old investigation targeting the Young Souljas street gang, according to Largo police.
The investigation began January 2013, in response to growing concerns of violence and drug trafficking associated with the Young Souljas. The investigation focused on the senior members of the organization, Largo police reported.
LARGO - After reviewing a favorable audit of the previous year’s finances April 8, Largo commissioners discussed the city’s major projects proposed for the next five years, projected to cost almost $130 million.
The projects include things like an upgrade to the city website but also delineates plans for the city to replace and maintain its infrastructure. Assistant City Manager Mike Staffopoulos explained that the city had begun to take a “holistic approach” to replacing and renovating its buildings, roads and utility structures.
“In the past, most of the time, we’ve done this on a reactive-type basis; we’ve waited until we see a problem emerge and we go out and we fix that problem,” he said.
Art show and fresh market
ST. PETE BEACH – The Suntan Art Center, 3300 Gulf Blvd., hosts a juried art show and fresh market each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission and parking is free. Call 367-3818 for details.
Corey Fresh Market
ST. PETE BEACH - Corey Fresh Market every Sunday October through May, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the 300 block of Corey Avenue in St. Pete Beach. Corey Fresh Market hosts an average of 50 local vendors, offering roduce, flowers/plants, arts/crafts, specialty foods, live music, special appearances. Free admission and parking. Visit www.coreyave.com or call 727-498-8778.
Purple Haze 420 outdoor party MADEIRA BEACH – Purple Haze Tobacco and Accessories plans a 420 customer appreciation party Sunday, April 20, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., at its Madeira Beach store at 15026 Madeira Way.
The outdoor event features live music all day long by the Chocolate Mushroom Gravy Band and Jahfari. Admission and parking is free.
All ages are welcome. There will also be food and drinks and a glass-blowing exhibition.
Republican Club of Greater Largo meeting LARGO – Barb Haselden spokesman for No Tax For Tracks will be the guest speaker at the Republican Club of Greater Largo’s monthly meeting Monday, April 21, 6 p.m., in the banquet room of Alfano’s Restaurant, 1702 Clearwater-Largo Road.
No Tax For Tracks is a group of Pinellas County residents who oppose the Greenlight Pinellas sales tax increase referendum. Among the issues to be discussed will be a call for an investigation by Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, into whether a Pinellas County transit agency broke the law by using taxpayer dollars to promote the Greenlight Pinellas mass transit plan.
Speak Easy Toastmasters Club meeting
PINELLAS PARK – The Speak Easy Toastmasters Club meets Mondays at 6 p.m. at Lin’s K Hibachi Buffet, 7610 49th St. N.
Guests are welcome.
The Toastmasters program helps members become better speakers for their jobs, presentations and meetings.
Call Jim Martin at 536-3392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPIRIT FM, Chick-fil-A blood drive SPIRIT FM 90.5 and Chick-fil-A have teamed up save lives by sponsoring the Grill & Chill blood drive, set for Monday, April 21, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at select freestanding Tampa Bay area Chick-fil-A restaurants.
All lifesaving donors will receive a coupon for their choice of a free Chick-fil-A grilled chicken sandwich or eight-count grilled chicken nuggets, plus a free three-count Chick-n-Mini’s coupon.
In addition, donors will receive two vouchers each for a free movie ticket, a Grill & Chill oven mitt as well as a wellness check-up or blood pressure, pulse, temperature and iron count, including a cholesterol screening.
Participating area Chick-fil-A restaurants include Pinellas Park, 111 Park Blvd.; Oldsmar, 3740 Tampa Road; St. Pete Beach, 4623 Gulf Blvd.; St. Petersburg, 2471 Tyrone Blvd.; Clearwater, 2516 Gulf to Bay Blvd. and Largo, 10075 Ulmerton Road.
Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. For information, visit www.oneblood.org or call 800-682-5663.
Community Chorus meeting
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Community Chorus meets Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Crystal Cove Community Church, 6900 County Road, Palm Harbor. No auditions are necessary. For more information, call Anita at 939-2952.
Florida native trees ST. PETERSBURG – The Garden Club of St. Petersburg presents Florida native trees Tuesday, April 22, 1 p.m., at the Garden Club of St. Petersburg, 500 Sunset Drive S. Presented by the Jungle and Green Fingers
Circles of the club, the program will feature guest speaker Tim Murray, an ISA Certified Arborist from Murray Tree Service. Murray will discuss Florida native trees and explain how to recognize and treat tree diseases.
Kiwanis Breakfast Club meeting
SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole meets Tuesdays at 7:15 a.m. in the third floor card room at Lake Seminole Square, 8333 Seminole Blvd.
On the second, third and fourth Tuesdays of the month, the group features speakers from different organizations.
Visit kiwanisseminolebreakfast.com or call 319-8343 for more information.