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Jan. 19 issue

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LARGO - When John Piazza Sr. founded the Armed Forces History Museum in 2008, his goal was to share his collection of military memorabilia and preserve history. After his death in October and the subsequent announcement that financial losses would force the museum to close Jan. 29, the goal has become to preserve the museum itself.

Piazza’s son, Steven, and museum staff say those efforts won’t stop until every option has been explored - even after Jan. 29.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - The city of Largo will have to find a new rock-star employee because it is losing its version of Cher. On Jan. 17, the City Commission honored longtime employee Karen Mew for her 50 years of service with a proclamation and plenty of kind words.

“Karen is like Cher,” Human Resources Director Susan Sinz said. “She has reinvented herself all these different times to be completely integral to our operation. And I know Cher is to performing arts what Karen is to the city of Largo.”
 ... Read More 
LARGO - Danny Lehan, owner of Village Inn Largo and Bay Pines, recently presented a check for $1,208 to Anona United Methodist Church for its FX (Family Experience) program.

Village Inn has partnered with the church to sponsor its Spirit Night. Kids and their families come to Village Inn the third Monday of every month for fellowship and dinner. Village Inn donates 10 percent of every dollar they take in that night to the FX program.
 ... Read More 
Monday, January 11
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LARGO - Kiwanis Club of Largo/Mid-Pinellas Club President Bruce Blazej presented Largo Police Department chaplains Philip Gray and Arnold Johnson each with a Certificate of Appreciation and a $50 gasoline card to help defray their costs during its first meeting of the year this past week.

The club uses the first meeting of each year as a Prayer Breakfast to honor the volunteer chaplains. Chief Jeff Undestad accepted for the vacationing Johnson.

Gray, who has been serving in Largo for five years, explained his duties, which include riding along with officers, and giving them a sympathetic ear and comfort from someone outside the chain of command.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - In April, Forbes named Largo as one of the top 25 best places in the U.S. to retire. A report released this past week shows it’s not a bad place to get started either.

GoodC­all.c­om, a career and personal finance website, said Largo was one of the top 50 best cities for new graduates to live and work.
 ... Read More 
The city of Largo's recycling campaign had its best year yet in 2016, recycling more than 8 million pounds of waste and saving nearly $600,000.

The program features free curbside recycling, drop-off locations at 1551 Starkey Road and 16080 U.S. 19, yard waste collection, cooking oil recycling and more.
 ... Read More 
Monday, January 4
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LARGO - Star Masonic Lodge No. 78, located at 1145 Highland Ave., held its 141st annual installation of lodge officers on Jan. 2 at the Masonic Temple.

The new lodge officers are James Charrette, worshipful master; Timothy Clark Jr., senior warden; Mark Benson, junior warden; Robert Davidson, secretary; Roy Terepka, treasurer; Michael Lester, senior deacon; Michael O’Roarke, junior deacon; Brian Jeffries, senior steward; Nathaniel Scelszi Sr., junior steward; John Hickey, chaplain; and Edward Logan, tyler.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - Depending on the job, a typical firefighter carries between 45 and 75 pounds of gear to an emergency. That number could soon go up, as Largo Fire Rescue will be bringing bullet-resistant vests and helmets on calls.

The measure is part of a Pinellas County initiative “so firefighters are better protected when responding to calls involving violence, including civil unrest, active shooters, and terrorism,” Shaun Carroll, assistant fire chief, wrote in a report issued by the city manager.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, December 28
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LARGO - Largo Feed must be doing something right. In the same year that Ford began production of its Model A, the Wright Brothers took flight for the first time and the modern World Series began, Largo Feed opened its doors.

And while the Model A and Wright Brothers are long gone since that day in 1903, Largo Feed remains on West Bay Drive.

The location has changed, the products have changed and even the name has slightly changed, but Largo Feed and Pet Supply’s small business feel and hospitality has been a constant on the Largo landscape.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, December 21
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LARGO - Maria Silva is as tough as nails, and she has the résumé to prove it.

The Clearwater resident spent 15 years as a firefighter/EMT at Pasco County Fire Rescue, working her way up the ladder to the rank of captain. And when thyroid cancer derailed her career, she didn't fold. Instead, she took a gamble and started over, reinventing herself as the owner of Villa Blanca Nails at 158 West Bay Drive.

Despite only being open since the end of October, she can add Best of Largo winner to that résumé, capturing the top honors in the businesses and services category.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, December 14
LARGO - A shortage of qualified candidates to become paramedics and police officers is forcing Largo Fire Rescue and Police Department to start new programs to serve as retention and recruitment tools for the future.

Fire Rescue Chief Shelby Willis and Police Chief Jeff Undestad discussed the problem and potential solutions with city commissioners Dec. 13 during a work session.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - When a family member dies, the prospect of cleaning out their house can be overwhelming. Fortunately, for those in need, Susan Gahan knows how to clean house - all of it.

Each home presents an unusual challenge for the appraisal and estate sale professional, so it’s the thrill of the hunt and satisfaction of helping others that earned Gahan’s business, Estate Sales by Susan, first place in the home-based category in the Best of Largo contest.

“It’s a little treasure hunt, so it’s always fun,” she said. “You never know what you are going to find.”
 ... Read More 
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Send news to editor Christopher George
E-mail news to cgeorge@tbnweekly.com.
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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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