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June 23 issue

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LARGO - Albertsons announced in January it would rebrand its existing Florida stores into Safeways and give them a makeover in the process.

Six months and millions of dollars later, the work at the grocer’s Largo Mall location was capped off June 18 by celebrating the grand opening of the only Safeway in Tampa Bay, one of only three in the state.

“We take great pride in the new amenities that we’ve put into these stores as we’ve remodeled them over the last few months, and we look forward to providing the local community a valuable, exciting experience in our stores,” said Steve Burnham, president of Safeway’s Eastern Division, in a press release.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - Future policy on traffic-calming devices may hinge on the success of three speed tables to be installed on Second Street Southeast in Largo.

City Commissioners discussed the measures June 21 during a presentation on roadway construction projects. The street is one of three improvement projects commissioners voted to award to Florida Safety Contractors, Inc. for $835,776. The others will focus on improving Ensley Avenue and creating a new entrance to Central Park.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - A neighborhood information meeting about the new mixed-use development at the 500 and 600 blocks of West Bay Drive will be held Thursday, June 23, 6 p.m. in the Community Room at City Hall, 201 Highland Ave., NE.

Property owners and residents within 500 feet of the property are invited to attend.

Developer Gary Tave will discuss the project, West Bay Lofts. Program Planner Frances Leong-Sharp, Assistant Community Development Director Robert Klute and Economic Development Manager Teresa Brydon will also answer questions.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, June 8
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LARGO - A five-alarm fire June 8 at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Roosevelt Boulevard created a pillar of black smoke that could be seen for miles and possibly $50 million in losses to go with it.

Dozens of firefighters from Largo and several other agencies, including Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Seminole and Lealman, teamed up to take on the blaze that started just after noon. No shoppers or employees were injured, but three firefighters, including one from Largo, were treated for heat exhaustion. The joint efforts, however, helped crews gain control of the fire in about 30 minutes.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - The average traveler in Tampa Bay is delayed by congestion about 41 hours per year with a cost of $907 for lost time and excess fuel, according to the 2014 Urban Mobility report.

Pinellas County Transportation Director Ken Jacobs told city commissioners June 14 that new technology being installed should help mitigate those delays, including those on East Bay Drive.

During the work session, Jacobs provided an update on the Intelligent Transportation System, which focuses on safety and efficiency by improving traffic signals, better managing accidents and providing travelers with more information.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - The role of a police officer can be dangerous and stressful, so a little fun is always a welcome break. And Largo police know how to have fun.

Largo Middle School students gave School Resource Officer Scott Simcox a going away present he’ll remember this past week.

According to Largo Police, Simcox was “savagely attacked by a marauding band of eighth-graders armed with automatic shaving cream dispensers (or cans of shaving cream).”

Following the incident, “Simcox initially requested an early retirement due to the trauma. However, his request was denied when it was revealed he may have instigated the entire incident during the annual end of the school year event,” LPD joked on its Facebook page. Students throughout Pinellas County reported for their last day of school June 7.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - The Kiwanis Club of Largo/Mid-Pinellas awarded its Teacher of the Year certificate to Stacy Shelton, a special education teacher at Largo High School, at its monthly dinner meeting at Tri-City Applebee’s on June 9.

Dr. Regina Bennett, who heads the Sponsored Youth Committee for the club, presented the award. Shelton, who is an honorary member of the club, is also the faculty adviser for the Largo High School Key Club, a service club for high school students sponsored by a local Kiwanis club.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - David Miller, formerly of Bandera Ltd. and Rybovich, recently was named vice president of operations for Largo-based Nautical Structures.

“David comes to us with a wealth of manufacturing and large vessel systems expertise,” said company president Colin Kiley in a press release.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - KinderCare Learning Center at 3270 East Bay Drive has been awarded accreditation by the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs, a leading professional organization for the early childhood education industry.

Accreditation is an intensive process, granted by an independent third-party organization. Research shows that children who attend exceptional early childhood programs demonstrate higher math, language and socialization skills.

Unlike licensing, which only ensures a basic threshold level of a center’s ability to provide care, accreditation is the gold standard in designating high quality early learning programs. With less than 10 percent of early childhood education programs in the nation receiving accreditation, KinderCare is the only private provider dedicated to achieving 100 percent accreditation in their centers across the country.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, June 8
LARGO - Parking and traffic concerns from city leaders June 7 weren’t enough to slow the momentum for the latest development planned for downtown Largo.

The City Commission voted 6-0 to approve a development agreement between the city and Largo Central, LLC for property to build West Bay Lofts, a mixed-use development on the 500 and 600 blocks of West Bay Drive. Mayor Woody Brown abstained because he owns a chiropractic office across the street from the project.
 ... Read More 
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9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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