Franciska Szaraz, 68, of Largo lost control of her vehicle Sept. 29 in the parking lot of 10700 Johnson Blvd. in Seminole, causing it to crash into the front of an unoccupied office. Szaraz was not injured. Damage to the building was estimated between $3,000 and $4,000.
SEMINOLE - The Florida League of Cities appointed Seminole City Councilor Jim Quinn to serve on the 2014-2015 Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Legislative Policy Committee.
“Municipal officials are the driving force behind the League’s legislative success. In addition to setting the legislative priorities, the League’s policy committee members help to provide League staff with a better understanding of the real world implications of proposed legislation,” said Florida League of Cities Legislative Director Scott Dudley. “We appreciate their willingness to serve, as well as the time, energy and dedication that goes into developing a policy direction for our legislative efforts.”
SEMINOLE - A Sept. 24 mass casualty exercise conducted by the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, and local law enforcement and first responder units was interrupted when a “suspicious” substance was found inside the Release of Information Office, said Seminole Fire Rescue Chief Heather Burford.
The substance was discovered by an RIO employee around 10:30 a.m., Burford said, and the C.W. Bill Young V.A. Medical Center Emergency Room, which is located next to the RIO, was evacuated. Fifteen people were decontaminated before VA police determined that the substance was non-hazardous.
The mysterious substance, which was found in a package being mailed from the VA’s hospice program, originated from an ornament that had softened and crumbled en route to its destination off campus. The clay token, which features the imprint of a foot, is traditionally sent to families of individuals who pass away in hospice care, Burford said. The substance had already been sent to a laboratory in Tampa when a hospice employee confirmed that the substance came from the ornament.
SEMINOLE - Father Michael O’Brien’s longtime dream as pastor of St. Justin Martyr Roman Catholic Church was to open a religious articles shop that also sells fair trade items on the church’s property.
Now, after nearly four years of hard work, that dream has become a reality. 4Corners Religious Articles Store held its grand opening Sept. 20 and 21.
Unfortunately, O’Brien was unexpectedly reassigned to a church in Plant City after nearly 16 years at St. Justin Martyr, said Cris Weise, co-manager of the shop. He left in early June, and his departure was “a surprise to everyone,” she said. “He wasn’t done here, really.”
SEMINOLE - A second-story apartment at 9845 Seminole Blvd. was totally destroyed by fire Sept. 21, sending one person to an area hospital.
According to Seminole Fire Rescue, the apartment where the fire started was a total loss. Two other units sustained smoke damage and the apartment directly under the fire apartment had considerable water damage.
Six residents were displaced. The Red Cross was on the scene assisting.
SEMINOLE - Seminole United Methodist Church hosted a reception after worship Sept. 7 to welcome Juanita Laracuente as the new director of the Seminole United Methodist Preschool.
Laracuente, originally from New York, has an extensive background in education, and most specifically in preschool directing. She directs a staff of 13 teachers, many of whom have taught at the preschool for more than 10 years.
She brings with her many innovative ideas to enhance the education ministry of the preschool. A toddler room, kindergarten classroom, and a first-grade classroom are currently in the planning stages as Laracuente explores further expansion possibilities.
SEMINOLE - Seminole Fire Rescue Units responded to a structure collapse at 11200 Seminole Blvd. about 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19.
The front entry overhang had collapsed onto a late model Chevrolet pickup truck belonging to the cleaning crew inside. There were no injuries and no fire.
Largo Professional Center occupies the structure, which is the place of business for several medical offices. Cause of the collapse is still under investigation and the structure was partially closed due to structural concerns.
Countryside Library book club meeting
CLEARWATER – The Countryside Library, 2741 State Road 580, is continuing its popular book club that meets the third Thursday of each month at 2:30 p.m. Titles for the monthly sessions are as follows:
• Feb. 20 – The Dressmaker, by Kate Alcott
• March 20 – Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
• April 17 – The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian
• May 15 – Still Foolin‘ ’Em, by Billy Crystal
• June 19 – The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, by Naomi Ragen
• July 17 – My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor
• Aug. 21 – Breakfast at Sally’s, by Richard Le Mieux
• Sept. 18 – Making Rounds with Oscar, by David Dosam
• Oct. 16 – The Story of Beautiful Girl, by Rachel Simon
• Nov. 20 – Luna, by Julie Anne Peters
• Dec. 18 – My Life with Charlie Brown, by Charles Shultz
Garden tour LARGO – Vegetable, herb a tropicals tours will be offered Thursdays, Oct. 2 and 23, 9 to 11 a.m., at Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road.
Participants will explore the vegetable garden and compost demonstration areas in the Florida Botanical Gardens and learn about growing their own food. Tours are limited to groups of four to 16 people and recommended for adults only.
Kiwanis Club of Seminole meeting SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole meets Thursdays, 6:15 p.m., at Freedom Square’s Town Hall.
The group’s next speaker will be Breanne Zsiga, from Career Academies of Seminole, discussing on her steer project.
For more information, call Terry Carr at 394-2582.
Les Mills Body Pump Launch
LARGO – The Les Mills Body Pump Launch will be Thursday, Oct. 2, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Highland Recreation Complex, 400 Highland Ave.
Join the new release of body pump moves and music. The free event includes a raffle, prizes and bottled water. Call 518-3016.
Safety Harbor history presentation SAFETY HARBOR – Local history researchers, Warren Firschein and Laura Kepner, will present a presentation regarding significant events of 20th century Safety Harbor on Thursday, Oct. 2, 6:30 p.m., at the Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 Second St. N.
Fifth years ago, in 1964, William Blackshear was elected as a Safety Harbor City Commissioner and is believed to be the first African-American to hold public office in all of Florida since the end of Reconstruction. Learn about his experience and many other significant events that happened in that century.
St. Petersburg College candidates debate SEMINOLE – To help citizens go to the polls as informed voters, St. Petersburg College is presenting a debate for local candidates seeking public office in the Nov. 4 general election.
The debate, sponsored by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions and co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, in the Digitorium of the Seminole campus, 9200 113th St. N.
Facing off will be candidates for Pinellas County Commission from Districts 2 and 4, and candidates for the eight most highly contested seats in the state Legislature. Also up for debate will be two proposed amendments to the State Constitution.
A distinguished panel of experts will question the candidates and provide background on the issues.
The debates will be split into three one-hour sessions, with the first two combining state legislative races whose district borders are relatively contiguous, for the convenience of voters interested in their home district candidates. A brief discussion of the two constitutional amendments will precede the candidate debates.
The schedule is: 5:30-6 p.m.: Constitutional Amendments 1 and 2
• 6-7 p.m.: House Districts 65, 66 and 67; 7-8 p.m.: Senate District 22, House Districts 68 and 69; 8-9 p.m.: County Commission Districts 2 and 4.
Belleair Women’s Republican Club meeting BELLEAIR – Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, will speak at the next meeting of The Belleair Women’s Republican Club at the Belleair Country Club, 1 County Club Lane, Friday, Oct. 3.
Registration is at 11:30 a.m. and lunch is at noon. The cost is $25. For reservations please call Claudia Thomas at 470-9849 or 813-361-4345 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, this is a new contact for one month only. People who expect to attend also can contact Sherrie Morton at email@example.com.
Movie at Oldsmar library OLDSMAR – The Oldsmar Public Library, 400 St. Petersburg Drive E., will present a recently released movie and free popcorn Friday, Oct. 3, 1 to 3 p.m., in TECO Hall.
Admission is free. For the title of the movie, call 813-749-1148.
North Pinellas Community Prayer Breakfast PALM HARBOR – The North Pinellas Community Prayer Breakfast will be presented Friday, Oct. 3, 7:30 a.m., at Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort, 36750 U.S. 19 N.
Admission is $25 a person and $200 per table. Call 940-5357.
This will be a morning of prayer to bring about awareness to the issues of poverty, hunger and homelessness in North Pinellas.
Proceeds from The Shepherd Center Prayer Breakfast will support the organization’s mission to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and equip the least among us by providing opportunities and a place for all to give and receive hope.