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Aug. 27 issue

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Seminole’s new city manager, Ann Toney-Deal, speaks at the Aug. 20 Seminole Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the new community building in Seminole City Park. Toney-Deal replaces longtime city manager Frank Edmunds, who retired Aug. 15.
SEMINOLE - Construction of the new Bealls, the first retail store to be built at the planned Seminole City Center, will begin soon, and developers say it could open as early as March 4, 2016.

“We’re on a very tight schedule, but we’re hoping to make it happen. Bealls right now is our focus,” said Dale Johnson, director of development and construction for Tampa-based Primerica Group One. Primerica has teamed up with the property’s owner, North America Development Group, for maintenance, management and redevelopment of the former Seminole Mall site.

The city granted a building permit for the Bealls section of the development Aug. 18. The approximately 45,000-square-foot freestanding storefront will be built where the former Seminole 8 Touchstar Cinema was located on the property’s northeast corner.
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SEMINOLE - Mayor Leslie Waters was re-elected to the Florida League of Mayors Board of Directors Aug. 13.

The Florida League of Mayors, a statewide, nonprofit organization, was founded in November 2005. The purpose of the league is to provide educational outreach on civic, community, municipal and government issues, as well as policy guidance to state and national leaders.

“I am very proud to continue to be part of a powerful voice that serves all 411 cities across the State of Florida,” said Mayor Waters. “My voice and input on behalf of the citizens of Seminole is always clearly shared.”
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SEMINOLE - Spoto’s Grill 131, 13079 Park Blvd. N., changed hands earlier this month. James Gilbert and his son, Christopher Gilbert, purchased the restaurant from Bob Spoto, who retired.

Spoto is a well-known local restaurateur whose previous eateries included Spoto’s Stockyard Inn and Spoto’s Supper Club in Seminole, Smokey’s Texas Barbeque in Pinellas Park, and Spoto’s Steak Joint in St. Petersburg and Dunedin.

James, who lives in California, has been in the restaurant business for 60 years, and owns several seafood restaurants and steakhouses in Monterey and Santa Cruz.
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SEMINOLE - Rotary International recognizes $1,000 donations to The Rotary Charitable Foundation with a plaque and medallion honoring the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris. At the Aug. 14 Rotary Club of Seminole Lake meeting, Lucienne Hastings honored Jean-Philippe Giroud, her nephew visiting from Switzerland, and David Buzza honored Alex and Dana Kern, the owners of the recently burned-down Fireplace Restaurant.

The Kerns purchased the 40-year-old restaurant, located at 12580 Seminole Blvd. in Largo, about a year ago, after they moved to the area from Austria. This fulfilled their dream of owning and operating a restaurant in the United States.
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SEMINOLE - The eastbound and westbound lanes of 54th Avenue North between Seminole Boulevard and 100th Way in Seminole are closed as Pinellas County crews repair a leak on a 24-inch sanitary sewer force main in the area.

The county announced Tuesday evening that eastbound and westbound lanes of 54th Avenue North between Seminole Boulevard and 100th Way in Seminole will remain closed for about three weeks.  

Drivers are urged to follow the established detour routes or use other alternate routes to avoid the area. Drivers will be able to access Keswick Christian School located at 10101 54th Ave. N. from Tyrone Boulevard through 100th Way only.
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SEMINOLE - Medicare beneficiaries, their caregivers, and family members who have questions or concerns about Medicare and related health insurance topics have a new place to turn.

The Area Agency on Aging Pasco-Pinellas is collaborating with Seminole Community Library to provide Medicare counseling through the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program. Specially trained volunteers of the SHINE Program will begin offering Medicare counseling at the library, which is located at 9200 113th St. N.

SHINE is a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs that empowers elders to make informed decisions about their health care coverage.
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Tuesday, August 18
SEMINOLE - In a 4-2 vote, the Seminole City Council approved a development agreement between the city and the owners of the Seminole Mall for the site’s redevelopment at its Aug. 11 meeting.

Councilors Chris Burke and Patricia Plantamura voted against the agreement.

The vote followed a second public hearing on the proposed Seminole City Center. The first public hearing was held at the July 28 council meeting. Scores of residents attended both meetings, many speaking out against the agreement and asking the council to vote against it.
 ... Read More 
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Community Calender
• Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015
Beekeeping workshop
TARPON SPRINGS – A free program on beekeeping will be offered Saturday, Aug. 29, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road.

The program will provide an introduction to beekeeping. In seesion 2 of “Beekeeping, a Hobby with Sweet Rewards,” focus will primarily be on the equipment and tools necessary for beekeeping. The components of the “modern” bee hive and the tools used by beekeepers will be identified.

Advance registration is required.

To register, visit For information, call 453-6800.
 ... Read More 
Best Buy blood drives
Select Best Buy stores will host blood drives Saturday, Aug. 29, 1 to 7 p.m. where donors can share their power to save lives by giving blood and receive a free $10 Best Buy gift card.

 Appointments will be honored and walk-ins will be welcome. For information or appointments, call 888-936-6283 or visit /bestbuy.

In addition, all donors will receive a wellness checkup of blood pressure, temperature, iron count and a cholesterol screening. Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. To learn more about the importance of blood donation and how donors can target the power of their blood type, visit
 ... Read More 
Birds of prey program
ST. PETERSBURG – A free program on birds of prey will be presented Saturday, Aug. 29, 10 a.m. to noon, at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE.

Senior avian education volunteers from Boyd Hill Nature Preserve will facilitate this live presentation. In this program, aspects of predator-prey relationships – adaptations that ensure success as predators and birds role in maintaining healthy, balanced ecosystems – will be illustrated. The basic natural history of each species also will be discussed along with the impact of humans on their habitats and populations.

Advance registration is required.

To register, visit For information, call 453-6500.
 ... Read More 
Community Indoor Garage Sale
LARGO – The city of Largo will host its annual Community Indoor Garage Sale Saturday, Aug. 29, 8 a.m. to noon, at Southwest Recreation Complex, 13120 Vonn Road.

With more than 65 tables, you are bound to find some great treasures and deals on home goods, childcare items and toys, gently used clothing and more. Admission is free. Call 518-3125.
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Democratic Women’s Club meeting
LARGO – The Democratic Women’s Club of Upper Pinellas invites the public to help celebrate its 75th anniversary with a luncheon and entertainment Saturday, Aug. 29, 11:30 a.m., at Royal Palms of Largo, 200 Lake Ave. NE.

The club is the oldest Democratic women’s club in the nation. Seating for this event is limited so sign up early. The cost is $40. Pay in advance with checks made out to Kathy Murray, 1000 Woodside Ave., Clearwater, FL 33756.

Entertainment will be the presentation of “Mother Jones,” with the monologue by Margaret Taylor and folk music by Elizabeth Roth. Mother Jones, whose real name was Mary Harris, was named the most dangerous woman in America. Raised in Toronto, she knew the ravages of poverty and discrimination. Seeing capitalist greed make the rich richer and the poor poorer, she stood with exploited mine workers and made headlines defying years of imprisonment to inspire and organize for the unions to end “wage slavery.”

For more information about the club or the luncheon, contact publicity chair Nancy Hoppe at 595-8506 or
 ... Read More 
Food truck rally on Corey Avenue
ST. PETE BEACH – The series of Corey Avenue Food Truck Rallies continues Saturday, Aug. 29, 5 to 9 p.m., in the 400 block of Corey Avenue. The event will feature live music and food trucks from across the Tampa Bay area. Another food truck rally will be held Sept. 26.
 ... Read More 
Grupo Logos from Brazil
PINELLAS PARK – Praise and worship with Grupo Logos from Brazil will take place Saturday, Aug. 29, 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 30, 10:45 a.m. and 7 p.m., at Grace Bible Fellowship, 10999 60th St. N.

Admission is free, but a free-will offering will be collected. Call 545-2219.

This will be an experience of praise and worship for the American, Brazilian and Hispanic communities of Tampa Bay. The Saturday concert will be presented in Portuguese. The Sunday morning presentation will be in Portuguese with PowerPoint lyrics. The Sunday evening event will be in Spanish.
 ... Read More 
Largo’s Back to School Expo and Open House
LARGO – Largo’s Back to School Expo and Open House will be Saturday, Aug. 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Highland Recreation Complex.

Bring the whole family to explore Highland for free. Vendors focusing on youth and families will be on site with information, back to school goodies and wellness exams. Larger back-to-school prizes will be given away hourly.

Open house offerings include free Playworld, Exerplay, game room, walking track, fitness room and activities in the gymnasium. The Highland Family Aquatic Center will offer buy-one-get-one-free admission during their swim session.

For more information on attending or becoming a wellness vendor, call Christina at 587-6740, ext. 5008.
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New Horizons Club for Widowed People meeting
New Horizons Club for Widowed People will meet for the first time of the fall season Saturday, Aug. 29, 2 p.m., at the west clubhouse of the Imperial Palms Rental Apartments, 101 Imperial Palms Drive.

The speaker during the meeting will be a representative from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office crime prevention task force, which helps raise awareness of crimes. Topics to be discussed include identity theft, fraud and scams, purse snatching, guns and alternative weapons, home safety, carjacking and more.

After the meeting, the members will go to dinner at the Rooster Fish Grille, at 7761 Missouri Ave. The club invites all widowed people to join for social events and service to the community.

The group donates to the RCS food pantry, gathers personal items for troops overseas, collects aluminum tabs off of cans for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa and contributes to a Sheriff’s Office fund to help children before they’re placed in foster care.

For more information and membership, call Betty Baker at 392-5028.  
 ... Read More 
Preserve workday
TARPON SPRINGS – A preserve workday will take place Saturday, Aug. 29, 8 to 11 a.m., at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road.

Citizens can join the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve to remove exotic vegetation and nuisance plants from the preserve. Participants are asked to bring work gloves, clippers, shovels, handsaws and loppers. This is hard work and recommended for strong volunteers ages 12 and older. Water and snacks provided.

For additional information, call Evan Earle at 515-9545. Visit
 ... Read More 
Community Focus Online
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