SEMINOLE - Marilyn Mevers had no idea that her Facebook post would go viral. For days, she watched as linemen from around the country worked long hours to restore power to Seminole and surrounding areas following Hurricane Irma’s hit to the region.
So she decided she wanted to do something for them in return.
SEMINOLE - As Hurricane Irma ambled towards the Tampa Bay area last week, city leaders, staff and volunteers spent days readying Seminole to brace the storm that eventually hit Pinellas County as a Category 1 hurricane Sunday into Monday.
The storm initially hit Florida, first in the Keys, as a Category 4, and caused widespread damage throughout the state.
In Seminole, Irma littered tree limbs and debris throughout the city, and left many without power.
The City Council held an emergency meeting Sept. 7 to declare a state of emergency in Seminole before the storm hit.
SEMINOLE - During the new business segment of the Aug. 22 Seminole City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Chris Burke questioned the council’s new consent agenda after the city’s $1.61 million contract with the Pinellas County’s Sheriff’s Office fell under that docket.
The PCSO contract for law enforcement services for the period beginning Oct. 1, 2017 and ending Sept. 30, 2018 passed as part of the agenda.
SEMINOLE - As North America geared up for a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, Sara Madden of Seminole knew she wanted to find a unique way to experience the historic event with her elementary school-aged children.
This was the first total solar eclipse to take place in the continental United States in nearly 40 years, after all.
Even though only a partial eclipse could be viewed from Florida, it was still “a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Madden said. So she took advantage of Pinellas County Schools offering students an excused absence for the day if they partook in eclipse activities, picked up her children after a half-day to take them to lunch and brought them to the library to view the eclipse and for associated programming
SEMINOLE - In mid-July, Pinellas County kicked off a roadwork project on 102nd Avenue. The project will focus on safety enhancements at the 113th, 118th and 119th street intersections.
However, since it began, the county received numerous calls and emails from residents who live near the major thoroughfare and were unaware any roadwork was planned.
“Normally, we do have a public information meeting on projects,” said Greg Cutrone, transportation engineering manager. “This is a bit of an emergency, though. So we kind of streamlined it, as it didn’t affect residential driveways, per se. There really wasn’t much in the way of impact.”
SEMINOLE - Many people might be surprised to learn that the Interfaith Food Pantry, Inc. finds itself most in need during the summer months, said Marcia Stone, who is acting as the pantry’s executive director with her husband, Ron Stone.
This summer is no different, she said, as the pantry scrambles to replace depleted food staples - beans, tuna fish, peanut butter, cereal, pasta, soup, even meats and dairy.
Many donations come into Interfaith during cooler months, closer to the holidays. But during the summer, children are home from school, where some impoverished families would rely on free and discounted meals being served to their children.
SEMINOLE - Over the past few weeks, residents and visitors might have noticed new patriotic Seminole banners hanging from streetlight poles along the city’s major corridors, including Park Boulevard and Seminole Boulevard.
The 38 new 30” by 80” banners are part of the city’s Red, White & Blue Initiative to make Seminole a more patriotic city, said Mayor Leslie Waters. The City Council adopted the initiative, which calls for “an increase display of red, white and blue colors throughout the Seminole community,” in March 2015. City staff began hanging the banners in time for Independence Day on July 4.
SEMINOLE - During the Seminole City Council’s July 25 meeting, Vice Mayor Jim Quinn suggested that the council change the name of Waterfront Park, which is currently under construction on Park Boulevard next to Home Depot, to Jimmy Johnson Memorial Park.
Johnson, who died July 15 at 74, is a former city mayor, executive director of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Seminole.
SEMINOLE - It’s hard for Gretchen Cain to forget the first time she met James “Jimmy” Johnson.
It was 2000, and as chief operating officer of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, she placed an ad in a local newspaper seeking volunteers.
Johnson, who had been active in the Seminole community years earlier, had just retired and moved back to the area when he showed up unannounced at the chamber office after reading her ad.
“Jimmy came to the chamber office, burst in through the door, and said, ‘Hi there sunshine. I’m Jimmy Johnson and I’m here to help you as a volunteer,’” she said. “He saw I was there by myself, and he just got to work.”