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Clearwater / North Pinellas

  1. Pinellas commission set to discuss next budget, licensing board

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday.

  2. Pinellas County embarks on $19-million project to pull muck out of Lake Seminole


    SEMINOLE — Environmental experts, always concerned about the water quality of Lake Seminole, are assessing how much Hurricane Irma may have stirred up the nearly 1 million cubic yards of muck that lay on the bottom.

    Despite the expenditure of more than $30 million over nearly two decades, improved water quality in Lake Seminole remains elusive. The muck that lines the bottom of the 684-acre freshwater lake keeps accumulating while the cost to remove it keeps rising. Having exhausted less drastic methods for restoring the lake, the county is about to embark on a six-year dredging project expected to cost $18.6 million. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times

  3. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Names released in Clearwater crash involving helicopter, plane


    CLEARWATER — Authorities released more details Monday about the crash involving a helicopter and airplene over the weekend at the Clearwater Air Park.

    Clearwater Fire Department emergency personal are seen dousing a plan with fire retardant after the plane crashed into a helicopter at Clearwater Air Park 1000 N Hercules Avenue Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. According to Clearwater Fire two patients sustained minor injuries. Photo by Clearwater Fire
  5. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  6. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  7. Four Largo city employees lose jobs for not working during Hurricane Irma

    Local Government

    LARGO — Four public works employees lost their jobs because they didn't show up to work during Hurricane Irma.

    Four public works employees resigned or were fired because they didn't show up to work during Hurricane Irma. The employees, two of whom were fired and two resigned, said they decided to be with their families considering the magnitude of the storm. But City Manager Henry Schubert said Thursday most city employees are required to be present during an emergency. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  8. Food bank seeking donations after Hurricane Irma


    CLEARWATER — RCS Food Bank has seen a surge in need following Hurricane Irma. The food bank saw a 48 percent increase of households requesting food on Monday compared to an average day, according to Director of Communications Lauren Misa.

  9. Clearwater Marine Aquarium receives $500,000 gift

    Human Interest

    CLEARWATER — The R.O. Jacobson Foundation donated $500,000 on Tuesday to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium's major expansion.

    The Clearwater Marine Aquarium received a $500,000 donation from the R.O. Jacobson Foundation toward its $66 million expansion.. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  10. Clearwater tallies damages from Hurricane Irma


    CLEARWATER — Hurricane Irma caused nearly $1 million of damage to city-owned property and about $322,000 of residential damage, according to an initial analysis from Assistant Clearwater Fire Chief Jevon Graham.

  11. Clearwater asks state to amend law

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — The City Council passed a resolution Monday asking state lawmakers to initiate legislation amending the Special Act of 1925 so the city can relocate the waterfront bandshell to the site identified in the Imagine Clearwater redevelopment plan.

  12. Habitat for Humanity celebrates Clearwater milestone

    Human Interest

    CLEARWATER — Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County completed the Stevens Creek neighborhood on Saturday by dedicating the 51st and final home.

  13. Groups distribute food in Largo after Hurricane Irma


    LARGO — Early Tuesday, a truck headed to the Greater Ridgecrest Branch YMCA from the Hillsborough County headquarters of Feeding Tampa Bay was welcomed by Salvation Army Clearwater staffers and volunteers. The mission: help fellow Pinellas County residents rest a bit easier, at least for a moment, by giving …

    Susan McCarthy, center, and sister Barbara McCarthy, right, work together to load boxes of food on Tuesday in a car for Dunedin resident Diane Troupe, left, at the Greater Ridgecrest Branch YMCA in Largo, part of the Salvation Army Mobile Food Pantry's effort to help residents of Pinellas County  in the wake of Hurricane Irma. .DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times

  14. Pinellas Humane Society seeks help after Hurricane Irma

    Human Interest

    CLEARWATER — The Humane Society of Pinellas, 3040 State Road 590, is seeking donations to repair $15,000 worth of damage to its building. The shelter moved its more than 200 animals to emergency foster homes during Hurricane Irma. During the storm, the roof of the cat isolation area was damaged. Medical supplies, …

  15. Largo's property tax rate to rise

    Local Government

    LARGO — City commissioners on Tuesday approved a higher property tax rate for next year.

    Largo Mayor Woody Brown favored a smaller tax increase than some other commissioners.