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Clearwater / North Pinellas

  1. PSTA foresees no service cuts as it rolls out proposed 2018 budget

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will unveil the first draft of its 2018 budget at Wednesday morning's meeting of the governing board.

    A Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus leaves the terminal at  3180 Central Ave. in St Petersburg in 2014. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  2. Man found dead in Dunedin canal identified as missing 63-year-old

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday identified the man found floating in a Dunedin canal as the man who was reported missing last week.

    Charles P. Morris, 63, was found dead in a canal in Dunedin behind Cedar Creek Mobile Home Park, at 605 Michigan Blvd. around 3:48 p.m. Monday. He was reported missing June 21 after he was last seen leaving his home the night before to walk his dog. [ Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Pinellas news briefs

    Briefs

    Gulfport seeks Gecko Queen candidates : Gulfport's fifth Gecko Queen will be crowned at this year's Gecko Ball on Aug. 26. Candidates are invited to apply. This is a gender-neutral opportunity for those 21 and over. The Queen's costuming should reflect this year's theme of "Geckostock" (Woodstock, hippies and all …

  5. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up to the location disclosed to the city.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  6. Dunedin selects Jennifer Bramley as its next city manager

    Local Government

    DUNEDIN — In a unanimous vote Monday, the City Commission chose Jennifer Bramley as the next city manager.

    Jennifer Bramley, 52, was selected Monday as Dunedin's new city manager. She currently works as deputy city manager for the city of Coral Springs. [Photo courtesy of Jennifer Bramley]
  7. Hometown North Pinellas

    Briefs

    . Clearwater DAR donates to Honor Flight of West Central Florida: Members of the Clearwater Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented a portion of the proceeds from their Stars and Stripes Luncheon fundraiser to Honor Flight of West Central Florida, an organization that provides …

    Members of the Clearwater Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution chapter present a portion of the proceeds from its Stars and Stripes Luncheon to the Honor Flight of West Central Florida, an organization which provides war veterans free tours to their memorials in Washington, D.C.
  8. Largo fire station gets another rescue truck

    News

    LARGO — Largo Fire Rescue is adding a rescue truck to help alleviate the call load at the fire station that responds to Pinellas Safe Harbor and the Pinellas County Jail.

  9. Pinellas Suncoast fire chief leaving for new job

    News

    INDIAN SHORES — Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District Chief Salvatore D'Angelo announced Tuesday night that he was leaving the department for a new job.

  10. Mayor, commissioners salary increase takes next step

    News

    DUNEDIN — The city's finance board moved a recommendation one step forward to increase salaries of city commissioners and the mayor.

  11. 2017 National softball tournament will be in Clearwater

    News

    CLEARWATER — Clearwater secured a contract last week to host the 2017 USA Softball Gold 18- under and 16-under Fast-Pitch tournaments July 16 to 22, boosting the city's name as softball destination.

  12. Clearwater picks contractor to build Morningside Recreation Center

    News

    CLEARWATER — The city awarded a $5.7 million contract last week to Largo-based Caladesi Construction Company to build the Morningside Recreation Center, replacing the former facility that was demolished in 2009.

  13. Safety Harbor cemetery is getting new life

    News

    SAFETY HARBOR — For several months, Jacqueline Hayes has been focused on a new community effort, the Safety Harbor African American Restoration Project. The aim is to refurbish the cemetery on South Drive after years of neglect, including determining where and how many unmarked graves are located on the property. …

  14. Four questions with Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith before he helps lead the St. Pete Pride parade

    Human Interest

    A decade ago, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith was afraid to tell his friends and family he was gay.

    Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith will serve as a grand marshal at the St. Pete Pride parade on Saturday. [City of Largo]
  15. Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE — For weeks, Glenn Holland, 67, crawled out of bed before the sun rose to look for a dead man.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]