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Clearwater / North Pinellas

  1. 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
  2. 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.

  3. 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]
  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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, …

  9. 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.
  10. League of Women Voters sustainability summit now set for Saturday


    ST. PETERSBURG — A sustainability summit delayed by Hurricane Irma has been rescheduled for Saturday.

  11. As spice incidents decline, Clearwater consultant suggests more coordinated services for street homeless

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — The actual number of homeless people living in downtown streets and parks is not growing, as it has appeared to some city officials and business owners over the past five months, a hired consultant concluded this week.

    Members of the homeless population wait in line before they are fed a meal near the Clearwater Police Department headquarters in June.  EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times

  12. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  13. 80 books disappear from classroom that sheltered Irma evacuees


    DUNEDIN — When Martha Hereford-Cothron returned to her classroom at Dunedin Highland Middle School on Monday morning, her heart sank as her eyes scanned the room and landed on a white bookshelf, empty except for a broken DVD player and a thermal blanket.

    Gone from this shelf at Dunedin Highland Middle School were some 80 books and several board games in the classroom of teacher Martha Hereford-Cothron. The items disappeared after the classroom was used to shelter evacuees from Hurricane Irma. [Photo courtesy of Martha Hereford-Cothron]
  14. Dunedin woman fatally struck by semi-trailer on U.S. 19 in Clearwater


    CLEARWATER — A Dunedin woman was killed early Wednesday morning when she was struck by a semi-trailer after walking onto the southbound lanes of U.S. 19 in Clearwater.

  15. Clearwater firefighters sue siren manufacturer over hearing loss


    CLEARWATER — Five current and former Clearwater firefighters are suing a siren manufacturer, saying that some of the Illinois-based company's sirens were so loud they caused hearing loss.

    . Five firefighters from the department are suing a siren manufacturer, claiming the company's sirens were so loud they caused hearing loss Newer  trucks like this one, f rom a 2014 photo, are equipped with air conditioning so firefighters ride with the windows rolled up and are insulated from the siren noise.  JIM DAMASKE   |   Times