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Belleair Bee
Tessa Wilkinson, left, of Belleair does a belly slide during Gracie’s Big Splash Aug. 15 at the Dimmitt Community Center.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a single-vehicle crash that occurred early Thursday morning on the Indian Rocks Bridge.

Deputies responded to the crash about 4:50 a.m., according to the sheriff’s report. The Jeep, driven by Robin Smith, 49, of Indian Rocks Beach was heading east bound over the bridge when it struck the concrete guardrail on the bridge and overturned coming to rest on the driver side on the drawbridge portion of the bridge.

An eyewitness who saw the crash told deputies that Smith had exited the wrecked vehicle and then walked to the south side of the bridge, climbed over the railing and jumped into the water.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, August 20
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Beginning this October, Belleair Bluffs residents and businesses will begin paying a 5 percent tax on their electricity use. The City Commission passed an ordinance creating the tax, while at the same time repealing a law that had required a referendum vote to do so.

The final action on the tax and referendum issue came at the Aug. 18 commission meeting. It concluded several months of discussion on what turned out to be a highly controversial topic. Residents and some business owners packed several meetings to protest the original utility tax proposal, which included a 10 percent tax on all utilities, combined with a millage rate reduction to soften the impact.

The protests caused Mayor Chris Arbutine to recommend cutting the tax from 10 percent to 5 percent, on the advice of Commissioner Suzy Sofer, and limiting it to electricity use only. The millage rate will be left at 5.35 mils.
 ... Read More 
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The Right Rev. Dabney Smith, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, installed the Rev. Jon Roberts as the fifth rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, Indian Rocks Beach, on Aug. 13.

Roberts is married to Lynne and they have two children: a daughter, Emma and a son, Watson. He was ordained to the priesthood in December 2007 after graduating from Nashotah House Theological Seminary. He has served as a priest at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Venice; Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe, Louisiana; and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Naples.

According to a press release from the church, many great things are expected with his enthusiasm and spiritual leadership.
 ... Read More 
Friday, August 15
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The owners of P.J.’s Oyster Bar are blending the legacy of their old location into the look of their new restaurant at 415 Second St. in Indian Rocks Beach.

The artists are about 90 percent done with their painting on the exterior of the restaurant, which is now open. Renovations began about a year ago, said co-owner Steve Palmer.

“We are doing a tribute to the old P.J.’s building. Kind of paying homage to the 30 years over there.” Palmer said.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, August 13
BELLEAIR - Expect to see hundreds of people on the grounds of the Dimmitt Community Center, 918 Osceola Road, on Friday, Aug. 15, 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Martin Purdy, Gracie’s dad, said Friday afternoon that despite the rain, "the Splash is still on!"

The big end of summer event, Gracie’s Big Splash, is celebrating its eighth anniversary and it has become the place to be especially if you are a kid who likes to get wet.
 ... Read More 
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - City commissioners unanimously agreed to sell Indian Rocks Beach's sewer system to Pinellas County for just under $2 million.

They approved the sale following a special meeting on Aug. 12 to discuss the issue with residents. Three dozen of them showed up to have their say and not all were for the deal.

Among those against the proposal was resident Amber Burton.

“If the system as we have it now is funding itself and is a revenue stream for the city, why are we selling it?” she asked. “Why are we getting rid of it?”
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Bids have been received and a winning bidder recommended for construction of the next phase of Belleair Bluff’s massive drainage and road reconstruction project. The bid package was presented to the city commission at their Aug. 11 workshop meeting.

Public Works Director Robert David said in a comment following the meeting that receiving the bid proposal was “a huge step” toward getting the long-delayed project started.

A vote on selecting the winning bid will be taken at the Aug. 18 regular commission meeting. The six bids received for what had been seen as an $800,000 project had a wide variation, ranging from $787,000 to nearly $1 million. Half of the funding will be paid by a Southwest Florida Water Management District grant.
 ... Read More 
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Community Calender
• Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
Connections @ Park Station
PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce hosts Connections @ Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd., Room 101, a free networking event, on the second and fourth Fridays of the month at 8:30 a.m. Contact Carl Lucchi at 458-7863 for more information.
 ... Read More 
Garden Help Desk
ST. PETERSBURG – The Weedon Island Lawn and Garden Help Desk will be offered Thursday, Aug. 7 and Friday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE.  

Aspiring and master gardeners alike can come and get solutions for all types of questions concerning garden, lawn, and landscape care. The help desk is free.  

Call 453-6500 or visit
 ... Read More 
Scottish American Society social gatherings
Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings, are held every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Scottish American Society of Dunedin, 917 Louden Ave., Dunedin.  

The cost is $5 for nonmembers. The social club is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture, offering Scottish country dancing, line dancing, holiday dinners and parties.   

Call 734 0757.
 ... Read More 
Snow ski club’s kickoff meeting
CLEARWATER – Pinellas County’s only snow ski club, Clearwater/St. Petersburg Ski and Sports Club, will host its 31st annual kickoff meeting on Friday, Aug. 22, 6:30 p.m., at the Yard of Ale Gastro Pub, 2675 Ulmerton Road.

The event will showcase the club’s six winter ski trips for the upcoming season and kick off its fundraising efforts for the Bay Pines Disabled American Veterans.  

Social meetings held at the same time and location are also set for the following dates: Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Jan. 13, 2015, Feb. 10, March 10, April 14 and May 12.  

There are trips planned to Telluride, Colorado; Cooper, Colorado; Keystone, Colorado; Big Sky, Montana; Sugarloaf, Maine; and Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.  


This season also marks the 31st anniversary of the not-for-profit club, commonly known as the “Snowsharks.” Funds raised at the event will benefit those veterans that attend the Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado in March 2015. This unique rehab clinic is held each year, but due to the cost of travel, only a handful of the veterans have been able to attend.  

 ... Read More 
• Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014
American Legion cookout
SEMINOLE – American Legion Post 252, 11433 Park Blvd., holds a cookout every Saturday and Sunday at the Tiki Bar from 1 to 5 p.m.

Breakfast is held the first Sunday of every month from 8 to 11 a.m. and the monthly spaghetti dinner is held the first Tuesday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m.  

The dining room is open to the public. Legion membership is required to purchase alcohol.  

For more information, call 391-6324.
 ... Read More 
Back-to-school open house
LARGO – Join Largo’s Recreation Parks and Art Department for a free back-to-school open house Aug. 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Highland and Southwest recreation complexes and Largo Community Center.  

Visit one facility or all three for back-to-school giveaways, class demonstrations and more. Learn more about Largo recreation membership.

Recreation members enjoy access to all recreation facilities and discounted programming for $10 a year.  

Highland Recreation Complex is at 400 Highland Ave. Call 518-3016.

Southwest Recreation Complex is at 13120 Vonn Road. Call 518-3125. Largo Community Center is at 400 Alt. Keene Road. Call 518-3131.

WalMart Missouri, Largo High School PTSA and Largo Middle School PTSA will sponsor this open house.
 ... Read More 
Chamber Night at the Ballpark
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce plans Night at the Ballpark Saturday, Aug. 23, at 6:30 p.m. when the Clearwater Threshers host the Brevard County Manatees at Bright House Field.  

Those attending can enjoy and evening of fun at the Hot Corner Café ticket holders can eat and drink all they want from 5 to 8 p.m. The deal also includes 16-ounce draft beers for $2 for three hours.  

Tickets are $14.50 per person and available by contacting Dan Madden at 712-4403.
 ... Read More 
Food Truck Rally
SEMINOLE – The Seminole Warhawks Booster Club will host its first annual Fan Fest and Food Truck Rally at Seminole High School, 8401 131st St. N., Saturday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

The Booster Club is looking for direct donations and vendors who would like to display merchandise or offer giveaways for the silent auction.

Call Jennifer Halfinds at 385-5939 or Araceli Diaz at 608-3116 for more information.
 ... Read More 
Great Scallop Search
TIERRA VERDE – Tampa Bay Watch is seeking volunteer boaters to participate in its annual Great Scallop Search Saturday, Aug. 23, 9 a.m. to noon. Boaters will meet on the east end of the Fort De Soto Park boat ramp.  

The event is a yearly resource monitoring of scallops. Volunteers will snorkel along set transect lines to search for scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa bays.  

For more information, visit
 ... Read More 
UPARC benefit concert
CLEARWATER – Employee Leasing Strategies and AXA Advisors present an end of summer celebration concert to benefit the UPARC Foundation set for Saturday, Aug. 23, 6 to 11 p.m., at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort Ballroom.

The concert will include live music by ’60s recording artist Mercy with the hit single, Love Can Make You Happy, as well as dance band Act III.  

Come dance the night away while listening to great music, hors d’oeuvres and bidding on silent and live auction items. There will be a cash bar, and the attire is casual.  

To purchase tickets, visit or call UPARC at 797-8712.
 ... Read More 
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