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Pinellas Democratic Party withdraws CRA grant application after GOP attack

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After being attacked by their Republican counterparts, the Pinellas Democratic Executive committee announced on Thursday that it will not accept the $531 grant they received to install native plants around its headquarters on 2250 1st Avenue North in St. Petersburg. The grant came via a $338,000 appropriation that the St. Pete City Council made to organizations inside the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to improve and enhance their buildings. “Donald Trump isn’t the only bully within the Republican Party and…

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Proposal to limit outside money in St. Pete elections moves to committee

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A split St. Petersburg City Council voted Thursday to send a proposal that would limit political action committees’ involvement in municipal election to a committee for discussion. If the idea passes the committee, it would come back to the Council. The proposal, which is the brainchild of Councilmember Darden Rice, is aimed at “super PACs,” political action committees that are allowed to raise an unlimited amount of money from corporations, unions, individuals and associations to influence the outcome of elections. Rice…

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Pet stores must sell dogs, cats from humane organizations under St. Petersburg proposal

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Council members unanimously gave tentative approval to an ordinance that would ban the sale of dogs and cats in St. Petersburg pet shops unless they came from humane organizations or rescue groups. The item is scheduled for a final public hearing at the July 21 meeting. “It better protects pets and it discourages the puppy mill business, which, I think, is self-evident cruelty,” council member Karl Nurse said. Nurse had spearheaded the issue. The ordinance is similar to others that…

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St. Pete council clears way for western and wildlife art museum

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St. Petersburg council members unanimously voted Thursday to lease parking spaces in the South Core Garage so the proceeds could be used to financially support a proposed western and wildlife art museum. “This is truly a goosebumps moment for St. Petersburg,” city council member Ed Montanari said. “This is one of the easiest votes I’ve had since being on council,” Steve Kornell said. “We’re very excited and very honored.” The museum is the brainchild of Tom James, executive chairman of…

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Jack Latvala wants Rick Kriseman to consider Pinellas County, and not just St. Petersburg, for future home of the Rays

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Shortly after the St. Petersburg City Council finally granted the Tampa Bay Rays management permission to negotiate with Hillsborough County officials regarding a potential new ballpark, St. Pete officials introduced a new project to assure fans that they would move heaven and earth to keep the team in the ‘burg. In late February came the Baseball Forever Campaign, an initiative spearheaded by the City of St. Pete and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “There’s no better place to…

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Ed Montanari to undergo heart surgery

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St. Pete City Council member Ed Montanari will be absent for meetings for “a few months.” Montanari announced in a letter to Council Wednesday and from the dais Thursday that he will be undergoing heart surgery later this month. “I want to inform you that yesterday I was advised by my doctors that I will need to have surgery to repair a valve in my heart. My surgery has been scheduled for February 23rd, and the recovery time will last…

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Toast of the Bay/Dump into the Bay: St. Pete Chamber and Bike Share

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Toast to the Bay: St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce The St. Pete Chamber this week celebrated a fruitful 2015 at the Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Pete among more than 1,000 members. The backdrop was a theater thriving in a booming downtown. All things that make the Chamber and its president, Chris Steinocher, very, very happy. The group welcomed 333 new members in 2015, a record-breaking year for them. Steinocher participated in 42 ribbon cuttings representing 42 new businesses…

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