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Pinellas County

Pinellas County home to 1st sexually transmitted Zika case for 2017

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Florida health officials are reporting the state’s first sexually transmitted case of Zika in 2017. According to a Florida Department of Health statement, the Pinellas County resident’s partner showed symptoms of the mosquito-borne virus after a recent trip to Cuba. Officials said both patients tested positive for Zika.

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For 7th consecutive year, Innisbrook sues over ‘defective’ tax assessment

in Local Courts/Top Headlines by

For the seventh year in a row, the exclusive Innisbrook golf resort in Palm Harbor is contesting a ‘defective’ Pinellas County tax assessment, part of a battle waged on and off since 1998. Innisbrook is now owned by Virginia-based Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which was founded by Black Entertainment Television co-founder Sheila Johnson. Salamander purchased the resort in 2007, reportedly for $35-million, from Golf Trust, which had taken over the property from Golf Host Resorts.

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Airbnb says county agreements should lead it to equal 2016 tax payments in first six months

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Vacation home-rental marketing giant Airbnb said Tuesday its expanding list of tax agreements and its growing business should lead it to equal last year’s total sales and tourist tax payments just in the first six months of 2017. The company announced that its five-month totals in sales and tourist taxes paid to the state and individual counties surpassed $18 million through June 1, so it expects to clear $20 million by July 1. Last year the company’s combined total for…

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After strong start, Ed Hooper raises just $640 in April for Senate bid

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Call it an April slowdown. Ed Hooper, the former Republican state representative and Clearwater city commissioner, posted just over $600 in April after two consecutive months of five-digit fundraising. Hooper, aiming to replace term-limited Jack Latvala in Senate District 16, put up only $640 in contributions and showed $20 in expenditures for the month. That’s after bringing in more than $25,000 and $24,000 for February and March, respectively. Hooper, however, still has no opposition for the seat, which covers much of north Pinellas…

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IT provider Vology announces major Pinellas County expansion, adding 200 jobs

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

One of the nation’s largest managed information technology service providers is making a major expansion in Pinellas County, adding hundreds of local jobs over the next few years. IT company Vology announced plans Wednesday for 200 new jobs in the area within the next four years. Headquartered in Clearwater, the company has hired 80 staff members in 2016 and now employs 400 people nationwide, 310 of them in Pinellas County. A statement on the expansion project coincided with a congratulatory visit…

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Legislature renaming part of U.S. 19 to honor Tarpon Springs officer killed on duty

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Florida lawmakers are seeking to rename a section of Alternate U.S. 19 in northern Pinellas County after a Tarpon Springs police officer killed in the line of duty in 2014. On Thursday, the Florida Senate unanimously approved changing the name of a stretch between Tarpon Avenue and the Pasco County line to the Officer Charles ‘Charlie K’ Kondek Jr. Memorial Highway. The House passed a companion Wednesday, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Kondek had responded to a noise complaint in…

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Pinellas nursing home operators worried about impact of payment system

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Leaders from Pinellas County nursing homes joined local residents, families and advocates to voice concern over a prospective payment system (PPS) plan under consideration by the Florida Senate. Pinellas County has 69 nursing homes, of which 39 (57 percent) could lose money under the Senate budget plan — potentially more than $13 million.  “On average, our facility has a Medicaid census of close to 70 percent, which translates into 172 seniors, and under the proposed PPS system, we would lose…

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