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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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February trial date set for John Jonchuck, accused of throwing daughter off St. Pete bridge

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A Pinellas County court set a trial date for John Jonchuck, arrested in 2015 for throwing his 5-year-old daughter off a St. Petersburg bridge. The Tampa Bay Times reported Monday that the trial will begin early February. In a pretrial hearing Monday, Jonchuck’s three public defenders listened as Pinellas County Circuit Judge Chris Helinger announced the proceedings would begin Feb. 5, 2018, roughly three years after Jonchuck inexplicably threw Phoebe Jonchuck off the Dick Misener Bridge, according to the Times.…

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Pinellas County sends more than 26K mail ballots for March 14 elections

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Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark announced her office mailed 26,512 ballots Tuesday to domestic voters in the 10 municipalities holding elections March 14. Those municipalities include Gulfport (3,615); Indian Rocks Beach: (1,439); Madeira Beach (1,252); North Redington Beach (548); Redington Shores (220); Safety Harbor (5,606); South Pasadena (2,093); St. Pete Beach (3,506); Tarpon Springs (6,742) and Treasure Island (1,491). Clark says that all eligible registered voters can request a mail ballot and voted mail ballots must be received…

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Survey shows fewer than half of voters support Penny for Pinellas renewal

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A new survey shows fewer than half Pinellas voters would cast a ballot for renewing the Penny for Pinellas if the referendum were held today. The poll, by St. Pete Polls, shows 48 percent of registered voters in Pinellas County would vote to support another Penny. Another 28 percent would not support it, and 23 percent are unsure. Although the poll shows the Penny failing to pass if the election were today, the vote is close and, with a 2.2…

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Wastewater/Stormwater Task Force to meet to discuss action plan

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Pinellas County residents are invited to attend the second countywide Wastewater/Stormwater Task Force meeting at 9:30 a.m. Monday to hear about the team’s Initial Action Plan. The Technical Working Group will present the Task Force Steering Committee members with its findings and recommendations to reduce wastewater overflow issues around the county. Monday’s meeting will be held at the University Partnership Center – Digitorium, located at the Seminole Campus of St. Petersburg College, 9200 113th St. N, Seminole. Attendees will have the opportunity…

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Pinellas commissioners ask for power to revamp construction licensing board

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Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long sent a strongly-worded letter to the head of the county’s construction licensing board telling him to get the agency’s house in order. Long also sent a letter to state Sen. Jack Latvala asking that Pinellas’ legislative delegation give the county the power to determine how best to provide the board’s services to residents. The construction licensing board regulates certain construction and home improvement contractors practicing in Pinellas County, including all local municipalities. In addition, the…

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