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PSTA to expand Direct Connect program, Uber rides to bus stops

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Need a ride to the bus stop? Hail an Uber from anywhere in the county to a PSTA bus stop and PSTA will pick up the tab. That’s the gist of the Direct Connect program created by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to solve the problem of the so-called first mile/last mile obstacle to the use of public transportation. Agency officials say the public-private partnership is the first in the country to solve that problem. At issue is the rider’s…

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Mites, scabies only the latest trouble in Oldsmar motel’s sordid history

in Local Courts by

A Pinellas County motel with a sordid history is now being accused of offering guests an unwelcome amenity — scabies. Rhonda Baxter and Alex Rodriguez were guests at the Bayview Motel on 501 S. Bayview Blvd. in Oldsmar; Baxter visited in December 2014, Rodriguez in May 2015. In two separate lawsuits filed earlier this month in Pinellas County’s 6th Judicial Circuit Court, each claim bedrooms they stayed in were infested with mites causing scabies, a skin condition. Both say mites…

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Rick Scott reappoints two to Pinellas Housing Authority

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday the reappointments of Joseph Triolo and Michael Guju to the Pinellas County Housing Authority. Triolo, 59, of St. Petersburg, is a program manager for Duke Energy. He is reappointed for a term beginning Dec. 16 and ending Jan. 21, 2018. Triolo was appointed to PCHA’s board of commissioners in 2009 and served as chairman from 2009 through June. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Triolo also serves on the board of directors of the Florida…

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Pinellas County Commission moves toward moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to hold a public hearing Jan. 10 to decide a possible moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers. The moratorium would remain in effect for 180 days to give the commission time to pass an ordinance regulating such issues as the location of dispensaries and treatment centers. A proposed ordinance is expected to come before the board in April. If the moratorium is adopted, Pinellas County will join other governmental bodies across the…

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Rick Kriseman sets next steps to reach 100 percent clean energy goal

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg became the first Florida city last month to sign on to the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign, which seeks to convert the city to 100 percent renewable, green energy. Mayor Rick Kriseman on Friday set out the first steps the city is taking to reach that goal. It’s an initiative he calls the Integrated Sustainability Action Plan. The city has earmarked $250,000 for the ISAP. First on the ISAP list is an overall energy audit to help…

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Pinellas County launching educational campaign to renew Penny for Pinellas

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas residents can expect to hear a lot next year about the number of roads, fire stations, parks, buildings and other projects the county and cities have constructed during the past 30 years. Residents will also hear a lot about construction planned for Pinellas’ future. It’s all part of an education campaign that the county and municipal governments will undertake as they try to persuade Pinellas voters to renew the Penny for Pinellas sales tax for the fourth time. If…

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Lauralee Westine appointed to Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday named local-government and land-use attorney Lauralee Westine to replace retiring Judge Bruce Boyer on the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court. Westine, 45, of Palm Harbor, concentrates on zoning and permitting for cell towers and other towers through the Law Office of Lauralee G. Westine, according to her practice’s website. She has worked in private practice since 2000, the Governor’s Office said. Earlier, she was a prosecutor in the Sixth Circuit, which includes Pinellas and Pasco counties. Westine is married to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.…

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