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Pinellas Commission approves foreclosure registry

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In an effort to minimize the impact of foreclosed properties that may not be properly maintained, the Pinellas County Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance requiring the registration, inspection and maintenance of foreclosed homes. “It’s long overdue. Some of the houses in our neighborhoods are horrible,” Commissioner Dave Eggers said. “I’m tired of these banks not taking care of these houses and ruining neighborhoods.” The ordinance, which goes into effect Jan. 1, applies to properties in unincorporated Pinellas that…

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Pinellas County, cities provide help for victims of Hurricane Matthew

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Two dozen fire and emergency medical services personnel left Pinellas for the east coast Thursday to prepare for the aftermath response of Hurricane Matthew. Pinellas County Emergency Medical Services and Fire Administration coordinated the departure of the Fire Engine Strike Team and Technical Rescue Unit from Clearwater to the final staging area in Lakeland. The effort was made possible by the strong partnerships among the county and municipalities. The Fire Engine Strike Team is made up of firefighters from the…

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St. Pete closes emergency operations center; Pinellas EOC remains open

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St. Petersburg closed its emergency operations center, opened to handle issues related to Hurricane Matthew, at 9 a.m. Friday. No significant damage was reported, St. Petersburg officials said, although one downed tree branch briefly blocked traffic on 4th Street South at 59th Avenue. Wind speeds stayed between 18 mph and 26 mph overnight, with gusts reaching 33 mph, they said. Seven people spent the night at the shelter at Northside Baptist Church, 6000 38th Ave. N. St. Petersburg officials said…

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Pinellas County prepares to lend hurricane aid to east coast

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As preparations continue ahead of a Category 4 hurricane forecast to move along or over the east coast of Florida tonight and tomorrow, Pinellas County is making its own plans to lend a hand. “The current weather forecast puts Pinellas County in a more favorable position to be able to support other agencies and counties that are expected to see far greater impacts,” Pinellas County Commission Chairman Charlie Justice said in a press release. “Both in times of calm and…

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Rick Scott orders DEP investigation in St. Petersburg sewage discharges

in Statewide by

Gov. Rick Scott has ordered the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to investigate sewage discharges in St. Petersburg. The Governor’s Office made the announcement Wednesday, just one day after Scott called on the state Department of Health to begin additional testing at the discharge site. While the city is responsible for testing in the immediate area, the Department of Health will monitor the water quality and do sampling at 14 beaches — including nine in Pinellas County and five in…

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Lawmakers learn Pinellas is responsible for half of Florida’s wastewater overflow this year

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Lack of capacity, deteriorating sewer lines, broken equipment, and an immense amount of rain are to blame for overwhelmed sewer systems that have dumped more than 248 million gallons of untreated and partially treated wastewater into Tampa Bay and other Pinellas waterways so far this year. Those explanations, provided to the county’s legislative delegation during a fact-finding session Tuesday, did not sit well with at least one delegation member. “I get frustrated when I hear excuses and I hear climate change,”…

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Five takeaways from the Charlie Crist-David Jolly CD 13 debate

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

TAKE 1: Who won? I would call it a draw. Both candidates got in zingers at the other and both successfully reinforced the message they are trying to sell to voters. In Jolly’s case, he wants to remind voters he has been a maverick in his two-plus years in the U.S. House of Representatives. That’s especially necessary for this race in a newly redrawn district that would seem to favor Democrats. Jolly made sure to stray from the Republican Party…

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