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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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Janet Long suggests bringing all the sewer systems in Pinellas under one umbrella

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In recent months, St. Petersburg has become the poster child for a crumbling sewer infrastructure that’s dumped millions of gallons of untreated and partially treated wastewater into Tampa Bay. But the problem of failing infrastructure is much bigger than St. Pete. It’s countywide. The county, Largo, Clearwater and Tarpon Springs — just to name four — also have had problems with sewer systems unable to handle recent heavy rains. It’s an urgent problem, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long said Monday. It’s one…

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Kathleen Peters calls for special meeting on infrastructure damage

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State Rep. Kathleen Peters has joined state Sen. Jack Latvala in a call for action after Hurricane Hermine. The Treasure Island Republican, in a statement released Friday, called for a special meeting of Pinellas County’s legislative delegation and local leaders “to discuss critical infrastructure concerns in light of recent storm surges.” Hermine, a Category 1 hurricane at landfall, knocked out electric service Thursday night to hundreds of thousands across North Florida, and caused significant damage along the state’s Gulf coast. Peters said she was specifically…

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Incumbent Myriam Irizarry squeaks out victory to remain on Pinellas County bench

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Myriam Irizarry appears to have won a narrow victory over former state Rep. Dwight Dudley to retain the judicial seat she won last year by appointment. Irizarry polled about 78,575 votes, or about 50.38 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Dudley was about 0.76 percent behind with 77,382 votes. That’s far enough behind to avoid a recount. But there were still some provisional ballots out late Tuesday night, although it does not appear that there were enough to…

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It’s not the party … it’s the after party! A rundown of where Tampa Bay candidates will be on Election Night

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Votes have been cast. Now it comes to this — Primary Election day. For some, the campaign ends here. With others, the road now leads to November. Either way, candidates will be attending a range of events, where celebrations — or the drowning of sorrows — will take place Tuesday night. Here is a rundown of primary night watch parties and other celebrations throughout Tampa Bay: Congressman David Jolly, running for re-election to Florida’s 13th Congressional District, cast his vote…

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Pinellas officials say they are combatting mosquitoes, Zika

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday announced a new case of Zika in Pinellas, bringing the total cases in the county to 10. The nine cases that had already been identified as of Monday by the Department of Health were all travel-related. The 10th was not. It was locally transmitted, meaning that mosquitoes in the area are infected with the virus. Zika disease is caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito,…

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