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Here’s everything you need to know heading into this year’s Grand Prix

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It’s race week in St. Pete. The St. Petersburg Firestone Grand Prix kicks off this Friday and runs through Sunday in downtown. Whether residents are going to the race or just trying to navigate downtown for other activities, here’s everything you need to know about St. Pete’s busiest weekend. Parking will be a challenge. Loads of extra bike racks will be set up at Grand Prix entry points to encourage fans to bike rather than drive to the event. For…

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St. Petersburg SunLit Festival starts Friday

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St. Petersburg’s second annual SunLit Festival officially kicks off this Saturday with an award ceremony honoring the city’s Poet Laureate Helen Pruitt Wallace. The 2 p.m. event at the Main Library located at 3745 Ninth Ave. N. launches 10 days of celebration of literacy, literature and writers. The festival runs through March 13. The sixth annual James Weldon Johnson Literacy Festival is also Saturday. It runs from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the community library in his name located…

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New early childhood education tool available in St. Petersburg

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Early childhood education has been at the center of much debate over how to improve educational outcomes for students. That conversation has become prevalent in St. Pete where five elementary schools are chronically failing. Officials and elected leaders in the city have suggested finding money in the city’s budget to increase availability of pre-k programs above and beyond the VPK already available to 4-year-olds. While that goal may be long-term and potentially costly, the city is launching another option. Miss…

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St. Pete issues call to artists for public art installation in Roser Park

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St. Petersburg is calling on artists to design a public art display for Historic Roser Park on the outskirts of downtown next to Bayfront Medical Center. The Historic Roser Park Neighborhood Association is one of the most active in the city and is seeking art creatively related to either the neighborhood’s unique geography, architecture or history. Roser Park was the city’s first locally designated historic district. It was developed in the early 1900s amid a very different Florida landscape. The…

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St. Pete hires former senior administrator as Baseball Forever coordinator

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In what was really just an excuse to hand out free T-shirts, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman launched the city’s Baseball Forever campaign Saturday evening at Ferg’s Sports Bar. The campaign is the city’s official effort to build a case for keeping the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. According to St. Pete chief of staff Kevin King, the city hired Rick Mussett, the city’s retired senior administrator who was St. Pete’s main contact with the Rays and played an…

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New St. Pete Public Works Administrator officially welcomed to the Sunshine City

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Claude Tankersley began his post as St. Pete’s public works administrator this month. During an unrelated workshop Thursday, City Council members officially welcomed him to the city. “My motto is that it’s very important to keep the public in public works,” Tankersley said. “I like to make sure that I know our constituents as well as I can. When we have unfortunate crises, they’re more willing to help us find solutions.” Tankersley’s statement is fitting considering the terms by which…

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Old St. Pete Spirits sues over faulty equipment

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The newly launched Old St. Pete distillery is suing Keller Mechanical and Engineering for selling a worthless piece of machinery used to distill spirits. According to a lawsuit filed in Pinellas County court Feb. 10, the company was hired to build a steam- and chilled water-cooling system. According to Beverage Master, a craft spirits and brew magazine, “distillers will spend lots of time and money to add heat, steam, and energy to cook their mash and to run their still…

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