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Ben Kirby

I really don’t know Kevin King

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I really don’t know Kevin King, the Chief of Staff to Mayor Rick Kriseman. I believe — and Kevin can correct me if I am wrong — the last time he and I spoke was in early 2006. It was after my spiral from politics, when I was waiting tables at a now-defunct joint on Fourth Street. If I remember correctly, Kevin was charitable to me, probably feeling sorry for my station in life at the time. He was soon to become, if not already, the go-to…

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City of St. Petersburg chooses Capitol Alliance Group as new lobbyist

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has chosen the Capitol Alliance Group of Tallahassee to be the city’s lobbyist in the state capitol. Although Kriseman has made the choice, details of the contract have not been ironed out, spokesman Ben Kirby said. Capitol Alliance will replace the city’s current lobbyist, Peebles and Smith, also based in Tallahassee, in the upcoming Legislative Session. St. Petersburg’s contract will Peebles expired Sept. 30. The contract was worth $50,000 last year. Capitol Alliance has a…

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Rick Kriseman says the door IS open for President-elect Donald Trump to visit St. Petersburg

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Although he undoubtedly has other issues to contend with at the moment, the welcome mat IS out for Donald Trump to visit St. Petersburg whenever he likes, Mayor Rick Kriseman’s spokesman says. Last December, Kriseman made national news when he tweeted that, “I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St. Petersburg until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps,” shortly after the now president-elect had called for a “total and complete shutdown” of all Muslims from entering the United States “until our…

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St. Pete, Gulfport celebrate two cities, one street

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St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson will work together this Saturday to help clean up a street that’s common to both cities. After the cleanup, St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway and Gulfport police Chief Rob Vincent will hold their own community event to discuss how the departments are collaborating on issues common to the 49th Street South corridor that both share. “This event brings residents from both great cities together to work collaboratively along the…

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Jack Latvala: What about using barges to prevent sewer overflows?

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On the eve of a meeting between the Pinellas Legislative delegation and city officials, state Sen. Jack Latvala has presented one possible solution to prevent further overflows of wastewater into Tampa Bay. And he wants St. Petersburg officials to tell him if it’s a good idea and, if not, why not. “I would like your presentation to include if it is feasible for barges or tankers to be brought into Bayboro to be used for heavy rain events and, if…

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Whistleblower says St. Pete knew closing Albert Whitted could cause overflows

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The chief plant operator at one of St. Petersburg’s sewage plants says city officials knew that closing the Albert Whitted plant before improvements were made at another facility could cause overflows during heavy rains. Federal law protects workers who have whistleblower status from being retaliated against by firing or other adverse employment actions when the employee reports serious violations. Craven Askew said he was claiming whistleblower status because “public safety and the environment is suspected to be possibly in danger…

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Kathleen Peters slams decision to close Albert Whitted sewer plant

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Considering the effect of the summer’s rains on leaky sewer pipes, it’s not surprising that Pinellas County’s aging infrastructure was a prime issue during a debate Tuesday between Kathleen Peters and Jennifer Webb. And it’s probably not surprising that the cities, especially St. Petersburg, came in for harsh criticism from Peters, a Republican running for re-election to State House District 69. Webb, a Democrat, is opposing her. “Local governments throughout the county have not done their job,” Peters said. Peters…

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