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‘Join the club’ — Tampa Airport CEO welcomes Tom Lee’s proposed audit

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Tampa International Airport’s chief executive officer welcomed the possibility of an audit as suggested by state Sen. Tom Lee last week. “We get audited all the time,” Joe Lopano said last week at a meeting of the St. Petersburg City Council. The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported Lopano was on hand to present the $543 million Phase 2 of TIA’s three-part expansion. Council member Charlie Gerdes addressed Lee’s call for an audit: “I’m not asking this to ask you to defend…

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Rick Kriseman to host major St. Pete fundraiser this month for re-election bid

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St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is joining a significant group of Tampa Bay area supporters –  including some leaders in the Tampa Bay Rays organization – for a major fundraiser this month supporting his re-election campaign. The event is Monday, April 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at 3 Daughters Brewing, 222 22nd St. S. in St. Petersburg. Suggested contribution is $250. According to the email invite, the host committee includes Rays owner Stu Sternberg and President Matthew Silverman, former Florida…

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Four St. Petersburg City Council members announce support for Rick Kriseman’s re-election

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With the hire of a campaign manager earlier this week, Rick Kriseman‘s re-election campaign is in full swing, more than seven months before Election Day. Four members of the St. Petersburg City Council — Chair Darden Rice along with Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, Amy Foster and Charlie Gerdes — announced Wednesday that they are endorsing the mayor. “Councilmembers Rice, Wheeler-Bowman, Foster, and Gerdes have been great allies for progress on our city council,” Kriseman said in a statement. “I have worked closely with each…

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In campaign kickoff speech, Rick Kriseman aims to take St. Petersburg to next level

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Rick Kriseman says he ran for Mayor four years ago because he felt that the big issues in St. Petersburg weren’t being addressed. Kicking off his re-election campaign Wednesday night, he said, “It’s so important to keep our foot on the gas pedal.” “This is a time that’s really important for the city of St. Petersburg,” Kriseman told a crowd of around 100 supporters who filled in the courtyard of Three Birds Tavern on 4th Street. “We have a lot of big issues that…

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St. Pete City Council delays vote on funds for Tall Ship Lynx

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St. Petersburg council members decided Thursday to send to committee a proposal to spend BP settlement money to build a docking area for the Tall Ship Lynx. If the proposal passes the council’s budget committee, it would come back for a final decision. Under the proposal, the council would spend up to $65,000 on infrastructure so the Lynx can winter at the Vinoy Basin/North Yacht Basin. The ship is currently berthed at the Harborage Marina. The Tall Ship Lynx is…

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St. Petersburg council bans sale of dogs, cats from puppy mills in pet stores

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Council members have unanimously approved an ordinance that bans pet stores in St. Petersburg from selling dogs or cats unless they can show the animal came from a humane organization. The approval came after an emotionally intense public hearing in which animal advocates displayed graphic, gut-wrenching photographs of dogs kept in puppy mills for breeding purposes. Other supporters came close to tears over the plight of the animals that are in puppy mills or that are killed in shelters because…

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Skyway Marina District leaders want $5,000 for design plan development

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St. Pete City Council’s Public Services and Infrastructure committee will discuss a potential $5,000 grant to the Skyway Marina District for design plan development services next week. The board is expected to fast track a decision. Steve Kornell, whose City Council district includes Skyway Marina, brought the item before full council at its regular meeting Thursday. The small appropriation is intended to allow the Skyway Marina District board to hire a consultant to develop a design plan for the corridor.…

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