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Lealman

David Jolly presents flag at Ray Neri’s memorial service

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Former U.S. Rep. David Jolly on Wednesday presented an American flag to Laura Neri, the widow of community activist Ray Neri, who died Jan. 3. The flag was one that U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis had had flown over the Capitol especially for Mrs. Neri. “Ray Neri was a special person,” Jolly said. “Ray touched peoples’ lives.” Jolly was only one of many of Pinellas’ political leaders who came to Neri’s memorial service. Others included Pinellas County commissioners  Pat Gerard, Karen…

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‘Mr. Lealman’ Ray Neri dies

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Ray Neri, the man who put the unincorporated Lealman area on the map, died Tuesday at Northside Hospital. Neri was taken to Northside on Monday. He had fallen earlier in the day. Neri was a well-known community activist whose persistent lobbying brought attention to the problems in his community. With the light he shone on Lealman came help. His activism resulted in, among other things, a renovated park, a new park, and Pinellas County’s first community redevelopment area designed to…

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Pinellas Sheriff’s PAL program holds fundraising breakfast

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Almost 500 people showed up Friday morning to hear stories about the successes of the Pinellas Sheriff’s PAL program. The Police Athletic League program, which opened in Pinellas in 2001, is currently focused on helping underprivileged kids in the unincorporated Lealman area. Lealman is generally located between Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg and I-275 and Park Street. Kenneth City divides the area into two. Lealman is a “very under-served part of Pinellas [with] a lot of kids, a lot of…

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Fire union endorses challenger in Lealman Fire Commission race

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The St. Petersburg Association of Firefighters, the union that represents Lealman firefighters, has endorsed Jorge Mercado in the upcoming election. Mercado is running against incumbent Jay D. Alexander for Seat 3 on the Lealman Fire District Commission. “I am greatly honored and humbled by having their support,” Mercado said. Mercado is a 26-year resident of Lealman and has an emergency medical technician certification from St. Petersburg College. He works as a master scheduler at DRS Laurel Technologies in Largo. He…

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David Jolly offers tribute to Florida Dream Center

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U.S. Rep. David Jolly entered a tribute to the Florida Dream Center into the Congressional Record. Jolly made the tribute in June, but the Dream Center didn’t know about it until this week when the organization received a copy. “What a humbling honor to be recognized by Congressman Jolly,” Steven Cleveland, executive director of the Dream Center, said on his Facebook page. “Thank you, Congressman Jolly, for all you do in our community.” The Florida Dream Center is a faith-based…

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Mike Mikurak kicks off program linking Lealman manufacturers to job hunters

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A group including representatives of public service agencies, activists and representatives from Lealman area manufacturers sat down Tuesday morning to discuss ways to get those companies what they need: employees. The discussion was the first step in a program that Mike Mikurak and Dick Peck are bringing to Lealman. Mikurak is a founder of Accenture, a global professional services company. Mikurak is also running against incumbent Charlie Justice for the Pinellas County Commission. He and Peck, of QTM Inc. in…

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