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Clearwater / North Pinellas

  1. Pinellas Commission gives preliminary nod to tax money for Blue Jays


    CLEARWATER ––After a confusing debate, the Pinellas County Commission on Tuesday voted to help Dunedin move forward with an $81 million upgrade of the Toronto Blue Jays spring training complex.

    The Pinellas County Commission gave preliminary approval to a plan that would send $46.5 million in bed-tax money to help upgrade the Toronto Blue Jays spring training facility.  [SCOTT KEELER    |    Times]
  2. Pinellas County commissioner to discuss tax money for Toronto Blue Jays


    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission on Tuesday will discuss the next steps for a plan to help Dunedin upgrade the spring training complex for the Toronto Blue Jays.

    A plan to renovate Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, the spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays, calls for Pinellas County to shell out $46.5 million. County commissioners will discuss the idea at a meeting Tuesday.[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  3. Pinellas County to consider rules for medical marijuana

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission is slated to vote Tuesday on an ordinance to establish rules for growing, processing and selling medical pot in unincorporated areas of the county.

    The Pinellas County Commission on Tuesday will consider new rules for growing, processing and selling medical pot in unincorporated areas of the county. [Washington Post]
  4. In Clearwater, a new paramedic unit for medical calls improves response for bigger emergencies

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — The paramedics were in the 7-Eleven parking lot for barely a minute when the first call came in Tuesday.

    Paramedics from Clearwater Fire Rescue (in dark shirts) Chris Johnson, 36, left, and Carlos Rivera, 23, help a man who was having seizures outside the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen.
  5. Instead of going to prison, Tampa man will be freed while appealing DUI manslaughter conviction


    Last month, Brock Troutman was convicted of drunkenly running down and killing a Clearwater Beach tourist who was crossing the street with his daughter in 2015.

    Brock Troutman, 34, of Tampa, was convicted of DUI manslaughter last month. On Monday he was sentenced to five years in prison. But a judge on Wednesday paved the way for Troutman to post bail and be freed from jail while he appeals his conviction. [Courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  6. Clearwater City Council votes tonight on buying land eyed by Church of Scientology

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The City Council will vote today on whether to purchase a 1.4 acre vacant lot from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which the Church of Scientology is also lobbying to buy.

    A view looking east along Pierce Street on Clearwater's downtown bluff. At right is a grassy parcel owned by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and coveted by both the city of Clearwater and the Church of Scientology. The City Council will vote Thursday on whether to purchase the land from the aquarium for $4.25 million. The aquarium has rejected the church's $15 million offer. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  7. Police: Baby dies after being born to Clearwater woman who had just smoked crack


    CLEARWATER — The baby of a mother who police said gave birth to him moments after smoking crack died Friday at St. Joseph's Hospital, according to police.

    The baby of 24-year-old Katrina Kegelman, who police said gave birth to him moments after smoking crack, died Friday at St. Joseph's Hospital, according to Clearwater police. [Pinellas County Jail]
  8. New disc golf course coming to Oldsmar this summer

    Local Government

    OLDSMAR — If you've wandered through Sheffield Park lately, along with seeing the usual walkers, runners, dogs and happy kids on the playground, you might have noticed some new "holes.''

    Trevor Toenjes has been playing disc golf since the 1980s.
  9. Scientologists and others step up the pressure as Clearwater nears vote on prized parcel

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The $19 million Skyview condo being built downtown with a penthouse for actor Tom Cruise could be the last investment developer Cleman Agami ever makes in the city.

    Should the Clearwater City Council vote this week to buy a prized piece of downtown land from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium? Or should it decline and allow the Church of Scientology to buy it? Opinions are strong on both sides as the Thursday vote approaches. The vacant parcel in question is between City Hall in the foreground and the multi-story building to the south, which is the church's Oak Cove retreat. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  10. There's a lesson for lost children in viral photo of Clearwater police officer

    Public Safety

    Whenever Clearwater police Officer Rich Edmonds has to respond to a call reporting a missing child, his heart stops for a second.

    Clearwater police Officer Rich Edmonds walks hand-in-hand with 6-year-old Hannah along Clearwater Beach after she got separated from her family on Tuesday. The photo went viral after being posted to Facebook. Edmonds hope it inspires familes to come up with a plan in case their own children get separated from their parents. [Photo Courtesy of Amy Amerell]
  11. Man sentenced to 14 years in prison in Clearwater motorcycle crash


    A 40-year-old man charged with vehicular homicide in a Clearwater motorcycle crash that killed his passenger pleaded guilty Thursday and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

  12. Photo contest in Oldsmar

    Human Interest

    OLDSMAR — If you're interested in showing off your photo skills or think your pictures are good enough to garner prize money, consider the Show Off Your Oldsmar photo contest. Enter three photos, old or new, along with a brief description of when and where it was taken for a chance to win up to $200. Three cash …

  13. Community garden plots available in Clearwater

    Human Interest

    CLEARWATER — About 10 plots are up for grabs in the Clearwater Community Garden at the corner of North Betty Lane and Grove Street.

  14. Hoyt Hamilton elected vice mayor in Clearwater

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — The City Council last week unanimously voted for Hoyt Hamilton to serve as vice mayor. A City Council member is appointed to the position once a year and serves primarily as a fill-in to lead meetings or sign paper work if the mayor is absent. Bill Jonson served in the post prior to Hamilton.

  15. Oldsmar's Harbor Palms Nature Preserve entries closed

    Local Government

    OLDSMAR — Because of renovations and maintenance work, both the east and west entry points to the Harbor Palms Nature Preserve boardwalk are closed for the next few weeks. For information on alternative routes on the Oldsmar Trail, visit the leisure services page on