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Clearwater / North Pinellas

  1. Pinellas' new program for suspended students is off to a slow start, but the school district looks for ways to improve

    K12

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-time thing. Kola Daodu Jr. and Adrian Floyd prefer not to talk about it.

    David White, a paraprofessional with Pinellas County Schools, talks with Gibbs High students Adrain Floyd, 16, and Kola Daodu Jr., 17, both of St. Petersburg. The boys were taking part in the school district's new Alternative Placement Program, which offers students a chance to serve their out-of-school suspensions in a school-like setting at one of three centers in the county. "Hopefully this program can serve as a life preserver," White said. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Out on the water with family, Clearwater man dies after plunging into shallow water

    Public Safety

    Michael Steller went out with his family on their boat Sunday to celebrate Memorial Day weekend like any Floridian: water, sun and a cookout with family.

  3. Pinellas County receives $30 million for beach renourishment

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — While Pinellas beaches continually rank among the best in America, they need help to stay that way.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $30 million to help with beach renourishment at several Pinellas locations, including including Sand Key, Treasure Island and Upham Beach. This photo from 2014 shows how waves from high tides caused beach erosion at Sunset Beach near Mansions by the Sea condominium complex SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  4. Clearwater firefighters rescue girl trapped between pipes

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Firefighters rescued a 14-year-old girl who whose leg was trapped between two pipes on Franklin Street on Thursday afternoon, Clearwater fire rescue said.

    Paramedics load a 14-year-old girl onto a helicopter after she injured her leg when she was trapped between a few pipes in Clearwater.
  5. Pinellas news briefs

    Briefs

    Volunteer fair at Palm Harbor Library

  6. Hometown North Pinellas

    Human Interest

    Local airmen graduate basic training: U.S. Air Force Airmen Jeremiah Wright and Philip Goode graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. The airmen completed an eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical …

    Dan Borba, a trustee of the Florida Kiwanis Foundation, right, presents Ele Fox, president of Dunedin Kiwanis, with a grant check at a recent meeting.
  7. Pinellas education news: new principals, National Merit winners, summer writing camp and more

    K12

    Top administrators named at schools

    The Pinellas County School Board approved a number of administrative changes at a special meeting this week, part of the turnover process that routinely occurs at the end of the school year. The board followed the recommendations of superintendent Mike Grego on the following …

  8. Death threats take Madeira Beach strife to new level

    Local Government

    MADEIRA BEACH — Politics here took a nasty turn last week when someone called City Manager Shane Crawford nine times, threatening to kill him, his wife and her children.

    Madeira Beach City Manager Shane Crawford
  9. Hailed as 'pioneers,' students from St. Petersburg High's first IB class return 30 years later

    Education

    ST. PETERSBURG — The students came from all over Pinellas County, some enduring hot bus rides to a school far from home. At first, they barely knew what to call themselves. All they knew was that they were in for a challenge.

    The International Baccalaureate Class of 1987 at St. Petersburg High School poses together near a school entrance back in the day. It's been 30 years since St. Petersburg High became Florida's first IB school. To mark the occasion, the school on Monday hosted an anniversary event in conjunction with the annual IB Senior Celebration at The Coliseum. Students and a few teachers from the Class of 1987 were there to rub shoulders with the newly graduated IB seniors from the Class of 2017.
  10. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay

    Roads

    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It …

  11. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals

    Business

    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating from high school, Andrew Kashella was between jobs and knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales on U.S. N in Palm Harbor notifies people the business is “restructuring.”
  12. Tarpon Springs psychic charged with defrauding veteran, widow out of $155,000

    News

    TARPON SPRINGS — A psychic was arrested Tuesday after police said she scammed two clients out of more than $150,000.

    Gina Wilson
  13. Clearwater officer fired after investigation reveals use of unnecessary force on 13-year-old (w/video)

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — When Michael Leonardo and two backup officers arrived at the youth shelter on the morning of April 2, the 13-year-old boy was still simmering from a fight.

    Surveillance video shows the events that led to Clearwater police Officer Michael Leonardo being fired for using excessive force while detaining a 13-year-old boy accused of battery.
  14. From the Netherlands to Largo: Bird enthusiasts search for healing answers

    Health

    LARGO

    Nancy Konijn was an ocean away from Sarge and Shay, and the rest of the birds of prey at McGough Nature Park. But like their keeper, Patrick Bradley, Konijn believed raptors can help humans heal. And so, several months ago, when she came across newspaper articles on Bradley's success with the idea, she …

    Nancy Konijn, co-founder of Wings of Change, is all smiles as Sarge perches on her arm.
  15. Pinellas construction licensing board looking for ways to fill financial hole

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board's interim leader told the governing board Tuesday that the troubled agency is looking for ways to climb out of its