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Hall withdraws from Council race, making Gabbard the automatic winner

City Council candidate Kyle Hall has withdrawn from the race for District 2, leaving incumbent Brandi Gabbard unopposed. According to the City Charter, that means Gabbard is the de facto winner. She will be sworn in at the first City Council meeting in 2022.

Health department issues alert on harmful algal bloom at Eagle Lake Park

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County issued a health alert on Thursday after a harmful algal bloom was detected at Eagle Lake Park at 1800 Keene Road. The department is asking people to exercise caution and stay away from contact with the water. This includes pets as well. Warning signs have been posted. 

New Studio @ 620 show debuts today on Catalyst

Studio @ 620 presents R & B featuring Richard Santora and Bob Devin Jones.  Watch episode 1 here. 

St. Pete to institute a ‘clean zone’ around Tropicana Field for playoffs

Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays have requested that the City of St. Petersburg institute a “clean zone” around Tropicana Field beginning on Oct. 5, the start date of the baseball postseason. The clean zone is requested to continue for as long as the Rays are in the playoffs, up to and including the 2021 World Series. The World Series is scheduled to run between Oct. 26 – Nov. 3. The concept of a “clean zone” has long been associated with major national sporting events, and is intended to regulate temporary commercial activities, prevent illegal activity, and enhance aesthetics surrounding the event. The city has previously enacted these zones during all of the Rays’ playoff appearances. City council unanimously approved the resolution.

St. Pete moves up date for Grand Prix

The Firestone Grand Prix will race around the streets of downtown St. Petersburg a little earlier next year. At Thursday’s city council meeting, it was announced the race will now be held from Feb. 24 – Feb. 27. It was previously scheduled for March 10 – March 12. The change is to ensure a network television spot and potentially broader coverage. The earlier start date also guarantees the city will host the first and opening event of the 2022 IndyCar season.

KnowBe4 ranks high on list of best workplaces for women

Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine has named Clearwater-based KnowBe4 (NASDAQ: KNBE) as one of the 2021 Best Workplaces for Women. This is KnowBe4’s fourth time being named to this prestigious list, this year coming in at No. 11. “KnowBe4’s workforce is made up of over 40% women, which is much higher than the average IT security organization,” Erika Lance, chief human resources officer at KnowBe4, said in a release. “And one out of four women at KnowBe4 is at management level or higher. We pride ourselves on supporting and promoting the women in our workforce, as we believe that diversity makes for a stronger, more productive and more inclusive workplace. We offer some amazing benefits for women, including fully paid parental leave, paid adoption and fertility assistance and more.”

St. Pete startup founders of Intrinio and Doggery Craft Ice share their business journey

The St. Pete Greenhouse held a special "Founders' Fireside" chat event this week with Rachel Carpenter, CEO and co-founder of fintech startup Intrinio, and Clifton Fischer, CEO of Doggery Craft Ice. The discussion was moderated by Joe Hamilton of the St. Pete Catalyst. The discussion dives into each founders’ entrepreneurial journey. Watch the event here on Facebook. 

The Candle Pour will expand to the Edge District

The Candle Pour, a popular shop that offers DIY candle-making experiences, will open a location in the Edge District. The candle shop announced the new location on Twitter and Instagram stating: “We are thrilled to announce that we are going to open our second location on Central Avenue in the St. Pete Edge District. With @tombrady (photoshopped) by our side, we made it official yesterday and look forward to pouring with you!" The Candle Pour has an existing location in Hyde Park Village. 

Amazon plans to hire 8,000 workers across Florida

E-commerce giant Amazon.com announced earlier this week that it plans to hire 8,000 workers across the state. Roughly 100 roles are expected to be filled in Tampa Bay. The jobs pay an average starting wage of more than $18 per hour. CareerSource Tampa Bay will be hosting three in-person hiring events for Amazon. The job openings are located at Amazon’s new fulfillment center located in Temple Terrace and other locations in Tampa Bay. Information on the hiring events can be found here.   

Florida Funders invests in $106M seed round for financial product

Florida Funders, a Tampa-based hybrid of a venture capital fund and an angel investor network, announced on Wednesday it has invested in California-based Grow Credit, a financial product that allows consumers to build credit for free. Florida Funders didn't disclose how much they invested into the $106 million seed round. Florida Funders' investment derived from its Fund 2 LLC, supporting Grow Credit’s investment in product development and marketing strategies to accelerate user acquisition, according to the announcement. The round also includes returning investors Mucker Capital and Commerce Ventures, with participation from Marqeta CEO Jason Gardner, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, NBA All-Star Baron Davis, Omaze President Will Kassoy, and Matt Higgins, who is vice-chair of the Miami Dolphins.   

Logistics company lays off nearly 100 workers in Tampa

Illinois-based firm Dillon Logistics has laid off nearly 100 workers in Tampa due to a failed acquisition. Dillion Logistic notified the state that it started to lay off 98 employees at its Tampa facility at 4614 S. 50th Street in late August. “The company had planned to sell the business to another entity under terms pursuant to which the buyer had agreed to maintain the employment of our employees," Dillion Logistics President Mike Cloonen wrote in the letter sent on Sept. 2. "Unfortunately, that transaction will not be going forward, and we are left with no reasonable alternative other than to liquidate the business." The company has a total of 202 employees including 104 who are based in Mulberry.   

AdventHealth begins resuming some elective procedures in Tampa Bay

AdventHealth has reported its hospitals in the West Florida division have started to see a decline in Covid-19 admissions. As a result, the following hospital campuses will begin rescheduling and resuming some elective procedures:

  • AdventHealth Carrollwood
  • AdventHealth Dade City
  • AdventHealth North Pinellas
  • AdventHealth Sebring
  • AdventHealth Tampa
  • AdventHealth Wesley Chapel
  • AdventHealth Zephyrhills

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