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Innovation Center to launch climate tech accelerator

The Tampa Bay Innovation Center's next startup accelerator program will focus on innovations and emerging markets in climate tech. The accelerator program will start the week of Jan. 9 for early-stage tech ventures, which include startups in the agtech, marine science, manufacturing and weather monitoring spaces, according to TBIC's Monday announcement. Duke Energy and PODS Moving and Storage are supporting the program and will assist TBIC by providing industry insight and resources including domain expertise, customer contacts and mentors. The accelerator program will consist of weekly group workshops supplemented by one-on-one mentoring. Applications are now open for this program. 

Feds open Business Recovery Center in Tampa

The Small Business Administration has opened a Business Recovery Center in Tampa to help companies rebound after Hurricane Ian. The center, which opened Monday morning, will help impacted Florida businesses submit disaster loan applications. The local BRC is located at the Chloe Coney Urban Enterprise Center on Hillsborough Avenue. Other BRCs will be opening across the state in affected counties. 

Raymond James completes rebrand of investment arm

St. Petersburg-based Raymond James Investment Management, a global asset management company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Raymond James, announced Monday that its new brand identity is now effective. The initial news of the rebrand for the company, formerly known as Carillon Tower Advisers, was announced in June. “The strong support we received from our associates, boutique investment managers, and clients when we announced our new brand name was gratifying,” Bob Kendall, president of Raymond James Investment Management, said in a news release. “We’ve already seen the benefits of becoming more closely aligned with the Raymond James family, and we look forward to our shared path of success ahead.” Raymond James Investment Management’s boutique investment managers, which includes Chartwell Investment Partners, ClariVest Asset Management, Cougar Global Investments, Eagle Asset Management, Reams Asset Management (a division of Scout) and Scout Investments, will continue to retain its individual brand identities, according to the release. 

Rowdies win; finish season at home

The Tampa Bay Rowdies notched a comeback win on the road versus Monterey Bay FC Sunday night. Following the 2-1 victory, the Rowdies pull within three points of Memphis 901 FC for second place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference standing. The win also capped off a week of disruptions and postponements due to Hurricane Ian. The Rowdies scored both goals in the second half of Sunday night’s match and will now finish the regular season at Al Lang Stadium. The three-match homestand begins on Saturday, Oct. 3, against the Loudoun United FC on Hispanic Heritage Night. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 727-222-2000.

Deadline extended for city council vacancy

In light of Hurricane Ian disrupting St. Petersburg City Government operations, the deadline to apply for the vacant city council District 7 seat has been extended. The district was vacated following former Councilmember Lisa Wheeler-Bowman’s abrupt resignation Sept. 14 and spans a large portion of South St. Petersburg. The new deadline to submit required documentation is by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. Applicants must deliver submissions in person to the City Clerk’s Office located in City Hall, at 175 5th St. N. in St. Petersburg. For eligibility requirements, process information and further details, visit the website here. Residents can also submit questions for candidates until that date through a form on the website.

Rays beat Astros, clinch playoff spot

Friday night’s win over the Houston Astros guarantees the Tampa Bay Rays will make the playoffs for the fourth straight season. The Rays won the previous two American League East Division titles but will settle for a wild card berth this season, the second in four years. The news could not have come at a better time for Tampa Bay fans, as the region is still dealing with the impacts of Hurricane Ian. The team conducts Spring Training about 80 miles south of St. Petersburg, in Port Charlotte, which received the brunt of the Category 4 storm’s impact. Tampa Bay (86-71) beat the Astros (102-55) 7-3 Friday night. Despite the loss, Houston clinched home-field advantage through the postseason.

PCS to reopen schools, six remain without power

According to a Friday afternoon release, the Pinellas County School (PCS) district plans to reopen all of its facilities Monday, Oct. 3. Hurricane Ian's winds knocked trees down on some campuses, but PCS crew assessments showed no structures sustained significant damage. Six county schools remain without power: Fairmont Park Elementary, Frontier Elementary, Lakeview Fundamental Elementary, Northwest Elementary, Safety Harbor Elementary and St. Petersburg High School. However, Duke Energy officials assured their PCS counterparts that they would restore service by Sunday. The release also stated that workers would deep clean and sanitize all schools used as shelters.

St. Pete officials announce debris collection details

Beginning Monday, Oct. 3, the City of St. Petersburg will start collecting debris from residences. However, according to the release, workers will only take green vegetation. Officials also ask residents to separate household garbage or construction materials. Residents can leave the vegetation on the edge of their property if it does not block meters, garbage cans or trees. The collection will follow typical sanitation routes, and there is no need to ask for service. The city may not collect the debris on the first scheduled trash pickup date, and the release states that covering the entire city will take time. Residents can also take yard waste to one of five city brush sites, which offer extended hours of 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. from Friday until Sunday, Oct. 8. For locations, visit the website here.

Viniks, Glazers donate millions to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

The Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation are donating $1 million respectively, totaling $2 million, toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts. “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Tampa Bay Lightning Owner and Chairman Jeff Vinik said in a release. “In times like these, the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.” The Glazers, co-owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also donated $1 million toward relief efforts. "It will take entire communities resiliently working together for an extended period and our family is committed to aiding in the recovery," Darcie Glazer Kassewitz said in a statement. Additionally, Duke Energy has donated $100,000 to the Florida Disaster Fund. 

Duke gives outage update, USFSP welcomes community

According to a Thursday night press release, Duke Energy Florida has provided customers in Pinellas County with an estimated time of restoration (ETR). The ETR indicates when the company expects the majority of customers in an area to receive power. Pinellas residents without meter damage should receive electricity by 11:59 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1. Meanwhile, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is welcoming community members to the University Student Center (USC) from noon to 8 p.m. Friday. The USC is located at 200 6th Ave. S. in downtown St. Petersburg, and will provide a cool place to charge electronics, coffee, water, fruit and snacks.

St. Pete Pier, Albert Whitted Airport reopen

The St. Pete Pier District, Municipal Marina, Albert Whitted Airport and The Coliseum will reopen Friday. All parks and recreation facilities will reopen Monday, according to an alert from the city. 

Skyway Bridge reopens

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge has reopened to traffic in both directions as wind speeds have dropped to 30 miles per hour.  Motorists may cross the span, but are asked to use caution due to debris along the highway shoulders, Florida Highway Patrol tweeted. 

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