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Localtopia organizers prepare for expanded event

The shopping, entertainment and arts festival known as Localtopia will return to downtown St. Petersurg's Williams Park February 18, and organizers expect over 300 organizations to help celebrate "all things local." Organizers announced attendees can now park for free at Tropicana Field Lots 1 and 2 and take a complimentary Star Trolley to the park. For more information on the 10th annual event, visit the website here.

Kirstie Alley’s Clearwater home lists

The waterfront Clearwater home of the late actress Kirstie Alley is listed for sale with an asking price of $5.995 million. The 7,815-square-foot estate at 1100 N. Oceola Ave., built in 1993, has nine bedrooms, with five bedrooms in the main house, and features two courtyards and a pool with a spa. Ray Cassano of Station Square Realty LLC is the listing agent. 

Professional skateboarding tour to stop in St. Pete

The Red Bull Drop-In Tour will bring some of the top street skaters to the St. Pete Skatepark Sunday, February 12. The city is one of four on the tour, which is meant to highlight the best venues in professional skater Jamie Foy’s home state. For more information on the park and event, visit the website here.

Sheriff wins national award

The Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) named Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri its 2022 Sheriff of the Year. The association presented Gualtieri with the award Wednesday at its 2023 Winter Conference. According to a release, Gualtieri received recognition for his positive impact on the MCSA and nationwide contributions to law enforcement.

‘Pawn Stars’ to shoot in Tampa, St. Petersburg

History Channel officials recently announced the popular reality television show Pawn Stars will film in Tampa, St. Petersburg and 13 other cities in the second season of Pawn Stars Do America. According to the website’s description, Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell will leave Las Vegas and search for historical and collectible objects. The first season includes eight two-hour episodes, and officials did not release filming dates.

Rays, Rowdies hiring workers

The Tampa Bay Rays, in collaboration with hospitality partner Levy, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and others are hosting a job fair at Tropicana Field today, Feb. 2, from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. to fill job positions for the new season. The companies are hiring catering attendants, concession workers, cooks, security guards, retail sales associates, tech team members and additional positions. The companies are asking applicants to bring their resumes. 

What will happen to the iconic Sundial sculpture

St. Petersburg-based Paradise Ventures, which purchased the Sundial shopping plaza year, is working with Ally Capital Group in Tampa to redevelop the plaza into a modern destination, which calls for the removal of the Sundial sculpture. Mike Connor of Paradise Ventures told the St. Pete Catalyst they have offered to give the art piece to the City of St. Petersburg, which will be able to determine its future use. The sculpture was designed by renowned production designer René Lagler and crafted by Thomas Sign and Awning Co. 

Tampa International adds two nonstop routes

Travelers seeking to fly from Tampa International Airport (TPA) to San Diego and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, without worrying about a layover are now in luck. TPA officials recently announced that Alaska Airlines will begin nonstop services to San Diego on October 5. Frontier Airlines will provide nonstop flights to Puerto Rico’s west coast starting May 4.

Feeding Tampa Bay breaks ground on new HQ

The nonprofit organization Feeding Tampa Bay, which focuses on providing food access to families, held a groundbreaking this week at 4000 Causeway Blvd. in Tampa for the new home of its expanded HQ. The Catalyst first broke the news in 2021 on plans for the 217,000-square-foot center. The new HQ is expected to be complete in 2024 and will more than double its current footprint.   

Saturday Shoppes event to allow pets

Saturday Shoppes, The City of St. Petersburg, St. Pete Paws, and The SPCA has partnered to allow pet owners to bring their pets to the Feb. 4 event, according to an announcement from the city. Renee Edwards, CEO of Skin Kandii, Tampa Bay Launderers and the founder of the Saturday Shoppe says, "This partnership will assist with generating economic development on the southside of St. Petersburg. Watching small business startup and transform from a hobby into a business is my true goal."  The Saturday Morning Shoppe is the largest minority owned business marketplace on the southside of St. Petersburg.  

Vista Equity Partners completes acquisition of KnowBe4

Vista Equity Partners, a global investment firm focused on enterprise tech businesses, has completed the acquisition of Clearwater-based cybersecurity training company KnowBe4 for $24.90 per share in cash, or roughly $4.6 billion. As a result, KnowBe4 shares have ceased trading and are no longer listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, according to a news release from KnowBe4. “Vista provides the resources and operational expertise to enhance customer value. We’re thrilled to embark on this next chapter and realize our goals for addressing cybersecurity’s weakest link," KnowBe4 CEO and founder Stu Sjouwerman said in a statement. 

Slide acquires UPC’s policies, IP

The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has signed a consent order approving Slide’s assumption of the vast majority of St. Petersburg-based United Property and Casualty’s (UPC) Florida homeowners policies. Under the agreement, Tampa-based Slide has acquired the exclusive renewal rights for over 91,400 Florida homeowners insurance policies from UPC, representing $272 million in annual premium, according to the Business Wire. UPC will cancel the majority of the policies on Feb. 1, and Slide will immediately issue replacement policies using UPC’s forms and rates. Slide also acquired UPC’s intellectual property and a dataset of over $1 trillion Total Insured Value (TIV).  

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

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