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Tampa Bay places among nation’s ‘hottest’ job markets

The Wall Street Journal recently named Tampa Bay the nation’s fourth “hottest job market.” The publication analyzed workforce size, wage growth and unemployment rates to compile its rankings. Tampa placed first in wage growth and added about 12,000 jobs in the past year.

City announces budget open house

The City of St. Petersburg invites residents to join Mayor Ken Welch and council members at its annual Budget Open House at City Hall. The meeting is Tuesday, April 16, at 6 p.m. Attendees will hear an overview of the budget process and remarks from city officials and have an opportunity to express their thoughts. For more information, visit the website here.

Habitat dedicates sixth home this week

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counites celebrated providing six new homeownership opportunities this week, with four in St. Petersburg. The home dedications began Monday in Tarpon Springs before moving south. Habitat’s busy week follows a recent report stating that Tampa Bay households must now earn $116,000 annually to secure a mortgage.

AI experience ‘Ask Dali’ debuts at the Dali Museum

The Dali Museum's new AI-fueled visitor experience "Ask Dali" debuts today. Created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the machine-learning company behind "Dali Lives" (2019) and the "Dream Tapestry" exhibit (2023), the new technological experience invites visitors to pick up a "lobster phone" and ask "Dali" a question. Museum director Hank Hine asked “Ask Dalí” what would a visitor to the Dalí Museum be sure to see? “Ask Dalí” responded: “In the labyrinth of the imagination that unfurls within the Dalí Museum of St. Petersburg, one must seek the melting clocks in ‘The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory,’ where time drips like a dream refusing to be contained.” "Ask Dali" was created using GPT-4 from OpenAI and Eleven Multilingual V2 from ElevenLabs. 

Inflation cools in Tampa Bay

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area ranked 12th nationally in a study comparing inflation rates released Wednesday. Personal finance platform Wallet Hub utilized the recently released Consumer Price Index data to compare the 23 largest metros. Prices in the Tampa Bay region increased by .9% compared to two months prior and 3.3% year-over-year. That represents a .6% decrease from WalletHub’s report in March.

USF selects firms to build on-campus stadium

The University of South Florida announced Tuesday that Manhattan Construction Co., H. J. Russell & Co. and DuCon LLC will oversee the construction of a 35,000-seat on-campus football stadium. The university previously selected Barton Marlow to build the long-awaited facility but terminated the contract in December 2023. Populous, the prominent firm designing a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark, also oversees that aspect of USF’s $340 million project.

Grants open for St. Pete arts and culture nonprofits

Applications for the City of St. Petersburg’s Arts and Culture grant program are now open and accepted until June 13 at 5 p.m. Funding levels range from $7,500 to $22,500 according to an organization’s size and budget. Applicants must provide arts and culture programming, performances or exhibitions primarily for St. Pete residents and visitors for at least a year to be eligible. For more information, visit the website here.

Local company ranks among top low-cost franchises

Entrepreneur Magazine has ranked Palm Harbor-based Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services among its list of Top 100 Franchises for less than $100,000. The company ranked No. 37 this year, an 11-spot jump from 2023. The magazine compiles its annual rankings according to startup costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength and financial stability.

Community mourns longtime public servant Bill Dudley

Former St. Petersburg City Council and Pinellas County School Board member Bill Dudley died Monday morning at 80 years old. He suffered a stroke and did not recover, according to a social media post from his wife, Michelle Timmel Dudley. Bill coached several sports during his 37-year tenure at Northeast High School, served on the council from 2008 to 2016 and the school board from 2019 until he left office in November 2022.

St. Pete glassblowing studio makes its TV debut

Zen Glass Studio, located at 600 27th St. S., was featured on an April 1 episode of HGTV’s Rock the Block. The home renovation show streams on Discovery + and Max and has showcased Treasure Island projects this season. Zen Glass, known for offering live demonstrations, is set to appear in future episodes.

Rowdies remain unbeaten with another draw

The Tampa Bay Rowdies recorded their first shutout of the 2024 season Saturday night after playing the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC to a scoreless draw at HighMark Stadium. The Rowdies have not recorded a loss in their first four matches. However, the team has just one win and sits in sixth place in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference.

Powerball ticket worth $1 million sold in Pinellas County

According to the Florida Lottery, a Circle K at 5025 Tampa Rd. in Oldsmar sold one of seven tickets nationwide that won $1 million in Sunday morning’s Powerball drawing. After a lengthy delay, officials announced at 2:29 a.m. that one ticketholder in Oregon won the $1.33 billion jackpot.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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