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Relocated golf tournament lands title sponsor

The World Golf Championships, set for Feb. 22-28 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, has inked a title sponsor deal with Workday, a tech company that specializes in enterprise cloud applications for finance and HR professionals. The PGA Tour tournament was supposed to be played in Mexico City but was moved to Bradenton because of logistical challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The tournament will now be known as the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession. It will be followed by three more PGA Tour events in Florida: the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, The Players Championship and The Honda Classic.

Habitat for Humanity re-opens Palm Harbor retail store

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has re-opened its Palm Harbor retail store at 31541 US 19 North. The store focuses specifically on new and "gently used" furniture, appliances, home décor and building materials. “The ReStores are unique shopping outlets," president and CEO Mike Sutton said in a statement, "carrying inventory that is often sought after by a contractor, interior designer, ahomeow ner looking to remodel or even the local DIY-er ready to do some upcycling.”

Pandemic cuts quarterly revenue at Johns Hopkins All Children’s

The Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on the finances of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in the second quarter of fiscal year 2021. The 259-bed pediatric hospital posted $122.5 million in total operating revenue and other support for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020, compared to $132.5 million in the same period in 2019. The St. Petersburg hospital had an operating loss of $5.1 million for the most recent quarter, compared to operating income of $2.2 million in the year-ago period. All Children's had decreased patient revenue due to lower volumes related to the pandemic, according to a regulatory filing by the Johns Hopkins Health System. Non-operating revenue helped bolster the bottom line during Q2 FY21. The hospital reported total income of $47 million, including unrealized gains on investments, in the just-ended quarter, compared to total income of just under $30 million in the year-ago quarter.

Raymond James VP joins Museum of Fine Arts board

The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg has announced that Julia Richardson, Vice President, Supervision - Fiduciary Services at Raymond James Financial, has joined the volunteer Board of Trustees for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Richardson moved to St. Petersburg in 2019 from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Gasparilla invasion and festival canceled for 2021

Tampa's Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla has canceled the 2021 Gasparilla Festival, including the "invasion" and parade, originally scheduled for April 17. The organization made the announcement via social media: "Ahoy, mateys! After many conversations with the friendlies, we’re sad to announce that our pirate krewe will remain offshore until the seas have calmed, and will not invade Tampa Bay’s shores in 2021. Heed our vow, an invasion is coming and we shall capture the key to your fair city of Tampa in 2022!" 

Former Bucs star Vincent Jackson found dead

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into the death of Vincent Jackson, a wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012 to 2016 after beginning his career with the San Diego Chargers. Jackson, 38, was found dead in a room at a Homewood Suites in Brandon on Monday. According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, Jackson had been staying at the hotel since Jan. 11. On Feb. 10, family members reported him missing, and the sheriff’s office located him on Feb. 12. According to the statement, the sheriff’s office carried out a wellness check and then closed the missing person case. Cause of death has yet to be determined, but no signs of trauma were detected. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death. "My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him," Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister wrote on Twitter. "Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else.”

Attorneys tapped for industry leadership roles

Three attorneys at Tampa-based labor and employment law firm Johnson Jackson PLLC have been named to legal industry leadership positions. Eric Jackson, a founding shareholder, has been appointed president of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Federal Bar Association, while associate Ashley Gallagher will serve as the chapter’s secretary. She has also been named to the National Federal Bar Association’s Younger Lawyers’ Division board of directors and will serve as co-chair of the publications committee. Also, associate attorney Beatriz Miranda has been appointed to serve as co-chair of the Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers’ Mentoring Program in 2021.

Biotech firm working on Covid-19 vaccine raises $20 million

Oragenics Inc., a Tampa biotech company that’s working on a Covid-19 vaccine, has raised $20 million via sale of stock that was facilitated by Alliance Global Partners, a New York investment and advisory firm. The company also received $1.9 million from the exercise of common stock warrants. According to a press release, Oragenics has given a notice for the redemption of all outstanding shares of the company’s Series C, non-convertible, preferred stock, which President and CEO Alan Joslyn said will raise an additional $5.6 million. “We are delighted that we were able to raise capital to fund our operations through a number of anticipated key value-creating milestones towards the initiation of the Phase 2 clinical trial of our SARS CoV-2 vaccine, Terra CoV-2,” Joslyn stated in the release.

Here’s how much the new owner paid for the Hilton Carillon

An investment partnership paid just under $31.7 million for the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park. The hotel, a popular meeting venue, sold on Jan. 28, but the sales price was not disclosed until a deed for the property was filed Feb. 12 in Pinellas County. The new owner is LAH SPH LLC, a joint venture between Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds and Hersha Hospitality Management, according to Connect Florida, a commercial real estate news publication. Both companies are based in Philadelphia. HHM operates 135 full-service, select service and extended-stay hotels across the United States. The former owner of the Hilton Carillon, Hobbs & Curry Family Limited Partnership in Fort Smith, Arkansas, was represented in the deal by The Plasencia Group in Tampa. The Hilton Carillon opened in 2006 and has 227 rooms and 16,000 square feet of meeting space.

Firefighter in hot water over theft of Covid-19 vaccine

A St. Petersburg Police Department investigation this week revealed that a city firefighter stole a dose of Covid-19 vaccine. According to a news release, St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lt. Duane Zagorsky, a 15-year veteran of the fire department, was eligible to receive one dose of the vaccine in January but took two so he could give one to a family member. Zagorsky, the release stated, could be charged with misdemeanor petit theft if he does not complete the Pinellas County Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program. An internal investigation is also under way and could result in additional disciplinary measures for Zagorsky.

Rays welcome back pitcher Chris Archer on one-year deal

Former All-Star pitcher Chris Archer, who spent seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018, is returning to the team on a one-year, $6.5 million contract. Archer, 32, was a free agent after missing most of the 2020 season with a neck injury. His signing brings the Rays’ 40-man roster to full capacity as the team gears up for spring training. During his highly successful first stint with the Rays, Archer was named to the American League All-Star team in 2015 and 2017, and he pitched for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He ranks highly among the franchise leaders in strikeouts, starts, innings pitched and wins.

St. Pete City Council approves expanded local produce sales

An ordinance to expand opportunities for the production and sale of locally grown produce won final approval in the St. Petersburg City Council Thursday. The measure is designed to address the issue of food insecurity in the city while providing economic benefits for residents interested in growing and selling their own food.  Council members gave a preliminary OK to the ordinance in December. St. Petersburg is one of the first cities to adopt this type of ordinance, said Council member Brandi Gabbard, just before the council voted. All council members present voted in favor.  

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