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Airport police to conduct active threat exercise Tuesday night

Tampa International Airport officials announced that the facility’s police department and local partners would conduct a simulated active threat response exercise Tuesday between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. The public cannot access Blue Express arrival and departure curbs during that time. The express lanes will reopen once the exercise concludes.

Nonprofits take home $37K+ at Fast Pitch event

Four local nonprofits won cash prizes at Monday night's Fast Pitch, an annual event hosted by Social Venture Partners where local nonprofit leaders compete for unrestricted grant funding by delivering their best elevator pitch in front of a live audience. Here are the winners:

Stadium upgrades begin for women’s pro soccer team

The Tampa Bay Sun FC women’s professional soccer team joined local stakeholders in downtown Tampa Monday to celebrate the launch of over $6 million in upgrades to Blake High School’s stadium. The riverfront facility will serve as the club’s first home. The Sun will play in the new USL Super League, which received Division One designation - the highest level for women’s soccer - from sanctioning officials Friday (Feb. 9).

Inmate dies from fentanyl overdose, staff treated for exposure

A Pinellas County Jail inmate died from an apparent fentanyl overdose Saturday night, and two remain hospitalized in stable condition. A nurse, three detention deputies, a Largo Fire Department paramedic and two other inmates were also treated for non-life-threatening symptoms. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, an inmate swallowed small baggies of fentanyl before his arrest and later disbursed the drug throughout C-Barracks.

St. Pete native scores in Super Bowl win

Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught a 16-yard touchdown in Super Bowl LVIII Sunday night to give the Kansas City Chiefs a 13-10 lead over the San Francisco 49ers late in the third quarter. The St. Pete native and Lakewood High School standout wide receiver’s touchdown reception was also the first time a former University of South Florida Bull has scored in the Super Bowl. Valdes-Scantling and the Chiefs went on to win their second consecutive championship 25-22 in overtime.

Seafood & Music Festival to return to Vinoy Park Feb. 23-25

Paragon Festivals' annual St. Petersburg Seafood & Music Festival has been announced for Friday through Sunday, Feb. 23-25 at Vinoy Park. It's an outdoor art show, with food prepared by local restaurants, and live music from Greg Billings & the Stay Up Lates, Damon Fowler, 22N, Black Honkeys Band, K-Luv and others. Find information here.

St. Pete officials announce road closures

St. Petersburg motorists can expect road closures and traffic delays around 22nd Ave. N. between 22nd St. and 25th St. starting Monday, Feb. 12, at 4 a.m. until Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. CSX railroad track maintenance will cause the closures. City officials urge drivers to use alternate routes.

‘RandyLand’ to return to the Trop in 2024

Tampa Bay Rays president Matt Silverman announced at a Suncoast Tiger Bay Club event Friday that a popular promotion will return for a second season in 2024. Section 141 in left field will again transform into “RandyLand” for Friday night games at Tropicana Field. The team dedicated the area to All-Star outfielder Randy Arozarena’s fervent fans. Ticketholders receive t-shirts, signs, interactions with Arozarena and free beer, soda or water for every home run he hits during the game.

Southern Poverty Law Center to investigate Gas Plant redevelopment

Officials with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national civil-rights organization, announced that they are supporting Faith in Florida, a social justice nonprofit, in its bid to stop St. Petersburg’s redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District. According to a Feb. 2 blog post, the SPLC is investigating how the city first acquired the land, the use of eminent domain and how local officials “failed to produce sustainable employment or affordable housing.” The post adds that the SPLC “is looking into whether there is a way to stop a city that acquired a valuable swarth of property from profiting again … on promises it didn’t keep the first time.”

Loose kangaroo startles Tampa residents

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies rescued a wayward kangaroo trapped in a Tampa apartment complex’s pool area Thursday. The agency returned the marsupial to its owner after verifying ownership documents. The complex, off of Fowler Avenue and 56th Street, is near the University of South Florida campus.

Rays reward coach, baseball executive with contract extensions

Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash and Erik Neander, president of baseball operations, have received long-term contract extensions. While details remain unannounced, the contracts ensure the duo stays in St. Petersburg beyond 2028, when the team plans to move into a new ballpark. Cash, a Tampa native, and Neander have guided the Rays to five straight playoff appearances and won more games than all but three teams during that span.

City officials invite residents to discuss flooding challenges

St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch and City Councilmember Brandi Gabbard are hosting a public forum Tuesday, Feb.13, from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. to discuss the city’s increasing flooding issues. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is hosting the Resilience and Community Listening Session at its Research and Education Building at 600 5th St. S. City, state and federal officials will participate. To register, visit the website here.

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