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County commission hosts fresh food giveaway

The Pinellas County Commission, in collaboration with the St. Pete Free Clinic and other community partners, is hosting a free fresh food giveaway on Friday, June 10. The drive-through event takes place at England Brothers Park, located at 5010 81st Ave. N. in Pinellas Park. Distribution is open to all county residents from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., or while supplies last. According to the release, food insecurity is on the rise in the community and the St. Pete Free Clinic is working to ensure everyone has access to quality food.

Traub Lieberman relocates to James Museum building

Traub Lieberman, a St. Petersburg-based law firm working with insurance companies and their insureds, has relocated its office to the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art building. “As our office continuously grows, this new space will offer our team an environment where they can connect with colleagues and work collaboratively,” Michael Kiernan, partner in charge of the St. Petersburg office, said in a statement. The new office site at 150 Central Ave. is a few blocks from the firm’s previous St. Petersburg address.

Libraries loaning WiFi hotspots to card holders

The St. Petersburg Library System has begun loaning WiFi hotspots to library card holders, as a means of promoting access to online information, resources and culture. Hotspots can be borrowed for up to 14 days at a time; they must be returned to the same library branch circulation desk. Click here for details on the "WiFi on the Go" program.

Rowdies postpone Saturday’s match

In a social media post Friday night, the Tampa Bay Rowdies announced they are postponing Saturday night's match against Louisville City FC to Sunday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. Team officials blamed unforeseen delays for Tampa Bay players and staff as they traveled back from Wednesday’s match against Tulsa. Tickets for Saturday are valid for Sunday, and the team said fans should email all questions regarding tickets to tickets@rowdiessoccer.com.

Madeira Beach rejects ‘wet zone’ idea for John’s Pass

The idea to allow John's Pass to become a "wet zone," allowing people to consume alcohol along the boardwalk and area outside of restaurants, was tossed out by city commissioners. During a recent meeting, City Manager Robin Gomez brought up the topic, which surfaced last year. He cited potential issues that were discussed such as liability issues the wet zone would create for the popular tourist destination and how one commissioner previously said a wet zone could alter the character of the village and boardwalk. The commissioners did not entertain the concept any further.

Pinellas Science Center survives veto pen

The revitalization of the Pinellas Science Center remains on track, as Governor Ron DeSantis approved $2 million in funding for the St. Petersburg staple. State Rep. Linda Chaney, R-St. Pete Beach, appropriated $1.5 million for the facility, which first opened in 1959. The Legislature provided an additional $500,000 to teach area children science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics curriculum, or STEAM education.

Affordable health care medical firm opens on Central

Village Medical has opened a new location in St. Pete at the corner of 34th Street and Central Avenue. The company’s innovative model provides opportunities for affordable health care in under-served communities, with an emphasis on hiring staff from within the communities they serve by working with local job boards, veterans groups and training organizations. Each Village Medical location brings upwards of 15 STEM jobs with average annual wages of more than $100,000. Other full-time jobs on offer include full benefits with compensation starting at $50,000 per year, according to the city's progress report. 

Bay Pines VA to hold stand down event for homeless veterans

The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (BPVAHCS) will host a stand down for homeless veterans on June 4. The hospital will feature its free services available to homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless. The free services include access to medical care, toiletries, clothing items, meals, benefits and housing information, employment assistance, veterinarian services and DMV services, according to the VA's announcement. Veterans will also be able to speak with various legal experts from Pinellas County to address their outstanding legal issues.The event will take place in the courtyard between buildings 2 and 37 on the main campus at 10000 Bay Pines Blvd. 

Governor vetoes $75 million USFSP scientific research facility

Despite the state legislature increasing the allocated funding for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s proposed Environmental & Oceanographic Science Research & Teaching facility (EOS) from $60 million to $75 million in March, Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the entire project on Thursday. USF President Rhea Law and USFSP Regional Chancellor Martin Tadlock repeatedly referred to the EOS as a “game-changer” and “transformative” project. In a statement Thursday, Law said the university remains committed to the development of the St. Petersburg campus, specifically as an international destination for environmental and oceanographic research, and the funding that was approved will help reach that goal.

Munch’s diner goes up for sale

Munch’s, a popular South St. Petersburg diner, is now up for sale. The restaurant, located at 3920 6th St. S. in Coquina Key, and several surrounding properties are on the market for $2.7 million. Dean and Clariece Munch opened the establishment in 1952 as a sundries store. Their son, Larry, took over ownership in 1994 and hopes the family business remains a restaurant. In 2011, Munch’s was featured on an episode of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.”

North Pinellas hospital opens orthopedic and spine unit

AdventHealth North Pinellas leaders have unveiled a newly dedicated orthopedic and spine unit. The 10,000-square-foot unit will help address the growing needs for high-quality orthopedic and spine services throughout Pinellas County, according to AdventHealth's news release. The newly designed space will include 12 private patient rooms and will offer pre-and post-operative care that is uniquely designed to cater to physical therapy five days a week. The patients will have access to a state-of-the-art gym.  

Brightline receives over $15M for Tampa-Orlando passenger rail project

South Florida-based passenger rail operator Brightline will be able to use a $15.875 million grant toward its Tampa-to-Orlando connection. Reps. Darren Soto, Dan Webster, Stephanie Murphy, Gus Bilirakis and Val Demings announced the Central Florida region has received the federal grant award from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant Program. The grant award, combined with up to $15,875,000 in contributing funds from Brightline, will result in a $31.75 million total investment.  The Orlando terminus will be at the Orlando International Airport. The Tampa terminus has not been disclosed. 

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