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Girl suffers critical injuries in trolley crash

A Gulfport girl, 15, remains at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in critical condition after a Nov. 19 accident involving a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Agency (PSTA) trolley. According to police, the girl had just exited a SunRunner bus on 1st Avenue South in St. Petersburg when she attempted to cross the road and was struck by the trolley. The driver and two passengers were also hospitalized Sunday with minor injuries. A police investigation is ongoing.

‘Shop Small Shuffle’ contest supports small businesses

The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce has launched its “Shop Small Shuffle” contest to support small businesses often forgotten during the holiday season. Participants can post a video of themselves shuffling into a local establishment on social media with the #shopsmallshuffle hashtag for a chance to win gift cards and tickets to Splash Harbor Water Park. The contest runs through Dec. 21, and for more information, visit the website here.

Community helps nonprofit receive $10,000

Solace Insurance awarded Hope Villages of America $10,000 thanks to the community’s support. The local nonprofit needed over 500 votes and comments to double a $5,000 donation through the 2023 Make More Happen campaign. The funding will help Hope Villages increase its mobile food truck supply and expand distribution services before the holidays.

St. Petersburg earns another perfect Equality Index score

The City of St. Petersburg has scored a perfect 106 – with six bonus points – on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index. The MEI is the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ inclusion in city law, policy and services. Mayor Ken Welch said the achievement is “a source of pride for all of St. Petersburg.”

Ben Rector concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall postponed

Singer/songwriter Ben Rector's performance Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall has been postponed "due to illness." A rescheduled date will be announced.

Chamber combines Good ‘Burger Awards, St. Pete Pitch Night events

The annual Good 'Burger Awards ceremony and St. Pete Pitch Night competition will be hosted simultaneously Dec. 12 at Coastal Creative. The announcement from the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce comes after the group said it was going to postpone the scheduled award event earlier this week due to weather conditions. The two events will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. People can register here

Former Buc provides firefighters with Thanksgiving meals

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike Alstott will personally deliver Thanksgiving meals to every St. Petersburg Fire Rescue station Saturday, Nov. 18. This is the 16th year that the St. Petersburg-based Mike Alstott Family Foundation has shown its appreciation for local first responders during the Thanksgiving holiday. The fan-favorite bruising fullback was inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor in 2015.

Pinellas and Hillsborough establish joint workforce consortium

Pinellas and Hillsborough board of county commissioners have entered into an interlocal agreement to form the Hillsborough/Pinellas Workforce Development Consortium, consolidating the two workforce boards that will result in a combined $36.1 million budget for the region. The Pinellas BOCC formally adopted the agreement during a Nov. 14 meeting and the Hillsborough BOCC endorsed the agreement on Nov. 15. The initiative to merge CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay into a unified entity was catalyzed by the Reimagining Education and Career Help Act, known as the REACH Act, which became law in 2021. The initial term for the consortium will commence Dec. 1 and extend through June 30, 2025, according to a Thursday announcement. 

Allegiant adds new nonstop to North Dakota

Allegiant Air, the dominant airline serving the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), announced it will add 12 new nonstops to popular vacation destinations starting in spring 2024. One of the new nonstops will connect from Bismarck, North Dakota, to PIE. The flights will be available in May. 

County commissioners elect new chair, vice-chair

Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters will lead the board in 2024 after her colleagues elected her to serve as chairperson. Peters is the current vice chair and has represented District 6 since 2018. Commissioner Brian Scott, elected to represent District 2 in last year’s countywide race, will serve as the vice chair.

St. Pete receives grant to convert hospital site into affordable housing

St. Petersburg Housing Authority has received a $1 million grant to redevelop the former Ed White Hospital site in St. Petersburg into a 71-unit affordable housing community for seniors. The grant is from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY). The property will house SPHA’s new headquarters. Construction is expected to commence next year. 

Tampa General seeks innovative cancer solutions

Officials with Tampa General Hospital (TGH) and the TGH Cancer Institute are seeking innovative solutions to address a lack of cancer care in rural communities. Local innovators can submit their ideas for reducing mortality rates through improved treatments, early detection procedures and novel care delivery systems and win up to $50,000. Finalists will present innovative solutions at the 2024 Synapse Summit. For more information, visit the website here.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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