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Fire department hosts free Halloween event Saturday

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue will host its annual Haunted Fire House from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The free event takes place at Station #10, at 2800 30th Ave. N. The free event will feature bounce houses, face painting, trick-or-treating and free food and drinks.

County officials seek applicants for opioid abatement board

Pinellas County Human Services is now accepting applications for Regional Opioid Abatement Funding leadership, planning and coordination positions. County officials need qualified consultants and experts to evaluate and analyze the local opioid epidemic and abatement programming. The application deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. For more information, visit the website here.

St. Pete K9s receive body armor

St. Petersburg Police Department K9s King, Nacho and Axel have received bullet and stab-resistant vests valued at $1,800 each from Vested Interest in K9s. The nonprofit embroidered the body armor with “In Memory of K9” and the names Soren, Titan and Stitch. Vested Interest in K9s has donated 5,289 protective vests totaling $6.9 million since 2009.

Downtown Looper adds stop for Cross Bay Ferry

Starting today, there will be a new stop added the Downtown Looper's route for Cross Bay Ferry passengers. The new stop at Port St. Pete, located at 850 2nd Ave. SE, will be operational after 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and all-day Friday through Sunday. The additional route comes as the Cross Bay Ferry kicked off its seventh season this month, connecting Tampa and St. Petersburg visitors. The ferry previously docked at the North Yacht Basin, a marina across from The Vinoy Resort and Golf Club; however, the marina was never intended to become the permanent home for the ferry. 

City to close lanes for Orange Belt bike race

As the Orange Belt cycling tour organization plans to host the Oct. 21 CRIT Championship in the city, there will be several lane closures in the Edge District during the same day of the bike race. On 1st Avenue North, one north lane will remain open to westbound traffic at all times starting at 3 a.m. Central Avenue from 11th Street North to 16th Street North, Baum Avenue from 11th Street North to 13th Street, and 13th Street North between 1st Avenue North and 1st Avenue South, will all close to traffic at approximately 5 a.m. Most of the lanes will reopen later that day. The SunRunner will have a temporary stop created on the north side of 1st Avenue North at 13th Street. 

YMCA raises $3M for new campus

The YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg has raised an additional $3 million for the new Speer YMCA campus. Longtime YMCA supporters James Gills, and his wife, Heather, made a foundational gift in 2001 for the Jim and Heather Gills YMCA. They have made an additional $2 million donation in the form of a match challenge for the future Speer campus. Last month, the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg announced it was looking to close a funding round after raising $20 million for the new facility. The Speer Foundation previously donated $8 million for the 75,000-square-foot Speer YMCA campus that will open in December. The Hough Family Foundation also recently gave a match challenge gift of $1 million that is open to be matched and is intended to be a catalyst for additional giving to match that amount.


School district showcases career academy programs

Pinellas County Schools (PCS) officials are showcasing over 80 magnet, fundamental and career academies at a series of events that begin Oct. 21 at Pinellas Park High School. A district spokesperson encourages parents and students to explore opportunities that “make school fun” and provide a career pathway. Programs include veterinary, nursing, performing and visual arts, engineering, programming, automotive technology and health care. For more information, visit the District Application Programs website here.

Rays make coaching staff changes

Tampa Bay Rays officials announced that first base coach Chris Prieto and assistant hitting coach Dan DeMent will not return to the team in 2024. Both had a year remaining in their contracts. The Rays made their fifth consecutive postseason appearance in October but were swept in the Wild Card Series by the Texas Rangers.

SunRunner goes fare-free for Halloween celebration

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) announced residents and visitors attending the third-annual Halloween on Central event can avoid paying fares on the region’s first bus-rapid-transit line. City officials will close 22 blocks along Central Avenue to vehicles from noon until 5 p.m. for the pedestrian-focused celebration. PSTA operates eight SunRunner stations throughout the Edge and Grand Central Districts.

Remodeled St. Pete Aldi to reopen this month

The remodeled Aldi niche grocery store in the Skyway Marina District will reopen to the public later this month. The team will host a grand reopening event Oct. 26 at the 2900 34th St. S. location. The Aldi store will have a new layout, open ceilings and expanded fresh food options. 

Sunshine Kitty Cafe closes

The Sunshine Kitty Cafe, a destination for animal lovers to enjoy coffee and meet adoptable cats, will be closing Nov. 5, according to an Oct. 17 Facebook post. "After everything it took to get to where we are now, it is surreal to be sharing this news, and I’m sure it is just as surreal to be reading it. The reality of the situation has not quite sunk in yet ...," the owners wrote. The business, located at 1669 1st Ave. S., opened in 2020 and has a partnership with Friends of Strays. The owners said they will share additional updates and details via social media. 

Blues great Buddy Guy drops out of Clearwater festival

Blues guitarist Buddy Guy has canceled his appearance at this weekend's Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Guy, 87, was scheduled to perform Saturday, the third of four consecutive nights, at The Sound amphitheater. He had already canceled most of his September and October dates for "health reasons"; the scheduled Oct. 20 date at the St. Augustine Amphitheater was to be his official return, followed by the Clearwater show on Oct. 21. St. Augustine has also been canceled. On the website for the Clearwater venue, the other acts on Saturday's lineup have been shuffled, with lap and pedal steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier and his band added, as the evening's opening performers.  

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