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Comprehensive Arts Strategy meeting is Dec. 15

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, with support from the Downtown Partnership and the City of St. Petersburg, is collecting and curating ideas for a strengthened arts community in the wake of Covid-19. The Comprehensive Arts Strategy (CAS) will develop strategic recommendations to grow St. Petersburg’s arts sector and improve overall community prosperity, with a goal of providing a five-year road map for future development. The public is invited to participate in a virtual (webinar) group meeting Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Registration is here.

The St. Pete Store & Visitors Center launches e-commerce site

The St. Pete Store & Visitors Center, which showcases the works of more than 50 local artisans, recently launched an e-commerce site. Products for sale online include T-shirts, handmade glass, cutting boards, hats, candles and books written by St. Pete authors. The store is currently offering curbside pickup. For more information, email or call (727) 388-0686. 

USF College of Engineering receives $2 million estate gift

The University of South Florida has received a $2 million gift to the USF Foundation that will benefit students and faculty in the College of Engineering. The estate gift from David Miga, owner and president of Electronic Design Specialists, will establish the David Miga Endowed Scholarship for Electrical Engineering and create the David T. Miga Innovation Facility Fund. The gift will ease the financial burden of college costs for students while supporting the operational needs of the College of Engineering for at least 10 years. Specifically, the college will receive funds for equipment, supplies and maintenance associated with an open use “maker space” for students. This will provide the critical, tangible tools needed to effectively teach the hands-on aspects of the engineering curriculum.

Maximo Park gets greener in Super Bowl LV initiative

Maximo Park in south St. Petersburg got a spruce up as part of efforts by the National Football League, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Super Bowl LV Host Committee to leave a green legacy in cities where the championship football game is played. Keep Pinellas Beautiful, the City of St. Petersburg Parks Department and TREE Inc. joined community volunteers to remove invasive plants, remove litter from the park, and plant native shoreline trees, mangroves and a mixture of ground cover including beach sunflower and seagrasses to help stabilize the area and protect against shoreline erosion. Other parks in the greening project were Picnic Island, along the southwestern tip of Interbay Peninsula, and Mosaic Park on the Alafia River.

Nine more deaths, 300+ new Covid cases in Pinellas

Nine additional deaths due to Covid-19 have been reported in Pinellas County. The death toll since March due to the virus stood at 939 as of Tuesday, a report from the Florida Department of Health said. There's been a cumulative total of 35,505 confirmed cases of Covid-19, an increase of 303 cases overnight. The positivity rate — or percent of people who took a Covid test and tested positive — was 8.46 percent for tests reported on Monday. The positivity rate has averaged 6.06 percent over the past two weeks. There were 198 people hospitalized in Pinellas County with a primary diagnosis of Covid-19 as of Tuesday afternoon, and 26.7 percent of the total hospital beds in the county are available, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said.

City of St. Pete to honor local veterans at ceremony Wednesday morning

After being rescheduled due to Hurricane Eta, the City of St. Petersburg will hold its seventh annual Veteran's Day celebration Wednesday (Dec. 9) at 8 a.m. at Williams Park Veterans Memorial. This year’s Honored Veteran Awards will be presented to the late Dr. Bill Heller, former dean at the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus and Army veteran and Jim Nixon, LGBTQ Liaison with the City of St. Petersburg who is a Navy veteran. Capacity at the event will be limited and attendees will be expected to maintain social distance and wear masks when within 6 feet of one another.

Moffitt Cancer Center plans expansion of its curbside clinic

After a soft launch in October, Moffitt Cancer Center plans to expand its curbside clinic at the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center. The service, the only one of its kind in Florida, is modeled after a similar program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and is aimed at providing necessary treatment while adhering to Covid-19 safety protocols. The curbside clinic allows patients to receive non-chemotherapy treatments without getting out of their cars and also gives them the opportunity to have a friend or family member with them during their appointment. Moffitt officials say the curbside clinic will likely remain in operation once the pandemic is over because of its convenience and success. 

Jabil plans manufacturing plant in North Carolina

Jabil Healthcare will build a 180,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Henderson County, North Carolina. The plant is expected to begin operations in 2022 and create 150 new jobs by 2025, a news release from the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development said. Jabil (NYSE: JBL), a manufacturing services company headquartered in St. Petersburg, plans to invest $38 million in the North Carolina plant. Jabil looked at sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mexico before deciding to locate the new facility in Henderson County, the news release said. Both Henderson County and the city of Hendersonville authorized property tax refunds to attract Jabil, according to the Hendersonville Lighting.

UNITE Pinellas Launches Race Equity Data Explorer

UNITE Pinellas has launched its Race Equity Data Explorer, which offers interactive tools from a variety of sources that focus on equity measures and current issues in Pinellas County including economics, housing, demographics and youth-related topics. Users can select the issue they're interested in learning about and can filter data by ZIP code, congressional district and census tracts, among other ways, and can read "why this matters" statements on each topic. To access the Data Explorer, click here

Pinellas records 451 new Covid cases

There are 451 new cases of Covid-19 in Pinellas County, according to the Florida Department of Health. It's the largest single-day total of new cases reported in the county since July 19. Pinellas County also reported two additional deaths. A total of 34,603 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the county since March and a total of 924 deaths have been attributed to the virus. As of Saturday afternoon, 204 people are hospitalized in Pinellas County with a primary diagnosis of Covid-19. 

Tampa General opens stand-alone Covid facility

Tampa General Hospital has opened the Taneja Family Global Emerging Diseases Institute. The new institute, a stand-alone facility, will provide care for patients battling Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, and also will conduct research and education, a news release said. The Institute is a collaboration between Tampa General and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. It will be led by Dr. John Sinnott, TGH’s chief epidemiologist and chair of internal medicine at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. The Taneja family, which owns Belcher Pharmaceuticals in Largo, provided a gift to help establish the new institute.

St. Pete condo tower tops $100M in sales

Saltaire, a luxury condominium tower in downtown St. Petersburg, has surpassed the $100 million sales mark. Saltaire,  a 35-story, 192-unit tower at 333 1st St. S., is being developed by Kolter Urban, a division of The Kolter Group, the developer behind One St. Petersburg. SB Architects of Miami designed the project and Kast Construction is building it, with completion expected in early 2023. Smith & Associates Real Estate is the exclusive listing agent, working from a sales office on Beach Drive, a news release said. Condo units are priced from the low $800,000's. The Covid-19 pandemic prompted a shift in sales tactics, pivoting from in-person presentations to virtual presentations, and then back to in-person presentations in the sales gallery. Sales efforts are supported by cutting-edge technology, showcasing Saltaire’s residences and lifestyle via 3D fly-through tours, drone photography and photorealistic renderings, the news release said.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

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