ST. PETERSBURG — The demise of the distinctive sign has been rumored many times.
This time, it's no rumor. It looks very likely that by the end of spring the corner of 16th Street and Central Avenue will no longer be graced by World Liquors and its iconic overhead sign for the first time since 1961.
Where the establishment's famous sign ends up is anybody's guess. At this point, it appears headed to an auction to be awarded to the highest bidder....
01/18/18 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — The new City Council will get its first chance to weigh in on the 2018 budget on Thursday morning — and they're likely to bring a long list of priorities to the table.
In recent years, rising property values have kept city coffers flush, but spending has also risen. The current $540 million budget didn't require a tax hike and passed easily last year without much of a fuss....
ST. PETERSBURG — The city wants the state to change its environmental rules to make legal an illegal maneuver it has relied on a lot lately: flushing wastewater down into the aquifer.
The idea was proposed by a consulting firm the city is paying $4 million to create a master plan to guide revamping the sewage system and other water utilities.
Jacobs Engineering project manager Leisha Pica told the City Council on Jan. 4 that this could help improve St. Petersburg's image after its mishandling of 1 billion gallons of sewage spilled during the 2015-16 sewage crisis....
01/12/18 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — There's a reason why it's so easy for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos to maintain a united front these days. They face a common foe: Tallahassee.
House Speaker Richard Corcoran's push to require cities and local law enforcement to comply with federal immigration enforcement requests earned the scorn of all three mayors....
ST. PETERSBURG— They called him the "ninth council member" around city hall. He leaves behind colorful memories that do not face any term limits.
Gene Smith, 68, was found dead in his Fifth Street N apartment on Monday morning, according to St. Petersburg police. His death is still under investigation. However, police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said there was no appearance of foul play....
12/29/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Karl Nurse and Jim Kennedy first met when they roomed together at a St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce leadership retreat. That was back in 1991.
Now, Kennedy, 60, and Nurse, 63, are leaving the City Council after serving a decade together.
They have been linked together from the start: Nurse lobbied Kennedy to accept an appointment to the council in October 2007 to take over for John Bryan, who committed suicide after allegations of child abuse surfaced....
ST. PETERSBURG — Jack Latvala's decision to resign Wednesday makes one thing certain: A state Senate district represented by arguably the most powerful man in the Senate is now going to be without any representation at all for the upcoming legislative session.
"Not just North Pinellas, but the entire Tampa Bay area, has lost an effective and influential voice," said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, a fellow Republican....
ST. PETERSBURG — After months of tense negotiations and weeks of political impasse, the City Council on Thursday derailed a proposal that would have changed the ownership structure of the city's largest hospital, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.
The 5-3 vote scuttled a deal that would have allowed the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, a nonprofit that owns 20 percent of the hospital, to sell its share, separate from Bayfront and expand its charitable mission. The hospital's majority owner, Nashville-based Community Health Systems, would have paid the foundation $26.5 million....
ST. PETERSBURG — The booming Edge District has received the initial green light for a parking garage that will be built with public dollars and then be turned over to a private owner.
The St. Petersburg City Council gave unanimous approval Thursday to a preliminary plan that calls for the city to pay up to $6.4 million to Tribridge Residential LLC to build a garage with 243 public parking spaces on a site at 13th Street and Central Avenue....
12/13/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — When the Coast bikes first started popping up in St. Petersburg last year, the idea was for residents to use them for short hops around town.
But some users had more ambitious plans.
At the request of the Tampa Bay Times, CycleHop, which partners with the city to provide the bike share service, did some data-mining to come up with the five longest rides taken so far around the Sunshine City....
12/12/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Most could breathe a lot easier after Hurricane Irma blew past the region in September, leaving relatively little damage behind in the bay area.
Not Daniel Harrell.
The storm left the boating aficionado homeless after his 62-foot wooden vessel, Camelot, sank while moored in its slip in the city's municipal marina.
Harrell had spent nearly $100,000 on the boat, which was built in 1957. He lived on it as he made repairs....
BY CHARLIE FRAGO
Times Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — It was a big promise made by Mayor Rick Kriseman more than two years ago: Get the Sunshine City to eventually run on 100 percent renewable energy.
In a few months, the city will take small but tangible steps in that direction thanks to a $780,000 program designed to make city buildings more energy efficient....
ST. PETERSBURG — The message sent to the city's 11,500 reclaimed water users by the City Council on Thursday: Give us a year to figure this out.
The council voted 5-2 to approve a 25.5 percent increase in reclaimed rates starting Jan. 1. It is just the first in a series of rate hikes that could double reclaimed water prices in the next five years.
But in approving the first increase, council members left the door open to softening the blow in the coming years....
ST. PETERSBURG — When he lost the 1968 presidential election, Hubert Humphrey called President-elect Richard Nixon the next morning to concede the race. "I know how it feels to lose a close one," Nixon told him.
ST. PETERSBURG— Whether or not the city should charge residents more for reclaimed water rates is breaking down along two narratives: