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Janssen's complex improvement plan up for vote tonight by Pinellas School Board

Janssen's complex improvement plan up for vote tonight by Pinellas School Board

Palm Harbor, FL - Pinellas County superintendent Julie Janssen has developed a plan to reinvigorate the school district by driving more respected academic programs to classrooms throughout the county. The Student Achievement Plan "focuses on creating and supporting learning opportunities and options at all schools that will challenge students and promote academic excellence," according to the official Pinellas County Schools website, www.pcsb.org.

More specifically, the program would refine all aspects of student life, including curriculum, instruction, culture, structure, and support. The plan has encountered many revisions since its introduction in September, but the focus has remained the same: spend big money to add or improve special programs at elementary, middle, and high schools all across the county.

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Trouble tenant? 10 News to the rescue!

Trouble tenant? 10 News to the rescue!

SAFETY HARBOR, Florida - He thought a tenant who didn't write him checks would be his biggest headache.  But it turns out an eviction specialist who disappeared with his check was a bigger one.

Tom Brown owns a small apartment building near Downtown Safety Harbor and when one tenant stopped paying his rent in August, he went online and found Big Boy Evictions, a local company that charges to process eviction papers for you.  They were even featured in a 2008 story on 10 News.  The company charges a few hundred dollars more than the actual fees for the labor of going through the process.

But Brown says when owner Martin Barrett came and picked up his check for $460, he wasn't heard from again in weeks.

Gas prices on the increase in the Bay area

Gas prices on the increase in the Bay area

St.  Petersburg, Florida -- Many of us are feeling pain at the pump. Gas prices are on the rise, jumping nearly 4 cents a gallon since Friday.  

"You got to pay what you got to pay. We haven't met our save energy requirements and this is the price we're going to pay," says Jimmy Schroering, a resident of St. Petersburg.

The price consumers pay at the pump is closely tied to supply and demand, as well as, the global economy. 

"What we're seeing is a weak U.S. dollar and whenever the dollar is weak, it makes crude oil more appealing as a commodity for investors," said Jessica Brady, a spokesperson for AAA Travel in Tampa.

Economists say that when gasoline prices rise, it doesn't necessarily impact the amount of gasoline purchased, but it does impact other areas of consumer spending.

Peter Hammerschmidt is an economics professor at Eckerd College and he says gasoline is a necessity for most people. 

Police: More than 80 gambling machines seized

Clearwater, Florida -- Police in Clearwater say more than 80 gambling machines were seized from an arcade after an investigation into reports of illegal gambling activity.

The equipment was seized during a search warrant over the weekend at Rio Arcade, located on US 19. 

Photo Gallery: Pictures of the seized equipment

Investigators say 84 gambling machines, $10,000 in cash, one vehicle and a large amount of electronic equipment were seized from the business.

Charges against the owner and several managers are being forwarded to the State Attorney's Office.

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Cold weather shelters open in Pinellas

Cold weather shelters open in Pinellas

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Freeze warnings are going into effect for much of the Bay area tonight, and cold weather shelters are opening for homeless men and women.

Here is a list of shelters opening in Pinellas county:

Shelters open between 6 and 6:30 p.m. on 12/06

For Adult Men and Women:

Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church
110 S. Ft. Harrison Ave.
Clearwater, FL  33756
Church Phone: (727) 442-3677
Co-Coordinators:  Jack Stonebraker (727) 542-8889 or Michael Bowles (727) 804-1830   or (727) 536-3074
Capacity: 75

St. Cecelia Catholic Church
820 Jasmine Way
Clearwater, FL  33756
Church Phone: (727) 447-3494
Co-Coordinators:  Dan Metee (727) 587-7722  or Peter Gibson (727) 530-3581    
Capacity: 45

Forecast: Pinellas only Bay county to escape Freeze Warning

Forecast: Pinellas only Bay county to escape Freeze Warning

Pinellas County, FL - Pinellas residents are slightly better off than their neighbors during the Bay area's latest cold snap. You can see the zoom radar for the area here.

A large Canadian high pressure has plummeted south into the eastern U.S. bringing cold air all the way down to Florida. We are waking up to Wind Chill Advisories this morning and Freeze Warnings for tonight and likely tomorrow night. That cold air is blowing in on northwest winds that will stay in the 10-20 mph range through this afternoon. A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued until 9 a.m. for Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties as it will feel like 30-35 degrees at times this morning. Skies will be clear and sunny today, but the cold air will only allow us to warm to the mid 50s today when the typical high is 73!

Silver Alert helps find missing 84-year-old St. Petersburg woman

Silver Alert helps find missing 84-year-old St. Petersburg woman

Palm Harbor, Florida -- You've seen the digital road signs before while driving on the highway. You have seconds to glance at information about a missing child or senior citizen. Is it enough time? It was for Martha Gruber and her family.

"We were going south on U.S. 19 and went under the banner and saw a beige Corolla," recalls Martha Gruber.

Gruber says within seconds they spotted the 2006 beige Toyota Corolla driven by 84-year-old Gisela Petrovic. St. Petersburg police say Petrovic, who has dementia, was last seen near her mailbox on Saturday afternoon at her St. Petersburg apartment building off of Locust Street North.

"It was odd. Her flashers were continually on and it seemed she was weaving in her lane a little bit," says Gruber.