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Former drug house will become a family home in Sheriff's "Operation Goodwill"

Former drug house will become a family home in Sheriff's "Operation Goodwill"

TARPON SPRINGS, Florida -- The Housing Authority of Tarpon Springs (HATS) will receive a new home tomorrow which will be rehabilitated and donated to a new family as part of the Department of Justice's "Operation Goodwill". 

The donation of the home will take place during a special ceremony at 10 a.m. with speakers including Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats, U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill, representatives from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Chairperson of the Housing Authority Board of Directors.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the house, 721 North Ave. in Tarpon Springs, was seized during a narcotics investigation in 2008.

"Operation Goodwill" is a community-based endeavor designed to strengthen the relationships between law enforcement and local communities.

Locals have plenty to do at St. Pete's First Night while ringing in the New Year

Locals have plenty to do at St. Pete's First Night while ringing in the New Year

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- There's something for everyone at St. Pete's First Night celebration in downtown area tonight from Cajun dance lessons and music to the Pier Aquarium Labyrinth. 

First Night activities begin at 5 p.m. on December 31 with FirstKids in the BayWalk courtyard where the whole family can participate in hat making, mask making, a musical petting zoo, theater performances and much more.

Other activities throughout downtown start at 7 p.m. They include the Great Explorations Bubble Blast, the 4H Ballroom Dance Bicycle Brigade, drumming circle, Salsa music, First Night Bonfire, St. Petersburg Opera, Dundu Dole, T.A.S.C.O. teen activities, a performance by breakout band, Have Gun Will Travel, and of course fireworks at 9 p.m. with the finale fireworks at midnight.

Suncoast Animal League needs your help!

Suncoast Animal League needs your help!

PALM HARBOR, Florida -- It's puppy season in Georgetown, Ga., and the supply is overwhelming the demand. Coupled with freezing conditions and outside kennels, Angel Dog Rescue has asked Suncoast Animal League for more help this season.

First, there are seven puppies, approximately nine-weeks-of-age. The shelter will also be helping with a mother dog named "Nutmeg" and her 11 two-week-old puppies.

There is also a 2-year-old Pekingese named "Binkie" who will join in the trip to Florida. She is a former breeder which, until recently, spent up to 14 hours a day locked in a dark closet. Binkie was no longer producing puppies so the breeder was no longer interested in keeping her.

The Suncoast Animal League is once again in need of foster parents for all these puppies. And most importantly, they will need one very special foster home to take Nutmeg and her eleven pups until they are weaned.

East Lake Fire Rescue says "Thanks"

East Lake Fire Rescue says "Thanks"

East Lake, FL -- The firefighters of the East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Control District say, "Thank you" for filling their boots during their three day MDA boot drive.

The firefighters raised a total of $6,600 on Nov. 26, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 this year for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The event came in just shy of last year's total of $7,400.  

Lt. Michael Porch, Chairman for the event, wanted to give special recognition to Acheiva Credit Union of East Lake for their assistance in counting the money without charging any fees. Porch also wanted to recognize Mrs. Sarah Lemovitz. After making her donation, Mrs. Lemovitz pulled over to the side of the road and assisted the firefighters for over an hour by holding a boot to collect money.

Lt. Porch further said that without the support of the Board of Fire Commissioners, Fire Administration and Firefighters, this event would not have been possible.

Santa delivers presents on a fire engine to over 1000 children

Santa delivers presents on a fire engine to over 1000 children

Pinellas Park, FL -- Lealman Firefighters are carting Santa on a Fire Engine today to deliver Christmas to the less fortunate children in the Lealman and surrounding areas.

This year the Lealman Frie District is providing Christmas dinner to 150 families, and a full Christmas, which includes dinner and toys, to 120 families and toys to thousands of other children throughout the community. The Lealman Firefighters donate money year round so that they can provide Christmas presents and dinners to these families.

The Firefighters also receive donations from various retailers and businesses to help provide presents to families all over Pinellas County. The Firefighters try to make sure that all of the children in Lealman area receive something for Christmas.

For additional information, please contact Captain Jim Millican at 727-481-2852.

Wednesday's Child: Gregg

Wednesday's Child: Gregg

Safety Harbor, Florida -- Sometimes the best things in life are the simple things. 

Today, 13-year-old Gregg is showing me how to skip stones.  We are at the beautiful Phillipe Park in Safety Harbor and it's a perfect day to be outside.

Gregg tells me how to find good rocks for skipping and he schools me on his technique.  I am not a good student but he is patient and seems to having a good time at my expense.

He really enjoys being outside but he tells me he also enjoys cooking.  It's a valuable skill he hopes will come in handy one day when he gets married and has kids.

Gregg would love a family who has a big yard and other kids he can spend time with.

He's a very thoughtful young man who would love to find a forever home.

If you would like to learn how to make Gregg a part of your family call Connie Going at 1-866-271-4705.

Greek cathedral seeking funds for dome renovation

Greek cathedral seeking funds for dome renovation

Tarpon Springs, FL - The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral has been a landmark of Tarpon Springs since 1942. The historic 68-year-old building is famous for its original copper dome, which is currently in "dire need of repair," according to the website of the official renovation project, Faith in Action Dome Renovation Committee.

The dome is leaking water and causing structural damage to the interior of the church, located at 36 N. Pinellas Ave. In addition, other areas of the sloping roof also have leaks in need of repair. The resulting damages could mean thousands of dollars in repair to plaster, paint, and furniture within the sanctuary. If the dome is not repaired, the entire structure could be lost, including famous stained glass art and beloved statues.

The church is visited by over 1,000 local families on a regular basis and hosts thousands more visitors and tourists every year.