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Beach life guard station taking shape

Beach life guard station taking shape

Clearwater Beach, Florida -- The new life guard station house south of Pier 60 is taking shape.

Workers for Khors Construction of Thonotosassa are completing framing of the renovated building, including the third floor which will serve as an observation deck and staff work room.

Kevin Dunbar, parks and recreation director for the city, says the work is on schedule and should be completed by the end of February.

The cost to construct the 2,280 sq. ft. building, located on the BeachWalk just south of Pier 60, is just over $500,000.

Controversial homeless shelter to open doors this week

Controversial homeless shelter to open doors this week

Clearwater, Florida -- This week, preparations of the controversial Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless shelter will be completed and the facility, which is operated by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, will be open to those in need.

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., local service providers, elected officials, and project partners are invited to a preview and tour of the facility the day before it opens. The event will be hosted by Sheriff Jim Coats and speakers will include St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster.

It will be an opportunity for all involved to see the facility, which was previously a county jail and has attracted protestors, including one rally organizer who compared it to "Japanese internment camps that happened in WWII."

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.

Sheriff invites public to meeting at Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless facility

Sheriff invites public to meeting at Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless facility

Pinellas County, FL - Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats is inviting residents, business owners and anyone interested in the new Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless facility to attend an informational meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the facility, located at 14840 49th Street North, which is a former Pinellas County Jail Annex II being re-configured to serve as a shelter and social service headquarters for homeless persons who otherwise would be involved in the criminal justice system - a decision met with considerable controversy.

Related stories:

Homeless rally on St. Pete City Hall

Empty Jail could be new Pinellas homeless shelter

New homeless facility could open in St. Pete by Jan. 1st

St. Pete man commits suicide at Shoot Straight in Tampa

St. Pete man commits suicide at Shoot Straight in Tampa

Tampa, FL -- Deputies are investigating a suicide at the Shoot Straight gun range at 3909 North Highway 301.

Just before 4:00 Sunday afternoon, deputies responded to the business after getting reports that someone was shot in one of the stalls.

After reviewing the surveillance video in the shooting stalls, authorities were able to determine that 37-year-old Robert Chan of St. Petersburg shot himself.

There were approximately eight other people in other shooting stalls, but they did not witness the shooting.

Chan was transported to Tampa General Hospital where he later died.

Countryside Mall to add movie theater in 2011

Countryside Mall to add movie theater in 2011

Clearwater, FL - Shoppers should expect some changes at the Westfield Countryside Shopping Center located off of US Highway 19 North in Clearwater in the coming year. Dave Hibberd, General Manager of the mall, confirmed that a 12 screen Cobb Theatre will be added to the main site. The official announcement will come in mid-January, and construction is expected in early 2011.

The new expansion is expected to bring in approx 60-70 new jobs to Clearwater.

The regional mall manager, Tara Martin, says there is a need for a new movie theater in Clearwater and it’s what the customers and residents have been asking for.

A few restaurants will also be added to the mall, but the details on the new additions haven't been released.

Pier Aquarium re-stocks fish before tonight's Holiday stroll

Pier Aquarium re-stocks fish before tonight's Holiday stroll

Saint Petersburg, FL - New fish are moving into The Pier Aquarium's Big Tube aquarium today, marked by an official "restocking" ceremony that took place at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, with Curator of Exhibits Butch Ringelspaugh rigged onto high scaffolding to deliver a few fish into the 20-ft. tall tank.

The much anticipated event is the follow-up to an electrical mishap in early August that cut off the electricity to "the Big Tube," the largest of three circular tube aquariums in The Pier's first floor lobby, that resulted in the loss of the animals. The 20-ft. tall tank had about 35 large fish, many considered "showstoppers."