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Thursday, January 4th, 2018


Crist Says Proposal Would Help Small Businesses Get Credit

Crist | Congress | Politics

If passed, the bipartisan bill would stimulate the economy and create jobs, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist said.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, has proposed a bill designed to make it easier for small businesses to get loans.

U.S. Rep. Rod Blum , R-IA, is co-sponsoring the Access Business Credit (ABC) Act (H.R. 4424).

The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to incentivize community banks to provide credit for small businesses. Specifically, interest received by a lender for a small business loan would be excluded from the lender’s gross income. Crist said the ABC Act would stimulate additional credit availability and job creation through the U.S. banking system with a focus on promoting small business lending.

“Small businesses are the engine that drives job creation and economic growth in our communities. Capital is their lifeblood. Making it easier for community banks to make more loans to small businesses is a smart and straightforward change – strengthening Main Street, the middle class, and our economy,” Crist said. “This is how we get things done for the American people, working together on common-sense legislation that puts the people first.”

Blum said, “It is imperative for small businesses to have access to capital to grow and this bill will make sure there are resources available to help small businesses continue to thrive. As a small business owner, I know what capital means to a growing business: more employees, better R&D, and increased possibilities.”

Small businesses are defined as those with fewer than 50 employees. Overall, small businesses employ 120 million people, roughly half of the nation’s private-sector workforce. Currently, small-business loans’ share of total bank loans is down 13 percentage points, while total business loans have increased 33 percent. These decreases are attributed to stricter regulatory requirements, tighter lending standards, and shrinking demand for credit and structural changes in the banking industry, Crist said.

Crist represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which includes south and mid-Pinellas County.

For information about Crist, go to

Charlie Crist | Rod Blum | Small Businesses | Banking | Politics | Tampabay News

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Passenger Dies in Pasco Crash

Police Lights | Florida | TB Reporter

She was not wearing a seat belt, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

PASCO COUNTY – A Wesley Chapel woman died Wednesday (Jan. 3) in a traffic crash on Eiland Boulevard in Pasco County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Cora Lee Stanley, 71, of Wesley Chapel, died at the scene. She was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver, Alicia Danielle Cummings, 29, of Zephyrhills was seriously injured. She was taken to Florida Hospital. Akilah Holder, 3, of Zephyrhills, another passenger in the car, received minor injuries and was taken to Florida Hospital. Leroy W. Christ, 53, of Zephyrhills, a passenger in the other vehicle, suffered minor injuries but was not taken to a hospital.

The crash happened about 11:27 a.m. Cummings was driving a 2011 Chevrolet sedan west on Eiland. For an unknown reason, troopers said, Cummings lost control of the Chevrolet and entered the path of a 2017 Ford van that was being driven east on Eiland by Kristopher M. Yaklin, 24, of Wesley Chapel.

The Ford hit the right side of the Chevrolet.

Florida Highway Patrol | Traffic Crash | Traffic Accident | Fatal Crash | Cora Lee Stanley | Tampabay News

#FloridaHighwayPatrol #TrafficCrash #TrafficAccident #FatalCrash #CoraLeeStanley #TampabayNews



Second Democrat Enters Race for House District 69

Javier Centonzio | Politics | Elections

Javier Centonzio is a veteran who has law offices in St. Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater.

ST. PETERSBURG – Lawyer and veteran Javier Centonzio announced today (Jan. 4) that he is running for Florida House District 69.

“I was honored to serve my country in the military, and now I’m ready to serve my community as a member of the Florida House,” Centonzio said. “District 69 needs a leader who is ready to take on tough issues from day one. I have the experience and the track record necessary to deliver positive results for the district.”

Centonzio served four years in the Marine Corps and then five years in the Kansas Army National Guard before moving to District 69 to pursue a law degree from Stetson University College of Law. While at Stetson, he helped create the school’s Veterans Law Institute, which provides pro bono legal assistance to disabled veterans in the community. In 2014, Centonzio received a masters of law in Elder Law from Stetson. He also owns two businesses in the district, including the law firm of Weylie Centonzio.

Centonzio is an active member of the community. He is a Life Member of the Marine Corps League Detachment 57 in St. Petersburg, a board member of the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch based in Pinellas Park, and volunteers as an attorney with the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. Centonzio also sponsors a multicultural club at Lealman Elementary School that helps promote understanding and acceptance of different cultures. Additionally, he founded “Heroes Weekend,” an event to honor veterans in Gulfport, and started the Sgt. Jessie Davila Memorial Veterans Scholarship in memory of his friend who died in combat. The fund provides scholarships for veterans interested in attending law school.

The HD 69 seat is currently held by Kathleen Peters, who is running for Pinellas County Commission. Fellow Democrat Jennifer Webb and Republicans Ray Blacklidge and Jeremy David Bailie have also announced they are running for HD 69.

HD 69 is located in the southwestern portion of Pinellas County. It includes the southern beach communities of Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, St. Pete Beach and Tierra Verde, as well as the mainland communities of Gulfport, South Pasadena and portions of St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park and the unincorporated Lealman community.

Qualifying for the race is noon June 18 through noon June 22. The primary is Aug. 28 and the general election is Nov. 6.

For information about Centonzio, go to

Florida House | House District 69 | Javier Centonzio | Jennifer Webb | Ray Blacklidge | Jeremy David Bailie | Kathleen Peters | Politcs | Elections | Tampabay News

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Realtors Endorse Allbritton for Clearwater Council

David Allbritton | Clearwater Council | Politics

David Allbritton is running for Seat 4 on the Clearwater City Council in the March municipal election.

CLEARWATER – The Pinellas Realtor® Organization, one of the largest professional trade associations in the Tampa Bay area, today(Jan. 4)  endorsed the candidacy of David Allbritton for Seat 4 on the Clearwater City Council.

“Based on the interview and various other criteria, I am pleased to report that our board of directors has voted officially to support your election campaign for Clearwater City Council, Seat 4 ”  PRO President and CEO David B. Bennett said. “We are confident that you will be an excellent city councilman, and we look forward to working with you in the future.”

Allbritton said, “It’s reinforcing to know that my work, my volunteerism and my views on our shared concerns garnered the endorsement of the 8,000 members of this respected and influential organization.

“With my years of service on multiple city and civic boards – and my decades of work with groups and organizations in both the public and private sectors – I have an intimate, first-hand familiarity with the challenges the city of Clearwater is facing,” he said. “If we coordinate our work with Clearwater’s citizens and stakeholders, there are viable solutions to accelerating Clearwater’s economic development and enhancing residents’ quality of life.”

Allbritton’s campaign platform is built on four standards: the support of healthy and safe neighborhoods; the support of strong traffic and municipal infrastructure programs; the guarantee of effective, efficient and responsive municipal services for all residents; and the confidence of a business-friendly environment for commercial enterprises.

Born and raised in Clearwater, David and his wife, Maryhelen, reared a family of three children and three grandchildren as they built a successful business. After attending North Carolina Wesleyan College and becoming a Florida certified building contractor, Allbritton served for 37 years as the president and CEO of the design and remodeling company, David Allbritton Contracting. He and his wife  now operate

David served for four years on the Clearwater Municipal Code Enforcement Board. In 2003, he was elected to the Clearwater Downtown Development Board – serving as chair for seven years; and is a member of the Clearwater Community Development Board. He is past-president of the Clearwater Historical Society, past-vice president of Prospect Towers; a board member of Clearwater Senior Citizen’s Services; past vice president of the Island Estates Civic Association; and an executive board member of the Clearwater Downtown Partnership. He also served on the Clearwater Business Task Force and the Clearwater Charter Review Committee.

He is running for Seat 4 on the Clearwater City Council against Tom Keller. The seat is currently held by Bill Jonson who is terming out of office. The nonpartisan election is March 13.

For information about Allbritton, go to

Clearwater Council | David Allbritton | Tom Keller | Bill Jonson | Politics | Elections | Tampabay News

#ClearwaterCouncil #DavidAllbritton #TomKeller #BillJonson #Politics #Elections #TampabayNews

Wesley Chapel Woman Critical After Single-Car Crash

Police | Police Tape | Public Safety

She suffered a medical emergency before the crash.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – A Wesley Chapel woman is in critical condition after she crashed her car Wednesday (Jan. 3), the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Brentcie Lynn Carter, 37, of Wesley Chapel, was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in critical condition after the 5:15 p.m. crash.

The crash happened on the northbound entrance ramp to I-275 from Hillsborough Avenue. Troopers said Carter suffered a medical emergency and lost control of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra she was driving. The car left the road and traveled onto a shoulder and into a ditch.

Florida Highway Patrol | Traffic Crash | I-275 Crash | Tampabay News

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Man Used Knife to Rob Belleair Bluffs Bank, Deputies Say

Michael Sadusky | Pinellas Sheriff | Arrests

Deputies and Belleair police caught him about 11 minutes after the robbery, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

BELLEAIR BLUFFS – A homeless man has been accused of robbing a Belleair Bluffs bank at knifepoint, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Michael Sadusky, 60, who is homeless, was charged with one count of armed robbery.

The robbery happened about 3:27 p.m.Wednesday (Jan. 3) at the Bank of the Ozarks, 525 Indian Rocks Road in Belleair Bluffs. Deputies said a man, who was armed with a knife, approached two bank tellers and demanded cash. He took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene before deputies arrived. Deputies obtained a physical description of the robber and began searching the area.

After about 10 minutes, undercover detectives located a vehicle driving in the area of Ponce De Leon Boulevard and Indian Rocks Road. A passenger in the vehicle fit the description of the bank robbery suspect. Belleair police officers and Pinellas deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.

Deputies talked with the driver, Sadusky and another passenger. Sadusky fit the description of the robber. Sadusky also had an amount of cash consistent with the amount stolen from the bank and a knife similar to the one used in the robbery.

Deputies said they confirmed that Sadusky was responsible for the bank robbery. They said he fled the bank after committing the robbery and walked to the Belleair Bluffs Apts., 675 Indian Rocks Road, where he solicited a ride with a man and his nephew. Deputies said those two did not know about the bank robbery.

Deputies said they interviewed Sadusky, during which he admitted committing the bank robbery.

No criminal charges are anticipated against the men who gave Sadusky a ride.

Pinellas Sheriff | Belleair Police | Crime | Bank Robbery | Arrests | Tampabay News

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