By JOHN BALZ and JACKIE RIPLEY
Voters invited to candidate forums
TOWN 'N COUNTRY -- The Town 'N Country Alliance has scheduled three political forums to give voters a change to meet the candidates to hear their positions on a variety of issues.
The kick-off forum is Aug. 12 and features primary election candidates for Hillsborough County Commission Districts 1, 5 and 7.
The Sept. 9 forum highlights primary election candidates for state representative in Districts 57 and 58.
The final forum Oct. 14 will focus on the general election and will include county commission candidates for Districts 1, 5 and 7.
All forums will be held at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, 8401 W Hillsborough Ave. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. The forum will begin at 7 p.m.
The Town 'N Country Alliance is an umbrella group of civic and homeowner's associations, schools, churches and businesses in the greater Town 'N Country area.
Suncoast Trail recognized by federal government
LUTZ -- The Suncoast Trail has been designated a "National Recreation Trail" by the Department of Interior's National Park Service. The 42-mile pedestrian/bicycle trail also was named a "Millennium Trail" by the White House Millennium Council in October 2000.
As part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System, the Suncoast Trail, which runs adjacent to the Suncoast Parkway, will play an important part in the establishment of a statewide system of greenways and trails.
The trail, which is owned by the Florida Department of Transportation, is operated and maintained by the Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando counties Parks and Recreation departments.
The 30-mile southern portion of the trail was opened last year and the remaining 12-mile section, from State Road 50 to U.S. 98 in Hernando County, will be opened in two phases by the end of this year.
Plans for future connections between the trail and adjoining properties are being explored for the purpose of providing more trail access points.
Ranch annexation to be discussed
HUNTER'S GREEN -- New Tampa residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on the city's proposed annexation of the 2,280-acre K-Bar Ranch in northern Hillsborough County.
Officials from the transportation, parks and recreation, and planning departments will be at the Hunter's Green Country Club on Monday to answer residents' questions and discuss how the annexation will affect area schools and roads.
Members of the Hillsborough County School Board will also attend.
The event begins at 7 p.m. Hunter's Green Country Club is at 18101 Longwater Run Drive.
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