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‘Downtown is a safe place’

PANAMA CITY — Figures released by authorities show crime dramatically decreased in 2012 in downtown Panama City. “This business that we’re in of redevelopment is built on a lot of good partnerships,” said William Whitson, Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) director. “One of the greatest partnerships we’ve started here is working with our police department.” Data…


Planners want facelift for aging part of U.S. 1 in south Melbourne

MELBOURNE — Driving north on U.S. 1 from Palm Bay, motorists enter an aging commercial corridor peppered with shuttered buildings and industrial vistas of asphalt and concrete. Melbourne officials aim to improve this view. They envision a mile-long streetscape project featuring brick-paver crosswalks, bike lanes, landscaped medians, sidewalks and shade trees such as Southern magnolias…