CLEARWATER — The widening of U.S. 19 north of the city is still in the dirt-moving and grading stage, but it saved one life April 3.
Ralph W. Tingley, 52, of Oldsmar, was crossing the Seaboard railroad overpass between the Drew Street extension and State Road 590 when he slowed for cars ahead of him.
The right front brake of his 1956 sedan locked, turning the car against the low guard rail. It plunged through where a 50-foot drop used to be, about 100 feet past the tracks.
But Tingley's car fell only 7 feet, rolling over once. The embankment has been widened and filled in where Tingley's car crashed through so two more lanes can be added to the two-lane road.
"If it hadn't been for that I don't think Tingley would be alive," said Trooper O.B. Sword of the Florida Highway Patrol.
April 2, 1959
Firefighters rescue construction worker
CLEARWATER — Fast action by firefighters saved the life of a construction worker who hit a power line as he fell from a dock April 1.
Richard Sachse, 37, of Clearwater was reported in good condition after a close brush with death.
Fire Lt. John Slean said Sachse fell from a dock under construction into about 3 feet of water on the east side of Clearwater Beach. He said the man received a strong shock when he brushed a live wire.
Unidentified fellow workers couldn't move him out of the water, so they propped him upright but unconscious in a beach chair in the water.
Five firefighters and two workers then lifted the victim, chair and all, to dry land where firefighters administered oxygen. Sachse revived quickly.
April 2, 1931
Public wedding unites couple
TARPON SPRINGS — The first public wedding staged in this area was held Friday evening at a tent theater, where Mildred Black of Clearwater became the bride of Ernest Walker of Palm Harbor.
The stage was specially decorated with potted greens for the occasion, and the bride, gowned in an exquisite satin affair, was attended by six chorus girls in shorts.
The bride carried a bouquet of pink and white carnations and baby's breath.
Justice of the Peace J.I. Blake performed the ring ceremony.
Mrs. Walker is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Y. Black of Clearwater and former residents of Palm Harbor. She was the secretary and treasurer of the graduating class of 1928.
The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William W. Walker of Palm Harbor. After the ceremony, the couple left on a short wedding trip.
April 1, 1931
Inspector: Buyer had illegal sponges
TARPON SPRINGS — Sponge buyer Christo Tsalakis, arrested Friday by Walter Topliff, state sponge inspector of this city, was bound over to Circuit Court under $500 bail on a charge of having sponges in his possession of less diameter than the minimum set by state law.
The hearing was before Justice of the Peace J.I. Blake.
Inspector Topliff and Constable Gause, of this district, produced about 100 of the small sponges in court for the justice's inspection, and the latter decided that the sea produce were just as they had been gathered from the gulf and were not sponge clippings, as Tsalakis claimed.
Blake held that the sponges were less than 5 inches in diameter, and stated that no knife had touched them, other than when they were snipped from the bed of the gulf.
They were filled with small rocks and trash, showing they had not been cleaned by sponge clippers.
State law protects the young crops of sponges by requiring they be a minimum of 5 inches in diameter and providing a penalty for anyone caught with smaller sponges in his or her possession.