Man, 24, charged with aggravated child abuse
Police arrested a Largo man on Thursday on a charge of aggravated child abuse after a 2-year-old girl was hospitalized this month with injuries consistent with attempted strangulation.
Donald Dankert, 24, and the toddler's mother took the girl to the hospital April 9 with multiple injuries, police said.
The hospital called police after an exam indicated that the injuries, although not life-threatening, could have been caused by strangling, officials said.
Clearwater police investigators said they determined that the girl had been solely in Dankert's care.
Police are not disclosing the relationship between him and the girl to protect her identity.
Dankert, who lives in an apartment on Seminole Boulevard, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, his bail set at $100,000.
— Times staff writer
Mayor to take on House powerhouse Bill Young
Mayor Bob Hackworth knows the odds are stacked against him, but he thinks he can topple political behemoth U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
On Tuesday in front of City Hall, Hackworth formally announced his candidacy as a Democrat running for the U.S. House District 10 seat. Young, 77, R-Indian Shores, has said he plans to seek a 20th term.
"Clearly it is time for a new beginning, time for a new breed of leader," Hackworth, 52, said in front of a crowd of about 100 people. "I think it's time for some common sense in Washington, D.C."
Meanwhile, two city commissioners are eyeing Hackworth's seat. Dave Eggers, who is up for re-election, and Deborah Kynes, who just won a fourth term, said they are interested in becoming Dunedin's next mayor.
— Tamara El-Khoury, Times staff writer
Fishing tourney raises money, honors memory
Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 34, angler Peter T. Assimack took it in stride, friends said.
"He'd say, 'If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. Who knows? Maybe God needs one hell of a fishing guide up there right now,' " said longtime friend Chuck Brady, 52.
God got his fishing guide a year later when Assimack succumbed to the disease on Aug. 21, 1996. He was 35.
But Assimack's legacy lives on. On Saturday, friends honored his memory during the 13th annual Peter T. Assimack Memorial Fishing Tournament.
For 10 years the event has raised money for a fund set up in Assimack's name that provides scholarships for Tarpon Springs High School seniors. Over that time it has raised more than $43,200.
— Rita Farlow, Times staff writer
Woman seriously hurt after 5 vehicles collide
A woman was seriously injured Wednesday morning during a five-vehicle crash.
The accident happened at 9:23 a.m. on Sunset Point Road between Belcher Road and Hercules Road.
According to Clearwater police, Daniel Smith, 21, was westbound in a Dodge Stealth when he ran into the back of a pickup. The impact caused the pickup to lose control and cross the median into the eastbound lanes, where it hit a four-door Buick sedan.
That impact caused the Buick to go into the curb lane and hit a Toyota 4Runner. A PT Cruiser, traveling behind the 4Runner, couldn't stop in time and collided with the 4Runner.
The driver of the Buick sedan was extricated from her car and flown to a local hospital with serious injuries. Her name had not been released.
The other four people declined treatment.
Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts said charges were pending.
— Jonathan Abel, Times staff writer