Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

Carving finds beauty in red bay killed by beetles


Carving finds beauty in tree that couldn't be saved

A carving of a dolphin pursing fish was completed on Monday by woodcarver Gil Watson of Crystal River. He was hired by Ken and Andrea Donald of Ozona to turn the stump of their 40-foot-tall red bay tree into something creative after it became sick last summer. The tree is the casualty of an exotic pest called the red bay ambrosia beetle, according to Ken Donald, who said there was nothing he could do to save the tree after noticing its leaves turning brown. Smaller than a grain of rice, the beetle coexists with and carries a fungus that is causing the fast-spreading epidemic called laurel wilt disease in red bay laurel trees and their cousins, swamp bay trees and avocado trees. There is no cure, according to the Pinellas County's Department of Environmental Management. Gil Watson answered an ad placed in early January by the Donalds for a sculptor and eventually designed and rough carved the dolphins and fish into the stump. According to University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, the red bay ambrosia beetle-laurel wilt pathogen poses a potential major problem for the Florida avocado industry, with many efforts being focused on preventing the infestation from spreading.


Construction requires redoubled water conservation

Pinellas County residents are asked to curb all unnecessary indoor and outdoor water use from now through Feb. 28.

The drinking water supply will be limited due to a scheduled construction project by the Pinellas County Department of Environment and Infrastructure and Tampa Bay Water, the regional water wholesaler serving Pinellas County.

During the 10-day construction period, Tampa Bay Water and the city of St. Petersburg are providing Pinellas County with sufficient water to meet the average daily water demands.

Residents are asked to refrain from outdoor water use activities such as lawn irrigation, pressure washing, car washing, installing new sod/landscaping, operating fountains and filling pools.

Residents are also encouraged to reduce indoor water use by practicing water conservation methods such as reducing shower time and avoiding running water while washing dishes, brushing teeth and shaving.

The benefits of the construction project include reducing long-term operation and maintenance costs by replacing aging infrastructure, improving water quality management, and providing a more reliable, blended supply of drinking water to Pinellas County customers.

Residents are also reminded that Pinellas County is under a water shortage order limiting lawn irrigation to one day per week on an assigned day based on house address for potable, well, lake and pond water irrigation sources.

For more information on other water restrictions and to find your assigned watering day, contact customer service at (727) 464-4000. Residents who receive water from a municipality are asked to check the schedule with their water supplier.

Palm Harbor

Jolly, Overby to attend forum

Republican candidate David Jolly and Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby are scheduled to appear at a public forum Sunday for candidates seeking the U.S. House 13th District seat.

The forum will begin at 11 a.m., with doors opening at 10 a.m., at the Centre of Palm Harbor, 1500 16th St., Palm Harbor. Refreshments will be provided.

The forum is being presented by the Palm Harbor Area Senior Council.

Candidate Alex Sink will not attend the forum because of a prior commitment.

For more information, call the Centre, (727) 771-6000.


Seminar on sex assault prevention

The Hispanic Outreach Center will host a free seminar on sexual assault prevention and awareness next week.

The seminar, organized by the InterCultural Advocacy Institute and the Clearwater Police Department, will take place at the center, 612 Franklin St. in Clearwater, from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Child care and refreshments will be provided.

For more information, call the center at (727) 445-9734, ext. 207.

Tarpon Springs

MLK banquet to benefit new playground

You can still purchase tickets for the 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Benefit Banquet, presented by the Citizens Alliance for Progress Inc.

The program will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday inside Inverness Hall at the Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, 36750 U.S. 19 N in Palm Harbor. Student winners of CAP's oratory contest will be featured guests.

Rod Carter, the morning anchor for WFLA-Ch. 8, will be the emcee.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the door or by calling Carmen Wilson, (727) 934-5881, ext. 12.

Proceeds will benefit a new community playground near the Union Academy Family Center in Tarpon Springs.

East Lake

Irish musicians will perform March 9 at library

Tickets are on sale now for an afternoon of Irish music at 2 p.m. on March 9 at the East Lake Community Library.

The band, Wind That Shakes the Barley, includes Bill Dudley on guitar, Kathie Aagaard on fiddle, Sarah Mitchell on hammered dulcimer and John McEwen on mandolin.

The group has been performing traditional music of the British Isles as well as the music of the New England Contradance tradition, for 30 years. Refreshments will be served and musicians will visit with attendees after the show. Tickets are $12 and are available at the library, 2665 East Lake Road. For more information, call (727) 773-2665.

Elkanah Kibet wins the men’s Gasparilla half-marathon

Elkanah Kibet wins the men’s Gasparilla half-marathon

TAMPA — Only a few feet separated Elkanah Kibet and Parker Stinson as they headed down the homestretch in Sunday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic half-marathon.Kibet made his move at the right time, surging ahead and holding off the hard-ch...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

PLANT CITY — A man died Saturday night after he was stabbed inside his home by a neighbor, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Moses Wilson, 49, got into an argument with James Michael Meeks, 23, both of whom live at 4308 James L. R...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

WASHINGTON — A woman close to the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI in chilling detail that he had a growing collection of guns and a temper so uncontrollable she worried about him "getting into a school and j...
Updated: 2 hours ago
3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Severe thunderstorms spawned suspected tornadoes and triggered widespread flooding that left at least three people dead in Kentucky and Arkansas. The system that stretched from Texas to the Canadian maritime provinces on Sunday ha...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

He was chronically depressed, beguiled by firearms and violence, an oddball ostracized by peers and prone to angry outbursts.He experienced, in rapid succession, blows of the sort that can send a disturbed, isolated young man hurtling into a spiral o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Published: 02/24/18
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Published: 02/24/18

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Published: 02/24/18

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Published: 02/24/18

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Published: 02/24/18