Pedestrian, 57, hit, killed while crossing street
A 57-year-old Clearwater man was killed while crossing Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard on Wednesday evening, police said. The man, who hasn't been identified pending family notification, ran midblock from the south side near Glenwood Avenue just before 6 p.m. . He was struck by a vehicle driven by 32-year-old Juan Vazquez-Dezha, who was westbound on Gulf-to-Bay in the curb lane. The pedestrian was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m. Vazquez-Dezha was charged with not having a valid driver's license.
Still time for pet photos with Santa
There's still time to snap a family photo (pets included) with Santa at the Humane Society of Pinellas' Photos With Santa fundraiser, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater. $10 and $20 poses are offered. Photos can be of pets only or everyone in the family. Profits benefit the Humane Society. Call (727) 797-7722.
Man cleaning gun shoots himself
A man accidentally shot himself Thursday morning while cleaning his handgun, authorities said. Teddy Allen Palinkas, 53, of 935 Cedarwood Ave., shot himself in the right upper torso around 9:20 a.m. and was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Palinkas told Pinellas deputies that he forgot there was still a round in the chamber of his .380-caliber semi-automatic Taurus when it went off.
Academy hosts holiday event
A Winter Wonderland event is scheduled 6 to 9 p.m. today at Palm Harbor Montessori Academy, 2355 Nebraska Ave. Activities include face painting, games, crafts, balloon animals and karaoke; foods to sample; and a holiday basket raffle. Free admission, food and games $1 per ticket. Proceeds benefit the school's scholarship program. For more information, call (727) 786-1854.
Boot camp class will benefit pets
Hammer Time Fitness will host a charity boot camp class from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday to benefit Cindy's Pets, an organization that is working with Pasco County's Elderly Nutrition Meals on Wheels program to provide pet food for the animals of senior citizens in the area. The event is free with a donation of one bag of vet-recommended cat and dog food such as Iams, Eukanuba, Purina One, Science Diet or Nutro Max. It takes place at Hidden Oaks Animal Hospital, 725 East Lake Road N, Tarpon Springs. For more information, call (727) 916-1655 or visit Hammer TimeFitness.com.
Bicyclists will ride to help fight disease
Hundreds of cyclists will take part in the second annual Ride to Defeat ALS on Saturday at Walsingham Park, 12615 102nd Ave. N, Largo, to raise funds and awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Proceeds will support patient care and comfort, research for treatments and a cure.
The 62-mile ride starts at 7:30 a.m.; 25-mile at 8 a.m.; and 5-mile at 9 a.m. For information, call toll-free 1-888-257-1717 or visit www.RideALS.org.