Store robbery with knife leads to man's arrest
A Clearwater man was charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery Monday after he tried to stick up a store on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard using a knife — and only obtained a pack of cigarettes, according to police. Jason Michael Paffrath, 39, entered the Smokin' Brothers store near the intersection of Gulf-to-Bay and S Hercules Avenue about 12:45 p.m. Monday, just a day after his birthday. Brandishing a knife, he demanded money from the cash register, but an employee tried to disarm him, police said. He injured the employee's hand with his knife and left the store with a pack of cigarettes, police said. Paffrath was later arrested at Crest Lake Park in Clearwater. He was being held on $60,000 bail at the Pinellas County Jail.
Man accused of jewelry theft
A 20-year-old man was arrested on charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property Monday after he stole $17,000 worth of jewelry from his girlfriend's mother while staying in her home, police said. Steven Towle of Dunedin admitted to Pinellas County sheriff's deputies that he stole "multiple items of jewelry" from his girlfriend's mother and pawned some of them for about $3,000, authorities said. Investigators estimated the value of the stolen items — which included a diamond tennis bracelet and a gold bangle bracelet — at about $17,000. The alleged crime took place at a home in Palm Harbor, according to an arrest affidavit. Towle was being held on $65,000 bail at the Pinellas County Jail.
City to consider Gateway plans
Developers are slated to present the Dunedin City Commission with new plans for the long-anticipated downtown Gateway Project on Thursday. Commissioners meet at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 542 Main St. Documents show Pizzuti Builders LLC wants to change course and build mostly apartments, along with restaurants and other retail, on the vacant 4.1-acre tract at Main Street and Milwaukee Avenue. Get a copy of the full agenda at the City Clerk's Office, 750 Milwaukee Ave., or online at DunedinGov.com.
Workshop Sept. 19 for nonprofits
Register by Sept. 14 for the Tampa Bay region's second annual business workshop for nonprofit professionals. It will be held 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. Topics include maximizing fundraising through social media, employee recruitment and retention, branding, and corporate giving. Find details online at notforprofitworkshop.com. Organizers say last year's event at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater drew 387 professionals from 188 organizations.