Mother accused of leaving kids to smoke crack
A 39-year-old woman was arrested Sunday on a child neglect charge after she left four of her five children alone in the middle of the night to go to a motel to smoke crack, authorities said. Sherry S. Alvarez told Clearwater police that she left the children alone "and did not see an issue," an arrest report said. The back door to the home was blocked and the front door was locked, which could have endangered the children in case of a fire, the report said. Alvarez has five children, ages 14, 13, 7, 4 and 1. A Clearwater police spokeswoman said she was not sure which of the children was away from home when the incident happened. It also was not clear how long the children were left by themselves. The children were taken into protective custody by the Florida Department of Children and Families, Clearwater police said. Court records show Alvarez was arrested last month on a cocaine possession charge. She is being held at Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Man's death deemed a suicide
A man found dead inside a white Ford van at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts at 22991 U.S. 19 N appears to have committed suicide, Clearwater police say. "There are no signs of criminal activity,'' said Clearwater public safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. The man was identified as Ronnie White, 28, of Safety Harbor. Watts would give no further details. There will be an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Junior Civitan seeks members
Junior Civitan, an international service organization, is looking for students from eighth grade through 12th grade to form a new club in northern Pinellas County.
The purpose of Junior Civitan is to provide members with personal and career development opportunities while improving their community through service. For information on the Civitans, visit www.juniorcivitan.org.
To become part of the new club, e-mail Frank Kelley, Clearwater Civitan Club member and club builder at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once 30 responses have been received, the Civitan Club will set up an initial meeting
Network at Business Showcase
The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Business Showcase will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Largo Cultural Center, 150 Central Park Drive.
More than 50 businesses will be participating, and a variety of food and beverage vendors will also be featured at this networking event. It is free.
For information about these events or chamber membership, call (727) 584-2321 or visit www.largochamber.org.