Interim chief gets top job at fire department
City Manager Bill Horne said Tuesday that he is appointing Robert Weiss as Clearwater fire chief. Weiss has been serving as interim chief since the December arrest of former Chief Jamie Geer on a sexual battery charge. Weiss retired from the Tampa Fire Department in 2003 and was hired at Clearwater Fire and Rescue in 2005. He was promoted to deputy chief in 2008. "Chief Weiss demonstrated that he has the managerial and professional skills to lead the fire department during this time of change in local government," Horne said. Clearwater will leave vacant the deputy chief's job that Weiss held before his interim appointment. Authorities have accused Geer of molesting a girl from the time she was 8 or 9 years old until she was 17. He has been held at the Pinellas County Jail since his arrest.
Man accused of threat to woman
When police arrested a Clearwater man accused of threatening to kill the mother of his children, they found him with a loaded gun and marijuana, according to arrest reports. Eris Roy Smith Jr., 28, of 2025 Rogers St., No. 228, was charged Tuesday with aggravated assault, possession of marijuana, carrying a concealed weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Police said Smith pulled a handgun on the woman Sunday night and said he would kill her after she told him she would no longer allow him to see their children. The woman was holding their 3-month-old at the time. Early Tuesday, police pulled over a vehicle in which Smith was a passenger. He had a loaded .380-caliber handgun, police said, and two grams of marijuana in a plastic bag in his shoe. In 2003, Smith was sentenced to two years in prison for selling and possessing cocaine.
Police: Body was suicide victim's
A body found floating in Clearwater Pass on Tuesday was that of a man in his early 60s who police said committed suicide. The man, who was not identified, probably jumped from the bridge connecting Clearwater Beach and Sand Key, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said. He had recently made suicidal statements to friends, Watts said. Investigators found no signs of foul play. People aboard a boat found the body about 8:30 a.m. and called the Coast Guard, which delivered his body to the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office.
Stop by art center to see artist today
Renowned artist Brooke Allison is the subject of the Dunedin Fine Art Center's monthly "free coffee and conversation" series. Visit the center, at 1143 Michigan Blvd., at noon today to hear Allison talk about her pastel and oil paintings. Allison is a longtime art center faculty member whose retrospective exhibition is on display there through June 26. For more information, visit dfac.org.