Police: Woman abused child as she drove drunk
A Largo woman was arrested early Tuesday after police say she injured a 12-year-old boy who was trying to stop her from driving while drunk. Michelle M. Lubotina, 37, was driving with a child in tow on the 1200 block of Gulf Boulevard about 11:45 p.m. Monday. According to an arrest report, Lubotina was heavily intoxicated, and the child, whose relationship to Lubotina is unknown, was trying to convince her to pull over. Lubotina did not listen to the child, and instead yelled and hit him on his face and arms, police said. She then bit him on his arm, leaving a visible injury. The 12-year-old jumped out of the car and ran to a nearby security guard for help, police said. Lubotina was arrested about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. She was charged with child abuse and neglect of a child. On Tuesday, she was being held at Pinellas County Jail without bail.
Come smash your soured mementos
Rick's Picks, the far-out beads and crafts shop on Skinner Boulevard, now features a much less mellow addition: Smash Alley. Started last week by shop owner Rick Tuisku, the outdoor space allows anyone with soured mementos — old wedding china from a failed marriage, a portrait of someone punch-worthy — to throw their pieces against a special smashing wall. One dollar rents protective gear and the open throwing zone for two doomed items, though customers have to sign a waiver releasing the alley-keepers from any possible damage liability. Smash Alley is open Monday through Saturday at 514 Skinner Blvd. from 10:20 a.m. to 6:20 p.m.
Museum to hold dedication of bell
The Armed Forces Military Museum will hold the official dedication of the bell from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. The bell was recovered off the Blackthorn, which collided with the tanker, Capricorn, near the Sunshine Skyway on Jan. 28, 1980. The museum plans to remove the bell from its case each January to be rung 23 times for each service member lost in the collision. The public is invited to attend the ceremony. For information, call the museum, (727) 539-8371.
City offers free tree for residents
The city of Safety Harbor is offering a free tree, including help with the selection process and planting, to residents who promise to take care of the right tree in the right place. Interested residents can download an application at the city's website, www.cityofsafetyharbor.com. For more information on the program, call Debbie Drees, (727) 724-1555 ext., 803.
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