Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Clearwater woman accused of dangling baby over sea wall

Clearwater

Woman accused of holding baby over sea wall

A Clearwater woman who believed her infant son was possessed by demons was charged with child abuse Tuesday after police said she attempted to throw the 3-month-old into Clearwater Harbor. The scene unfolded about 1:45 p.m. at an apartment rented by Lydia Chako, 39, of 1209 N Osceola Ave. The property manager, noticing the unit was flooded, entered and found Chako inside throwing items. Chako told the manager that she believed lizards and snakes were on the child and that she was "keeping the demons out." Chako left the apartment, carrying the baby by his feet. The property manager called police, who found a half-naked Chako a block away, standing on a sea wall at the dead end of Palm Bluff Street. Officers said they distracted Chako, grabbed the infant away, then arrested the woman after a brief struggle. Neither the baby nor Chako was injured. The child is now in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

dunedin

Walmart fire called very suspicious

The Dunedin Fire Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the culprit behind an "extremely suspicious" fire that caused $2,800 in damage at a Walmart store and injured an employee Tuesday. The blaze started about 2:45 p.m. near the loading dock behind the store at 2102 Main St. It took crews from Dunedin, Clearwater and Palm Harbor about 15 minutes to extinguish flames that engulfed a bale of recyclable materials and slightly damaged the rear of the building. An employee who tried to fight the fire was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Dunedin Fire Marshal Bill McElligott said his department is reviewing surveillance video and asking anyone with information to come forward. Call him at (727) 298-3092.

clearwater

Store planned near roundabout

A city board gave its approval Tuesday to a property owner's request to build a two-story, 23,000-square-foot retail store at 400 East Shore Drive, just northeast of the Clearwater Beach roundabout. That's now the site of a one-story apartment building and a parking lot. The owner's representatives said the new building will house one tenant, likely a store from a national chain. But they didn't name the store. The Community Development Board approved the request, which had no public opposition.

Open house at free health center

Learn more about programs and services available at the Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center during a spring open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. The center at 1108 N Martin Luther King Ave. provides free medical care, community outreach and health-education seminars to people who struggle to afford health care. Officials on Thursday will discuss how they survived a financial crisis that almost closed the center this winter. RSVP by calling (727) 467-9411 or emailing [email protected]

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Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Official: Shotgun in guitar case was used in school shooting

Official: Shotgun in guitar case was used in school shooting

FORT LAUDERDALE — A gunman who carried a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire Friday in a Florida high school, wounding one student before he was arrested on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence, authorities said. It...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Woman says Hernando County commissioner kept her as a ‘sex slave’

Woman says Hernando County commissioner kept her as a ‘sex slave’

Whatever he wanted, I had to do."PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Hernando County commissioner arrested on prostitution chargesThe commissioner faces charges of operating a location for prostitution and two counts of purchasing services from a person engaged in p...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

LARGO — Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal.What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate."I just felt so disrespected and violated," said Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip., was shot an...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

TAMPA — The NFL draft is one big game of Liar's Poker. Deal me out.Even the guys with a seat at the table don't know when someone is bluffing.Bucs general manager Jason Licht knows that the team's No. 7 overall pick this year will be affected b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Parents sue Tampa football league, former coach accused of lewd conduct

Parents sue Tampa football league, former coach accused of lewd conduct

The parents of two teens have filed a lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Youth Football League and the man accused of harassing and molesting them while he was their coach.The parents say the organization and Davarius Durham were negligent and caused phys...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Tuesday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining ot...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Eakins: New ‘achievement zone’ would lift struggling schools

Eakins: New ‘achievement zone’ would lift struggling schools

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins is preparing to reorganize his cabinet — for the third time since 2015 — in an effort to coordinate programs at the district’s highest-needs schools.In an interview this week, Eakins descr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Woman attacks door of special needs bus with kids inside, curses at driver, deputies say

Woman attacks door of special needs bus with kids inside, curses at driver, deputies say

TAMPA — In an apparent fit of anger, a woman banged on a special needs bus door until it cracked. Children were inside and may have heard the string of profanities she shouted at the bus driver, deputies said.Now they want her to pay $250 in damages....
Updated: 1 hour ago