Blast Friday returns with country music
The free event BLAST Friday, formerly called Fourth Friday, returns to downtown Clearwater on Friday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. It will feature a concert by two national country performers, Lonestar's Richie McDonald and former American Idol contestant Josh Gracin. McDonald is known for hits such as I'm Already There, which has been embraced by military families. They'll perform in the 400 block of Cleveland Street near the Capitol Theatre. Family-friendly festivities will include Halloween treats for kids, street performers and prizes, as well as a variety of downtown restaurants selling food, beer and wine. Visit blastfriday.com or call toll-free 1-888-532-5278 (53BLAST) for information.
Body in pond a homeless man
A 41-year-old homeless man was identified as the person whose body was found in a retention pond Oct. 16. On Wednesday, Clearwater police say they had identified Bryan Keith Wahl. The death does not appear to be suspicious, police said. An investigation is ongoing. Wahl was found about 8:45 a.m. floating in the retention pond at Glen Oaks Park, 1345 Court St.
Boy, 9, hit by SUV at school bus stop
A 9-year-old boy was hospitalized after he was hit by a sport utility vehicle while playing tag at a school bus stop early Wednesday, Pinellas County sheriff's deputies said. Emillio Serrano was injured but is expected to survive the accident, which happened near Westminster Boulevard and Pine Avenue, deputies said. Several children were playing tag while waiting for a bus to Oldsmar Elementary. Katherine Duck, 30, of Oldsmar was driving a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee when she pulled up to a stop sign at the intersection facing Westminster Boulevard, deputies said. Emillio fell in front of her vehicle, but she did not see him, deputies said. She started turning left but quickly realized she had run over something and stopped, deputies said. She found Emillio underneath her vehicle and called 911. Paramedics treated the boy and then took him to a hospital. Deputies don't expect charges to be filed.
Child porn stash nets federal time
A 40-year-old Tarpon Springs man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography. At a sentencing last week in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Dale Chappell also was ordered to forfeit his computer equipment and spend the rest of his life on supervised release after he completes his prison term. Chappell pleaded guilty in July to using a computer program known as GigaTribe to obtain and share the child pornography. Undercover FBI agents contacted Chappell online, searched his work computer and found thousands of photos and videos of child pornography. "Of all of the cases that I see in federal court, this is the worst kind because it affects the lives of innocent children," U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez-Covington said in sentencing Chappell on Oct. 19.