Consensus on beach vehicles eludes council
Proposed regulations for beach bicycles, tricycles and taxis stalled Tuesday, with the City Council seeking standards for safety but stumbling over how to enforce them. Council members have said low-speed vehicles for rent or hire, from pedicabs to mopeds, have reached a "critical mass" on the beach, and asked for ways to regulate their business. But council members stopped short of agreeing on any of the city staff's ideas, from asking for safety certificates or insurance information, to requiring annual inspections and drivers' background checks. Existing regulations are lax or nonexistent, and council members said they worry about passenger safety. Others said any heavy-handed rule could put people out of business. Council consensus could begin the long process leading to a citywide ordinance. The council continues its discussion at 6 p.m. today at City Hall.
Woman accused of exploiting elderly
A Pinellas County Schools employee has been accused of taking about $8,300 from an 84-year-old man to cover her expenses. Kathleen Denise Stevens, 44, of Clearwater, works as a property control clerk for the school system, according to school records obtained last year. Officials were not able to confirm her current position Tuesday. She was arrested Sunday and faces one count of exploitation of the elderly. Stevens had access to the man's money because she had power of attorney over his finances, Clearwater Police spokeswoman Beth Watts said. The theft was revealed when she failed to pay the man's assisted living facility expenses, Watts said. Stevens was released on her own recognizance Monday.
Thrift store plans holiday sale
The Homeless Emergency Project Thrift Store is ushering in the holidays with a "Holly Jolly Savings Sale." Monday through Christmas Eve, the store will offer 20 percent off home decor and bric-a-brac, and 50 percent off of all holiday decorations. The store, at 1212 N Betty Lane, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call (727) 442-9041, ext. 330, or visit ethep.org for information.
Kids' sports camps have availability
Openings are available for the Pinellas Sheriff's Police Athletic League 2011 Christmas Multi-Sports and Golf Camps. The multisports camp (basketball, flag football, soccer, kick ball, dodge ball, street hockey and more) will be held at Osceola Fundamental High School. Activities will vary based on attendance and weather. The golf camp will be held at the Brooker Creek Golf Course. Camps start Monday, Dec. 19, and run through Thursday, Dec. 22, and are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Camps are open to boys and girls ages 8 through 15. For additional details and registration instructions, go to pinellascountypal.com or call (727) 580-1764.
Church to serve meals, fellowship
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral will serve Christmas dinner, as it does every year, for the elderly and others in need of a warm meal and Christian fellowship before the holiday. Meals will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 22 in the Fr. Tryfon Church Hall downtown.