Schedule set for Epiphany festivities
Organizers of the 2012 Epiphany Day have released a schedule for the 106th annual event that celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan. The Dove Bearer, who will release a white dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit before the traditional cross dive, will be announced Christmas Day. On Jan. 5, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias will perform the Blessing of the Fleet at the Sponge Docks beginning at noon. Epiphany observances begin at 8 a.m. Jan. 6 with Orthros (Matins), followed by the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m., both at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 36 N Pinellas Ave. The traditional procession to Spring Bayou begins once the church services are complete, generally around 12:30 or 1 p.m. After an invocation and the release of the dove, 54 Greek Orthodox male youths will dive for the Epiphany cross, a tradition that draws thousands of spectators from around the world. The annual Glendi (festival) with food, drink, live music and traditional Greek dancing begins after the cross dive at the Spanos-Pappas Community Center, Theofilos Hall, 348 N Pinellas Ave.
Menorah lighting scheduled tonight
Have you ever seen a giant popcorn menorah? Well, now's your chance. The Chabad of Clearwater will light one this evening outside the Surf Style megastore on Clearwater Beach. The event begins at 6 p.m. at 311 S Gulfview Blvd. Following the menorah lighting ceremony, people will be dancing and singing. Doughnuts and latkes (potato pancakes) will be served to all, said Rabbi Levi Hodakov.
Driver who fled crash is arrested
A Palm Harbor woman who fled a crash scene in Clearwater on Tuesday was arrested in Largo after she sped into a park and nearly hit people out on their morning walk, police said. Alicia Maria Torres, 30, of 813 Ohio Ave., was charged with reckless driving. It was unclear what, if any, charges she faced in the Clearwater accident. According to Largo police, Torres caused a crash in Clearwater, then drove off. But the other driver followed her. About 7:45 a.m., a Pinellas County deputy saw Torres drive into Eagle Lake Park at 1800 Keene Road at an estimated speed of 80 mph, an arrest report said. The speed limit on the park roads is 15 mph. Torres was driving so fast she slid through the turn and nearly hit some people who were walking there, the arrest report states. Torres told police she fled because "she has had too many crashes and did not want the police involved," the report states.
Meeting to focus on fire station
The city will discuss proposals today from architectural design consultants competing for a contract to replace Fire Station No. 61 inside Highlander Park. The public meeting is set for 10 a.m. in the conference room at the Fire Administration Building, 1042 Virginia St.