Ironman will move to Nevada for 2011 event
The Ironman World Championship 70.3, which has taken place in Clearwater since its inception in 2006, is moving west. World Triathlon Corp. announced Thursday that, starting in 2011, the race will move to Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev., located just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. "We're grateful to the city of Clearwater for being a fantastic host to the Ironman World Championship 70.3 over the past five years," said Steve Meckfessel, WTC's chief operations officer. "Clearwater's sports-minded spirit, enthusiasm and dedication of resources have been critical to building the Ironman 70.3 Series." This year's race, scheduled for Nov. 13, starts and ends at Pier 60. It will include a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike race and a 13.1-mile run.
Clearwater man arrested in chase
Pinellas County sheriff's deputies arrested a 29-year-old Clearwater man who they say rammed two undercover vehicles, struck a private vehicle and fled on foot. The incident began just before noon Thursday as investigators attempted to make contact with Marlon Durand Cooper in an undercover narcotics investigation, authorities said. Detectives exited their vehicles at the parking lot of Belleair Place Apartments, 1704 Clearwater-Largo Road. As they approached Cooper's vehicle, he put the car in drive, rammed the undercover vehicles and left the scene, authorities said. Deputies turned on their lights and sirens, but Cooper kept going and struck a vehicle parked in the driveway of a private residence at 1346 Ponce de Leon Blvd. When Cooper's vehicle came to rest against the home's garage door, he fled on foot. He was arrested a short time later near the Ponce de Leon Boulevard and South Frederica Avenue. Cooper was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, driving with a suspended or revoked license, possession of crack cocaine and marijuana, possession of diazepam, reckless driving causing property damage and leaving scene of crash causing property damage. He is in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $59,550 bail. An investigation is ongoing.
Pair are charged with child neglect
A Dunedin man brought his 9-year-old stepson on a early morning drug run, authorities said. According to an arrest report, Andrew Ralph Sturm got into a vehicle driven by his 28-year-old stepdaughter at 4 a.m. Thursday. Sturm knew the woman, Sarah Beth Martin, was under the influence of a narcotic, the report said. She had just pulled his wife's hair and pushed her. On the way to buy crack cocaine in St. Petersburg, Andrew Sturm watched Martin chew benzodiazepine in front of the boy, the report said. Sturm and Martin were charged with child neglect. Martin faces an additional charge of domestic battery. Both were in the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday without bail.