man arrested in burglary, sexual assault
Deputies have arrested a man suspected of slipping into the home of a 57-year-old Palm Harbor woman around 2 a.m. Friday through an unlocked door, binding her hands, beating and kicking her in the face with enough force to break bones, and raping her. Christopher Lee Granado, 40, of 706 Sparrow Ave., Palm Harbor, was arrested about 9 p.m. Friday near the Pinellas-Pasco county line. He was charged with sexual battery with intent to commit great bodily harm, burglary and false imprisonment. The victim's adult daughter was also struck after walking in on the assault, Pinellas County Sheriff officials said. Granado was being held in the Pinellas County jail, with bail set at $500,000.
Event for homeless needs 500 helpers
Organizers of Project Homeless Connect are looking for 500 volunteers to participate in a one-day effort Sept. 27 to help those on the street and those in need. The one-day service fair will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Harborview Center, 300 Cleveland St. Its goal is to connect the homeless and others in need with professionals who can provide services such as medical and dental screenings; job and housing assistance and social, legal and transportation services. Volunteers must attend one of six training sessions prior to the event. Visit www.pinellasconnect.org for the schedule or to register as a volunteer. For information, call Betty Moran at the American Red Cross, (727) 446-2358.
Green Armada needs helpers, too
If you'd rather volunteer for an environmental cause, the nonprofit Green Armada, along with the city of Largo and River Quest, is looking for people to help clean up the shores of the Largo paddling trail Aug. 9. The event is scheduled for 8 a.m. at the Largo Central Park Nature Preserve, 150 Highland Ave. SE, south of East Bay Drive and behind Everest University. Volunteers are urged to bring their own kayaks or canoes, but organizers do have 77 seats available on vessels for those who don't have their own. All volunteers are asked to register at www.GreenArmada.org. To reserve a seat, call Joe Gonzalez toll-free at 1-800-496-9161; press 1 for Tampa Bay, then 3 to volunteer.
Saturday picnic celebrates cultures
The city of Clearwater is hosting a multicultural back-to-school picnic that will combine school supplies, hot dogs and traditional cultural arts into an exercise in community-building. The free picnic will be from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Glen Oaks Park, 1345 Court St. One of the goals is to celebrate the diverse population of the East Gateway District, which is between Drew and Court streets and Highland and Missouri avenues. The picnic will feature performances by Sundrummers drumming circle and the Folklorico Mexico dance troupe. Children's activities will include the art of papel picado, or paper cutting, T-shirt tie-dying and games. School supplies will be distributed to children while they last and there will be drawings for prizes. For information, call (727) 562-4047 or visit www.myclear water.com/eastgateway.