Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

North Pinellas briefs: Death of elderly woman ruled accidental


Death of elderly woman ruled an accident

Clearwater police have ruled that Mary Zelter, the 86-year-old woman who went missing in February and was found dead in the Intracoastal Waterway, died by accident. The investigation wrapped up this week and found no foul play was involved. Zelter disappeared in late February after signing out of her assisted living facility in Largo. She went to a nearby supermarket and was not heard or seen from since. On March 3, two fisherman saw her body floating near a boat ramp in the Intracoastal Waterway. Her car was pulled out of the water shortly after. On Thursday, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, filed a bill in Congress, which he said was largely in response to the death of Mary Zelter. His bill, the Silver Alert Grant Program Act of 2008, would authorize $5.6-million each year to help states set up their own systems, similar to the Amber Alert triggered when a child disappears, for coordinating state and local efforts to find missing seniors with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Vehicular homicide added to charges

The man behind the wheel of a sport utility vehicle that smashed into another SUV and hit a building is now facing charges of vehicular homicide. The crash happened April 3 as Randy Lee Sparklin, 45, of Belleair Bluffs was fleeing from police in downtown Clearwater. Police tried to make a traffic stop and Sparklin fled, they said. At the intersection of Court Street and S Prospect Avenue, police say, he hit another SUV. Sparklin was charged with aggravated stalking and reckless driving, among other charges. One of the passengers of the SUV that was hit, Odysseas Liakopoulos of Clearwater, died on April 11. Sparklin will now face vehicular homicide charges, according to police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts.


Walk and learn

at Kapok Park

The public is invited to take a free environmental walk from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Kapok Park, 2950 Glen Oak Ave. An informal educational tour will be held after the walk. New informational signs have been installed throughout the park, and participants will be asked to complete surveys on the effectiveness of the signs. For information, call the city's Environmental Division at (727) 562-4897.


The Pinellas Living Green Expo at the Harborview Center, 300 Cleveland St., will be held Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4. The Clearwater Historical Society's spring fish fry will be held Saturday, May 3. Different dates were listed in Friday's St. Petersburg Times.

Pinellas deaths

Baerga, Lolita D.

Bryant, Lena

Cali, Frances M.

Gontarek, Harriet

Johnson, Traci Sue

MacClary, Richard A.

Reninger, Thomas A.

Robinson, Gilbert C.

Shirey, Bobby N.

Swata, Evelyn R.

This list is from detailed obituaries published in Section B.

North Pinellas briefs: Death of elderly woman ruled accidental 04/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 11:55am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Photos: Snooty the manatee remained lovable over the years


    Snooty, the world's oldest living manatee in captivity, and arguably the world's most famous, has died, the South Florida Museum announced on Sunday. 

    Carol Audette, manatee aquarium curator, touches noses with Snooty the manatee in 2001.
  2. Surviving the graveyard shift: Convenience store work is fraught with anxiety

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — It's 10 p.m. when the alarm clock goes off and Kara Patnoe gets ready for her overnight shift at a local convenience store.

    Deputies investigate a stabbing at a Riverview 7-Eleven in 2013. [Luis Santana  |   Times]
  3. Snooty, world's oldest captive manatee, dies in accident at Bradenton's South Florida Museum (w/video)


    BRADENTON — Snooty, who was the world's oldest manatee in captivity, was found dead Sunday morning, the South Florida Museum announced.

    Snooty, the Manatee County mascot, turns 60 on Monday. Hundreds of people came to the Parker Manatee Aquarium to see Snooty at his birthday party on Saturday. He was the first manatee to have a recorded birth date on July 21, 1948.

 [Times (2008)]
  4. Deputies: Tampa man killed after car strikes tree


    TOWN 'N COUNTRY — A 24-year-old man was killed early Sunday after he lost control of his car, causing it to hit a pine tree.