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.
Baerga, Lolita D.
Cali, Frances M.
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.