Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

North Pinellas History | A look back

North Pinellas History: Gator that terrorized lake is killed by police in 1958

bayou view: Around the 1920s, Sutherland Bayou is seen from Bay Street, near where the Ozona Fish Co. was built. The seaside village was long known as a good place for fishing.

North Pinellas Historical Museum\uFEFF

bayou view: Around the 1920s, Sutherland Bayou is seen from Bay Street, near where the Ozona Fish Co. was built. The seaside village was long known as a good place for fishing.

An 8-foot alligator could find no place to hide in Lake Lucille yesterday while police stalked him for three hours.

The hardy reptile shrugged off a dozen .22-caliber rifle bullets but was finally done in by the concentrated revolver fire of three police officers who caught him too close to shore.

Although protected by Florida law, alligators may be shot by licensed individuals when they are deemed a menace.

Fearful for their children and pets, angry residents along the 5-acre lake claimed the leathery beast had devoured a white duck the night before. The wings of the duck, which lived in the lake for several months, were found on the shore yesterday morning.

Patrolmen Oscar Underwood and Lloyd Young spent several hours under a hot sun trying to shoot the gator. After being hit several times, without apparent injury, the gator got too close to the east shore where Underwood was waiting. He emptied his .38-caliber revolver, and the reptile turned belly-up. But then he began paddling away on his back before more shots sent him to the bottom.

Underwood was about to go in after the "dead" gator when it came up like a Polaris missile. Underwood, Young and Patrolman Evans Jarrell blazed away. The gator sank again, returned feebly to the surface, and settled rigidly to the bottom.

May 6, 1938

Voting machines for primary election?

CLEARWATER — The voting machine question that county commissioners believed had been settled April 5 when they agreed to the use of the machines in the November election was brought up again this morning.

Dr. Roscoe Cummins and Dr. F.P. Meyer, representing the voting machine committee of which James Booth is chairman, appeared before the board and suggested the machines be used for the second primary election May 24.

After more than an hour of discussion marked by sharp verbal exchanges between Commissioner Ed H. Beckett and Cummins, the board cited the official minutes of the April 5 meeting at which time it was agreed to use the machines in the November election.

The discussion was launched after a telegram was read from John McCormick, representative of the Jamestown Automatic Voting Machine company, which has the contract subject to the will of the voters.

McCormick said he was ready to ship the machines at once and set them up for the second primary election.

May 5, 1940

$25 reward posted for dog poisoner

SAFETY HARBOR — A $25 reward for the apprehension and conviction of a person or persons who have poisoned several dogs in the community during the past week was posted yesterday.

The reward was offered by the board of city commissioners, which met in special session Wednesday night.

May 1, 1940

Board reappoints county teachers

CLEARWATER — The Pinellas County School Board yesterday in special session reappointed nearly every teacher in the county system on recommendation of district trustees and filled some vacancies caused by leaves of absence and for other reasons.

Names of some teachers given tentative appointments are not included in the complete list published yesterday since these teachers will not be named unless it is shown there is need for them on the basis of enrollment.

The board announced no new teachers would be brought in from outside the county.

A few teachers who taught last year were released for the new year because they were not fully qualified as to degrees.

May 1, 1958

Student's rocket gets snarled in red tape

CLEARWATER — Official red tape — of the brand sometimes associated with the Pentagon and Cape Canaveral — has snarled another rocket launching.

Everything was set. The slim 45-inch rocket was loaded with rocket fuel. The descent parachute was folded inside. The tracking radio was ready to transmit signals.

Blast-off date: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on a lonely area near the Dunedin Fire Tower. Destination: 5,000 feet.

But then the legal ax fell when Sheriff Don Genung consulted with State Attorney Clair A. Davis yesterday.

It seems that the rocket Carroll C. Wright, 16, a Clearwater High School sophomore, and two other youths built, will have to stay on the launching pad pending a safety investigation.

Wright said he would wait, but gee, a fella' can't even launch a rocket anymore.

May 1, 1958

TWA decides between Pinellas, Hillsborough

Pinellas County rolled out a red carpet yesterday to impress an eagle-eyed survey team from Trans World Airlines here to make a choice between Pinellas and Hillsborough airports.

About 15 TWA experts on the team seemed to like their introduction to the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

The team will be here for two days inspecting facilities and traffic possibilities at the Pinellas airport and Tampa International Airport. They arrived here from visits to Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta, and go from here to Miami — all cities on TWA's new route to Florida.

>>Looking back

Headlines through

the years

A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times

North Pinellas History: Gator that terrorized lake is killed by police in 1958 04/22/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 5:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What you need to know for Friday, Aug. 18


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read 'Hellfire from Above,' inside the Tampa Electric Co. power plant accident that left five people dead. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  2. Tampa is training ground for Team USA inline skating

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The United States once dominated the sport known as international outdoor inline speed skating.

    Cotton Yarborough is one of five people from the Tampa Bay area on the national inline speed skating team. The team is competing in the world championships Aug. 27 in China. [Courtesy of Frank Holland]
  3. Grocery and hotel deals in reach for Tampa Encore project

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — After failing to land both Publix and Walmart, the Tampa Housing Authority says it is close to a deal to bring another well-known grocer to its Encore project.

    The Tampa Housing Authority's Encore project has housing like The Reed, pictured, but no retail. It is in talks to bring a grocer and two hotels to the site on the west side of Nebraska Avenue close to downtown Tampa.
  4. Epilogue: Former Salty Sisters captain Ernestine Mittermayr, 92

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Ernestine Mittermayr was proud to be a Salty Sister, one of a group of women sailors in the city.

  5. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.