Man accused of having child pornography
A 27-year-old man was arrested at his home Thursday on five counts of possessing child pornography. Authorities said Socrates F. "Chuck" Ardid of 2023 Dover Court admitted downloading five videos that included children as young as 4 involved in sex acts. Ardid was arrested at 9 a.m. by a Clearwater police detective who works with the state's Child Predator CyberCrime Unit. Ardid was taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where he was being held without bail for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Candidates forum will be Wednesday
A City Council Candidates Forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Sponsored by the Clearwater/Upper Pinellas Branch of the NAACP, Sepia of Pinellas County and the Clearwater Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the event is free to the public. Call (727) 461-3802. The election is March 9.
Parts of street will close for rail work
Sections of East Avenue will be closed to northbound and southbound traffic starting Tuesday until May 31 while railroad ties are replaced. The work will be done in three phases:
• Tuesday to March 29: East Avenue from Drew to Park streets.
• April 5 to 30: East Avenue from Park Street to just north of Court Street.
• May 3 to 31: East Avenue from Court to Turner streets.
Northbound and southbound traffic can use Myrtle and Fort Harrison avenues as detours. Eastbound and westbound traffic will not be able to cross at the following East Avenue intersections from Tuesday to March 29: Drew Street, Grove Street, Hendricks Street, Laura Street and Park Street. Detour signs will be posted.
Event to focus on college, loans, aid
Parents and high school students are invited to a workshop on finances at 6:30 p.m. March 10. Bank representatives will be at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave., to host an hourlong seminar on saving for college, using credit cards, obtaining financial aid and learning about loans. The program is free. Call the library (727) 784-3332, ext. 3006.
County seeks tips on cutting budget
With $60 million of reductions needed to balance the next county budget, the Pinellas County Commission is seeking feedback on which services and programs are essential and which might be reduced or eliminated. A public meeting on the issue will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Palm Harbor University High School, 1900 Omaha St. There will also be an online meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 15 on PCC-TV (Bright House 622, Knology 18 and Verizon 44). People will be able to send questions from their computers starting at 9 a.m. March 14. Call (727) 464-3000 or visit pinellascounty.org.
Boys basketball region finals, 9C
Local and regional obituaries are in Section B.