Aunt dead but Social Security checks cashed
A 54-year-old man cashed more than $5,600 in Social Security checks that were erroneously issued to his dead aunt, authorities said. On Monday, Brian B. Fransen of 37376 U.S. 19 N was charged with felony grand theft. According to an arrest report, Fransen had someone else forge his aunt's signature on 17 checks written between November 2008 and February 2010, then deposited them into his bank account. Court records show Fransen has at least two previous convictions for violating his probation on worthless check charges. Fransen was released from the Pinellas County Jail later Monday after posting $5,000 bail.
Controlled burn at nature preserve
Did you smell smoke Tuesday near the Mobbly Bayou Preserve? The Pinellas County Wildlands Fire Team conducted a prescribed burn starting about 10 a.m. on about 8 1/2 acres at the southern end of Racetrack Road. The operation is an environmental management technique used to lessen the possibility of wildfires and encourage new growth, according to county officials. For information on current burns on conservation lands managed by Pinellas County, call the burn hotline at (727) 582-2876.
Chamber to mark 15th anniversary
Tickets still are available for the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce's 15th anniversary, which will be held Thursday at the Sandpearl Resort, 500 Mandalay Ave. During the banquet, awards will be handed out to the large business of the year, the small business of the year and tourism person of the year. Also on the agenda is a formal welcoming for incoming executive director Darlene Kole, who is taking the helm from Sheila Cole. The public is invited to attend. Cost for tickets is $40. Reservations are required. Call the chamber at (727) 447-7600.
Still time for free cartridge refill
A promotion to get a free refill for an inkjet cartridge from Ink-O-Dem has been extended through Saturday at Vision ACE Hardware, 1750 Main St. While about 95 percent of inkjet cartridges on the market are compatible for refills, check the listing at inkodem.com/system3.htm for exact inkjet cartridge brand compatibility for your printer. For more details, call (727) 733-3486.