Dinner to honor three officers, one police dog
Three Clearwater police officers and a police dog will be honored at Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni's 16th annual appreciation dinner for emergency personnel at 7 p.m. today at the Carillon area Hilton in St. Petersburg. Officer Michael Spitaleri and his canine partner, Major, will be recognized as Pinellas County's K-9 Team of the Year. They were nominated for "a canine sniff that resulted in the seizure of more than $215,000 during a traffic stop on March 12," according to a news release. "The seized money was packaged and hidden in a way that a visual search would not have revealed it." The seizure enabled the Drug Enforcement Administration to arrest four people in Pinellas County on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. They were involved in narcotics trafficking from Mexico to Pinellas. Also to be honored are officers Michael Hatch and Chad Reed, who helped rescue a 60-year-old man who drove into a retention pond in September. They pulled him to shore, where paramedics resuscitated him. Though the man died at a hospital two days later, the two motorcycle officers risked their lives to help him, officials said.
Boys & Girls Clubs to host gala event
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast will celebrate their 51st anniversary Saturday night with their annual gala at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach. The 1960s-themed fundraising event, called "Be Groovy Too," will run from 6 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $50, and the group is still seeking additional sponsors. The group also is asking donors to provide scholarships for its summer reading program; the price per child is $1,000 for 10 weeks. For more information, go to bgcsuncoast.org or call (727) 524-2427, ext. 17.
Man charged with child sex abuse
Clearwater police arrested a man on a child sex abuse charge Wednesday after he called police and reported that he had tried to have sex with a 4-year-old girl he was babysitting. Alex David Pagan, 23, told officers it happened while he was babysitting the girl and a 3-year-old boy at his home, police said. Pagan was arrested on a charge of attempted sexual battery of a child.
Group seeking new board members
The North Pinellas Community Action Council is seeking new board members to help with fundraising to support senior activities at the Palm Harbor Community Activity Center, 1500 16th St. The board meets quarterly. The next meeting will be March 7 at the community center. For information, contact Jim Kratz at firstname.lastname@example.org.