Dr. Helen Taylor Dexter, one of the first female physicians in the Clearwater area, has died at age 103.
Budget keeps property tax rate the same
The City Commission approved the city's 2012 budget and decided to maintain the same property tax rate as this year's in a 3-2 vote Thursday. Commissioners Chris Alahouzos and Townsend Tarapani voted no. "This (millage rate) makes us the most expensive city in the area," Alahouzos said. The tax rate will stay at 5.45 mills. A mill equals $1 of tax for every $1,000 in taxable real estate value. A property owner with a home valued at $125,000 who has a $50,000 homestead exemption will pay $408.75 in city property taxes next year. Even with the 5.45 rate, Tarpon Springs will bring in $344,000 less in 2012 than it did during this fiscal year because of declining property values. To balance the $19.9 million budget, the city will pull $1.14 million from reserves.
Driver faces DUI charge after crash
A Crystal Beach woman who pulled into the path of a Tarpon Springs police cruiser on U.S. 19 last week was intoxicated at the time of the crash, authorities said Friday. Monica E. McClure, 44, of 144 Maryland Ave., Apt. C, was charged with driving under the influence. At the time of the crash, she was out on bail after another DUI arrest in March. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, McClure made an illegal turn on a red arrow at Nebraska Avenue about 3:45 p.m. Sept. 15 and drove in front of Tarpon Springs police Officer Jose L. Yourgules, who was headed north on U.S. 19. The police cruiser struck McClure's 2003 GMC Envoy, causing it to flip. McClure and her passenger, 26-year-old Marcus Hunter, had to be extricated from the sport utility vehicle. Yourgules and Hunter both received minor injuries. McClure refused a breath test, the FHP said, but a trooper noted signs of intoxication. McClure was charged after she was released from Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where she was treated for injuries sustained in the collision. McClure was also ticketed for violation of right of way, the Highway Patrol said. On Friday afternoon, she was being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.