City restricts reclaimed water use
The city on Thursday put into effect "Phase II" reclaimed water usage restrictions because of a continued drought and high demand. Residents with reclaimed water are being asked to voluntarily reduce usage to two days a week and to water after 4 p.m. and before 10 a.m. The city will also shut down reclaimed water service as necessary to maintain the supply. The restrictions are expected to continue for four to six weeks until the normal rainy season is under way. If this doesn't provide adequate relief, mandatory restrictions may be put into place.
Bicyclist dies in crash with pickup
A bicyclist was killed Wednesday evening after he and a pickup collided on Alt. U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs, authorities said. The crash happened about 7:30 p.m. just south of where the road crosses Plaza Drive. Police said an unidentified male bicyclist was riding against traffic on the eastern edge of the road when he was hit by a northbound Ford utility truck driven by Alanzo Williams, 52, of Holiday. It was not immediately clear what led to the collision. The bicyclist died of head injuries at the scene. He wasn't wearing a helmet. Police were working to identify him.
Civitan honors police officer
Clearwater police officer Sergio Fidelis received the 2011 Outstanding Police Service Award from the Clearwater Civitan Club "for his professionalism, community responsibility and dedication to the Hispanic community." Fidelis, 36, is Clearwater's Hispanic outreach officer. He provides monthly presentations on issues ranging from age-of-consent laws to human trafficking and gang awareness. Fidelis, who has been with the city since 2004, spearheaded the department's initiative to teach some officers Spanish.
Call about sniper a fake, police say
A 911 call about a sniper pointing a gun at a building launched a search that ended after police determined the call was fake. Clearwater police received a report about 11:45 a.m. that a sniper was targeting a law office at 311 S Missouri Ave. Several police officers, along with a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office helicopter, searched the area until about 1:15 p.m. but never found anyone with a gun. People in nearby businesses were told to stay inside their buildings. Nearby St. Cecelia Interparochial School and Community Pride Daycare were put on lockdown during the search. Police later determined the call came from a home in Pinellas Park, said police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. The caller, who was not identified, was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation under the state Baker Act.
The city of Clearwater sets limits for what towing companies can charge drivers after a crash. A story in Thursday's Times was incorrect on the source of funding.