2 Similar child abuse incidents lead to arrests
Two Pinellas County men were charged with child abuse in separate but similar incidents Monday night. In the first case, a Clearwater man is accused of injuring his girlfriend's 13-year-old son during a domestic altercation around 11:45 p.m., according to an arrest report. The report said 44-year-old Gregory L. Reed punched his girlfriend in the chest, causing her to fall and hit her head on a computer. When the woman's son tried to intervene, Reed grabbed the boy and caused a cut on his finger that required stitches, Clearwater police said. Reed, who has a lengthy criminal history, was charged with child abuse and domestic battery and was being held without bail at the Pinellas County Jail. In the other case, Nicholas J. Beresford, 38, was arrested early Tuesday morning after he hit his girlfriend's 7-year-old son during a domestic dispute about 11:15 p.m. Monday, Largo police said. Beresford was also charged with domestic battery for grabbing and bruising his girlfriend's arm during the confrontation, an arrest report said. When the boy tried to "come to the aid of his mother," Beresford "slapped the child across the face with an open hand," cutting his lip, the report said. Beresford also had an outstanding warrant from Manatee County for a probation violation. He was being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.
Downtown marina gets county okay
A marina with 126 boat slips off Clearwater's downtown waterfront won a dock permit Tuesday in a unanimous vote by the Pinellas County Commission. Clearwater wants to build the $12.8-million project near Coachman Park to boost downtown and boat slip access. Once all local, state and federal permits are issued, the city expects to complete construction this fall. The marina also will have free space for boaters, and a spot available for a ferry.
Festival Hispano Friday at hospice
The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast will host its third annual Festival Hispano noon to 3 p.m. Friday at 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater. The community is invited to enjoy a variety of Latin-American music, food provided by area restaurants and activities for children. The festival's goal is to welcome the expanding Latin-American community to the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast and extend hospitality and information about programs and services available. Also on hand will be Hispanic Outreach of Clearwater, the Red Cross, Pinellas County Health Department, Community Health Centers at Clearwater, AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, Inc., and many others. For more information, call Felipe Herrera at (727) 523-3394 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time to protect nesting beach birds
Florida's birds don't all nest in trees. Many of them depend on our beautiful sandy beaches from May through August. Unfortunately in the past, nesting attempts have failed due to lack of beach space.
Government agencies, with the help of volunteers, are trying to solve the problem by roping off areas of the beaches for beach nesting birds like black skimmers, least terns, Wilson's plovers, willets, and oystercatchers.
Some areas are permanent and some are temporary. Audubon Societies in Clearwater and St. Petersburg help organize bird stewards who sit by the nesting colonies on busy weekends to let beachgoers know what's going on with the birds and the closed areas.
The volunteers will let beach visitors take a closer look with binoculars or scopes to see the tiny sand colored eggs or chicks up close.
Bird stewards have information about the birds and the nesting at their fingertips to help spread the word to be cautious around beach nesting birds and respect the roped off areas.
To volunteer at Honeymoon Island, Caledesi, or Three Rooker call Karen Malo at (727) 462-6187. For southern Pinellas County contact Barb Howard (727) 343-1272.