Woman faces abuse charge in girl's beating
A 28-year-old woman is accused of beating a 7-year-old girl, then using makeup to cover the child's bruises. Jennifer L. Holt of 302 Vine Ave. was arrested Thursday and charged with child abuse. She was being held without bail Friday in the Pinellas County Jail. Clearwater police said Holt told investigators she was upset at the girl because the girl wouldn't help take out the trash Monday evening. Holt spanked the girl, then picked her up by her hair and hit her several times, leaving hand-shaped marks on her face, police said. Holt, whose relationship to the child wasn't disclosed, kept the girl out of school Tuesday because of the marks, an arrest report said. Later, Holt applied makeup to the girl's face before sending her to school, the report said. A teacher saw the bruises and called authorities. The girl and another child in Holt's care were taken into protective custody.
Two men sought in rape of woman
A 47-year-old woman was raped by an unknown assailant early Friday while a second man acted as a lookout, police said. The woman was sitting on a bench at Plaza Park, a park north of Drew Street and just west of N Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue around 1 a.m. when she was approached by a man who forced her to walk to the porch of a vacant house in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. The man, described as black with short hair, about 30 years old, 6 feet tall and about 160 pounds, hit the woman several times, then raped her, police said. A younger black male on a bike acted as a lookout. The woman went home and told her daughter-in-law, who took her to the hospital.
City Council okays budget for 2012
The Clearwater City Council passed next year's $109 million general fund budget Thursday night with no opposition. The budget keeps the city's property tax rate at 5.155 mills, or $5.15 for every $1,000 of taxable property value. To make up for falling tax revenues, officials cut 28 jobs.
Mini dollhouse exhibit today
The Mini Hearts Dollhouse Miniature Club will display miniature dollhouses and other structures from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Farmers market begins Sunday
The Palm Harbor Cross Roads Farmers Market begins its fourth season Sunday on the grounds of the North Pinellas Historical Museum, 2043 Curlew Road. It will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday, weather permitting. Among the items for sale will be produce, cheese, honey, plants, baked goods and crafts. For information, call (727) 784-9690.