Directors of the Florida forestry board today assigned a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, now employed as the bureau's top law enforcement officer, to back up the state and county campaign to halt destruction of Pinellas forests by fire.
J.P. Schuck, a native of Bartow and for years an FBI agent, will be in charge of the legal crackdown phase of the county's forest fire prevention drive.
Schuck will work with state and county fire control detachments in making arrests under Florida statutes regulating the burning of pastures and private properties of any description.
There are three statutes Schuck can invoke, plus laws providing both prison and jail sentences for offenders.
The law provides prison terms of one to three years for persons convicted of malicious setting of fires and jail sentences up to three months for lesser offenders.
March 19, 1949
Basement dug for new county jail
CLEARWATER — Clam bucket excavators, operated by the W.H. Armston Construction Co., today finished digging the basement for the new Pinellas County jail, scheduled for completion within one year.
The basement digging job has been attracting daily crowds of spectators because it is not the practice in Florida to build basements.
Good use was found for the removed earth. Most was hauled to the site of the new farmer's market the city and county are building here at the corner of Court and Prospect streets.
March 24, 1938
Land buyer's kin coming for parade
Descendents of the first man to purchase land on the Pinellas peninsula from the federal government will ride in a parade March 31, according to event organizers W. Orville Ray and Jay B. Starkey.
Judith Davis, 5, and Gail Hackney, 2, both of Largo, great-great-granddaughters of the late Dr. James A. Hackney, will join in the procession.
Dr. Hackney came to this section of Florida in 1863 as a practicing physician and purchased a 600-acre tract in which is now downtown St. Petersburg. The cost was 25 cents per acre.
Dr. Hackney's property was bounded by the present limits of First Avenue and Eleventh Avenue S, extending eastward from Eleventh Street to the bay. He maintained his residence at the site now occupied by St. Mary's Catholic Church.
At that time, Dr. Hackney was the only practicing physician on the Pinellas peninsula, which was a part of Hillsborough County until 1912. The only possible means of transportation was by horseback.
A daughter of Dr. Hackney, Mrs. Sim Sparkman, now lives in Tampa.
March 19, 1949
Experts weigh in on beach erosion
CLEARWATER — Major-scale filling offers the best solution to Pinellas gulf beach erosion rather than building groins, which are low barriers of rock, concrete or timber extending from a beach into the water.
This was the unofficial opinion dropped here last night by a group of federal erosion experts following their inspection of the county's coastal communities.
Returning to Washington to study their observations, the officials of the federal beach erosion board departed with bulging notebooks. Field notes included jottings on conditions they observed from Clearwater Beach on the north to Pass-a-Grille on the south, plus the personal opinions of engineers living in the areas.
Examples of what has happened with groins were closely examined. The visitors also took a long look at the results of "scouring" action caused by waves swirling along the bases of the seawalls.