Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

North Pinellas News Briefs for April 20


City wants mediator for beach access brouhaha

On Thursday, the City Council unanimously authorized City Attorney Pam Akin to hire an outside mediator to seek a solution to a dispute over access to the sand on north Clearwater Beach.

The Clearwater Beach Association had asked for the city to play a more active role in the group's fight against several property owners in the 1000 block of El Dorado Avenue who have erected ropes and No Trespassing signs on the beach behind their homes in recent months.

Akin said the city believes it may have an interest in the tax liability of any beach claimed by those property owners.

One property owner's representative was hesitant to participate in mediated discussion.

"I think an appropriate step prior to considering spending time with a mediator or in court is for the CBA to provide in writing a solid legal basis for their position to the property owners in question," wrote W. Miller, manager of 1068 Eldorado LLC, in an email last week.

Banquet guest: Trayvon Martin family attorney

The annual Freedom Fund Banquet of the NAACP Upper Pinellas Clearwater branch will feature guest speaker Benjamin Crump, who was the attorney for the Martin family in the Trayvon Martin case.

The banquet, which raises funds for scholarships, will be held Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater.

A reception at 6 p.m. will be followed by the program at 7.

Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children 13 and younger.

Palm Harbor

Woman lauded for giving 'life-saving first aid'

A Palm Harbor woman was recognized by Palm Harbor fire commissioners with an award this month after she provided "life-saving first aid" to a woman who was seriously injured.

On Feb. 10, Carol Chamberlain was shopping at the Walmart in Palm Harbor when a woman driving a motorized grocery cart slammed into a watch display, severely cutting her leg. Chamberlain immediately placed towels over the wound to control the bleeding and spoke to the woman until paramedics arrived.

"Carol Chamberlain's quick actions slowed the bleeding and prevented the patient's condition from being critical," fire officials said.

Pinellas County

ESOL families invited to information fair Tuesday

The Pinellas County school district's English for Speakers of Other Languages department is partnering with dozens of community organizations to provide families with information about resources including health services, scholarship and financial aid information, citizenship and English classes, tutoring for children and adults, insurance and more.

The data will be highlighted during a fair to be held 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria at Dunedin Elementary School, 900 Union St.

For information, English speakers should call (727) 588-6415. Spanish speakers should call (727) 623-4414.


Smoke testing program will soon be under way

Dunedin's wastewater department will soon launch a new smoke testing program aimed at detecting leaks in the sewer system.

The technique, which allows the simultaneous testing of sewer mains, house laterals and house plumbing, involves workers blowing a large volume of air mixed with smoke into the sewer lines. That reveals problems such as illegally connected roof drains, unconnected lines, leaky manholes, rodent passages and broken cleanout caps.

The smoke is nontoxic and leaves no residue or interior building damage. If a large concentration of smoke enters a building, open the doors and windows for ventilation and evacuate while the smoke quickly dissipates, the city said. Any respiratory irritation quickly disappears once exposure has ceased.

The city will notify residents via door hangers three to four days before testing. All work will be coordinated with emergency services.

For more information, visit or call Lance Parris at (727) 298-3256, ext. 1624.

City to crack down on 'chronic nuisance' sources

Dunedin city commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a new law that will levy tough fines against owners of properties with repeat code or criminal complaints.

Under the "chronic nuisance" ordinance, the code enforcement fines racked up by banks and homeowners with neglected rental or homesteaded properties and those in long-term foreclosure will no longer be subordinate to the mortgage.

A property that is cited six times in six months can be deemed a nuisance and required to create a corrective action plan. If the city has to take action, city cleanup costs can be added to the home's tax bill.

The ordinance can also be used to crack down on residential and commercial properties that are the subject of multiple instances of criminal activity.


Rec complex racks up award

Largo's new Highland Recreation Complex received the 2014 Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council's Future of the Region Award.

"Highland Rec adds a truly unique cultural, sports and recreational venue to the region's offerings," the council said in making the award.

The 40,000-square-foot building features PlayWorld, a three-story indoor playground; ExerPlay, an active gaming room; an indoor walking track; a double gymnasium; a fitness room; and party rooms.

The complex, which opened in June, is at 400 Highland Ave. NE. Hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Elkanah Kibet wins the men’s Gasparilla half-marathon

Elkanah Kibet wins the men’s Gasparilla half-marathon

TAMPA — Only a few feet separated Elkanah Kibet and Parker Stinson as they headed down the homestretch in Sunday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic half-marathon.Kibet made his move at the right time, surging ahead and holding off the hard-ch...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

PLANT CITY — A man died Saturday night after he was stabbed inside his home by a neighbor, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Moses Wilson, 49, got into an argument with James Michael Meeks, 23, both of whom live at 4308 James L. R...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

WASHINGTON — A woman close to the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI in chilling detail that he had a growing collection of guns and a temper so uncontrollable she worried about him "getting into a school and j...
Updated: 2 hours ago
3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Severe thunderstorms spawned suspected tornadoes and triggered widespread flooding that left at least three people dead in Kentucky and Arkansas. The system that stretched from Texas to the Canadian maritime provinces on Sunday ha...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

He was chronically depressed, beguiled by firearms and violence, an oddball ostracized by peers and prone to angry outbursts.He experienced, in rapid succession, blows of the sort that can send a disturbed, isolated young man hurtling into a spiral o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Published: 02/24/18
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Published: 02/24/18

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Published: 02/24/18

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Published: 02/24/18

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Published: 02/24/18