Easter brings out the 'Greek bomb' squad
Tarpon Springs residents gathered at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral for Easter services on Sunday under the watchful eye of law enforcement.
Tarpon Springs police officers and Pasco and Pinellas sheriff's deputies patrolled the vicinity of the church for any signs of so-called Greek bombs — explosive devices that in past years have been detonated illegally during the Greek Orthodox Easter celebration. The most destructive one exploded in 2012 on the roof of a downtown building, shattering windows and blowing doors off their hinges.
On Sunday, in addition to the presence of uniformed officers on the streets, a Pinellas Sheriff's Office helicopter hovered over nearby buildings for signs of explosives.
Tarpon Springs police Capt. Jeffrey Young said the department received reports of "one or two" bombs exploding a few blocks from the church, but no damage was reported.
"Nothing went off like in years past," Young said. "In that regard, the operation plan was successful in keeping that type of destructive behavior away."
Charity softball segues into baseball, fireworks
The Clearwater Police Department's softball team will play Largo police officers Saturday in a game to raise money for an officer battling cancer.
The 11th Annual Charity Softball Challenge will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Bright House Field in Clearwater. A silent auction is also planned.
Proceeds will benefit Clearwater police Maj. Mark Teunis, a 30-year veteran diagnosed with brain cancer last year.
The Clearwater Threshers and the Dunedin Blue Jays will play baseball at 6:30 p.m., followed by fireworks.
Tickets are $17.50, which covers entry to both games as well as refreshments. Tickets can be purchased at the Clearwater Police Department, 645 Pierce St., or at the gate the day of the games.
Budding chefs to cook for HEP residents
The Ryan Wells Foundation has launched "Cooking for a Cause," a program in which Pinellas County culinary arts students will prepare and donate meals to residents living at the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater.
The program pays tribute to Ryan Wells, an 18-year-old Tarpon Springs High School student who died in a 2005 car crash as he was returning home from an elite summer culinary program.
This school year, students at Dixie Hollins, Northeast, Osceola and Tarpon Springs high schools as well as the Clearwater and St. Petersburg campuses of Pinellas Technical Education Centers will take turns cooking meals.
On one of the days, another nonprofit, Religious Community Services, will pick up and deliver food to HEP, which is seeking other organizations that also can assist.
For information, contact Ashley Chango, HEP's marketing director, at (727) 442-9041, ext. 126, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Ryan Wells Foundation can be reached at (727) 787-7863 or email@example.com.
Golf tourney to boost Bombers museum
The Clearwater Bombers' Legacy Project is hosting its second golf tournament Sunday at Countryside Country Club, 3001 Countryside Blvd. in Clearwater. The tournament starts at 12:30 p.m., with registration at 11 a.m.
Cost is $85 per golfer, with longest drive, closest to the pin, putting contest and several other awards for first-, second-, third- and fourth-place teams. Women's teams are included.
The day includes open and silent auctions and a buffet for players and volunteers. Non-golfers may pay $20 to eat and engage in the prize and chance drawings and auctions.
Receipts from the tournament go to the capital/building fund for a Bomber museum, highlighting the team's 60 years of world-class fast-pitch softball.
For information or to obtain a flier, call Sonny Hornbeck at (727) 403-9481 or Jim Videtich at (727) 442-6981.
Pop in to drop off those unwanted pills
The Clearwater Police Department will collect old and unused prescription medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Westfield Countryside Mall in the northeast parking lot near L.A. Fitness.
Even kids can get fiscally fit
Young people will learn financial sense during "Money Matters," a presentation at 5 p.m. April 30 at the Dunedin Public Library, 223 Douglas Ave.
The free event, led by financial expert Joe Nixon, will teach how to prepare for tomorrow, next month and next year. It's open to all ages but geared toward children ages 5 to 12.
Registration is required. Snacks and entertainment will be provided.
Call Youth Services at (727) 298-3080, ext. 1732, to get information or to register.
Get a preview of special-needs voting
Dunedin's ADA Advisory Committee will host a hands-on demonstration of AutoMark, a voting machine system being rolled out in Pinellas County for people with disabilities or special needs.
The presentation, from 3 to 5 p.m. May 1 at the Dunedin Community Center at 1920 Pinehurst Road, will allow residents to preview the technology, which includes an audio headset, Braille keyboard, sip and puff attachment, zoom-in/large print option and a two-switch paddle device.
AutoMark will be available this year at each early voting location and Election Day polling place, said Greg Rice, the committee's city staff liaison.
"It's going to allow people with disabilities to (vote) completely independently and in privacy," he said. "It's a real nice move forward."
Call (727) 298-3198 for further information.
Catch a sunset, hear some tunes on Friday nights in Dunedin
Dunedin's Parks & Recreation Department and Coca-Cola Refreshments will present the Sunset Music Series every Friday in May from 7 to 9 p.m. at Weaver Park, 1249 Bayshore Blvd.
Watch the sunset over St. Joseph Sound and enjoy live entertainment by these local artists: May 2, One Sun; May 9, Green Sunshine; May 16, Wendy Barmore Band; May 23, Benjamin Road; May 30, Four Star Riot.
Entry to the outdoor concerts is free. Concessions will be available, or bring a picnic basket. For information, call (727) 812-4530.