ST. PETERSBURG — A 33-year-old homeless man died Saturday, a couple of days after he was punched in downtown's Williams Park and fell down, slamming his head onto pavement, police said.
Eric Clyde Balmonte, who was described as a transient, suffered a skull fracture and brain bleeding in the incident, which occurred about 7 a.m. Thursday, police said. He never regained consciousness and was taken off life-support shortly before noon Saturday....
Pinellas County sheriff's deputies, working with other local law enforcement agencies, arrested 16 drivers on DUI charges and wrote more than 100 tickets Friday night and early Saturday in a DUI "wolf pack" operation in which they heavily monitored traffic countywide.
Clearwater, Pinellas Park and Tarpon Springs police also got involved in the operation, which ran from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday. Here are the results:...
SAFETY HARBOR — Sheriff's deputies are investigating a six-vehicle crash that happened Friday night on McMullen Booth Road after a driver rear-ended another vehicle and then attempted to flee the scene.
Investigators say impairment may have been a factor in the crash, which happened about 6 p.m. just south of Curlew Road.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office gave the following account:...
ST. PETERSBURG — A bicyclist died early Saturday after a traffic accident on Gandy Boulevard near the on-ramp for Interstate 275.
The accident happened about 10:15 p.m. Friday. The bicyclist, whose name hasn't been released yet, was pronounced dead shortly after midnight after being transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg in critical condition.
St. Petersburg police said a 1996 Ford Taurus being driven by Lisa Tillman Walker, 61, of St. Petersburg was eastbound on Gandy in the far left lane. Meanwhile, a bicyclist was eastbound on Gandy on the north side of the far left lane....
12/18/14 Local Government
CLEARWATER — For generations of Philadelphia sports fans, a March trip to sunny Clearwater has been a rite of spring. It's a chance to flee the cold and see their beloved Phillies in spring training.
Now Clearwater is trying to lure them to come down a little earlier — for Philly's pro soccer team's version of spring training.
On Thursday night, Clearwater's City Council approved a three-year deal with the Major League Soccer franchise Philadelphia Union to move its preseason workouts from the Orlando area to Clearwater beginning this February....
You're more likely to get into a car crash during the day. But you're more likely to be killed in a car crash at night. • Drivers making left turns at intersections cause far more accidents than motorists who rear-end other vehicles or drift out of their lane. • And more local drivers are getting distracted by things outside their vehicles than by their own cellphones. • New studies of auto accident trends in the Tampa Bay area unearthed these nuggets of information, and a lot more: ...
For three decades, the Homeless Emergency Project has overcome all kinds of challenges. There are the difficulties of fundraising, and the tough task of trying to help people who are mentally ill or alcoholic or just plain broke.
Now comes an unexpected new challenge: termites.
The discovery of subterranean termites eating away at the flooring of HEP's emergency family shelter has forced the well-regarded local charity to ask the city of Clearwater to double its annual $50,000 contribution....
12/05/14 Human Interest
At first they thought it was a drill. Maybe the local Navy aviators were doing some bombing practice. Strange that it was happening on a Sunday morning, though.
In his bunk aboard the battleship USS Nevada in Pearl Harbor, an 18-year-old sailor named Tom Collins was working on a macrame belt when he heard machine gun fire. He poked his head out a porthole and saw a plane shoot by with a rising sun painted on its wing....
12/03/14 Local Government
CLEARWATER — You need to make better use of your downtown waterfront, the hired experts told Clearwater. Offer more services for boaters, they said. Make Clearwater a major boating center, they said.
Of course, it won't be that simple.
When a panel of experts with the Urban Land Institute analyzed downtown Clearwater earlier this year, they suggested that the city work with the developers of a proposed high-and-dry marina. It would be next to the Seminole Boat Ramp along the Intracoastal Waterway on the northern edge of downtown....
11/28/14 Local Government
The job of reviving downtown Clearwater is so big that it's hard to know where to start.
It has now been five months since a panel of outside experts with the Urban Land Institute presented the city with a slew of far-reaching recommendations for its downtown.
That time lag has downtown boosters champing at the bit to get things going in the moribund district....
CLEARWATER -- Blast Friday, the family-friendly street party held once a month in downtown Clearwater, is intended to give a boost to downtown’s entire Cleveland Street business district.
But despite the large crowds that it can draw, some people question whether the city-sponsored monthly event has had much of a lasting effect.
Keeping that in mind, the city is revamping the event, which is generally held every fourth Friday from December through May....
BELLEAIR -- A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a preservation advocacy group seeking to save the former Belleview Biltmore hotel from demolition.
Friends of the Belleview Biltmore and its president, Rae Claire Johnson, had accused Belleair commissioners of nepotism and colluding in the hotel’s sale by failing to enforce both town and federal historic preservation laws. The suit said the town’s inaction gave the Biltmore’s owners carte blanche to illegally withhold routine maintenance in hopes of making a case for demolition....
On average, an American World War II veteran dies every three minutes. Another one will be gone by the time you finish reading this story.
The men and women who defeated Hitler and Tojo can't beat Father Time, and their ranks are thinning at the rate of 413 per day.
But in the Tampa Bay area, some of these oldest soldiers are still contributing to the cause in their own way: They volunteer at local veterans hospitals.'...
BELLEAIR — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a preservation advocate seeking to save the former Belleview Biltmore hotel from demolition.
The lawsuit accused Belleair commissioners of nepotism and colluding in the hotel's sale by failing to enforce the town's historic preservation ordinance. It said the town's inaction gave the Biltmore's owners carte blanche to illegally withhold routine maintenance in hopes of making a case for demolition....
Way back in 2006, local dignitaries kicked off the construction of the Progress Energy Trail. When this 20-mile-long bicycle trail along a power line corridor was finished, it would link up with the popular Pinellas Trail to create a 70-mile loop all the way around Pinellas County.
By 2008, the first of five phases of the trail was complete. In 2011, Duke Energy bought Progress Energy. And no work has been done on the trail since then, frustrating bicyclists on the eastern side of the county....