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Man shot in hip

HILLSBOROUGH

Two dish washers at La Teresita restaurant got into an argument over their "manhood" Monday night, and one of them shot the other in the hip, said police Sgt. D. W. Queen. The injured worker was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, said Queen, who would not release the names of the men. Queen said the employee who did the shooting worked the day shift, and the other worked the night shift. Sometime after 9 p.m., the men got into an argument behind the restaurant, 3248 W Columbus Drive, and at least one shot was fired. The gunman ran away, but Queen said police knew who he was and were looking for him.

Dad faces abuse charge

TEMPLE TERRACE _ A 23-year-old man is accused of trying to quiet his 4-month-old son by stuffing a cloth diaper in the baby's mouth. John E. Medaris was charged Saturday morning by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office with child abuse. The baby was found turning blue by a witness whose home Medaris has been staying in, said sheriff's Lt. Robert Goding. The baby began breathing normally as soon as the diaper was removed. The baby's mother, Mona Medaris, 21, flagged down a passing sheriff's car immediately after the child was discovered. John Medaris told a deputy he had put the diaper in the baby's mouth because he couldn't find a pacifier, authorities said. Medaris was being held in jail in lieu of $25,000 bail Monday.

Summit gets boost

TAMPA _ A regional economic summit planned for next year has gotten an economic boost of its own: $50,000 from NationsBank and the University of South Florida. The money will help pay the costs of putting on the summit, said Hillsborough County Commissioner Joe Chillura, who is spearheading the effort. Chillura said he has commitments to attend from Lakeland and the county governments of Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Sarasota and Manatee. Chillura sees the summit as a way to show how governments can work together.

PINELLAS

Circus-goer files suit

ST. PETERSBURG _ Todd Schuyler was, to begin with, a reluctant participant last year when a clown at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus pulled him from the audience to perform in a skit, he alleges in a lawsuit filed Monday. Then the clown started pulling on Schuyler's head. Schuyler's neck became hyperextended when the clown "abruptly jerked it back," leading to hospitalization and continuing pain, the suit alleges. Schuyler, a St. Petersburg resident, sued the circus and promoter Kenneth Feld for more than $15,000 in damages, claiming negligence by the circus and battery by the clown. Neither Schuyler nor circus officials were available for comment. The suit does not name the clown or give specifics of the act.

Girl killed in hit-run

ST. PETERSBURG _ A 4-year-old girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver Monday as she crossed the street near her home. Rhonda Denise Johnson, 1050 Third Ave. N, was hit by a fast-moving eastbound vehicle about 4 p.m. as she tried to cross Third Avenue in the 1000 block, police reports said. The unidentified vehicle then headed south on Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) Street. The child was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 5:33 p.m. Police were searching for the vehicle and driver late Monday.

Man dies in collision

ST. PETERSBURG _ An 83-year-old Pinellas Park man was killed Monday when his moped collided with a PSTA bus. Eugene A. Harper was killed Monday afternoon in the 6400 block of 38th Avenue N, just in front of Humana Hospital-St. Petersburg, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Wendell Creager. Harper was driving his white moped east on 38th Avenue and tried to turn left into a hospital parking lot, Creager said. He was hit by the bus, which was westbound on 38th Avenue. No charges have been filed.

Chairman bows out

LARGO _ Mac Norcross said Monday that he will not seek re-election as Pinellas County Republican chairman at a party caucus in December. Norcross was elected by party leaders in November, defeating lawyer Louis Kwall. Kwall said Monday that he would run for the position again. "I will personally be voting for Lou Kwall," Norcross said during a Pinellas Republican Executive Committee meeting Monday. Vice-chairman John Morroni, Republican candidate for state House District 50, said he would not seek the position.

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