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Trial lawyers honor Stetson law professor

Published Oct. 1, 2005

(ran East, South, Beach editions)

The Southern Trial Lawyers Association, an organization of trial lawyers from 14 southeastern states, has named Stetson College of Law professor W. McKinley Smiley Jr. as the inaugural recipient of the W. McKinley Smiley Jr. Lighthouse Award. The presentation was made at the STLA annual Meeting in New Orleans earlier this month by Tommy Malone, president of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association; John F. Romano, former STLA president and former chair of the National College of Advocacy; and J. D. Lee, former president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

According to STLA president Tommy Malone, the W. McKinley Smiley Jr. Lighthouse Award will be presented annually to America's most outstanding lawyer in the field of academics, legal scholarship and advocacy teaching and training.

Kiwanis Club looks back

on 75-year history

The St. Petersburg Kiwanis Club observed its 75th anniversary with a luncheon March 25. President John W. Biesinger III invited all 28 living past presidents to the event. The club has seven members who became district lieutenant governors, the highest administrative rank locally obtainable. Three of those, Louis G. Averback, T. Bruce McKelvey, and E.H. "Bud" Wortendyke, presented some of the historical highlights of the club.

Charles J. Kaniss, a past president and now club historian, assembled newspaper clippings, photographs and other memorabilia from the club's history. He has been a Kiwanian for more than 50 years and was formerly supervisor of elections for Pinellas County.

Currently, the club donates about $20,000 annually to local youth related activities and $4,000 in college scholarships to needy youth nominated by area high schools. The Kiwanis Closet was established in 1993 at the YWCA to benefit teenage mothers. This program is designed to encourage young mothers to complete their education.

The St. Petersburg Kiwanis Club has more than 150 members and meets every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at Orange Blossom. For information, call 522-5676.

Beach lawyer honored

The Pinellas County Criminal Trial Lawyer's Association presented its 1996 Robert Hindman Award for Meritorious Contribution to the Criminal Justice System to Joseph McDermott of St. Pete Beach. McDermott is a lifelong resident of Pinellas County and has been handling criminal cases in the area for more than 35 years.

Law enforcement school graduates local man

Alaric Welke, a native of St. Petersburg, is one of 40 officers to graduate with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy's 155th basic training class during ceremonies this month. Welke, son of Larry Welke of St. Petersburg, was appointed to the Davenport, Iowa, Police Department in December.

Gibbs High resource

officer recognized

Michael A. Hawkins, Gibbs High School's resource officer, has been named St. Petersburg's Police Officer of the Year. Hawkins is a 14-year veteran of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

In addition to his work as an officer at Gibbs, he also volunteers with Students Against Driving Drunk, the Future Business Leaders of America and the driver's education programs at Gibbs and Pinellas Technical Education Centers-St. Petersburg campus.