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"Explosive device' at complex turns out to be flare

A cleaning crew found what first appeared to be an explosive device in a vacant apartment at the Harbor Club Downs complex on Alt. U.S. 19 Tuesday morning, but the object turned out to be a U.S. Navy flare. Cleaners found the flare in a box in an otherwise empty apartment, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Fearing the 4-inch-long oval cylinder was an incendiary device or grenade, the workers called the Sheriff's Office at 10:17 a.m. While some neighboring apartment residents were requested to leave for several hours Tuesday morning, there was no mandatory evacuation, said sheriff's Sgt. Greg Tita. Sheriff's deputies and Palm Harbor firefighters responded, and a Hillsborough County bomb squad was called in to take control of the device.

The flare was taken to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa for disposal, Tita said.

Man arrested on charges

of sexual battery on a child

TARPON SPRINGS _ Police have charged a 30-year-old man with taking sexually explicit photos of a young girl, among them a photo taken during a sexual act. Robert Marrero of 615 Disston Ave., No. A in Tarpon Springs was being held Tuesday without bail at Pinellas County Jail. He was charged with sexual battery on a child under 12, which is punishable by up to life in prison, and sexual performance by a child, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Marrero works as an aide at St. Mark's Village, an assisted living facility in Palm Harbor, police said.

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