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A Palm Harbor man was in critical condition Monday after an early-morning brawl apparently took place outside a downtown Clearwater nightclub, police said. Leon Dash Jr., 48, of 455 Alt. U.S. 19 S, was found unconscious and with head injuries, said Clearwater police spokesman Wayne Shelor. Dash was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he remained in critical condition Monday afternoon, Shelor said. On Sunday night, a party for teens was held at the Atrium Martini Bar at 601 Cleveland St. Shelor said Dash was working as a bouncer during the event, at which no alcohol was served. The teens left the club about 2 a.m. A brawl broke out in a parking on Park Street soon after, and that's apparently when Dash was hurt. No arrests had been made Monday, and an investigation was continuing.

Hey, that balloon reminds me of you

Meet Mark "the Balloon Guy" Byrne at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. Byrne creates hand-twisted balloons molded to fit a person's personality. Call (727) 562-4834.


Fill up buses with troop donations

Starting Wednesday, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will begin collecting items from bay area residents to send to service members stationed overseas. The campaign started with Gabrielle Donaldson, 26, PSTA's marketing and sales coordinator. Her friend Ryan Davis is at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. The 30-year-old staff sergeant expects to be deployed later this year and was talking about the things that top soldiers' wish lists. So Donaldson told colleagues and put a few collection boxes in break rooms at the transit authority. "I was, like, okay, let's see if anybody else in the department wants to participate," she said. From there, "it just kind of snowballed," PSTA spokesman Bob Lasher said. Now the goal is to fill several buses with items for men and women in the military and deliver them to MacDill, where base personnel will send them to the troops. Items needed include insect repellent, sunblock, lip balm, breath mints, disposable cameras, batteries, stationery, stamps, prepaid phone cards, paperback books and magazines, microwave popcorn, instant oatmeal and coffee, tea bags and powdered hot chocolate. Donations may be dropped off during business hours on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends at the Park Street customer service center, Park Street and Garden Avenue in Clearwater. To learn more, visit

Guardians ad litem needed for kids

More than 1, 000 children in Pinellas County need someone to be their voice in the courtroom, and the county's guardian ad litem program hopes that could be you. Guardians receive ongoing assistance to help them make a positive difference in the lives of children. The average time needed is four to six hours a month. The next training to become certified as a guardian ad litem is scheduled to begin Sept. 4. Call (727) 464-6528 or visit