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TARDY WORKER'S EXCUSE RESULTS IN HER ARREST

Denee Reed was running late on her way to work Monday at a Tampa call center. So, according to Hillsborough County deputies, she made up a story. When Reed, 25, arrived at the office of One Touch Direct, 4902 W Sligh Ave., she said someone had tried to carjack her as she drove to the office, authorities said. Somehow, she managed to escape unharmed. But after the incident was reported to authorities, the story fell apart. Detectives interviewed Reed, who confessed to making it up, sheriff's officials said. She was worried about being late and fabricated a story to avoid getting fired, authorities said. Reed was arrested on charges of making a false report to a law enforcement officer and making false official statements. She was booked in the Hillsborough County Jail and later released on $2,250 bail. It was unclear if she kept her job.

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Stolen bike's canine passenger dumped

Along with the silver bicycle and its custom brown seat, a St. Petersburg man made off Sunday night with the little dog perched in the bike's basket, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. After he fled a mile away from 5790 34th St. N with the stolen bike, Richard Allen Wise, 31, dumped the dog on the curb, a Sheriff's Office report states. The dog, which is partially blind, waited beside the street for an hour until a deputy spotted it. On Monday deputies arrested Wise, who lives in a mobile home park near the 3900 block of 46th Avenue N. Deputies arrested him on charges of grand theft and cruelty to animals. Wise was being held on $7,000 bail Tuesday at the Pinellas County Jail.

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Council candidates appear at forum

Lost in the shadow of the St. Petersburg mayor's race, eight candidates are vying to fill four council seats in the Nov. 5 general election. They will square off in a forum at 6 p.m. today at City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N. Candidates will be asked questions submitted by students of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, the forum's sponsor. The forum is open to the public, but people also can watch from home as it will be broadcast live on StPeteTV, which is Channel 615 on Bright House, 15 on Knology and 20 on Verizon Fios.

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