City brings back manager at same salary
As expected, the Safety Harbor City Commission voted Monday night on a three-year contract with former City Manager Matt Spoor that brings him back at the same salary. Spoor resigned in early January for a job with St. Petersburg but recently asked for his old job back. Commissioners unanimously agreed to an annual salary of $122,763 for the returning city manager. "Congratulations, Mr. Spoor. It's good to have you back," said Mayor Andy Steingold.
Woman in crash taken to hospital
A woman was taken to a hospital after a three-vehicle pileup Tuesday afternoon on Alt. U.S. 19, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Jerome Hutchinson, 37, of Tarpon Springs was driving his Hyundai Sonata north toward the Klosterman Road intersection about 1:40 p.m. when he failed to notice that traffic ahead was stopped, troopers said. He rear-ended a Honda Goldwing motorcycle driven by Shawn Michael Doherty, 50, of Trinity and pushed the motorcycle into the rear of a Hyundai Elantra that was carrying Claude E. Stephens, 65, and Linda Stephens, 42, of New York. Linda Stephens was incapacitated and taken to Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital, while Doherty was possibly injured but not hospitalized, according to the FHP. Hutchinson, who was unharmed, was charged with careless driving.
Controversy erupts over fundraiser
A minor controversy has erupted over a fundraiser that's planned for Saturday evening at the Fort Harrison Hotel. It's a celebration of the life of Shelly Leonard, a 2010 Democratic state House candidate from Clearwater who recently died. It's also a fundraiser for the Martin Luther King Center Neighborhood Coalition, which hopes to reopen the closed MLK Center in Clearwater. However, Leonard's family does not endorse the event, which costs $35 per person and includes live music and dancing. Meanwhile, some of Leonard's associates are moving forward with the event, saying it's what she would have wanted. Leonard was not a Scientologist, but the Church of Scientology offered the venue for the event because it agreed with Leonard's stance on reopening the MLK Center, her associates said. Leonard's family suggests donating directly to the Martin Luther King Center Neighborhood Coalition, a nonprofit group. Contributions can be sent to P.O. Box 1492, Clearwater, FL 33755, or via the web at http://savethemlkcenter.bbnow.org.