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Clearwater / North Pinellas

  1. Clearwater residents avoid tax rate increase for ninth year in row

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — Residents will avoid a rate hike on their property taxes for the ninth year in a row as taxable values continue to recover from recession levels, padding city coffers.

    Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said the city must be prepared for unexpected expenses. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Pinellas news brief

    Briefs

    Clothes to Kids seeking donations for annual "Drop (off) Your Drawers" drive: The Drop (off) Your Drawers drive is collecting new, unopened underwear, specifically boys' sizes 4-16 (briefs and boxers), young men's sizes 30 and up, girls' sizes 6-16, juniors sizes 5 and up (primarily bikini style). Each …

  3. Clearwater Beach driver: 'My intentions were to take my own life'

    Public Safety

    LARGO — Ryan Michael Stiles said he stuck close to the dunes and blared his horn as he drove his Jeep Cherokee along Clearwater Beach last week because he didn't want to hurt anyone.

    Ryan Michael Stiles, 27, was arrested last Thursday after driving onto the sands of Clearwater Beach, police said. He is currently being held at the Pinellas County Jail. [MELISSA GOMEZ | Times]
  4. Charges dropped against man accused of targeting Clearwater cop

    News

    CLEARWATER — All charges have been dropped against a man accused of using a Clearwater police sergeant's personal information to open credit cards and a bank account under his name.

    Daniel Holuba was accused of targeting a Clearwater police officer.
  5. Hometown North Pinellas

    Briefs

    Holocaust Museum receives anonymous donation

    Sharon Lena recently joined the Care Resources LLC team in Tarpon Springs. (Photo courtesy of Care Resources LLC).
  6. Clearwater driver says he didn't know he was carrying people in sweltering trailer

    Nation

    Alton Bradley saw his uncle on the news and couldn't believe the allegations against him.

    James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, left, arrives at the federal courthouse for a hearing, Monday, July 24, 2017, in San Antonio. Bradley was arrested in connection with the deaths of multiple people packed into a broiling tractor-trailer. [Associated Press]
  7. New Pinellas Trail signal in Clearwater is confusing for driver

    Roads

    My daily driving life has me crossing the Pinellas Trail at Lakeview Avenue in Clearwater multiple times every day. My first encounter with the new traffic control devices left me bewildered. One day I'm faced with a new traffic signal, the likes of which I've never seen before, with no posted explanation of how a …

    Lorrie Lykins
  8. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  9. After alcohol-fueled police chase, Clearwater police say beach driver threatened them

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — Ryan Michael Stiles' erratic behavior didn't end after his Jeep Cherokee halted in the sand following what police called a "liquor-fueled joy ride" up the beach.

    Ryan Michael Stiles, 27, is seen while driving his vehicle on Clearwater Beach Thursday, July 20, 2017. Stiles was stopped on the north end of Caladesi Island after driving up from Clearwater Beach, police said. [Facebook]
  10. Police chase on sands of Clearwater Beach lands on Facebook Live

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — It was just another day on Clearwater Beach Thursday for Stephanie Ball and her 14-month-old son.

    Until they heard the sirens.

    Clearwater Police took a suspect into custody Thursday afternoon after he drove along Clearwater Beach to Caladesi Island, running over beach chairs and umbrellas. [Courtesy of Clearwater Police]
  11. New Pinellas Trail stretch draws raves at opening

    Human Interest

    EAST LAKE — Mike Siebel bikes the Pinellas Trail four days a week and loops up and down the Suncoast Trail at least a couple of times every year. A 68-year-old cycling diehard, he was so eager for the opening of the 5-mile segment extending the Pinellas Trail to the Pasco border that he would often drive across …

    Cyclists wait for the official opening of the Pinellas Trail's newest segment. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  12. Dunedin's negotiations with Blue Jays continue

    Local Government

    DUNEDIN — Dunedin officials are still in the process of negotiating a license agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays.

    A rendering by Populous, a global architecture firm specializing in sports facility development, shows the entrance of an upgraded Florida Auto Exchange Stadium shows a Toronto Blue Jays team store. If the $81 million renovation plans between the city and team go through, the store would be open year-round.Credit:  Populous
  13. Clearwater library to hold astronomy night

    Briefs

    CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Main Library is hosting a free astronomy night on its front sidewalk Wednesday from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

  14. Longtime Tarpon Springs fire chief is retiring

    Fire

    TARPON SPRINGS — Sept. 6 will be fire Chief Richard Butcher's last day after seven years as chief and 39 years in the city's fire department. He formally submitted his decision to retire on July 6. On July 11, the Tarpon Springs board of commissioners unanimously approved the appointment of Deputy Fire Chief Scott …

    Tarpon Springs Fire Chief Richard Butcher is retiring after 39 years at the fire department. [Courtesy of Tarpon Springs]
  15. 'There's nothing left': $253,000 worth of missing pianos stirs outrage

    Crime

    Lisa Williams was going through a messy divorce. Money was tight. She had to move to a smaller house, but there was no room for the beloved Schimmel baby grand piano she bought for her daughter two decades ago.

    Lisa Williams of Pinellas Park is one of the customers who had their pianos taken, then were never paid for the sale.