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Thursday, January 25th, 2018


Hear from the Candidates Running for Pinellas Park Mayor

Sandy Bradbury | Donna Saxer | Pinellas Park

Sandy Bradbury and Donna Saxer are running for mayor of Pinellas Park.

PINELLAS PARK – Voters here will have a chance to hear from the two candidates who are running for Pinellas Park mayor during a Saturday (Jan. 27) forum.

The forum is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Mainlands Unit 6, 3550 Mainlands Blvd. N in Pinellas Park.

Sandy Bradbury is running for her fourth term as Pinellas Park mayor. She is facing a challenge from retired Pinellas Park police Officer Donna Saxer.

It has a council-manager form of government in which a mayor and four council members set policy and pass a budget. A city manager oversees the daily activities of the city. The mayor and council members serve two-year terms. They generally meet at least twice a month. The non-partisan seats are voted on citywide. The mayor is paid about $22,507 annually. Council members earn about $19,506 per year.

The election is March 13. The last day to register to vote in the Pinellas Park election is Feb. 12. Online voter registration is available.

Photo shows Sandy Bradbury, left, and Donna Saxer.

Sandy Bradbury | Donna Saxer | Pinellas Park Council | Politics | Elections | Pinellas Park Mayor | Tampabay News

#SandyBradbury #DonnaSaxer #PinellasParkCouncil #Politics #Elections #PinellasParkMayor #TampabayNews



Police Endorse Allbritton for Clearwater Council

David Allbritton | Clearwater Council | Politics

The Fraternal Order of Police is the bargaining unit for Clearwater’s 232-member police department.

CLEARWATER – David Allbritton, candidate for the non-partisan Seat 4 on the Clearwater City Council, was endorsed Wednesday (Jan. 23) by the Fraternal Order of Police, Jack Marsh Memorial Lodge 10, representing the line officers of the Clearwater Police Department.

FOP Lodge President Steve Savillante said he’s confident that Allbritton understands the importance of maintaining a modern, responsive and responsible public safety organization serving a community of more than 120,000 residents that’s a destination for tourists from around the globe.

“David Allbritton has lived in Clearwater his entire life, and has seen the city and the department grow over a period of decades” Savillante said. “We discussed with David the challenges we face, together, and we believe he’s well aware of the complexity of policing a resort city the size of Clearwater in the 21st Century.”

Allbritton, a retired contractor, is running for Seat 4 in the citywide election on March 13. Allbritton’s campaign platform is built on four standards: the support of healthy and safe neighborhoods; the support of strong traffic and municipal infrastructure programs; the guarantee of effective, efficient and responsive municipal services for all residents; and the confidence of a business-friendly environment for commercial enterprises.

“It’s gratifying to get the support of the men and women of CPD, particularly in light of my family’s relationship with the justice system over the years,“ Allbritton said, referring to his father, Owen’s, service as a judge in the sixth Judicial Circuit. “I think the rank-and-file officers realize that I know public safety is one of our city’s most important components.”

Born and reared in Clearwater, David and his wife, Maryhelen, built a contracting business and now operate Tropical Beach Allbritton served for four years on the Clearwater Municipal Code Enforcement Board; the Clearwater Downtown Development Board and is a member of the Clearwater Community Development Board. He is past president of the Clearwater Historical Society; a board member of Clearwater Senior Citizen’s Services.; and past vice president of the Island Estates Civic Association. He also served on the Clearwater Business Task Force; the Clearwater Charter Review Committee; and the Clearwater Downtown Partnership.

FOP 10 is the bargaining unit for Clearwater’s 232-member police department, led by Chief Daniel Slaughter, who was once a member of the lodge.

Allbritton is opposed by Tom Keller.

The nonpartisan election is March 13. The last day to register to vote in the Clearwater election is Feb. 12. Online voter registration is now available.

To reach David Allbritton’s City Council campaign, write to, or go to

David Allbritton | Tom Keller | Clearwater City Council | Politics | Elections | Tampabay News

#DavidAllbritton #TomKeller #ClearwaterCityCouncil #Politics #Elections #TampabayNews

Sewer Improvements Coming to Kapok Terrace Neighborhood

Sewer | Stormwater | Repairs

Residents in the area will have a chance to hook up to Clearwater’s sewer system and abandon existing septic systems.

CLEARWATER – The city of Clearwater is installing sanitary sewer lines and replacing the existing stormwater system in the Kapok Terrace neighborhood.

The project will offer about 132 homes the chance to connect to the city’s sanitary sewer system and abandon existing septic systems in the area, in accordance with Pinellas County Health Department’s health standards. Project boundaries include Hoyt Avenue and Wolfe Road to the south, Moss Avenue to the west, Glen Oak Avenue and San Jose Street to the north, and McMullen Booth Road and Madera Avenue to the east. Construction will begin at the end of February.

An open house is planned from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 25) at the Aging Well Center at the Long Center, 1501 N Belcher Road, to answer questions and provide additional project details before construction starts. Members of the city’s Public Utilities, Engineering, and Planning & Development departments will be on hand to talk about project plans, costs, construction schedules, environmental impacts, annexation into city limits, and benefits. The first public meeting for this project was held Jan. 23, 2017.

Residents who connect to the system will be required to pay an impact fee of $900 per dwelling unit. Other costs will depend on how long into construction they plan to connect to the system. Financial hardship assistance will be available for those who qualify.

To learn more, call the city’s Engineering Department at (727) 562-4750.

Clearwater | Sewer | Stormwater | Kapok Terrace | Tampabay News

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Palm Harbor Teacher Accused of Sexual Battery on Teen, 16

Matthew Franklin Pinder | Pinellas Sheriff | Arrests

He admitted to the accusation, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies said there may be other victims.

PALM HARBOR – A Palm Harbor teacher was accused of sexually battering a 16-year-old student, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Matthew Franklin Pinder, 43, of Palm Harbor, was charged with one count of sexual battery (custodial authority). Pinder, a teacher at Palm Harbor University High School, was teaching at Calvary Christian High School at the time of the alleged offense, deputies said.

Deputies began their investigation Nov. 11 after the now 24-year old victim told a school official of past inappropriate sexual contact in November 2009 with a current teacher at Palm Harbor University High School. The school official reported the allegation to the school resource deputy and school officials.

At the time of the inappropriate sexual contact the victim was 16 years old and a student at Calvary Christian High School. Deputies said Pinder was employed as a teacher at Calvary Christian and serving as a mentor to the juvenile victim.

Detectives say Pinder admitted to engaging in inappropriate sexual activity on at least two different occasions with the teen.

Pinder was arrested about 1 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 24) at Palm Harbor University High School. Before being taken to the Pinellas County Jail, deputies said, Pinder resigned from Palm Harbor University High School.

Deputies said there may be more victims and are requesting the public to come forward with any information regarding inappropriate contact Pinder may have had with other children. Pinder was employed at the following schools: Indian Rocks Christian School from 2000 to 2002, Calvary Christian High School from 2002 to 2004. Pinder moved to Kentucky and returned as a teacher to Calvary Christian High School in 2009 to 2011. Pinder was employed at Palm Harbor University High School as a teacher in 2011 to 2018.

Pinder told deputies he volunteers as a scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop and is the den leader for a Cub Scout pack in Pinellas County. Detectives have notified the respective Boy Scout troop and Cub Scout pack. Pinder is no longer a volunteer with the respective organizations.

Anyone with information regarding other potential victims is asked to contact Detective Meredith Dimundo with the Crimes against Children’s Unit at (727) 582-6200.

Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Sexual Battery | Arrests | Tampabay News

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Keller: Clearwater Spending ‘Totally Out of Control’

Tom Keller | Clearwater City Council | Politics

Tom Keller is a first-time candidate who is running for Seat 4 on the Clearwater City Council.

CLEARWATER – City council candidate Tom Keller said the cost of erecting the centennial monument in 2015 is an example of city spending that’s totally out of control.

“The Clearwater City Council approved a staggering $577,000 for the city’s centennial monument,” Keller said. “I think a monument would have been nice, but maybe for a fraction of that cost.”

Located at the western end of the Courtney Campbell Causeway at the entrance of Gulf to Bay Boulevard, the monument stands 48 feet tall.

“That’s $12,000 per foot,” Keller said.

A 75-foot monument was erected by the city of St. Petersburg at the western end of the Howard Frankland Bridge, but a private citizen paid the entire cost of $600,000.

“Clearwater’s monument not only cost $4,000 more per foot than St. Petersburg’s, we taxpayers had to foot the entire bill,” Keller said. “That spend, spend, spend mentality on our city council has got to change.”

Keller said that, after the dedication of the monument appeared on one of the online news outlets, some citizens left comments expressing outrage at the cost.

“I’m offended … take it down,” said one. “Epic waste of money,” wrote another. A third commented, “Over half a million dollars for this. Just think of the homeless and the hungry kids that this money could have been used for.”

Keller said that, if elected, he will advocate fiscal responsibility.

“This is my first run for public office and I’m tied to no special interest group or networks of influence,” said Keller. “Our city council needs an independent, fiscal conservative to make sure that our tax money isn’t spent recklessly.”

Keller is running for Seat 4 on the Clearwater City Council, which is being vacated by Bill Jonson who is term limited. Keller is opposed by David Allbritton.

Keller is a Florida native who has lived in Pinellas County for 31 years. He has been a sales representative for Metro Bench since 1987.

The Clearwater City Council is composed of a mayor and four council members who can serve two consecutive four-year terms. The City Council is responsible for a city staff, budgets, projects and ad valorem tax rates. The council meets biweekly publicly and council members attend workshops and special events. Council members annually receive $20,629.72 and the mayor $24,755.36.

The nonpartisan election is March 13. The last day to register to vote in the election is Feb. 12.

For information about Keller, go to

Tom Keller | Politics | Elections | Clearwater City Council | David Allbritton | Bill Jonson | Tampabay News

#TomKeller #Politics #Elections #ClearwaterCityCouncil #DavidAllbritton #BillJonson #TampabayNews

Deputies Investigate Double Homicide in Ruskin

Police Tape | Crime Tape | Crime

Both died of gunshot wounds. Deputies say the shootings were not random, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

RUSKIN – Deputies are investigating the shooting deaths Wednesday (Jan. 24) of two people in Ruskin, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Juanita Donna Solorzano, 33, who was also known as Juanita Gomez, and Alexis Martinez, 26, of Ruskin, were found dead inside the Martinez residence. HCSO homicide detectives, crimes scene investigators, the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office and the Hillsborough County Medical’s Examiner’s Office have classified it as a double homicide.

Deputies said they were called to the residence about 11 a.m. after someone reported that two people were dead in the home. When deputies entered the house, they found the bodies.

The Medical Examiner’s office has determined both victims died of gunshot wounds. Deputies said they have established a possible motive and do not believe this was a random act.

Anyone with any information about this investigation is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200, or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of any suspect(s) and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at or
send a mobile tip using our P3 Tips Mobile application, which is a free download for iPhones, iPads and Droids. You must call Crime Stoppers first to be eligible for a reward.

Hillsborough Sheriff | Crime | Double Homicide | Murder | Shooting Deaths | Tampabay News

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