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South Pasadena Woman Faces DUI Manslaughter Charge in Death of Pedestrian

Carolyn Yovan | Pinellas Sheriff | Arrests

The pedestrian was on the sidewalk when he was hit, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The driver fled the scene and was involved in a second crash.

ST. PETE BEACH – A South Pasadena woman has been charged with DUI manslaughter in connection with the death of a man who was walking on a sidewalk in St. Pete Beach, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Peter Chenhall, 39, of St. Pete Beach, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Carolyn Yovan, 51, of South Pasadena, was charged with one count each of misdemeanor driving while license suspended or revoked, felony leaving the scene of a crash with death, and felony driving under the influence manslaughter.

The crash happened about 7 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 17). Yovan was arrested about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Deputies said Mr. Chenhall was walking on the sidewalk in St Pete Beach near the intersection of Captiva Circle and Blind Pass Road when a 2004 Lexus RX330 driven by Yovan drove up onto the curb and the pedestrian sidewalk and hit him.

Investigators said Yovan fled the scene after the first crash and caused a second crash about two miles south of the original crash at Gulf Boulevard and Gulf Winds Drive on St. Pete Beach. No one was injured as a result of the second crash.

Deputies talked with eye witnesses and were able to confirm the two crashes were related.They said that Yovan showed signs of impairment at the scene of the crash and refused to provide valid breath samples.

Pinellas Sheriff | Pedestrian Killed | Peter Chenhall | Crime | DUI Manslaughter | Arrests | Fatal Crash | Tampabay News

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Vehicle Owner Shot by Vehicle Burglar in Pinellas Park

Police Tape | Accident | Crime

He was chasing one of three vehicle burglars when the shooting occurred, according to the Pinellas Park Police Department.

PINELLAS PARK – A Pinellas Park man was shot early this morning (Feb. 18) while chasing a vehicle burglar, the Pinellas Park Police Department said.

Alexander Weaver, 28, of Pinellas Park suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the arm. He was treated at a local hospital.

Police said that, at about 1:15 a.m., Weaver saw at least three males, believed to be juveniles, breaking into his vehicle, which was parked at his residence on 106th Avenue N. Weaver confronted them on his own and ended up chasing one to the 10600 block of Oakhaven Drive where the unknown male pulled out a firearm and shot Weaver.

The only description of the suspects at this time is three male subjects believed to be juveniles. The firearm was not reported as being stolen from this vehicle burglary and it is unknown at this time where or how the unknown male got a gun.

Pinellas Park Police | Crime | Shooting | Vehicle Burglary | Burglary | Tampabay News

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Pinellas Park Police Investigate School Shooting Threat

Pinellas Park Police | Police Car | Crime

The Pinellas Park Police Department said additional officers will be assigned to Pinellas Park High and Morgan Fitzgerald Middle schools.

PINELLAS PARK – Officers are aware of and are investigating a social media posting that threatened a possible school shooting, according to the Pinellas Park Police Department.

The posting was made on Snapchat sometime Friday (Feb. 16) evening. It threatened a possible school shooting that would take place Tuesday (Feb. 20). Police said the post also advised students not to come to school. While the post did not name a school specifically, it was alleged that the threat had been written on a bathroom wall of Pinellas Park High School, 6305 118th Ave. N.

Pinellas Park police school resource officers and school officials are aware of the social media post. Pinellas Park police said the department will continue to have an increased presence at all schools in the city as has been done since the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Wednesday (Feb. 14).

Beginning Monday (Feb. 19), additional officers will be at Pinellas Park High School and Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School, which is located directly across the street.

At this point, police said they have no information to substantiate the credibility of the threat; however they are taking these actions to ensure the safety of all students and staff at the schools.

Pinellas Park Police | School Shooting | School Shooting Threat | Pinellas Park High | Morgan Fitzgerald Middle | Tampabay News

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St. Petersburg Teen, 14, Accused of Threatening Copycat School Shooting

Arrest | Crime | Police

The teen posted a picture of himself holding what appeared to be an AR-15-style rifle and made the threats on Snapchat while at a friend’s home, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

PINELLAS COUNTY – A St. Petersburg teen is accused of threatening a copycat shooting to the killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Edward Charles Osgood, 14, of St. Petersburg, was charged with one count of written threats to kill or do bodily injury; electronic communication. He is a student at Lealman Innovation Academy.

Deputies said they received  several calls about 1:15 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 17) from concerned residents who reported the threatening post on Snapchat.The post, which went up on Snapchat about 11 p.m. Friday (Feb. 16), specifically stated “Round 3 on Florida on Tuesday.” Osgood quoted this while holding what appeared to be an AR-15 style assault rifle and he indicated the shooting would occur at the Lealman Innovation Academy, 4900 28th St. N in unincorporated Pinellas County.

Deputies said they went to Osgood’s house and spoke with his parents. After that, they talked with Osgood.

Deputies introduced themselves and Osgood immediately stated, “I know why you are here, because of the photo.” Deputies said Osgood grabbed his phone and went to the picture section on his phone and showed detectives the photograph with the statement “Round 3 on Florida on Tuesday.” The picture showed him holding what appeared to be an AR-15-style assault rifle. Osgood admitted he took the selfie photograph and made the post on his Snapchat account.

Osgood told deputies that he had spent the previous night at a friend’s house. Osgood told deputies that he was checking his Snapchat account and saw a recent post of a white man wearing a black outfit holding a rifle. The caption on the photo read “Round 2 on Florida tomorrow.” This was in reference to a threatening Snapchat post in Spartanburg, South Carolina, that went viral throughout the state of Florida.

Osgood told deputies he thought the post was “messed up.” Osgood then saw his friend’s AR-15 replica BB gun in the corner of the room, so he grabbed the gun and took a selfie of himself
holding the replica AR-15 rifle. Osgood said he thought he would be “funny” and posted the photograph on his Snapchat page with the caption, “Round 3 on Florida on Tuesday” and identified Lealman Innovation as the target.

Round 1 was Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County; Round 2 in Spartanburg; and Round 3 was to be Lealman Innovation Academy, deputies said. (The man who posted the Snapchat regarding Round 2 has been arrested by the Spartanburg Police Department.)

Because of the threatening nature of Osgood’s Snapchat post, deputies arrested him. They also recovered the AR-15-style rifle depicted in the threatening Snapchat post from his friend’s house. The AR-15-style rifle was later identified as a BB gun.

Since Wednesday (Feb. 14), the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has received several complaints of suspicious individuals who might commit acts similar to what occurred in Broward County. No other arrests have been made but deputies continue to investigate the complaints. Deputies said they encourage the public to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately so all information can be investigated.

Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Threats | School Shooting | Arrests | Tampabay News

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St. Pete Sees Drop in Number of Car Thefts

Car Theft | Crime | Grand Theft Auto

The St. Petersburg Police Department describes the drop as “significant” and “dramatic.”

ST. PETERSBURG – This city’s auto thefts were “significantly down” in 2017, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

The city’s Annual Crime Report for 2017 shows auto thefts are down 10.7 percent when compared with 2016 and declined 36 percent when compared with 2015.

The total number of car thefts in 2017 was 978, the lowest since 2012 when 876 cars were stolen in St. Petersburg. Last year was also the third lowest number of car thefts in the city during the period from 2001 through 2017.

While auto theft remains a serious juvenile crime issue, police said they are making progress in reducing the numbers.

Police said they credit collaborative efforts with other agencies, including the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, other policing agency, the Pinellas Pasco State Attorney’s Office, and judges.

Another factor in the drop, the department said, is a multi-pronged approach to policing:

  • HOME or Habitual Offender Monitoring Enforcement. Officers are assigned full time to do regular home checks on juvenile offenders on home detention.
  • Investigative Support Unit. Focuses on tracking youth gang members and their activities.
  • Auto theft unit merged with the burglary unit. Auto break-ins often lead to auto theft when the keys are left in the car. Detectives can now share information on suspects and be more effective
    in solving cases.
  • Public education with weekly social media posts to remind people to lock their cars.

“These numbers are encouraging. They show that our efforts, and the cooperative efforts ofour citizens, are paying off,” police Chief Anthony Holloway said. “The St. Petersburg Police Department, along with our partner agencies, will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our current practices. Should any shift in this data occur, we will adjust our efforts accordingly.”

Car Theft Graph | St. Petersburg Police | Crime

Source: St. Petersburg Police Department

St. Petersburg Police | Crime | Auto Thefts | Car Thefts | Tampabay News

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Pirates, Shipwrecks Focus of History Center Exhibit

Pirate Ship | Tampa Bay History Center | Things to Do

An all-new multimedia gallery at the Tampa Bay History Center tells the story of Florida’s conquistadors, pirates and shipwrecks.

TAMPA – Set sail with the History Center this weekend as the museum, located on downtown Tampa’s Riverwalk, unveils “Treasure Seekers: Conquistadors, Pirates and Shipwrecks,” an all-new permanent gallery experience.

The exhibit opens to the public at 10 a.m. Sunday (Feb. 18) at the center, 801 Old Water St.

Featuring a 60-foot, 18th-century pirate ship as its centerpiece, the new, permanent addition to the History Center introduces visitors to explorers who landed in “La Florida” more than 500 years ago as well as little-known pirates like “Calico” Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny, who prowled Florida’s coasts in the 1700s.

The new gallery also dives into the science and technology of shipwreck recovery, showing how centuries-old vessels are recovered from the ocean floor.

 The 8,500-square-foot permanent addition includes the Touchton Map Library and Florida Center for Cartographic Education, a partnership with the University of South Florida that will feature thousands of Florida maps and ephemera dating back to the 15th century through today.

“We’re telling a Florida story,” History Center President and CEO C.J. Roberts said. “Conquistadors, pirates and privateers, shipwreck recovery – many of these things were happening not just in the Tampa Bay area, but across the state.”

Visitors can learn about Florida’s maritime history via the latest in museum technology, including an immersive, choose-your-own-adventure theater experience, and a celestial ellipse on the gallery ceiling showing how sailors used the stars to traverse unknown oceans.

The new gallery also features a world-class collection of maritime artifacts-some nearly 400 years old -including navigational tools, jewelry, coins, pottery and other rare items recovered off of Florida’s coasts dating back to the 1600s.

Call (813) 228.0097 or go to TampaBayHistoryCenter.Org for information.

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay History Center.

Tampa Bay History Center | Things to Do | Events | Things to Do Near Me | Pirates | Treasure Hunters | Tampabay News

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New Church to Open in Odessa

Sunrise | Morning | New Day

New Day Church is non-denominational and founded on the principle of supporting individuals wherever they are in their own life story.

ODESSA – A non-denominational church is ready to open its doors in Odessa.

New Day Church is scheduled to hold its first services Feb. 25. Located in Odessa at 1850 Crossings Blvd., Suite D., New Day Church is a non-denominational church that says it welcomes all members in a family-friendly, casual and non-judgemental manner. Services are at 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

“Come as you are,” New Day Pastor Justin Setzer said. “We are so excited to be a part of the Odessa community, and could not be more grateful for the opportunity to invite everyone to join us on our journey.”

New Day Church is founded on the principles of supporting individuals wherever they are in their own life’s story. Judgement and condemnation are reserved only for those who believe in such things. New Day is is a place where people can be themselves and connect with others who want to add value to members’ lives instead of taking away from them.

Justin Setzer | New Day Church | Pastor

Justin Setzer

“Whether you are a follower of Jesus, unsure of your faith, agnostic or atheist, you are welcome here,” Setzer said. “I have a God-given desire to help people reach their potential and live a life of significance.”

New Day’s mission, he said, is to “raise the next generation of Christ followers” while simultaneously “empowering those who empower others.”

Setzer is a former addict who found his way with the help of God. Within two years after finding God, Setzer went from living in unstable and dangerous conditions as a substance abuser to becoming a healthy, sober, clean, regular attendee of his local church. By the age of 21, he had become a deacon and was ordained as a pastor at 25. In addition, he completed a bachelor’s degree, became a certified professional behavior analyst and founded his own business leadership coaching company. He is married and has two children.

Church staff member Michell Mancuso said Setzer’s personal calling to Christ has compelled him to create a genuine sense of community at New Day Church.

This combines an enjoyable mixture of worship, modern music, an outstanding children’s program, and above all, friendship and guidance through both Sunday services and weekly small interest groups, Mancuso said.

For information about New Day Church, go to

New Day Church | Justin Setzer | Religion | Church | Tampabay News

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Bilirakis Co-Sponsors Bill to Expand Access to Care for Veterans

Gus Billirakis | 12th Congressional District | Politics

The legislation would create a pilot program to integrate care provided with by the Veterans Administration with federally qualified health centers in five communities across the country.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Tarpon Springs, is co-sponsoring a bill designed to expand veterans’ access to healthcare.

The bill would provide care for veterans outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs, particularly in rural areas by creating a pilot program to integrate VA care with federally qualified health centers in five communities across the country. FQHCs are nonprofit organizations located in under-served parts of the country. They are regulated by the Health Resources & Services Administration.

With the challenges facing VA care in some parts of the country, including access, accountability, and lack of transparency, partnerships with successful FQHCs provide an opportunity to improve veterans’ health care, Bilirakis said. The pilot programs established under this legislation would serve as a model for how to improve access to care for veterans across the country.

“Community health centers in my district have a proven track record of delivering outstanding, comprehensive health care in a cost effective manner,” Bilirakis said. “They offer a wide array of services including primary care, dental services, mental health and substance abuse treatment.  They are an example of what is working in our health care system, and I believe they should be expanded.  If veterans are unable to receive the quality of care they deserve within the VA system, I want them to have the choice to take advantage of the value that community health centers offer without encountering bureaucratic barriers.  This bill will help ensure that goal, and I look forward to its passage.”

Bilirakis’ co-sponsors are Reps. Annie Kuster, D-NH; Scott Peters, D-CA; and Mike Coffman, R-CO). All are members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Bilirakis said, long-term champions for veterans and strong supporters of community health centers.

“Veterans in New Hampshire and across the country have faced unacceptable barriers in access to care, especially in rural communities,” Kuster said. “Expanding access to care outside of the VA through the Choice Program was a step in the right direction but unfortunately Choice has not delivered effectively for all veterans. Our legislation would explore innovative new ways to connect veterans with care providers by establishing partnerships between VA and FQHC that are already providing quality care in local communities. I’m hopeful that this can serve as a model across the country so that we can ensure all veterans are able to access the services and care they deserve.”

Peters said, “Veterans have earned the best healthcare our nation has to offer, but they often face barriers to quality and timely care. Partnering with federally qualified health centers, which are vetted to meet certain patient-care and quality standards, provides veterans with expanded access to high-quality, affordable health care. San Diegans already take advantage of these resources. There is no reason these resources should not be extended to our nation’s heroes.”

Coffman, a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, said, “Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers provide quality healthcare in underserved areas, and can be found throughout Colorado and the rest of the country. Veterans deserve access to quality care in a timely and efficient manner. This is what they have earned through service and sacrifice in defense of our freedoms. With wait times in the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System at an unacceptable high, FQHC’s can offer more accessible and hassle-free healthcare services in the community for our veterans. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this critical piece of legislation.”

Bilirakis represents Florida’s 12th Congressional District, which includes all of Pasco and northern parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

For information about Bilirakis, go to

Gus Bilirakis | Veterans | Healthcare | Veterans Healthcare | Politics | Tampabay News

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Clearwater East Library to Move

Library | Books | Library Move

The library will be closed for about two months.

CLEARWATER – The Clearwater East Library will close for about two months while it is moved to a new location.

The current East Library location at 2251 Drew St. will close at 5 p.m.  Feb. 24. It will re-open at its new location on the Clearwater campus of St. Petersburg College, 2465 Drew St., in late April 2018.

During this time, holds may be picked up at the Main Library located at 100 N Osceola Ave. Overdue fines for the East Library will be suspended during this period. Library cards can be used at any other Clearwater branch library or other PPLC-member library.

For questions or information, call (727) 562-4970 or go to

Clearwater | Library | Clearwater East Library | Library Close | Library Move | Tampabay News

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Vigil, Rally Demands End to Gun Violence

Vigil | Rally | Gun VIolence

The community vigil and rally, which is open to the public, is in response to the murders of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

ST. PETERSBURG – Six groups of civic activists have scheduled a community vigil and rally Saturday (Feb. 17) to call for an end to gun violence in the wake of the killing of 17 high school students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

“It’s time for real action to prevent the daily ravage of gun violence and the all-too-regular occurrence of gun massacres in our schools, communities and workplaces. We want action, not empty rhetoric,” according to the press release announcing the event. “We will come together as a community to stand with the victims and their families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.”

The rally is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 17) at Williams Park, 330 Second Ave. N in St. Petersburg. It is open to the public. It is hosted by the Women’s March FL, League of Women Voters St Petersburg Area, Fired Up Pinellas, Moms Demand Action, Indivisible FL-13, CAIR FL,  and Surly Feminists. For information or to sign up, go to or The groups are using the hashtag #HonorWithAction.

The group explains: “Early in the event, advocacy groups will offer opportunities to take actions on the spot in support of change. This will be followed by a vigil. We invite you to bring flowers, cards, and signs to stand in solidarity with the victims of senseless gun violence across the country. After the vigil, we will move into a press conference and rally where we will make strong demands that state and federal legislators take substantive policy action.

“The people have had enough of expansive gun legislation, empty words of sympathy, promises for reform, and inaction. Protecting our community and our children is a value we all share. Stand with us on Saturday.”

Rally | Vigil | Parkland Shooting | Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School | #HonorWithAction | Tampabay News

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