Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1061, expanding Florida’s new aquatic preserve about 800 square miles along the Gulf Coast, its first new aquatic preserve in over 30 years. This bill creates the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve, which will protect approximately 400,000 acres of aquatic habitat stretching from Pinellas CountyContinue Reading

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested a former probation officer, Rutherford Jean, charging him with two counts of sexual battery and blackmailing victims for sexual favors. An inmate at the Pinellas County Jail filed a complaint in October 14, 2019 to detention deputies that her probation officer had blackmailed herContinue Reading

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reported that a Temple Terrace fire inspector has been arrested and accused of possessing “thousands of images and videos of child pornography, ranging in ages from infants to young teenagers,” Casey Dwayne Hannah, 40, of Seminole, was charged with 20 counts of Possession of Child Pornography.Continue Reading

Former Florida House Rep. Larry Ahern filed to run against Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long Wednesday for the at-large District 1 seat representing northeast and mid-Pinellas. Ahern brings name recognition to the race to challenge the incumbent Democrat, serving Florida’s 66th District in northwestern Pinellas County from 2012 to 2018. He also served in Florida’sContinue Reading

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced the indictment of a two people from Clearwater, Courtney Marie Michaelis and Nicholas Andrew Ham, with the illegal distribution of fentanyl. Michaelis, 37, and Ham, 21, have been charged with distributing fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury to anContinue Reading

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced plans for Florida’s K-12 public schools to reopen at full capacity in the fall. “Having a teacher there, there just isn’t going to be a substitute for that in-person instruction,” he said. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said that’s the recommendation being made to local schoolContinue Reading

The Wagon Wheel and Mustang Flea Markets are closing their doors permanently after being shuttered due to coronavirus, ending their business after 55 years. According to their Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, the organization stated, “It is with a heavy-heart that we share with you the news that we will not beContinue Reading

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested a St. Petersburg area couple, Samantha Smith and Cody Corbin, charging them with child abuse, hiding the 6-year-old boy’s injuries and scars with makeup. Smith, 26, was charged with one count apiece of aggregated child abuse with great bodily harm and child neglect. Corbin, 31,Continue Reading

Police details some of the looting and riot arrests from early Tuesday, listing Lady Nicole Nash, Javonta McCloud, and Eddie Bryant among those charges with inciting a riot. Anthony Koedel was arrested for organizing the attack as a “protest” but the event quickly turned violent and dangerous. Koedel, 29, ofContinue Reading

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reports that Steven Tromblee was arrested Monday on a charge of aggravated child abuse after striking a 7-year-old girl and causing her to suffer a head injury. Officers detailed the girl’s account, confirming that she’s related to Tromblee. Tromblee became angry at the girl because sheContinue Reading

Bob Barnum realtor

The COVID-19 death toll in Pinellas County is now at four after the Florida Department of Health released new data Saturday morning. The new deaths include an 83-year-old woman, a 64-year-old man and a 52-year-old man. Mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted Saturday that realtor Bob Barnum was among those who have died. “COVID-19 hitting closer and closer to home. BobContinue Reading

This week, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced the allocation of $6.6 million from the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) Grant to 14 Counties to assist local communities in the fight against all-drug overdose and opioid abuse. The Department’s receipt of the $58.8 million OD2A grant was first announced on OctoberContinue Reading

Clearwater police in Florida have arrested Falo Kane for sexual assaulting senior citizens in a health facility, one woman being disabled by a stroke. Kane, 32, was arrested after police investigated incidents during the unidentified victims’ adult diaper changes. One woman assaulted was in a wheelchair and another was disabledContinue Reading