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Headlines through the years

A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

By Times Staff Writer
Published March 6, 2005

March 3, 1945: Laborer is jailed under "work or fight' ordinance

CLEARWATER - City Judge C.E. Ware this morning announced the first conviction under Clearwater's work or fight ordinance, resulting in a 10-day jail sentence for a 31-year-old fruit picker.

The man was found guilty Saturday afternoon and told the court he had never run afoul of the law prior to his arrest as a "loiterer" as defined by the ordinance, which was passed by the city commission two weeks ago.

The laborer produced a 4-F draft card and said that he was rejected for military service because of a brain ailment that makes it impossible for him to work in the hot sun. For this reason, he declared, he has frequently been compelled to lay off from his fruit-picking job. It was during one of these enforced vacations that police officers picked him up.

The defendant began serving his sentence this morning in city jail. Police Chief John Swift announced that his department will continue its rigid enforcement of the drastic law.

March 28, 1938: Barrett wins cycle event at Largo track

LARGO - Keith Barrett of Dunedin won the feature 20-lap race in competition held by the Pinellas County Motorcycle Club at a woodland track east of Largo yesterday.

Haywood Newcomb of Largo was second and Louis Puckett of St. Petersburg was third.

Barrett also won an eight-lap race, while Barrett and Maurice Meares of Anona won the relay race. A pursuit race, with each contestant dropping out as he was overtaken by another, was won by Herbert Groves, who also registered the best time - 41 seconds - in time trials on the circular track, which is four-tenths of a mile long.

Mac McQuarters of St. Petersburg escaped uninjured when, as a special feature, he crashed his motorcycle through a flaming board.

March 8, 1945: Mayor urges support of all city-aid bills

SAFETY HARBOR - Mayor L.H. Zinsser last night urged executives of all Pinellas County municipalities to support proposed legislative bills granting state aid to those political subdivisions whose tax revenues have been depleted by homestead exemption.

Unless this assistance is forthcoming, Mayor Zinsser declared, some of the 14 cities and towns within the county face financial difficulties that border on bankruptcy. It is probable that Zinsser's proposal will be laid before lawmakers when the legislative delegation meets next week with its upper Pinellas constituents in advance of the session in Tallahassee to be convened next month.

Within the Safety Harbor area alone, the mayor pointed out, more than 250 new homes will be constructed after the war when materials are available. A majority of these, he added, will be entitled to homestead tax exemption.

"As a result," the mayor said, "the city of Safety Harbor will not receive a penny in taxes from the owners of these homes although the occupants will get the benefits of police and fire protection and garbage collection."

Under the present financial setup in Florida, according to the Safety Harbor executive, the state takes the income from all certain tax sources, such as levies on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages and pari-mutuels at racetracks. This leaves the cities nothing but municipal ad valorem taxes and the active tax rolls are dwindling because of an increasing number of properties entitled to homestead exemption benefits.

The mayor also is considering a conference with officials of Pinellas cities and incorporated towns prior to the visit of the legislative delegation.

This meeting will be devoted to a roundtable discussion of the proposed bills and a request for endorsement.

Theresa Blackwell compiles the history column. She can be reached at 727 771-4305 or

[Last modified March 6, 2005, 00:33:36]

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