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    Headlines through the years

    By RICHARD DANIELSON

    © St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001


    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.

    Safety Harbor duo arrested as bookies

    SAFETY HARBOR (Feb. 20, 1951) -- A State Beverage Department flying squad raided a bar here yesterday and arrested its co-owners on a charge of taking off-track horse-racing bets.

    They were Edward N. Emmons, 52, and James C. Mason, 41. They were released under $500 bond apiece pending a hearing before Peace Justice Olin Blakely this afternoon.

    Joe Bowen, chief law enforcement officer for the department, headed the raid. The officers confiscated $175.28 and a cigar box full of receipts and records.

    Bowen said the bets were on races at Sunshine Park at Oldsmar, about 5 miles away, the only horse track on the Florida west coast.

    Safety Harbor is a small fishing and resort town about 20 miles from Tampa and St. Petersburg. During the racing season, it also has a large influx of race track personnel.

    The two men are co-owners of the Harbor Bar, which they have operated for four years.

    The arrests created a stir of excitement in the town.

    Guard wants church gym for armory

    CLEARWATER (March 3, 1947) -- Negotiations are progressing between officers of Clearwater's recently activated Florida National Guard infantry company and officials of Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church for the use of the church gymnasium as a temporary armory until such time as availability of materials makes possible the construction of a permanent headquarters, it was announced today by Maj. John B. Sweger, company commander.

    Deacons and elders of the church, it was explained, have okayed the project and the final step will be approval of the gym by Florida's adjutant general.

    Because of its central location within one block of Clearwater's downtown business section, the church gymnasium is regarded by military men as an ideal temporary armory. The main hall is large enough for platoon close order drill and storage space is available for the company's equipment.

    Maj. Sweger said recruiting for the company is moving along briskly. The unit welcomes veterans of World War II.

    Meanwhile, blueprints are being drawn for the permanent armory that will be constructed when okay is received from the adjutant general and the war department. Several sites are under consideration, one in the Crest Lake section and another at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Court Street.

    Train arranged for Tarpon water show

    TARPON SPRINGS (Feb. 5, 1924) -- Arrangements are being closed with the ACL railroad today for a special train to leave St. Petersburg for Tarpon Springs at 10:30 a.m. each day of the Feb. 13 and 14 Water Carnival. This train will stop at Pinellas Park, Largo, Clearwater, Dunedin and other intermediate points for passengers.

    Gov. Hardee and staff were invited to be guests of the city during the two days of the carnival.

    Band concerts, automobile and bayou boat rides, water sports, diving and swimming exhibitions, and high-class vaudeville will occupy the daylight hours. At night the Tampa Community Players, a cast of 120 people and their own orchestra, will present operas in the open air.

    On opening night, the opera company will present The Mikado, the stage being a large barge riding at anchor in Spring Bayou, that beautiful piece of landlocked water of the "Venice of the South." Preceding the opera, the Illuminated Fleet, more than double the size and splendor of last year, will enter the little bay and circle before the judges stand.

    The annual Water Carnival, Illuminated Fleet and Open Air Opera is put on by this city for the entertainment of the winter visitors of the west coast. It is not intended as a money-making event. Last year it ran behind 32 percent, and this year the expense of production has been increased so much that it is hardly possible for it to pay expenses.

    - Compiled by RICHARD DANIELSON

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