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    North Pinellas briefs

    By Times staff reports

    © St. Petersburg Times, published December 13, 2000

    Tampa woman charged with leaving accident

    SAFETY HARBOR -- Investigators say a Tampa woman flipped her car off Phillippe Parkway in Safety Harbor early Tuesday morning, then left the scene of the crash.

    Residents reported hearing squealing tires about 1:49 a.m. Tuesday. Upon inspection, residents found a 1993 Infiniti upside down in about 3 feet of water in mangroves near 2555 Phillippe Parkway, according to Pinellas County sheriff's officials.

    Residents called 911 and checked the area but found no driver or passengers. Firefighters and paramedics also responded but found no one at the scene. Rescuers searched the area and were aided by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and Sheriff's Office dogs, but no one was found.

    Deputies later tracked down the driver, Brandy M. Howard, 24, at a friend's residence, sheriff's officials said. Howard apparently lost control of the car, then abandoned it and walked to the friend's home, sheriff's officials said. No passenger was involved.

    Howard was charged with careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

    She suffered minor injuries and received treatment on her own, sheriff's officials said.

    Bocce Ball League seeking players

    CLEARWATER -- There are only a few more openings on six bocce ball teams for the winter Bocce Ball League. Games will be played on Sunday mornings at the Italian American Club of Clearwater, 200 McMullen-Booth Road. For information, call Gino Caldarelli, league organizer, at 773-0280.

    DivorceCare schedules support group meetings

    CLEARWATER -- DivorceCare seminars and support group meetings are from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Clearwater First Church of the Nazarene, 1875 Nursery Road, Clearwater. Topics include facing anger, depression, loneliness, financial survival, child care and new relationships. To register, call Dolly Hickey, 446-3130, or come early to a session. There is a one-time $10 charge.

    Like bargains? Visit Thrift Store

    LARGO -- The Thrift Store, operated by Religious Community Services Inc., offers bargains. "We have people looking for clothes and toys, especially for Christmas. We only put out gently used, like-new items," said manager Ginny Willis. The Thrift Store, 2960 East Bay Drive in Largo, is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Profits go to Religious Community Services programs, including Grace House, the Stepping Stone, the Haven and the Food Pantry. For more information, call 531-6266.

    Technicians will check car seats

    LARGO -- Certified technicians from the Largo Fire Rescue Department will offer free infant and child car seat safety checks from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Largo Municipal Complex, 201 Highland Ave. After this month, the car seat checks will be offered on the fourth Saturday of the month. For more information, call 587-6714.

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