PINELLAS PARK - Saddle Up Riding Club could find itself homeless in 90 days - unless it’s able to raise $90,000 by the end of those three months.
The club, which offers equine therapy for disabled children, adults and veterans, in addition to its programs for able-bodied riders, has operated on about 7 acres in Pinellas Park for the past six years. Now the property’s owner, Arianna Land LLC, is no longer willing to lease the land to the nonprofit organization and has given it 90 days to come up with the financing to purchase the property at 6080 94th Ave. for $450,000.
Several months ago, Kellie Sipos, executive director at Saddle Up, was approached by Second Chance Foundation, an organization that assists struggling nonprofit groups and offered to help her purchase the property. Saddle Up would be required to provide a 20 percent down payment, as well as to pay the difference between what a property appraiser recently determined the property to be worth - about $375,000, Sipos said - and Arianna Land’s $450,000 asking price. According to the Pinellas County Property Appraiser website, the most recent assessed value of the property is $233,010.
The property for sale is about 2.78 acres, Sipos said, but Nancy Sparks, a neighbor to the east, also allows the club to use 4 acres of her property for no cost. Sipos pays $2,500 in rent to Arianna Land each month.
PINELLAS PARK - If previous years are any indication, expect thousands of people to line Park Boulevard on Saturday, Dec. 14, for the annual holiday parade. Organizers say it will be bigger and better than ever.
Ricky Butler, the operations director of the parade and part of Celebrate Pinellas Park, a nonprofit organization that has been handling the parade for years, said it is a major undertaking.
PINELLAS PARK - With several key city staff members retiring, new department heads are gearing up to fill several important roles in Pinellas Park.
Tom Shevlin, former community development administrator and assistant city manager, retired in October. Patrick Murphy, formerly the city’s assistant community development administrator, has stepped up to fill Shevlin’s shoes in community development, but will not become the city’s new assistant city manager.
Meanwhile, Tom Nichols, public works administrator, will retire this month. He’ll be replaced by Bart Diebold, who formerly worked for Pinellas County.
City Manager Michael Gustafson announced in April that he will retire in January. Doug Lewis, the city’s fire chief, and Capt. Mike Haworth, the police department’s second in command, shared the role of co-interim assistant city manager for several months while vying for the city manager position. Currently, Lewis is the only one in the running for the job.
The Pinellas Park Public Library is pleased to announce the availability of two new digital collections, Indieflix, a video streaming service, and Zinio, a digital magazine service.
IndieFlix features award-winning shorts, features, and documentaries from all over the world. Movies can be viewed on any Internet-enabled computer, smartphone, or tablet with a Web browser, and are also available on Roku, xBox, and Apple TV via Apple devices.
Zinio offers a variety of popular magazine titles, and the library's starting collection consists of about 45 titles. This service also works with many devices, but those with larger screens are a better match for magazine browsing.
Pinellas Park Public Library cardholders enjoy unlimited access to both services. There are no checkout limits or due dates. To check out these services, visit the library's website at www.pinellas-park.com/library.
PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division executed a search warrant earlier Dec. 3 that led to the arrest of a suspected drug dealer in Pinellas Park.
After a three month investigation, the sheriff’s office, along with assistance from the Pinellas Park Police Department, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and St. Petersburg Police Department, obtained a search warrant of suspected drug dealer Patrick Robert Kerr’s residence on 46th Lane North.
LEALMAN - No injuries were reported in a mobile home fire on 24th Street North in the Lealman area of unincorporated St. Petersburg Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Arson and Auto Theft Unit are investigating the fire that occurred about 2:30 p.m. in the rear bedroom of the mobile home. According to the report, the fire does not appear to be suspicious.
Detectives said, Pamela Bokhoven, 40, her three children ages 2, 13 and 19, and Bokhoven’s boyfriend Jody Theroux, 38, were in the unit when they smelled smoke. Theroux attempted to extinguish the fire, which had started in the rear bedroom of the mobile home, but was unsuccessful. All exited the residence and were uninjured.
LEALMAN - A St. Petersburg man died after he was stabbed by his neighbor during an altercation about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Sunshine Mobile Home Park, 7430 46th Ave. N., in unincorporated St. Petersburg.
According to a report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, a verbal argument began between Jerold Lester Jr., 55, and James Ellul, 63, escalated and became physical. At some point, Ellul grabbed a large knife and stabbed Lester multiple times in his side. Lester’s girlfriend, Kimberly Bordner, 46, attempted to break up the fight and was also stabbed in the arm by Ellul.
Lester was transported to a local hospital where he died. Bordner and Ellul were also transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
According to detectives, Lester and Ellul have had an ongoing dispute over the noise coming from Lester’s motorcycle being driven inside the mobile home park. Ellul was charged with murder in the second degree.
PINELLAS PARK - Officers with the Pinellas Park Police Department’s Community Redevelopment Area Policing unit and investigators from the Federal Communications Commission wrapped up an investigation Nov. 15 of a pirate radio station operating within the city limits of Pinellas Park.
Investigators determined that Joseph Kervenson, 27 of Kenneth City was listed as the CEO of the pirate radio station using the call letters of WKMJ 102.1 FM.
According to a report from Pinellas Park police, the radio station was broadcasting over the FM airways without licensing from the FCC - a third degree felony in the state of Florida.
During the investigation, officers seized the radio transmitter and antenna used for the illegal broadcast. The business located at 6251 Park Blvd Suite 9-F in Pinellas Park was secured and the radio broadcast was terminated.
LEALMAN - Pinellas County Sheriff’s Detectives assigned to the Robbery/Homicide Unit are seeking the public’s assistance in locating an armed robbery and armed carjacking suspect(s) who attempted to steal a purse and money from one victim and stole a vehicle from a second victim Nov. 7 in the Lealman area.
According to detectives, on Thursday, Nov. 7, about 6:30 p.m., the first victim was walking in the area of 38th Street North and 46th Avenue North when the suspect approached her from behind. The suspect began to yell at the victim, demanded money and implied he had a gun. The victim began to open her cell phone and the suspect fled on foot towards 29th Street North.
Two hours later, at approximately 8:30 p.m. the second victim was exiting the Oley’s Food Mart, 3891 46th Avenue North in St. Petersburg. The victim was entering her vehicle when the suspect approached her car. The suspect began to yell at the victim then swung his arm back, striking the victim in the face with what appeared to be a handgun.
The victim exited the vehicle and the suspect entered the driver’s seat and began driving westbound at 46th Avenue North. The vehicle is described at a four-door Kia Rio, silver in color with a Texas license plate that reads BJG5000.