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Update: Family accuses after school program volunteer of abusing son

Update: The Tarpon Springs police chief now says Romando Black, the accused volunteer, will not be allowed to work with kids, or be part of the after school program at all, until at least after the investigation is complete.

 

Tarpon Springs, Florida - By putting her 12-year-old son in an after school program, Selena Mack wanted to see his grades improve.

She didn't expect him to come home in a neck brace.

"He's been emotionally traumatized by this.  Even me, I couldn't sleep last night," Mack explained.

Her son, Burt Forde, admits he got into a verbal argument, even cursed at, a volunteer counselor at the Cops and Kids Program in Tarpon Springs.

But he says he didn't think it would turn physical.

Jewelry stolen in "for-sale" home burglary

Clearwater Beach, Florida - Police are looking for three people in a home burglary that occurred as the owner was showing his property to what he thought were prospective buyers.

The crime happened Tuesday afternoon on Windward Island Road on Island Estates.

The homeowner said two men had stopped by, saw the "for sale" sign and asked to see the home.

"While the homeowner was showing the property, one of the men was on the phone and was speaking in a foreign language. He said he was telling his mother about the home," police said.

Actually, police said, he was talking to a third person who entered through the front door while the homeowner was showing off the backyard, and stole several pieces of jewelry.

The homeowner didn't notice anything was missing until later.

Police said the known suspects were two white males between the ages of 30 and 40. They were driving a gold, late model mid-sized Cadilac SUV.

 

Flashed! World AIDS Day Cut A Thon

In honor of World AIDS Day, Wicked Salon and Hiro's Tokyo Steakhouse teamed up to offer discounted hair cuts and drink specials with proceeds benefitting AIDS Services Association of Pinellas.

Photo Gallery: World AIDS Day Cut A Thon pictures

Wednesday's Child: Taylor

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center seems like the perfect place for a curious kid.

taylor is just that.  He's also very ambitious and determined to go through each exhibit during our visit. From solving puzzles to learning what fossils can be found in Florida, Taylor makes the most of his time at Weedon Island.

Once we got the chance to talk, I found out that this 10-year-old is a typical boy who loves sports. Most of the books he has read are related to sports. He is a big football fan and has some old school favorites that might surprise you.

Taylor also has some pretty cool sports memorabilia  that he's very proud to talk about. He is energetic so were hoping to find him a home with two active parents who can spend some quality time with him.

You can learn more about Taylor by clicking on the video link or by calling  Connie Going at 866-271-4705.

Obama: No drilling off Florida, East Coast waters

Obama: No drilling off Florida, East Coast waters

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a reversal, the Obama administration says it will not pursue offshore drilling in East Coast waters, including the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

A senior administration official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that because of the BP oil spill, the Interior Department will not propose any new oil drilling in the East Coast for at least the next seven years.

Obama's earlier plan -- announced in March, three weeks before the April BP spill -- would have allowed drilling from Delaware to central Florida, plus the northern waters of Alaska. The new plan allows drilling in Alaska, but officials said they will move cautiously before approving any leases.

The eastern Gulf of Mexico was singled out for protection by Congress in 2006 as part of a deal with Florida lawmakers that made available 8.3 million acres to oil and gas development in the east-central Gulf.

Suspect who wanted to "go out like Jesse James" turns himself in

Clearwater, Florida -- The hunt is over for a man accused of killing a Largo woman as he fired into a crowd of people outside a convenience store.

Larry Jerry turned himself in at the Pinellas County Jail late Wednesday night.

PREVIOUS: Shooting at Rainbow Food Mart store in Largo
PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Larry Jerry's past sheriff's mugshots

Jerry had told family members he wanted to "go out like Jesse James." Presumably, that means he would die in a hail of gunfire.

But he turned himself in without a fight.

That's more like Jesse James than he probably realizes. Jesse James was tracked down -- under pressure from law enforcement and the public -- and shot in the back for reward money.

Text-for-sex arrest

Largo, Florida - Deputies have charged a young man with trying to arrange sex with a 12 year old girl via a cell phone text message.

Booked into the county jail is Jeffrey Shuba, 20, of no permanent address.

Investigators said Shuba and the victim met on an Anime convention at a local mall in December 2009 keep in touch via cell phone texting. Last April, he allegedly tried to have the girl send him explicit pictures of herself and tried to convince her to sneak out of her house while her parents slept to have sex with him.

The victim's parents discovered inappropriate messages on her cell phone and notified authorities.

Shuba was charged with traveling to meet a minor and "certain use of a computer services and devices prohibited."

He was being held in lieu of $15,000 bond pending a court appearance expected Thursday.