Make us your home page
Instagram

Brides-to-be in panic as Alfred Angelo Bridal closes stores, files for bankruptcy

Models walk the runway at the Alfred Angelo Spring 2017 Bridal Show with Disney Weddings at EZ Studios on Oct. 5, 2016, in New York City.

Photo by JP Yim | Getty Images for Alfred Angelo

Models walk the runway at the Alfred Angelo Spring 2017 Bridal Show with Disney Weddings at EZ Studios on Oct. 5, 2016, in New York City.

DELRAY BEACH —In a business collapse that disrupted wedding plans nationwide, Alfred Angelo Bridal filed to liquidate its operations in bankruptcy court in West Palm Beach Friday after failing to find a buyer for the company.

A lawyer for a Miami law firm retained to manage the case said she will work with a court-appointed trustee to release bridal dresses being held by the stores, which closed Thursday. The shutdown left brides-to-be across the country locked out and with little information about their time-sensitive purchases.

Patricia Redmond of Stearns Weaver Miller, Weissler Alhadoff & Sitterson, said in a telephone interview she had received more than 3,500 emails from panicked brides.

Yadira Castro, 27, was one of the brides seeking answers. Standing outside Alfred Angelo’s Boynton Beach store on Friday, she was desperate to learn about her wedding dress. Her wedding is a week from Saturday. …

Full Story

Police: Pinellas Park woman stabs mother following argument

Felecia Sherk, 26, faces a charge of attempted murder after police say she stabbed her mother in Pinellas Park.

[Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]

Felecia Sherk, 26, faces a charge of attempted murder after police say she stabbed her mother in Pinellas Park.

PINELLAS PARK -- A woman was arrested Wednesday morning after she stabbed her mother in the chest following an argument, police said.

Police were called to 4080 71st Terrace at 2:50 a.m., where 26-year-old Felicia Sherk’s mother, Amy Campbell, was suffering from a stab wound in the chest following an argument about Sherk living in the house, police said.

Campbell, 42, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

After the stabbing, Sherk fled the home. She was found later by a Pinellas Park canine unit and is being held without bond at the Pinellas County Jail, police said. She did not cooperate with investigators and faces a charge of attempted murder.

 

Full Story

Man faces charges after calling Clearwater Police 98 times in one day

Michael Jarard Mott, 24, was arrested Monday after authorities say he called the Clearwater Police Department 98 times.

[Clearwater Police Department]

Michael Jarard Mott, 24, was arrested Monday after authorities say he called the Clearwater Police Department 98 times.

CLEARWATER – Authorities arrested a man Monday afternoon after authorities say he called Clearwater Police 98 times just that day. 

Using two different phones, Michael Jarard Mott, 24, called the police department complaining that he wanted his money back that had been seized as evidence during a drug arrest in January, according to police. 

He even made a couple of the calls in front of an officer, police said.

Mott was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of harassing telephone calls and booked into Pinellas County Jail around 6 p.m. Monday with bail set at $250, according to jail records. He remains jailed as of Wednesday morning. 

"He tied up valuable resources and telephone lines that are meant to help Clearwater citizens in need," Clearwater police wrote in a Facebook post.

 

Full Story

Texas teen was electrocuted by her cellphone while taking a bath, her family says

Madison Coe, 14, died Saturday while taking a bath.

Coe Family photo via KCBD

Madison Coe, 14, died Saturday while taking a bath.

It wasn't abnormal for 14-year-old Madison Coe, a lover of band and basketball, to shut herself in the bathroom for hours and soak in the tub.

That's what she had been doing late Saturday night at her father's New Mexico home, according to family, when he knocked on the door and said it was time to get out.

"Okay,” Madison reportedly said.

But 20 minutes passed and the teen never emerged, so Logan Coe called out once again. This time, he got no response.

He entered the bathroom and found Madison unresponsive in the water and her Samsung Edge Plus phone plugged into an outlet in the wall, Madison's mother, Angela O'Guinn-Downs, told People magazine. The cellphone had fallen into the bathtub, family told local news in Lovington, N.M., and the girl had a burn mark on her hand.

Coe, an EMT, tried to revive her, as did medical professionals who arrived on scene and transported her to the hospital, where Madison was pronounced dead. The medical examiner has yet to rule on official cause of death, but authorities said in a news release that "initial evidence shows signs consistent with electrocution." …

Full Story

Boy, 3, in body cast after jumping on trampoline in Tampa

In this June 26, 2017 photo provided by Eddie Hill, Hill's son Colton is comforted while lying in a hospital bed at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. The 3-year-old Florida boy is in a cast from the waist down for an injury suffered while jumping at a trampoline park, his family said Tuesday, July 11 in a case that has circulated nationally on social media and raised questions about age restrictions for the activity.

[Eddie Hill via AP]

In this June 26, 2017 photo provided by Eddie Hill, Hill's son Colton is comforted while lying in a hospital bed at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. The 3-year-old Florida boy is in a cast from the waist down for an injury suffered while jumping at a trampoline park, his family said Tuesday, July 11 in a case that has circulated nationally on social media and raised questions about age restrictions for the activity.

MIAMI — A 3-year-old Florida boy is in a cast from the waist down for an injury suffered while jumping at a trampoline park, his family said Tuesday, in a case that has circulated nationally on social media and raised questions about age restrictions for the activity.

Kaitlin Hill said her son Colton broke his thigh bone late last month while bouncing on a trampoline at Sky Zone indoor park in Tampa that promoted the use of trampolines by toddlers, despite the recommendations of some medical organizations.

Hill warned other families not to allow young children on trampolines in a heartfelt Facebook post that has been shared more than 235,000 times. Hill, a 29-year-old nurse, said an orthopedic surgeon told them the repetitive pressure from jumping may have caused the fracture. Doctors put Colton in a hip spica cast for six weeks, and he has to wear diapers again and travel in a special wide car seat. …

Full Story

Massive iceberg has broken off in Antarctica

A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday. The iceberg broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf, scientists at the University of Swansea in Britain said. The iceberg, which is likely to be named A68, is described as weighing 1 trillion tons.

British Antarctic Survey via AP

A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday. The iceberg broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf, scientists at the University of Swansea in Britain said. The iceberg, which is likely to be named A68, is described as weighing 1 trillion tons.

A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday.

The iceberg broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf, scientists at the University of Swansea in Britain said. The iceberg is described as weighing 1 trillion tons.

The process, known as calving, occurred in the last few days, when a 5,800-square-kilometer (2,240-square-mile) section broke away.

"We have been anticipating this event for months, and have been surprised how long it took for the rift to break through the final few kilometers of ice," said Adrian Luckman of Swansea University. "We will continue to monitor both the impact of this calving event on the Larsen C Ice Shelf, and the fate of this huge iceberg."

It was a natural event that wasn't caused by man-made climate change, said Swansea glaciologist Martin O'Leary.

Nonetheless, "this puts the ice shelf in a very vulnerable position," he said in a statement.

Scientists said the latest iceberg break won't affect sea levels in the short term. …

Full Story

Emails show Donald Trump Jr. embraced campaign help said to be from the Kremlin

Donald Trump Jr., eldest son of President Donald Trump, released the email chain Tuesday that shows him discussing plans to hear damaging information on Hillary Clinton that were described as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

Associated Press

Donald Trump Jr., eldest son of President Donald Trump, released the email chain Tuesday that shows him discussing plans to hear damaging information on Hillary Clinton that were described as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

Donald Trump Jr. eagerly accepted help from what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid his father's campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton, according to emails he released publicly on Tuesday.

The email exchange posted to Twitter by President Donald Trump's eldest son shows him conversing with a music publicist who wanted him to meet with a lawyer from Moscow. The publicist describes the lawyer as a "Russian government attorney" who has dirt on Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." In one response, Trump Jr. says he would "love" to hear more. 

RELATED CONTENT: Rubio says collusion questions raised in Trump Jr. emails rest with Robert Mueller

Trump Jr., who was deeply involved in his father's presidential campaign, released the emails along with a statement describing the disclosure as an effort "to be totally transparent." The emails with publicist Rob Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information that could "incriminate" Clinton and her dealings with Russia.  …

Full Story

The Daystarter: Yes, mosquitoes have been unbearable; John Morgan sues Florida over medical marijuana law; Tampa Electric's call to 911; another slip of the Rays' 'pen

John Morgan, a potential candidate for governor in 2018, will file a lawsuit against Florida on Thursday. Morgan helped push for an amendment that voters passed in 2016 legalizing medical marijuana.

[Times files]

John Morgan, a potential candidate for governor in 2018, will file a lawsuit against Florida on Thursday. Morgan helped push for an amendment that voters passed in 2016 legalizing medical marijuana.

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

• Temperatures will be scorching, up to the mid-90s, as the usual midday thunderstorms that cool things down won’t appear until later in the day. Heat indices — the “feels like” temperature — could reach 110 to 115 degrees, according to 10Weather WTSP.

• As you head out for your morning commute, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.

• Think mosquitoes are especially bad of late? That's because they are; here are the reasons why.

• John Morgan, a potential candidate for governor in 2018, will file a lawsuit against Florida on Thursday. Morgan helped push for an amendment that voters passed in 2016 legalizing medical marijuana. When lawmakers passed a bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law, it didn’t include allowing patients to smoke the drug. Morgan objects to the smoking ban. …

Full Story

Third worker dies from Tampa Electric power plant accident

Contract worker Antonio Navarrete, 21, of Wimauma died from his injuries sustained while attempting to unplug a tank containing lavalike slag with six other men on June 29, said his employer Brace Industrial Group.

Contract worker Antonio Navarrete, 21, of Wimauma died from his injuries sustained while attempting to unplug a tank containing lavalike slag with six other men on June 29, said his employer Brace Industrial Group.

A third worker burned by molten slag last week at Tampa Electric Co.’s Big Bend Power Station died Wednesday evening at Tampa General Hospital.

Contract worker Antonio Navarrete, 21, of Wimauma died from his injuries sustained while attempting to unplug a tank containing lavalike slag with six other men on June 29, said his employer Brace Industrial Group.

“Our heartfelt prayers and sympathy are extended to his family and friends as we keep our primary focus on supporting our employees and their families during this difficult time,” the Houston company said in a statement sent to the Tampa Bay Times.

That statement also confirmed that Armando J. Perez, 56, is one of two other Brace employees injured in the accident.

Perez remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries along with two contractors with Gaffin Industrial Services related by marriage: Gary Marine Jr., 32, and Frank Lee Jones, 55.

Full Story

Vicious salt marsh mosquito chasing Tampa Bay indoors

Keegan Kerr, a lead technician with Mosquito Joe of Tampa Bay, sprays a pesticide solution as a means of mosquito control at a South Tampa home Wednesday, July 5, 2017. According to the home owners, they have not been able to enjoy their yard all summer because of swarming mosquitoes.

[LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]

Keegan Kerr, a lead technician with Mosquito Joe of Tampa Bay, sprays a pesticide solution as a means of mosquito control at a South Tampa home Wednesday, July 5, 2017. According to the home owners, they have not been able to enjoy their yard all summer because of swarming mosquitoes.

TAMPA — Swatting mosquitoes is nothing new for South Tampa real estate agent Cassandra Reardin, but the past few weeks have bugged her more than normal.

“It’s awful,” said Reardin, 47, who has been taking clients from house to house for 22 years. “It’s been bad before, but I think this year is the worst year.” 

Other residents have posted on the social network Nextdoor that the bloodsucking insects are crowding their garages and pools and swarming them as they step out of the car. They’re not imagining it. Mosquito control officials say there really are more insects out this year, and many of them are especially nasty.

For most of the winter, mosquito eggs sit dormant in the ground, waiting for water and warm weather. Early this year, an especially high tide hit the area, Hillsborough County Mosquito Control director Donnie Hayes said.

“Once we received that high tide, it pushed a lot of water into areas there hadn’t been water before,” he said.

That saltwater awakened the eggs of the black salt marsh mosquito, known to scientists as the Aedes taeniorhynchus. …

Full Story

Bill Maher says he is 'very sorry' for using a racial slur on his HBO show

HBO late-night host Bill Maher apologized for using a racial slur during his Friday show that led to a firestorm of criticism, including from the cable network.  In a brief statement Saturday, Maher said he should not have used the derogatory term “in the banter of a live moment.”  “The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry,” he said.

Getty Images

HBO late-night host Bill Maher apologized for using a racial slur during his Friday show that led to a firestorm of criticism, including from the cable network. In a brief statement Saturday, Maher said he should not have used the derogatory term “in the banter of a live moment.” “The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry,” he said.

HBO late-night host Bill Maher apologized for using a racial slur during an interview on his show, "Real Time," which led to a firestorm of criticism, including from the cable network.

"Friday nights are always my worst night of sleep because I'm up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn't have said on my live show," Maher said in a brief statement Saturday. "Last night was a particularly long night as a I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry."

Maher's apology came the day after he used the n-word during a conversation with Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. The comment immediately drew condemnation across the political spectrum.

Maher was talking Friday night to Sasse about the senator's book, "The Vanishing American Adult," which explores why today's young people are unable to survive in a competitive global economy. The conversation drifted to Halloween and how dressing up is no longer just a children's tradition. Sasse said adults don't do that quite as much in his state because it's frowned upon. In response, Maher said he should visit Nebraska more. …

Full Story

Missing swan sculpture stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond

A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk Sheriff’s deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

A woman called the Sheriff’s Office Friday morning and said her husband and her son spotted the statue Thursday when they were fishing in a nearby pond. They saw the swan, but didn’t know it was stolen.

On Friday morning, the woman saw the story about the stolen swan on TV and reported the swan sighting to the Sheriff’s Office.

The swan is the last missing piece in the case.

The Sheriff's Office released video surveillance Thursday that officers believe sheds light on the heist. It shows the naked man, whom deputies identified as Ronald Thompson, walking into the Lakeland Cold Storage at 4100 Frontage Road S during the early morning hours of May 19.

In one video, the man is seen carrying a bucket in front of his genitals as he approaches the storage facility. A second video snippet a short while later then shows a pickup driving away. …

Full Story

U.S. plans first test of ICBM intercept, with North Korea on mind

n this May 21 file photo people watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch conducted by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. With North Korea's nuclear missile threat in mind, the Pentagon is planning a missile defense test next week that for the first time will target an intercontinental-range missile.

AP photo

n this May 21 file photo people watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch conducted by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. With North Korea's nuclear missile threat in mind, the Pentagon is planning a missile defense test next week that for the first time will target an intercontinental-range missile.

WASHINGTON — Preparing for North Korea's growing threat, the Pentagon will try to shoot down an intercontinental-range missile for the first time in a test next week. The goal is to more closely simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S. homeland, officials said Friday.

The American interceptor has a spotty track record, succeeding in nine of 17 attempts since 1999. The most recent test, in June 2014, was a success, but that followed three straight failures. The system has evolved from the multibillion-dollar effort triggered by President Ronald Reagan's 1983 push for a "Star Wars" solution to ballistic missile threats during the Cold War - when the Soviet Union was the only major worry.

North Korea is now the focus of U.S. efforts because its leader, Kim Jong Un, has vowed to field a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching American territory. He has yet to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, but Pentagon officials believe he is speeding in that direction.

Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said this week that "left unchecked," Kim will eventually succeed. …

Full Story

Boehner: Trump's term 'disaster,' aside from foreign affairs

John Boehner said he's been friends with Trump for 15 years, but still has a hard time envisioning him as president.

AP photo

John Boehner said he's been friends with Trump for 15 years, but still has a hard time envisioning him as president.

WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker John Boehner says that aside from international affairs and foreign policy, President Donald Trump's time in office has so far been a "complete disaster."

Speaking at an energy conference Thursday in Houston, Boehner praised Trump for his approach abroad and his aggressiveness in fighting Islamic State militants, according to the energy publication Rigzone.

"Everything else he's done (in office) has been a complete disaster," the Ohio Republican said, according to the publication. "He's still learning how to be president."

Boehner said he's been friends with Trump for 15 years, but still has a hard time envisioning him as president. He also said Trump shouldn't be allowed to Tweet overnight.

David Schnittger, a spokesman for Boehner, confirmed the comments on Friday.

According to Rigzone, Boehner said that the Republican tax reform effort "is just a bunch of happy talk" and that the border adjustment tax - a major priority for Boehner's successor, Speaker Paul Ryan - is "deader than a doornail." He said he was more optimistic about tax reform earlier in the year, but "now my odds are 60/40." …

Full Story

Mulberry teens, 15 and 18, killed when cars collide at Plant City intersection

Pepe Salgado

Polk County Public Schools

Pepe Salgado

MULBERRY — Crisis counselors were at Mulberry High School on Friday after three teenagers with connections to the Polk County school were in a Plant City crash Thursday that killed a brother and sister and critically injured their cousin, a senior who was scheduled to graduate that same evening.

The teens who died — brother and sister Pepe Salgado, 18, and Frinzi Salgado-Diaz, 15 —  were passengers in a 2002 Toyota Corolla driven by Edilberto Nava-Marcos, 18, also of Mulberry. Nava-Marcos was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and was listed in critical condition.

"This is a very sad day for our school and community," Mulberry High principal Michael Young said Friday in a statement released through the Polk County school district. "We are mourning the loss of Frinzi and Pepe, and are praying for Edilberto as he remains in the hospital. Our hearts go out to their families."

The crash took place at 2:30 p.m., about five hours before Nava-Marcos was scheduled to graduate from Mulberry High School, the Florida Highway Patrol said. …

Full Story