Monday, September 24, 2018
News Roundup

Hooper: Conference looks to boost teens’ identity search

We worry about identity theft these days with good reason. But teens’ search for their identity can be just as concerning. Society seems to come up with new ways to pull them in self-defeating directions.

While I often believe media reflects society, not the other way around, it’s notable that much of the music, movies and TV these days reflect darker themes and more serious issues. So a conference that former Buc Frank D. Murphy will stage caught my eye: "Put Down Your Fake ID Youth Leadership Conference."

"I don’t want the youth to be a copy of something fake," he says. "They should feel encouraged and full of joy to be themselves at all times and not what TV, social media, their environment and society says about them."

Murphy, recognized by former President Barack Obama for his philanthropic work, welcomes 500 Tampa Bay youths to attend the Sept. 15 conference at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry Campus. It will feature music and notable speakers, including former Three 6 Mafia member Mr. Dell and Crossover Church leader Tommy Kyllonen.

Given the growing range of societal pitfalls, teens need all the useful advice they can get, not only to figure out who they are but to believe in what they can become. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: I’d Be A Vegetarian, If Bacon Was A Vegetable. …

I’m worried the expected storms today and Tuesday could worsen the Red Tide, but let’s hope it has the opposite effect.

Lessons from the Aretha Franklin and John McCain funerals: be clear, shine the light, speak truth to power, and remember that sometimes less is more.

That’s all I’m saying.

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Firefighters respond to blaze in Lakewood High School gymnasium

Firefighters respond to blaze in Lakewood High School gymnasium

St. Petersburg firefighters responded to a blaze early Monday that began in the center of the gymnasium at Lakewood High School.According to St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, firefighters arrived on the south side of the school at 1400 54th Ave. S about 5:...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Port Tampa Bay marks 1 million cruise passengers in a year for the first time ever

Port Tampa Bay marks 1 million cruise passengers in a year for the first time ever

TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay last week welcomed its 1-millionth cruise ship passenger for the first time ever in a single year.The port hit the milestone on Sept. 17, when the count hit 1,000,524 for this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. It rose furthe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg’s Allendale United Methodist Church uses vandalism as teaching moment

St. Petersburg’s Allendale United Methodist Church uses vandalism as teaching moment

ST. PETERSBURG — Someone left a message of hate on the sign for the Allendale United Methodist Church late Sunday or early Monday.The Rev. Andy Oliver said the church decided to respond with love.The message board that is part of the church sign disp...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cue the cowbells: Mullen returning to Mississippi State

Cue the cowbells: Mullen returning to Mississippi State

GAINESVILLE — Sonically, the Gators are making a drastic transition during practice this week, from bluegrass to Blue Oyster Cult.Or so Dan Mullen jokes.The new Gators coach knows cowbell will serve as the cacophonous soundtrack for his return ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas sheriff’s SUV struck in chain-reaction crash on Trinity Boulevard

Pinellas sheriff’s SUV struck in chain-reaction crash on Trinity Boulevard

TARPON SPRINGS — A Pinellas sheriff’s deputy was caught up in a chain-reaction crash that took place early Monday at the intersection of Trinity Boulevard and East Lake Road. The crash took place at about 6:28 a.m., according to the Pinellas County S...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lower demand brings slight dip in gas prices across state, Tampa Bay

Lower demand brings slight dip in gas prices across state, Tampa Bay

Just in time for fall, pump prices are finally declining. Gas prices in Florida averaged $2.72 per gallon Monday, down from $2.74 per gallon a week ago, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. Tampa Bay prices were even lower at $2.63 per gallon, down...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Shooter in Clearwater parking space incident makes bail

Shooter in Clearwater parking space incident makes bail

LARGO — Michael Drejka, the man who shot and killed Markeis McGlockton in a case that set off a national debate about self-defense in July, was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Monday afternoon.Drejka paid bail, according to jail records. He...
Updated: 2 hours ago
John Jonchuck set for spring 2019 trial in death of daughter Phoebe

John Jonchuck set for spring 2019 trial in death of daughter Phoebe

CLEARWATER — The day John Jonchuck was supposed to go on trial in the murder of his 5-year-old daughter, attorneys met instead to discuss a new trial date.The trial was delayed after Jonchuck’s attorneys raised concerns about one of the prosecutors’ ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Dallas police say Officer Amber Guyger, accused of fatally shooting neighbor in his own apartment, has been fired

Dallas police say Officer Amber Guyger, accused of fatally shooting neighbor in his own apartment, has been fired

DALLAS — A white police officer accused of fatally shooting her black neighbor inside his own apartment was fired Monday for "adverse conduct," the Dallas Police Department said in a statement.Police Chief U. Renee Hall dismissed Officer Amber Guyger...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Deputy's wife texted 'Kirk has lost his mind' before murder-suicide, friend says

Deputy's wife texted 'Kirk has lost his mind' before murder-suicide, friend says

LAND O'LAKES -- Kristin Kellin got a series of disturbing text messages late Sunday from her friend, Samantha Keithley, who complained about her husband, Kirk. "Kirk has lost his mind Kristin," one text said. "He's literally losing it. He's been har...
Updated: 3 hours ago