Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Bad weather delays opening of I-4/Selmon Expressway connector

Bad weather delays opening of new connector for i-4, SELMON

Today's expected opening of the new elevated toll road connecting Interstate 4 to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway is being delayed due to bad weather. The Florida Department of Transportation may now open the road Sunday night or Monday morning, though the date is still tentative. "Mother Nature is the biggest obstacle at this point — she is why the contractor made the call minutes ago to call off the opening for tomorrow morning," agency spokesman John McShaffrey said Thursday afternoon. The connector cannot be opened until all signs, pavement markings and lighting are in place, McShaffrey said. It rained in the area Thursday.

More Brews & Bites on tap for 2014

The Tampa Convention Center's Sail Pavilion announced this week that it will renew its popular Brews & Bites Food Truck Rally in 2014. Located on Tampa's RiverWalk, adjacent to the convention center, it will take place every second Friday throughout the year, the next one being Jan. 10. That gathering, from 6 to 10 p.m., will feature specialty Captain Morgan drinks to celebrate the upcoming Gasparilla Pirate Fest, which will be Jan. 25. "Each month, the crowd has grown, so continuing Brews & Bites into 2014 was an easy call," said Eric Blanc, director of marketing at the convention center.

Group wedding planned for Valentine's Day

Once again, Ken Burke, the Pinellas clerk of courts, has announced that up to 50 couples can sign up for a group wedding ceremony on Valentine's Day, which falls on Friday this year. The event will be held in the romantic Wedding Garden at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. To participate, couples must sign up at one of the designated Pinellas clerk of courts offices by Jan. 31. This is the eighth year the clerk's office has hosted this event and there will be poems read and musical serenades by the Charmonizers Barbershop Quartet. Couples and their guests will share wedding cake and refreshments provided by local sponsors. The clerk has waived the normal $30 fee to perform the marriages. Standard marriage license fees will still apply. The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. For information, call (727) 464-3008 or visit mypinellasclerk.org.

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23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Tampa judge denies ‘stand your ground’ claim in Lyfe Coleman murder case

Tampa judge denies ‘stand your ground’ claim in Lyfe Coleman murder case

TAMPA — A judge has declined to grant immunity to Reginald Bowman, the man who admitted last month that he fatally shot 18-year-old Lyfe Coleman and invoked the state’s "stand your ground" law to argue it was self-defense.At a brief hearing Tuesday, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

ST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown. The new projects, all by out-of-state developers and more moderately priced than those downtown, will...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

TAMPA — Hillsborough County officials fired a Fire Rescue medic Tuesday after an internal investigation concluded he had "unwavering loyalty" to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club — the state’s dominant biker gang. Clinton Neal Walker, 33, of Bradenton, is ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

When it comes to regulating insurance, Florida is slowly improving. The Sunshine State raised its grade from a C in 2016 to a B in 2017 on the "R Street 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card." It ranked No. 15 among all states.The annual report, writ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

US travel industry launches plan to reverse tourism decline

Associated PressNEW YORK — Travel industry representatives sounded an alarm Tuesday over declines in international tourism to the U.S. and announced plans to reverse the trend. Organizers of the new Visit U.S. Coalition portrayed the decline as long-...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Man shot, runs for help to Bahama Breeze with suspects following

TAMPA — Attackers shot a Tampa man Monday night as he sat in his car then chased him as he fled to a nearby restaurant to get help, Tampa police said.The victim was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.The incident occurre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

A substitute teacher at a Plant City elementary school berated a class of fourth graders — and then the school principal. Another compared a student to a stripper. Others were caught napping, hitting children, making sexual remarks, giving students b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on Tuesday appealed a judge’s ruling temporarily blocking its decision to end protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and announced plans to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review even before an ap...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How to protect your Florida plants during a freeze

How to protect your Florida plants during a freeze

With forecasts predicting freezing temperatures for much of the Tampa Bay area, you may want to protect sensitive plants.The National Weather Service says a freeze watch is in effect from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning for Hillsborough, P...
Updated: 1 hour ago