Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

Baltimore police officer goes on trial for murder in death of Freddie Gray

Baltimore

Officer's Murder trial opens in Freddie Gray death

In an opening statement, Baltimore prosecutors alleged Thursday that the police officer driving the van in which Freddie Gray was fatally injured gave him an intentional "rough ride." The accusation was made by Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow at the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., as prosecutors seek to convict him of second-degree murder, three counts of manslaughter and other charges. Goodson's lead defense attorney, Andrew Graham, said prosecutors can't prove their case. "An accident can be just an accident, and the cause can be the person himself," Graham said. Goodson is the third officer to come to trial in Gray's death. Last month, Officer Edward Nero, who participated in Gray's initial arrest, was acquitted of all charges.

New York

Risky behavior drops among U.S. teens

U.S. teens are having a lot less sex, they are drinking and using drugs less often, and they aren't smoking as much, according a government survey of risky youth behaviors. Among a decline in several risky behaviors, a sharp decline in sexual activity stood out to researchers. The survey found 41 percent said they had ever had sex, down from about 47 percent over the previous decade. It also found marked declines last year in the proportion of students who said they had sex recently and students who had had sex with four or more partners. The results come from a study conducted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The surveys included 16,000 students.

Los Angeles

Mom reunited with son abducted as baby

A California mother was reunited Thursday with her abducted son, laying eyes on him and wrapping her arms around him for the first time in 21 years. Maria Mancia had been left with just a single photo of her son since his father took him in 1995. Steve Hernandez, 22, was found living in Puebla, Mexico, and was brought to the United States to meet his mother. The father is thought to be dead.

Times wires

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Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter with negligence in pledge’s death

Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter with negligence in pledge’s death

The parents of Andrew Coffey, the Florida State University student who died from alcohol poisoning after an apparent hazing episode last year, have sued the national Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and nine of its members for their son’s death.Coffey, who wa...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition canceled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under former P...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 23-year-old man wanted in connection with sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman on Monday left behind the clue that deputies said led them right to him: A fingerprint on a Gatorade bottle.Deputies said that and other evidence ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pasco County loans $500,000 for neighborhood rebuild

Pasco County loans $500,000 for neighborhood rebuild

NEW PORT RICHEY – West Pasco Habitat for Humanity’s new partner opened its checkbook Tuesday to help redevelop the Van Doren Avenue and Leisure Lane neighborhood west of U.S. 19.Pasco commissioners agreed to lend $500,000 from a reserve account to th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Spring Hill candidate for Congress: ‘I care about this community — I will scream that from the rafters’

Spring Hill candidate for Congress: ‘I care about this community — I will scream that from the rafters’

SPRING HILL — A Hernando County woman new to the political arena has filed as the fifth Democrat to run against longtime Florida lawmaker U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster for his spot in the U.S. House of Representatives.Dana Cottrell, 49, has lived in Sprin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pasco commission balks at landfill plan

Pasco commission balks at landfill plan

NEW PORT RICHEY – Pasco County commissioners put the brakes on expanded trash hauling to an out-of-county landfill, saying its solid waste department showed poor planning in seeking last-minute authorization on what should have been a thoroughly vett...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hernando commissioners discuss disbanding planning board

Hernando commissioners discuss disbanding planning board

BROOKSVILLE — One day after the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of a controversial Cemex mine expansion, county commissioners — a majority of whom have spoken in favor of expanded mining — discussed eliminating the p...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Upset by grade, Robinson High student threatens to shoot up campus, police say

Upset by grade, Robinson High student threatens to shoot up campus, police say

Schools nationwide are on heightened alert in the wake of last week’s fatal shootings in Broward County, and in the Tampa area, that means official warnings about social media posts and more calls for police action.Two Tampa boys, one 15 and one 16, ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bed bugs found in books at Brandon library branch

Bed bugs found in books at Brandon library branch

BRANDON — The unwelcome appearance of a lowly insect is forcing county officials to close the Brandon library branch for three days.No, not bookworms. Bed bugs.The county is bringing in a pest control company to inspect and treat the 25,000-square fo...
Updated: 4 hours ago