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The five weirdest things that happened around Tampa Bay this week

There were a few scary moments on Monday, when authorities received a report that someone had spotted a gunman on the roof of a hospital in Brandon. Very scary, right? The moments after they realized the "gunman" was a worker holding a hand drill were significantly less scary.

There's a lot to see and do in a Walmart, even in Apopka. Which is good, because you might want to linger inside for a while when there's an alligator between you and the parking lot.

Alan Abele of Dunnellon is a pretty sound sleeper, so when the thumping sounds outside his back door woke him up early Tuesday morning he knew something wasn't right. He grabbed a flashlight and his .357-caliber Magnum handgun (this is Florida after all, right?) and went to look for an intruder. He crept onto his back deck and shouted that he had a gun. Unimpressed, the 200-pound, 6-foot alligator that had been making all the ruckus lunged at him. It didn't end well for the gator.

We learned this week about the weapons escalation in a robbery at a St. Petersburg 7-Eleven earlier this month. Essentially, it was proven that gun > knife > hot cup of coffee. The video says it all.

Authorities were looking for whoever it was who thought it would be a good idea to keep a 12-foot alligator weighing more than 500 pounds as a sort of outdoor pet, tethering it to a tree behind an apartment complex along the Hillsborough River. This one also didn't end well for the gator. It just wasn't a good week for gators.

The five weirdest things that happened around Tampa Bay this week 10/25/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 25, 2013 4:35pm]
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  1. Lacking support, lobbying ordinance gets no hearing in Hernando

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — A push to publicly identify people who lobby top county officials was rejected by a majority of the Hernando County Commission this week when commissioners decided to pull a proposed lobbying ordinance from the agenda.

    Commissioner Steve Champion said there was not a consensus to bring a lobbying ordinance forward so the item should not have been placed on the agenda.
  2. 80 books disappear from classroom that sheltered Irma evacuees


    DUNEDIN — When Martha Hereford-Cothron returned to her classroom at Dunedin Highland Middle School on Monday morning, her heart sank as her eyes scanned the room and landed on a white bookshelf, empty except for a broken DVD player and a thermal blanket.

    Gone from this shelf at Dunedin Highland Middle School were some 80 books and several board games in the classroom of teacher Martha Hereford-Cothron. The items disappeared after the classroom was used to shelter evacuees from Hurricane Irma. [Photo courtesy of Martha Hereford-Cothron]
  3. Lanes closed after pedestrian fatally struck by semi-tractor on U.S. 19 in Clearwater


    CLEARWATER — Southbound lanes on U.S. 19 were closed early Wednesday morning after a pedestrian was fatally struck by a semi-trailer.

  4. Manhattan Casino controversy resumes after taking a break for Irma

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman's administration has once again found itself defending its controversial choice of the Callaloo Group to open a "Floribbean" restaurant in the historic but currently empty Manhattan Casino.