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  1. Lakeland tree trimmer killed when saw touches power line

    Accidents

    LAKELAND — A 60-year-old Lakeland man was killed Friday when a pole saw he was using to trim trees touched a live power line, electrocuting him, police said.

  2. Tampa Bay says goodbye to Tarpon Springs Officer Charles Kondek

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Charlie Kondek liked to hold his wife's hand. He also make funny faces to cheer his kids up, blasted AC/DC and cheered the New York Jets; loved Christmas and delivered flowers to his daughters every Valentine's Day; and once did a SpongeBob SquarePants dance for his daughter's second-grade class.

     Tarpon Springs Officer Charles Roger Kondek's squad car sits outside of Idlewild Baptist Church during his memorial service in Lutz, Florida, Saturday, December 27, 2014. Officer Kondek, 45-years-old, passed away on Sunday, December 21, 2014, after responding to a call for service at 2 a.m. While at the location, 199 Grand Blvd, Officer Kondek was shot and killed in the line of duty. He began his law enforcement career with the Tarpon Springs Police Department on March 3, 1997. Prior to working for TSPD he served as an NYPD officer for five years. [SAM OWENS | Times]
  3. Driver of truck submerged in Riverview retention pond dies

    Crime

    TAMPA — A man trapped under water for several minutes Friday night after the pickup truck he was driving crashed into a Riverview retention pond has died.

  4. N.C. State stops UCF in Bitcoin Bowl at Trop

    College

    ST. PETERSBURG — However North Carolina State's outnumbered partisans paid their admission to Tropicana Field — cash, credit, cryptocurrency — mattered little Friday.

    UCF Knights wide receiver Josh Reese (19) kneels to pray after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter of the Bitcoin Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Friday December 26th, 2014. At halftime the Wolfpack was up 17 to 10. 

MONICA HERNDON | TIMES
  5. Analysis: Why sharing with the Rays could be key to a winning deal on Tropicana Field

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — City Council member Karl Nurse's question seemed so simple: If the Tampa Bay Rays plan to move to Tampa, why should the team benefit if St. Petersburg starts redeveloping Tropicana Field?

    Council member Karl Nurse raised a question that grabbed attention.
  6. Once an under-performing school, Sanderlin K-8 is a hit with Pinellas parents

    K12

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Rumors had been swirling that people would start arriving before dawn, so R.J. Garbowicz packed a lawn chair and an iPad for the long night ahead. ¶ He showed up after midnight, securing the first spot in line. At 3 a.m., another person arrived. By 6 a.m., 20 people sat in lawn chairs, many …

    First-grade teacher Amanda Johnson instructs student Alyse Wilson, 6, in mathematics. The class is aided by Smart Board technology. Johnson was recently nominated for Pinellas County’s Outstanding Educator award.
  7. No one injured after Ford Mustang crashes through front wall of Clearwater home

    Accidents

    Clearwater Police Department

    A 77-year-old man escaped injury Friday evening after crashing a 2006 Ford Mustang into a home in Clearwater, police said. Authorities were called to 1407 Fairmont St. about 6:45 p.m. after the driver "veered out of control," police said, and crashed rear-end first into the home's …

    A 2006 Ford Mustang driven by a 77-year-old man veered out of control Dec. 26, 2014, and into a house at 1407 Fairmont. The driver was not injured. Nobody was home at the time of the crash.
Photo courtesy of the Clearwater Police Department
  8. 2 pulled from submerged truck in Riverview

    Accidents

    RIVERVIEW — Two Riverview men were injured Friday night after their pickup lost control and ended up in a retention pond upside down.

  9. Times exclusive: Confidential informer blows whistle in Jason Westcott death

    Crime

    By Peter Jamison

    Times Staff Writer

    The scene beaming from the bedroom television wasn't special, another drug bust in a decaying north Tampa neighborhood. Ronnie "Bodie" Coogle squinted at the screen. He recognized that street, lit by ghostly pulses of red and blue.

    Ronnie “Bodie” Coogle, seen in shadow in this video image, told police Jason Westcott was selling pot in his Seminole Heights home.
  10. 2 die in head-on crash in Citrus County

    Accidents

    FLORAL CITY — Two Bushnell men were killed in a head-on collision Friday on County Road 48 about 10 miles north of Brooksville.

  11. Retired Marine sergeant major seeks answers for illness

    Military

    LITHIA — The illness hit Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. William A. Hines in 2010 like no enemy he had ever experienced.

    Bill Hines, a Marine veteran stands near the many ranks that he held and medals he received over 27 years of service. Hines believes the anthrax vaccine he received for an overseas deployment has ruined his health. He says he was forced to retire because of health problems and is frustrated that the government will not acknowledge the vaccine made many troops ill. Taken 12/24/14
  12. Tarpon Springs police officer's funeral is Saturday

    Crime

    The Tampa Bay area will say goodbye to Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek on Saturday morning at a state funeral open to the public.

  13. Family receives outpouring of support in wake of deaths

    Accidents

    LARGO — The family devastated by Thursday's wrong-way crash in Seminole says they have received "amazing" support from friends and neighbors.

    Joao “John” Martins was killed in a crash Thursday in Seminole. His wife, Arminda, remains in critical condition.
  14. Educator Rubye Wysinger insisted that her students succeed

    Obituaries

    ST. PETERSBURG — In the late 1980s, when the college scholarship offers started coming in, Derrick Golden didn't know where to turn for advice.

    A teacher and administrator for close to 40 years, Rubye H. Wysinger nurtured future teachers, athletes and business leaders.
  15. Tampa council expected to consider cost reimbursements for Jeff Vinik's vision

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Now that Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has unveiled his vision for downtown Tampa, the City Council is expected to look at — and could vote on — a key piece of project financing.

    And soon.

    Jeff Vinik wants more walkable streets.