Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Daily events in Hernando, Pasco counties

ST. PETE BEACH

7-year-old boy drowns in gulf

A 7-year-old boy drowned Sunday afternoon in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said. St. Pete Beach police got a call at 6:14 p.m. about a boy found floating face-down in the water. A bystander performed CPR, according to police, until paramedics arrived and transported the boy to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The boy's mother was at the beach, police said. The boy's name was not released yet while authorities tried to notify his biological father. Police said the boy was from St. Petersburg. Sunday's drowning came four days after a 41-year-old Alabama woman drowned in the waters off St. Pete Beach. Six other people were rescued Wednesday off St. Pete Beach after struggling against strong currents in the wake of Tropical Storm Debby.

MADEIRA BEACH

Woman injured in scooter crash

A 55-year-old woman was in critical condition Sunday evening after crashing her motor scooter into a curb, authorities said. Karen Sue Kennedy of Madeira Beach wasn't wearing her helmet when she crashed on Duhme Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. She had been heading north about 1:20 p.m., approaching 48th Avenue N, when she lost control for unknown reasons and hit the curb, ejecting her from the cycle. Kennedy was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, the highway patrol said. The incident remains under investigation.

SPRING HILL

Motorcyclist badly hurt after collision

A 21-year-old Spring Hill man was in critical condition Sunday evening after his motorcycle struck a pickup truck on U.S. 19, authorities said. Richard Charles Stiltner was headed north on U.S. 19 about 5:30 p.m. when his 2008 Kawasaki slammed into a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche that was turning into his path, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The driver of the Avalanche —Janice Giddens Crocket, 69, of Brooksville — had been traveling south on U.S. 19 and started to turn left onto Spring Hill Drive, according to the patrol. Stiltner, who was wearing a helmet, was thrown onto the hood and windshield of the truck, the patrol said. He was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point with critical injuries. Crocket suffered minor injuries. An investigation was under way.

BOCA RATON

Auto magnate Ed Morse dies

Ed Morse, the auto magnate whose car dealerships expanded from South Florida to the Tampa Bay area, died Friday. He was 91. Mr. Morse died of natural causes, a company spokesman told the (South Florida) Sun Sentinel. He was chairman and founder of Ed Morse Automotive Group, which began as a small auto rental company before merging with National Car Rental. Mr. Morse opened his first car dealership in 1961 in Miami. The business eventually grew to have an extensive Florida presence in five counties. They include two Ed Morse Cadillac dealerships and the Brandon Auto Mall in Hillsborough County, the Port Richey Auto Plaza in Pasco County and Ed Morse Mazda in Polk County.

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Crystal Lagoon planners cut the ribbon on a chilly day (w/video)

Crystal Lagoon planners cut the ribbon on a chilly day (w/video)

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and executives with Metro Development Group and Crystal L...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Booty and books on Blackbeard’s ship; critics warn new Trump offic would allow doctors to discriminate; more in U.S. news

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Updated: 3 hours ago

Consumer agency to spend rainy day funds

NEW YORK — The Trump-appointed acting director of the federal government’s consumer watchdog agency requested zero dollars of funding for its second-quarter budget, saying he intends to first spend down the agency’s rainy day fund. In a letter to the...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Man free on bail during DUI manslaughter appeal arrested for drinking alcohol

Man free on bail during DUI manslaughter appeal arrested for drinking alcohol

A Tampa man convicted of DUI manslaughter for drunkenly running down a tourist and released on bail while his case winds through the appeals process was arrested Tuesday.Brock Troutman, 34, violated the conditions of his release from jail by consumin...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

TAMPA — The bearded man with shackled hands sat weeping as he listened to witness after witness — his mother, aunt and sister among them — recount his childhood of poverty, abuse, and depression.Kyle Moran leaned forward occasionally, stretching to w...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tropical Breeze patron rides shuttle to check on crew

Tropical Breeze patron rides shuttle to check on crew

PORT RICHEY — Loretta Santini was one of a small group of customers boarding a Tropical Breeze Casino shuttle Thursday afternoon as the company sailed for the first day since another of its shuttle boats burned to the water Sunday, killing one woman....
Updated: 4 hours ago

The Reading File: Excerpts from interesting articles

Exploring the gray areasIn the Atlantic, James Hamblin writes that "the story of Aziz Ansari and ‘Grace’ is playing out as a sort of Rorschach test." Read "This Is Not A Sex Panic" in full at http://theatln.tc/2mOvCKf. Here’s an excerpt.To target onl...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Sometimes, people in authority need a reality check before they can recognize a problem that should have been obvious. In this case, it took a meticulously reported story last Sunday by education writer Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times to alert ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

The Florida Legislature’s abrupt move to strip the University of South Florida St. Petersburg of its hard-earned separate accreditation and transform it back into a satellite of the major research university lacks detail and an appreciation for histo...
Updated: 5 hours ago
DUI arrest: Tampa man mistakes bank drive-thru for Taco Bell

DUI arrest: Tampa man mistakes bank drive-thru for Taco Bell

SPRING HILL — A 38-year-old Tampa man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of driving under the influence involving drugs or alcohol after deputies said he mistook a Bank of America drive-thru for a Taco Bell.The branch manager of the Mariner Boulevard...
Updated: 5 hours ago