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Jennifer Hudson watches fiance wrestle in Dade City


Singer Hudson comes to town to cheer fiance

If you went to the National Guard Armory to watch Florida Championship Wrestling on Wednesday night, you may have caught a glimpse of an out-of-town guest: Jennifer Hudson. The Dreamgirls star was there to see her fiance, David Otunga, who wrestles under the name of Dawson Alexander, Esq. (which is an improvement over his previous nickname, Punk from I Love New York). Luis Santana, a paparazzo for the Times' sister publication tbt*, was on the scene and managed to catch a glimpse of Hudson hanging out in the background (wearing a gray hoodie and pink tights, no less), but she soon got wise and left. Otunga was there signing autographs and looking gigantic, though.


Group to perform at Wiregrass mall

Spotlight Kids, a group of 21 students who perform patriotic songs and dances, will put on a show at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, as part of the Suncoast Arts Fest. The group, which is available for other community performances, is collecting contributions for a trip to Hawaii to perform on July 4 at Pearl Harbor. For information, call director Jim Wanker at (727) 808-4260.


Homeless man jailed in stabbing

A homeless man was arrested Wednesday evening on charges he stabbed another man behind the Just Brakes at 23124 State Road 54, near the homeless camp where they both lived. When deputies made contact with Eric Weyand in the woods near the business, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office report, Weyand asked: "You wanting to know about the guy behind the brake place?" Weyand, 43, told deputies he stabbed the man once in the chest with a 4 1/2-inch folding knife, which was not recovered, the report said. The victim — Kenneth Reese, 28 — was taken to a hospital Wednesday evening in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. His condition was not available Thursday, and authorities have not said what prompted the argument. Weyand was charged with aggravated battery and remains at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of 10,000 bail.


Deputies pull over a car on U.S. 19 after seeing a baby riding on a woman's lap in the passenger seat. They determine the driver is intoxicated, the passenger is a fugitive and the baby is neglected. Story, Page 4

Pasco deaths

Detailed obituaries are published in Section B.

Jennifer Hudson watches fiance wrestle in Dade City 04/30/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 30, 2009 9:22pm]
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  1. Some teachers allege 'hostile and racially charged' workplace at Pinellas Park Middle


    PINELLAS PARK — Two black teachers at Pinellas Park Middle have requested transfers out of the school, alleging the work environment there has become "hostile and racially charged."

    Pinellas Park Middle School at 6940 70th Ave N, where some black teachers have alleged they were treated with hostility by colleagues after starting a tutoring program for black students. Just 22 percent of black students were proficient in English language arts in last spring's state tests. Two black teachers have asked to be transfered, according to a letter from two local chapters of the NAACP. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  2. Editorial: The unknown price tags in the mayor's race


    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has been busy promoting all sorts initiatives in the months leading up to the Nov. 7 election, doubling down on his progressive agenda without spending much money or generating much controversy. But make no mistake, the cost will come due after the election. Without a change in …

    The mayor is determined to get artist Janet Echelman to create a sculpture for the new Pier. But the cost would be much higher than what is allocated. Above is Echelman’s As If It Were Already Here in Boston.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. Judge won't cut prison term of man who pleads obesity


    TAMPA — A claim of obesity won't shave time off a Tampa man's prison sentence.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.
  5. Advocates for charter, public schools argue their cases at education forum


    TAMPA — Advocates of charter schools argued for diversity in education while supporters of traditional public schools charged that state funding is stacked against them during a forum Friday titled "Choices in Education."

    Schools such as Winthrop Charter School deserve greater public support, their operators say, because they offer a choice in education that is popular among parents. Public school advocates say charter and voucher schools represent a double standard in accountability and enrollment. [WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times]