Man arrested in USF carjacking after chase
A man accused of a carjacking Monday morning at the University of South Florida was arrested later in Marion County, authorities said.
USF police said Vladimir Matushevskiy, 29, approached a woman about 9:20 a.m. in Parking Lot 33 in the health sciences area of the Tampa campus. He flashed a gun and ordered her out of the car. She was not harmed.
USF officers used a cellphone tracking system to determine that the car had been driven off campus, and Tampa police were called in. Hours later, the car was recovered and Matushevskiy was arrested after a chase and a crash involving the Sumter and Marion county sheriff's offices.
Authorities have not said what circumstances led to the carjacking, and charges against Matushevskiy were not announced. The investigation was ongoing.
Long bus trip follows emergency landing
Passengers on an Allegiant Air flight from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport completed their trip via bus Monday morning, arriving about 9:30 a.m. — almost 12 hours after Flight 863 was scheduled to touch down.
The pilots had made an emergency landing in Albany, Ga.
"The pilots had an indication of a possible fire in the cargo hold," Allegiant spokesman Brian Davis said. "In an abundance of caution, they made the decision to land and get everyone off the plane."
Everyone was evacuated safely using the escape chutes, and no one was injured. No evidence of a fire was found.
Dan Cremer, 49, said the landing felt abrupt.
"It seemed fast and a little hard, and then they really slammed the brakes and reversed the engines," he said.
Retired Tampa Bay Times reporter Jeff Testerman said the evacuation was safe and orderly, despite passengers' inward struggle to remain composed.
"The worst part, I think, was that … you have a sense that there could be a fire in the cabin, and you can't get out right away because there's 30 to 50 people in front of you," he said.
After the landing and evacuation, the 155 passengers waited in a nearby field for an hour, then in a terminal building for five.
About 3 a.m., Testerman said, the passengers boarded two tour buses, a shuttle bus and a limousine for the drive to Clearwater.
Most passengers expressed relief when they finally finished their journey Monday.
Snags force changes in teacher training
As first days of school go, this one was a bust.
Hundreds of new teachers, some delayed by heavy traffic on the roads, were sent home early from their orientation at Strawberry Crest High School due to problems with the air conditioning system.
The training, which runs through Thursday and includes a 9:15 a.m. welcome Wednesday from superintendent MaryEllen Elia, is being moved to Armwood High School. All teachers were to receive emails on Monday with instructions, said district spokesman Stephen Hegarty. To make up for the lost time, the rest of the week's sessions will end at 4 p.m. instead of 3 p.m.