Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Pinellas commissioners approve $1,200 bonus for employees

Largo

Pinellas okays $1,200 bonus for employees

The Pinellas County Commission approved a $1,200 one-time bonus for county employees on Tuesday, as well as three additional days off. Because of the recession and falling property values, many county employees have gone at least four years without a raise. After Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced plans to give his employees a one-time salary increase, the county commissioners felt pressure to do the same, at a cost of $3.45 million.

Tallahassee

Last week to use old EBT cards

If you have an electronic benefits transfer card — better known as EBT cards — for food assistance and other benefits, an important deadline looms this week. Those EBT cards, designed with a flag theme, will be deactivated Friday and replaced with the ACCESS card, designed with a lighthouse theme. The ACCESS cards began to be phased in earlier this year and already are in the hands of most EBT clients, according to the Department of Children and Families. Changing the cards allows for better security and durability, the agency said. The ACCESS card has an expiration date and will be replaced every four years. Any client with the old card should call 1-888-356-3281 for a new one.

Tampa

Judge sets date for Brantley retrial

A federal judge has scheduled the retrial of Cortnee Brantley for Oct. 29. Brantley was the girlfriend of Dontae Morris when, prosecutors say, he shot and killed two Tampa police officers in 2010 during a traffic stop. Brantley is charged with failing to aid investigators. At her first trial in July, a mistrial was declared after a jury could not agree on a verdict.

Tampa

Student hit by car is hospitalized

Shortly after school let out Tuesday afternoon, a Sickles High School student was struck by a car driven by a fellow student and injured while trying to dash across a busy, four-lane highway, authorities said. Paramedics rushed Andrew Dennis, 14, to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital after the crash at 3:15 p.m. near 7700 Gunn Highway, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The ninth-grader was conscious when transported, a sheriff's spokeswoman said. The 1999 Honda Civic that struck him was driven by a senior at the school, identified as Sebastian Rueda, 18, of Tampa. The Sheriff's Office said it did not anticipate filing any charges in the crash.

Comments
St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

ST. PETERSBURG — The city said not one of the 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water released on Jan. 18 reached Tampa Bay.There was no mention of the waste released from the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility ever reaching the bay in the city’s notice...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

BRANDON – Devils top defenseman Sami Vatanen had not traveled to Tampa as of Friday afternoon, according to coach John Hynes, and his availability for Game 5 Saturday against the Lightning is in doubt.Hynes, however, did not rule out Vatan...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

ST. PETERSBURG — Officers are searching for a 20-year-old woman who they believe to be missing and who could be in danger.Kayla Brandi Boone was last seen at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Fourth Street S, according to St. Petersburg pol...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Woman says Hernando County commissioner kept her as a ‘sex slave’

Woman says Hernando County commissioner kept her as a ‘sex slave’

SPRING HILL — A woman who answered the door Friday at the home of Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson said she served for months as a “sex slave” to the elected official. Valerie Surette, who called herself a 30-year-old st...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Deputies: 19-month-old child found in New Port Richey pond has died

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 19-month-old child that was found in a pond on Thursday afternoon has died, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The incident took place at about 12:31 p.m. Deputies and firefighters were called out to a home in the 47...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Racing schedules for 2018-19 parimutuel seasons released

OLDSMAR — Eight is not enough at Tampa Bay Downs, at least when the thoroughbred racing facility on Race Track Road opens its 93rd season July 1.The final card of what will be the Downs' sixth annual two-day Summer Festival of Racing will featu...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 3 hours ago