Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Postal Service reports another quarterly loss of $1.9B

Washington

Postal Service has quarterly loss of $1.9B

The U.S. Postal Service reported a $1.9 billion loss for the first three months of this year and pleaded again Friday for reforms to its troubled financial system. It said the loss for the quarter ended March 31 matched the $1.9 billion in red ink in the same period last year, and was the 20th time in the last 22 quarters that it had a loss. It came despite continued cost-cutting efforts, a 2.3 percent rise in operating revenue, increased employee productivity and other improvements. Postal officials say they need comprehensive legislation that includes more control over personnel and benefit costs and more flexibility in pricing and products. The Postal Service is an independent agency that receives no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.

Little Rock, Ark.

Judge strikes down gay marriage ban

A judge struck down Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage Friday, saying the state has "no rational reason" for preventing gay couples from marrying. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that the 2004 voter-approved amendment to the state constitution violates the rights of same-sex couples. The ruling opens the door for same-sex couples in Arkansas to begin seeking marriage licenses.

Phoenix

Vets voice anger over VA system

Several veterans voiced their anger and frustration to Republican Sen. John McCain on Friday over what they call a broken Veterans Affairs system. McCain said reported lapses in care in Phoenix are part of a nationwide problem that needs to be fixed. The VA has been under fire in recent weeks, since critics contended that administrators in Phoenix kept an off-the-books list to conceal long wait times as 40 veterans died waiting to get an appointment. Similar problems have since been reported in other states.

LaSalle, Colo.

Six cars of crude oil train derail

Union Pacific Railroad crews were working to clear a six-car train derailment that leaked crude oil into a ditch Friday, after they notified Colorado emergency management officials of the accident under a new federal requirement. One car was found to be leaking and crews contained it to a ditch away from any waterways. A vacuum truck was brought in to suck up the undetermined amount of oil.

Times wires

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Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said an arrest warrant was issued for a Pinellas County man accused of beating and pushing a woman from a speeding car.The incident took place on Feb. 17, the Sheriff’s Office said. Remond Brown II, 26, was traveling ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

TAMPA — Across Interstate 4 from Ybor City’s nightlife another part of the historic neighborhood has an odor less nostalgic — and much less pleasant — than cigar smoke and roasting coffee beans.V.M. Ybor, named after the Spaniard who founded the city...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

OLDSMAR — A 37-year-old Dunedin man was seriously injured in a high-speed motorcycle crash early Thursday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said Justin Kaune was riding southbound on Bayside Boulevard around 2:30 a.m...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

PLANT CITY — Police are searching for a man armed with a machete accused of robbing a convenience store on Tuesday.The man arrived at the Circle K convenience store station at 1514 Alexander St. S at about 2:50 a.m. and demanded money from store empl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — Spring break kicked off this week with a program offering free rides on the Jolley Trolley between downtown and Clearwater Beach until April 29.The Park N Ride service will pick up riders at two lots downtown every 15 minutes and drop th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall is requesting a $3 million grant from the city to help complete the $21 million renovation of its facility on McMullen Booth Road.The Expanding the Experience project began in 2015 with a renovation of the Murray Theatre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tip leads police to find body inside van in Walmart parking lot

Tip leads police to find body inside van in Walmart parking lot

TARPON SPRINGS — Police are conducting a death investigation after a body was found Thursday in a van at a Walmart parking lot.Officers were dispatched to the store at about 1:30 p.m. when an employee reported that an older-model, white Ford E-150 va...
Updated: 1 hour ago
New maps show the utterly massive imprint of fishing on the world’s oceans

New maps show the utterly massive imprint of fishing on the world’s oceans

That startling statistic is among the findings of a unique, high-tech collaboration that is providing a massive amount of new data about global fishing operations. The results, published Thursday in the journal Science, offer a powerful glimpse of th...
Updated: 1 hour ago