Today's election to trim field for District 1
It's Election Day in St. Petersburg. Residents of District 1, which encompasses the city's westernmost neighborhoods, will be going to the polls to narrow the field of candidates to replace council member Herb Polson. Attorney Charles Gerdes, 54, retired executive Robert Kersteen, 74, and financial planner Joshua Shulman, 35, are vying to replace Polson, who decided not to seek re-election. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Only those who live in District 1 can vote. The top two finishers will face off during the Nov. 8 general election, when three other council seats and several ballot measures also will be decided.
Don't believe every tweet about Rays
Take some sports radio chatter. Add endless speculation on Twitter. Throw in some national exposure. What do you get? The Nashville Catfish, formerly known as the Tampa Bay Rays. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean chimed in on the Rays during the Monday debut of a sports radio talk station in the country music capital. Dean spoke with the host about how Nashville would welcome the Rays and suggested the new name. The Twitter-verse blew up, especially after ESPN's senior baseball writer, Buster Olney, retweeted Dean's comments, then spoke favorably of Nashville as a Major League Baseball town. "AWESOME!" one fan tweeted. But sleep well, Tampa Bay. "They were joking," said Bonna Johnson, Dean's press secretary. "It was just typical sports radio talk joking around. There's nothing going on."
Charity to honor slain cops' families
The nonprofit Heroes of the St. Pete Police Inc. will honor the families of the city's fallen police officers at a 10 a.m. event today at Demens Landing. The charity will be giving checks to the families and representatives of K-9 Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz, Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer David Crawford. The group also is raising money to erect a monument to the St. Petersburg officers at Demens Landing. More information about the project is available online at heroesofthestpetepolice.org.
Ex-Buc removed from murder jury
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Vinny Testaverde was struck from a jury in a murder case Monday after expressing concern for his family's safety. Testaverde, who played for the Bucs from 1987 to 1992, was a potential juror for the second-degree murder trial of Alexander Cote Ferrer, who is accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend with a machete in 2010. Testaverde told Cote Ferrer's defense attorney he was willing to serve but had concerns he wished to explain privately to the lawyers and judge. After a conference with Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge William Fuente, he was released from the jury pool. Fuente said only that Testaverde was one of several jurors struck for cause. Afterward, Testaverde said that because he is a public figure, he had qualms that his family would be at risk.
Times staff, wires