Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

Zephryhills High principal elected mayor

Zephyrhills

Principal adds mayor to his job description

After a decade of Cliff McDuffie's leadership, city voters on Tuesday overwhelming chose Zephyrhills High principal Steve Van Gorden, 36, as their new mayor. In the closely watched race that drew more pre-election interest than city leaders had seen in years, Van Gorden clinched a landslide victory over local businessman and former city Planning Commission board member Michael Payne, 53, with 70 percent of the vote. "I feel ecstatic," said Van Gorden by telephone moments after election results came in. "I am very humbled by the trust and the faith the citizens of Zephyrhills have put in me to lead." Van Gorden, who became a city resident in 2009, the same year he became the principal, said that he will take the first several months in office to closely listen to residents before proposing any major changes. Van Gorden served as a city commissioner in Dade City for five years. He will be sworn in as mayor at 5 p.m. Friday at City Hall. The term is for two years and comes with an annual salary of $6,000. Related story, Page 3

San Antonio

Recount for third seat on commission

Mayor Roy Pierce, Elayne Bassinger and commissioners Heiskell Christmas and Richard Gates drew the most votes in the race for three City Commission seats on Tuesday in a contest that will result in a recount of votes for Christmas and Gates. At press time, Pierce had 169 votes, Bassinger had 149 votes, Gates had 127 and Christmas had 126. Bassinger, 64, is a banker who in 2008 served as honorary mayor of Wesley Chapel. She has lived in San Antonio for 21 years. Christmas, 49, retired after 17 years in the Navy and now helps process workers' compensation claims. He was appointed to an empty seat on the commission in 2010 and previously served on the board from 2000-2007. Gates, 68, is retired from the Robbins Lumber company in Tampa and has been on the commission since 2008. Pierce, 62, has run a private investigative firm since retiring from the Tampa Police Department. He was elected to the commission in 1994 and was elected mayor a year later. He has served as mayor every year since, except for 2009. Timothy Franke, 44, came in last, with 85 votes.

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The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

For the second straight week, the Buccaneers had the ball in the final minutes of a tie game.For the second straight week, they could not finish.As disappointing as that might be, they have a larger problem, and one that has existed all season: The B...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Fire at Tampa townhome complex caused by faulty air-conditioner unit

Fire at Tampa townhome complex caused by faulty air-conditioner unit

TAMPA ó A malfunctioning air conditioning unit sparked the fire that damaged several homes at the Brookshire Townhomes on Monday, authorities said.Investigators concluded the fire started on the back patio of unit B103 when the power supply of a cond...
Updated: 30 minutes ago

Updated: 1 hour ago

Plant City boy, 12, dies in Mulberry crash as car turns into path of semi

MULBERRY ó A 12-year-old Plant City boy died Tuesday when the car he was riding in turned into the path of a semitrailer on State Road 60, authorities said. Miguel Resendiz was riding in an eastbound BMW 328xi when its driver, 29-year-old Maricela Re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Buchanan Middle aide used Instagram to seek nude photos, sex from students, deputies say

Buchanan Middle aide used Instagram to seek nude photos, sex from students, deputies say

TAMPA ó A 24-year-old aide at Buchanan Middle School was arrested Monday and charged with using Instagram to ask for sex and nude photos from female students at the school, deputies said.Between Sept. 1 and the time of his arrest, Quinton J. Bradford...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Tax cuts arenít worth harm to Tampa Bay

Editorial: Tax cuts arenít worth harm to Tampa Bay

As congressional negotiators hammer out the details on an enormous, unnecessary tax cut, the potential negative impact on Tampa Bay and Florida is becoming clearer. The harmful consequences stretch far beyond adding more than $1.4 trillion to the fed...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bayís mortgage delinquency rate crept up in December

Tampa Bayís mortgage delinquency rate crept up in December

Times Staff WriterThe percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners who are late on their mortgage payments rose slightly in September, probably due to Hurricane Irma. According to CoreLogic, 7 percent of bay area mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Unusual paddle design earns worldwide market

Unusual paddle design earns worldwide market

Paddling on the heels of the last supermoon of 2017, Phil Hughes navigated an uncommonly low tide off Dunedin through St. Joseph Sound on an effortless but lengthy glide.This is not easy water, nor an easy paddle, and could be especially daunting for...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Nickoís Fine Foods, classic diner and Seminole Heights icon, closes after six decades

Nickoís Fine Foods, classic diner and Seminole Heights icon, closes after six decades

Nickoís Fine Foods, known as the place Elvis Presley ate following a 1956 concert and Tampaís last classic prefabricated diner, has shut down after more than 60 years in business.Owners Karen and Nicholas Liakos could not be reached for comment but w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa memorial for

Tampa memorial for "Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pacheco to be held Thursday

TAMPA ó A memorial service for "The Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pacheco will be held Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Centro Asturiano, 1913 N Nebraska Ave.He died in his Miami home on November 16 at the age of 89.Born and raised in Ybor City, Pache...
Updated: 1 hour ago