A-Train to lead Gasparilla parade
One of Tampa's favorite public figures has been chosen to lead one of the city's favorite events. Former Bucs running back Mike Alstott on Wednesday was named grand marshal of the 2010 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest. Parade officials said Alstott's focus on family and community made him an ideal choice for the Jan. 30 parade, which promises to be tamer than past years.
Alstott is the first grand marshal in more than 15 years. Past grand marshals include Roy Rogers, Woody Woodpecker and Dennis the Menace, characters who had some connection to the party at the time.
Health centers win millions in federal aid
President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that two community health centers in the Tampa Bay region are slated to receive millions of federal dollars being awarded to support construction and renovation projects and electronic records.
Tampa Family Health Centers was awarded nearly $3 million dollars, which it will use to construct a new health center on N Dale Mabry Highway, near University Community Hospital.
Its chief executive officer, Charles Bottoms, was invited to the White House for the announcement.
Suncoast Community Health Centers, with locations in Hillsborough County, is slated to receive nearly $3.8 million.
Outdoor movie series has 4 films remaining
Here is the schedule for the remaining dates of the St. Petersburg Holiday Outdoor Movie Series presented by Sunscreen Film Festival: Friday, Prancer; Saturday, A Christmas Story; Dec. 18, Miracle on 34th Street; Dec. 19, It's a Wonderful Life.All movies are shown free at 7 p.m. in North Straub Park.
Clearwater man dies in scooter-car crash
A man driving a scooter without a helmet died Wednesday after he crashed into a car, police said.
Robert Santomaso, 53, of Clearwater was driving a 2008 European scooter north on 49th Street when he hit a 2008 Mazda that Jasper Quach, 18, was driving, police said. Quach was driving south on 49th Street and was going to turn onto U.S. 19.
Police say Quach quickly turned in front of Santomaso, causing him to hit the right side door of the Mazda.
Quach told police he saw the scooter but Santomaso was so far to the right he believed Santomaso was going to drive onto the U.S. 19 ramp instead of continuing straight.
Police said neither excessive speed nor alcohol appear to be factors in the crash, which was still under investigation.
For about two hours, Wednesday afternoon, 49th Street was shut down south of U.S. 19.
No charges coming in septic tank death
No criminal charges will be filed by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in the death of a child who fell into an open septic tank in Valrico.
Luis Martinez, 2, went missing from his Silver Lane home on Nov. 27. After an extensive search, his body was found in a septic tank the next day.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's office ruled that the boy drowned and that the death was accidental.
62 dogs rescued, breeder shut down
Hillsborough County Animal Services seized 62 dogs and three cats from an elderly breeder Wednesday charged with 80 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.
Officials say Maxine Reynolds, 72, had been warned in September to clean up the deplorable conditions of her home kennels.But investigators arrived at her home Wednesday afternoon to find floors covered in water, urine and feces, with animals roaming the property or confined in filthy cages, said Marti Ryan, a spokeswoman for animal services.
Winter the dolphin first entered the spotlight when she was pulled from a tangle of buoy line off Florida's east coast four years ago. The calf's injuries were so severe, she lost her tail. Not many expected her to survive. But when she began to thrive at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter became a symbol of perseverance. Now, she may be on the verge of becoming the most famous dolphin since Flipper. David Yates, chief executive officer of the aquarium, announced Wednesday that a deal has been struck with Los Angeles-based Alcon Entertainment to produce a major motion picture based on Winter's story. The movie, tentatively titled A Dolphin Tale, will be written and directed by Charles Martin Smith, who directed the 1997 movie Air Bud. The cast is still to be selected.