Sunday, May 27, 2018
News Roundup

Lawsuit accuses Ruth Eckerd Hall of unfair business practices

TREASURE ISLAND — Two of the area's biggest music promoters will be squaring off in court.

Music promoter Bill Edwards filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court against Ruth Eckerd Hall, accusing the Clearwater concert hall of unfair business practices.

Bill Edwards Presents Inc. is seeking more than $1 million in damages and also alleges defamation and tortious interference.

A spokeswoman for Ruth Eckerd Hall did not return phone messages for comment Tuesday night.

Specifically, the suit alleges Ruth Eckerd Hall booked two entertainers who subsequently canceled previously scheduled appearances at the Club at Treasure Island, which Bill Edwards Presents operates.

The lawsuit says actor and singer Danny Aiello and comedian Louie Anderson both canceled performances at the Club at Treasure Island. Officials at the club later uncovered evidence showing that Ruth Eckerd Hall had communicated with representatives for the entertainers, according to a news release announcing the suit Tuesday night.

It was unclear how the communications were uncovered or what might have been said in them. Attorneys for Bill Edwards Presents, Inc., could not be reached late Tuesday for comment.

Bill Edwards, the local mortgage magnate and president of the company, described the alleged tactics as "bullying," and had his attorneys reach out to Ruth Eckerd Hall's board of directors, the release states.

"It was so disheartening to discover that this was taking place," the news release quoted Edwards as saying.

The company then received a legal notice from Ruth Eckerd Hall ordering them to "preserve evidence" related to the Mahaffey Theatre.

Ruth Eckerd and Edwards' company Big 3 Entertainment both were in the running for the contract to manage St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater. City leaders decided to go with Edwards in April 2011.

"The Mahaffey isn't even part of this action," Edwards said in the release. "I guess they're trying to undermine all the good work we are doing. I won't let that happen."

Edwards also bought the city's troubled BayWalk shopping plaza, which he is redeveloping as the Shops at St. Pete.

Comments
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and an overbooked shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging them...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
RFK’s son: There was 2nd shooter

RFK’s son: There was 2nd shooter

Los Angeles Times (TNS)As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy approaches, conspiracy theories still abound.The latest to back the theory of a second gunman is the senator’s son Robert F. Kennedy Jr.Sirhan B. Sirhan, a ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Visa woes have summer businesses hiring Puerto Ricans

Visa woes have summer businesses hiring Puerto Ricans

PHIPPSBURG, Maine — Frustrated by red tape and visa limits on foreign workers, tourism businesses from Maine to Missouri are turning to Puerto Ricans who are fleeing a shattered economy and devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Bob Smith, owner of S...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEYDriver surrenders after crash that kills bicyclistThe driver Florida Highway Patrol troopers say struck and killed a bicyclist then drove from the scene turned herself in Sunday afternoon.Shanna Marie Rampino surrendered a 2000 Toyota ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A solemn display

A solemn display

Associated PressVisitors to Boston Commons in Boston last week pass 37,000 American flags planted to honor every Massachusetts resident killed in war dating to the Revolutionary War. The "flag garden" idea on Memorial Day started in Boston about a de...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

BIDDEFORD, Maine — A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush says the 93-year-old was experiencing low blood pressure and has been hospitalized. Spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted just after 2 p.m. Sunday that Bush will likely remain in the hospit...
Updated: 5 hours ago
None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

TRINITY — No one was hurt Sunday morning after a fire broke out at a rehabilitation center.According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, Trinity Regional Rehab Center at 2144 Welbilt Blvd. is running on generator power after the blaze broke out about 10:30 ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Part of Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard closed through at least 5 p.m.

Part of Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard closed through at least 5 p.m.

Both southbound lanes of Bayshore Boulevard between W. Barcelona and W. Rubideaux streets are closed while the Tampa Water Department repairs a water main break.The repair and roadway restoration work is expected to be completed by 5 p.m. Sunday but ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Meteorologists are calling Alberto a ‘subtropical storm.’ What the heck is that?

Meteorologists are calling Alberto a ‘subtropical storm.’ What the heck is that?

We’re all waking up to the impacts of Alberto: dreary rain, gusty wind, the reluctant change of Memorial Day plans.But while the effects are routine for storm-weathering Floridians, the category of storm Alberto falls into is a little less familiar. ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Temple Terrace applauds progress on downtown project

TEMPLE TERRACE — A round of applause from the audience followed the recent vote by the Temple Terrace City Council to negotiate a contract with a company that plans to build and manage luxury apartments in the long-idle downtown redevelopment area.Th...
Updated: 8 hours ago