Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

Southern heritage group files defamation lawsuit amid Tampa confederate monument controversy

TAMPA — Save Southern Heritage, a group opposing the removal of a Confederate monument from downtown Tampa, filed a defamation lawsuit this week against local critics.

The complaint names Ione Townsend, chairwoman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee; committee member Kenneth Copenhaver; Timothy Heberlein, director of political operations for the activist group Organize Florida; and their two organizations.

Save Southern Heritage accuses them of spreading letters and Internet messages calling the group "white supremacists," among other objections.

"Our group does not condone racism and as such we do not support any group or person that does," the complaint states, citing Save Southern Heritage's mission statement. "We respect the rights and privileges of all as bestowed on them by their creator and expect those in our association to respect and treat others as they themselves would wish to be treated."

The 32-page complaint was filed Thursday in Hillsborough Circuit Court and made public late Friday. Heberlein and Copenhaver declined to comment on the lawsuit. Townsend could not be reached.

The allegations center on events that followed a July 19 Hillsborough County Commission meeting at which citizens spoke about the proposed relocation of a Confederate memorial from outside the old county courthouse.

A few weeks after the meeting, Save Southern Heritage published a dossier on its website identifying people who had participated.

For example, an 89-year-old Tampa resident who fought in the civil rights movement was described as a "resentful black woman," and her phone number and street address were published. A historian who grew up in Tampa and moved to St. Petersburg three years ago was listed as a "resentful black man" who was "imported" from Pinellas County to urge removal of the monument.

According to the lawsuit, Save Southern Heritage published such information in order to demonstrate that many of the speakers were not Hillsborough County residents and had shared views that were not representative of the county.

Comments
Forecast: Morning fog leads to a warm and sunny pre-Christmas week in Tampa Bay

Forecast: Morning fog leads to a warm and sunny pre-Christmas week in Tampa Bay

Thick fog will usher in a warm and sunny pre-Christmas week.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast The fog is especially thick along the Interstate 4 corridor in eastern Hillsborough County into Polk County, with visibilities to near zero in Lakeland ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa flights affected as Atlanta airport outage creates holiday chaos

Tampa flights affected as Atlanta airport outage creates holiday chaos

ATLANTA — While power has been restored to the world’s busiest airport, the travel woes will linger for days. Thousands of people were stranded Monday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where more than 1,000 flights were gro...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Advocates push orca breeding law as SeaWorld’s policy appears murky

Advocates push orca breeding law as SeaWorld’s policy appears murky

The announcement was rolled out to the world as a pledge. A promise.In March 2016 SeaWorld declared it would end killer whale breeding, making the orcas in its care in the United States and abroad its last generation to live in captivity.Later that y...
Updated: 9 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: Did President Trump break a promise to Florida’s Haitian population?

PolitiFact Florida: Did President Trump break a promise to Florida’s Haitian population?

With Election Day 2016 approaching, then-candidate Donald Trump traveled to Miami to earn the support of a group of Haitian-Americans."Whether you vote for me or you don’t vote for me, I really want to be your greatest champion, and I will be your ch...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Ernest Hooper: Hillsborough County School District needs meaningful action, not platitudes

When it comes to the Hillsborough County School District, the more I see, the less I know.Every week, the notion the district can successfully navigate its budget crisis and all the ancillary problems sprouting from it takes a hit. The dispute betwee...
Updated: 11 hours ago
VA rejects system private hospitals use to save millions on shipping, Tampa company says

VA rejects system private hospitals use to save millions on shipping, Tampa company says

TAMPA — If you could pay $19.19 to ship a package instead of $227.32, wouldn’t you go for the cheaper rate?That’s the question raised by Rob Barrow and Will Sands, Marine combat veterans and businessmen from Tampa who say the Department of Veterans o...
Published: 12/18/17

Search continues for suspect in fatal Clearwater drive-shooting

CLEARWATER — Police continue to search for the suspect after a woman was killed Sunday night in a drive-by shooting.Authorities said the shooting occurred around 8:15 p.m. in the 1500 block of Scranton Avenue.An unidentified 30-year-old woman was kil...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Atlanta airport power outage cancels 1,000 flights; more Delta cancellations Monday

Atlanta airport power outage cancels 1,000 flights; more Delta cancellations Monday

ATLANTA — A sudden power outage brought the world’s busiest airport to a standstill Sunday, grounding more than 1,000 flights in Atlanta just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush. Authorities announced that electricity would be restored...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

TAMPA — The Bucs and Falcons have each won three straight games on Monday nights as they face each other on a national platform tonight at Raymond James Stadium.How can Tampa Bay continue its streak and stop Atlanta’s? It won’t be easy, but given the...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Bitcoin futures begin trading on CME, price little changed

NEW YORK — Another security based on the price of bitcoin, the digital currency that has soared in value and volatility this year, began trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Sunday. The CME Group, which owns the exchange, opened up bitcoin f...
Updated: 8 hours ago