Sunday, May 20, 2018
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
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Faster than Justify down the stretch at the Preakness, quicker than Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle, the Lightning jumped on Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. No runaway gallop. No funny hats. Just ho...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

TAMPA — They're called grinders. Pluggers. Checkers.They're lunch-pail guys. Like 9-to-5ers. They get up every day and go to work. They punch in and punch out for no glory or credit. But the business would fall apart without them.They're the fo...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

BALTIMORE — Justify rounded the final turn and hit the top of the stretch winded but with the lead. The roar from the crowd was delayed, hushed by the thick fog that enveloped the track. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

TAMPA — Cedric Paquette needed only 19 seconds to put the Lightning on the scoreboard Saturday night, coming up with the second-fastest playoff goal in franchise history.The only goal faster? Tampa Bay's Adam Hall needed only 13 seconds to scor...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Rowdies tie in debut of new coach Neill Collins

St. PETERSBURG — Neill Collins, the former Rowdies defender who this week abruptly replaced Stuart Campbell as coach of the team, was a bit ambivalent about his debut, but he sure liked the way his club played in the second half of Saturda...
Updated: 8 hours ago
USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

The USF softball team's season ended late Saturday in the Gainesville Regional with a 3-2 loss to Ohio State, its second NCAA Tournament loss to the Buckeyes in as many days.OSU (36-15) must defeat No. 2 overall national seed Florida (52-8) twice Sun...
Updated: 8 hours ago