Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

Defense says feds go too far to conceal witness in Tampa terror trial

TAMPA — An attorney for the Pinellas Park man accused of trying to obtain explosives to attack targets in Tampa is objecting to one of the provisions that the government wants to publicly conceal the identity of a key witness.

Sami Osmakac, 26, is scheduled for trial Oct. 21 in federal court, accused of trying to acquire guns and bombs to attack a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office operations center and a South Tampa nightclub. He is being held in jail without bail.

Last month, prosecutors proposed a series of steps to conceal the identity of an FBI agent they say met undercover with Osmakac in 2011 and 2012. Prosecutors say his safety could be in danger if his identity is revealed.

In a motion last week, the defense objected to one of the provisions: removing non-essential personnel while the agent testifies.

"Clearing the courtroom would indicate that the (agent) is a special witness, requiring special treatment, and thereby giving him special credibility," wrote defense attorney George Tragos.

At a minimum, he said, Osmakac's family should be allowed to stay in the courtroom.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday.

Comments
In Black Panther, kids finally see themselves starring on screen

In Black Panther, kids finally see themselves starring on screen

TAMPA — Ezekiel Mills went to the movies on Saturday and after two hours and 15 minutes of make-believe felt something the 13-year-old should be able to feel all the time."I kind of felt special," he said.The movie was Black Panther, the story of the...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Billy Graham had pride and regret on civil rights issues

Billy Graham had pride and regret on civil rights issues

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Rev. Billy Graham was single-minded when he preached about God, prefacing sermon points with the phrase "The Bible says ..." Yet he had a complicated role in race relations, particularly when confronting segregation in his nati...
Updated: 2 hours ago
5 dead after tornado, flooding from central US storms

5 dead after tornado, flooding from central US storms

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The death toll rose to at least five on Sunday after severe thunderstorms swept through the central U.S., spawning a tornado that flattened homes, gale force winds and widespread flooding from the Upper Midwest to Appalachia.The s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Michelle Obama’s memoir ‘Becoming’ will be released in November

Michelle Obama’s memoir ‘Becoming’ will be released in November

Former first lady Michelle Obama’s first book post-White House will be a memoir titled "Becoming" that will hit book shelves on November 13."Becoming," which publishing company Penguin Random House called "unusually intimate" in a news release Sunday...
Updated: 2 hours ago
NRA spokeswoman becomes new face of gun rights movement

NRA spokeswoman becomes new face of gun rights movement

CHICAGO — Dana Loesch is the new public face of the National Rifle Association, an organization long associated with older white men. At 39, she’s poised, photogenic and a skilled public speaker, yet she’s not softening the message of the NRA as it b...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Hit-and-run driver in fatal accident sought by law enforcement

Hit-and-run driver in fatal accident sought by law enforcement

A hit-and-run crash has left a Tampa man dead, his female passenger in critical condition and law enforcement in search of the man who was driving the vehicle that struck them from behind.A Nissan Sentra was traveling north in the inside lane of U.S....
Updated: 3 hours ago
Meet the aptly named Friend of Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend

Meet the aptly named Friend of Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend

TAMPA — Runners in the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic know The Voice. Year after year, it comes back to them like home. They hear her before they see her as they head up or back on Bayshore Boulevard. The Voice makes them feel part of somet...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Troopers: Bradenton man dies after falling through hole in RV

Troopers: Bradenton man dies after falling through hole in RV

A Bradenton man died on Interstate 75 in Sumter County on Sunday after falling through a hole that opened in the cabin of a recreational vehicle when it collided with a guardrail, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The man, whose name was not im...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Gasparilla Distance Classic: A day (or two) at the races

Gasparilla Distance Classic: A day (or two) at the races

Meet the various people who take in the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic race weekend, whether on the sidelines or pounding the pavement.Woman's best friendAt about the one hour, 45-minute mark of Saturday's 15K, an Australian shepherd wearing a se...
Updated: 4 hours ago