Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

Former St. Petersburg College baseball coach gets four years probation

A former St. Petersburg College baseball coach avoided a potential prison term after prosecutors dropped three of four sex-related charges against him.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors in Orange County, Robert Francis, 33, pleaded no contest to the one remaining felony charge, transmitting material harmful to a minor. Adjudication was withheld, meaning he would not be considered a convicted felon if he completes all of his probation.

Police in 2011 accused Francis of flirting in an online chat with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, sending a nude photo of himself and driving to Orlando to meet her. But the "girl" proved to be an undercover officer.

Francis' attorney Lucas Fleming said the original four charges could have led to a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Also, he said, Francis has reserved the right to appeal his conviction on the sole remaining charge, based on entrapment. If Francis should win the appeal, he would not have to serve the probation.

Comments
Editorial: Modest improvements to unneeded tax cut package

Editorial: Modest improvements to unneeded tax cut package

The massive tax cut legislation Congress is poised to start voting on today remains terrible public policy. It raises the federal debt by more than $1.4 trillion over the next decade, and it primarily benefits businesses and the wealthy over the poor...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Tampa International Airport hasn’t suffered an Atlanta-style loss of power, but it is prepared for one

Tampa International Airport hasn’t suffered an Atlanta-style loss of power, but it is prepared for one

TAMPA — Tampa International Airport sees about one-fifth as many passengers as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, but a major power outage here could cause disruptions to air travel, too.That said, TIA has taken steps to create "redund...
Updated: 25 minutes ago

Pasco sheriff: Boy, 10, shot while playing with gun

DADE CITY — A 10-year-old boy was shot Monday in what the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is calling an "accidental" shooting that took place when he was left home unattended with another child.Deputies were called at 2:57 p.m. When they arrived at the...
Updated: 25 minutes ago

Updated: 25 minutes ago
First-Citizens Bank & Trust acquires Tampa-based HomeBancorp

First-Citizens Bank & Trust acquires Tampa-based HomeBancorp

TAMPA — North Carolina-based First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. is acquiring Tampa-headquartered HomeBancorp, which operates HomeBanc. First Citizens Bank will pay $15.03 per share in cash, a Monday release said, and the deal is expected to close by mid...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
American Social tries to draw a young Tampa crowd with New York prices

American Social tries to draw a young Tampa crowd with New York prices

TAMPA Paul Greenberg and Rick Mijares believe something. They believe that millennials are nostalgic for a time they didn’t live through. American Social, the long-anticipated waterside restaurant adjacent to Jackson’s on Harbour Island,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Couple that provided video in Seminole Heights killings wants a piece of the reward

Couple that provided video in Seminole Heights killings wants a piece of the reward

TAMPA — It’s the Seminole Heights surveillance video seen around the world.A hooded figure calmly walks down East Frierson Avenue, appearing to flip a phone in his hand, on the night of Oct. 9. Then, moments later, the same person is seen running in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Photo gallery: FIU, Temple compete in lawn mower race at Busch Gardens

Photo gallery: FIU, Temple compete in lawn mower race at Busch Gardens

Members of the Florida International University and Temple football teams participated in a lawn mower race Monday at Busch Gardens as part of the festivities leading up to Thursday’s Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field.Head coaches Butch Davis of FIU...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago