Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Search of Banton juror's computer finds no trail of misconduct

TAMPA — Lawyers for imprisoned reggae star Buju Banton had an expert search juror Terri Wright's computer this month to see if she read up on him while hearing his 2011 drug case.

While the expert found a trail of 1.6 million Internet history records, none pertained to the time frame under scrutiny: Feb. 14, 2011, to March 8, 2011, dates that include the trial and the two weeks that followed.

On Monday, the Banton side renewed its attack, claiming she surrendered the wrong device. Not so, said her attorney, Lori Palmieri, on Tuesday.

"She only had one computer; it was a laptop, and she brought it. In my opinion, end of story, but not in their story."

Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, was convicted of trying to set up a deal to buy 11 pounds of cocaine and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

His lawyers want a new trial.

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Panic ensued after casino shuttle caught fire, survivor recalls

Panic ensued after casino shuttle caught fire, survivor recalls

By HOWARD ALTMANTimes Staff WriterPORT RICHEY —Before directing them to abandon the burning ship, the crew of The Island Lady casino shuttle moved passengers around the 72-foot wood-hulled vessel as fire began smouldering on both sides, one passenger...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Florida love triangle led to a murder-for-hire plot, police say. But the wrong woman was killed.

Florida love triangle led to a murder-for-hire plot, police say. But the wrong woman was killed.

Heartbreak and jealously were the twin engines driving the scheme, police would later say. Ishnar Marie Lopez-Ramos was in love. The object of the 35-year-old Floridian’s affection, however, was tangled up with another woman. To solve her hear...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hernando County wants taxpayer grant recipients to show their math

Hernando County wants taxpayer grant recipients to show their math

by barbara behrendtTimes Staff WriterBROOKSVILLE — Hernando County has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years on taxpayer-funded grants to outside agencies and organizations, including $396,000 for the current year.Those dollars have ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Times StaffAFI Mortgage, a subsidiary of an Arizona-based bank, is opening its first Florida locations in St. Petersburg and Lakeland. Its parent company, AmeriFirst Financial Inc., specializes in mortgages. "This Florida team is innovative, knowledg...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

By CRAIG PITTMANTimes Staff WriterAT THE SHELL KEY PRESERVE — From a boat puttering along in the water, the sandy beach seems to go on and on. Then, abruptly, it ends at a mass of tangled, overturned mangroves where a great blue heron sits on an expo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTINTimes Senior CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown.The new projects, all by out-of-state developers, will add mo...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pope begs forgiveness for ‘irreparable harm’ from sex abuse

Pope begs forgiveness for ‘irreparable harm’ from sex abuse

SANTIAGO, Chile — Pope Francis begged for forgiveness Tuesday for the "irreparable damage" done to children who were raped and molested by priests, opening his visit to Chile by diving head-first into a scandal that has greatly hurt the Catholic Chur...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Some fear Spa Beach billowing net sculpture could catch birds and storms

Some fear Spa Beach billowing net sculpture could catch birds and storms

By WAVENEY ANN MOORETimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — International artist Janet Echelman may have fulfilled her $75,000 feasibility contract with the city and previewed her billowing, parasol-inspired sculpture for Spa Beach, but for some, key ques...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Florida boy, 6, dies of rabies contracted from a bat

ORLANDO — A 6-year-old Florida boy has died from rabies he contracted after being scratched by an infected bat.The father of Ryker Roque told NBC that the boy died Sunday at an Orlando hospital.Father Henry Roque said he had found a sick bat, put it ...
Updated: 4 hours ago