Monday, July 23, 2018
News Roundup

St. Pete Beach float party passes by without a problem (w/video)

ST. PETE BEACH

Fears that a float party organized by a local rapper would bring chaos to the city's beaches on Sunday turned out to be overblown.

Several hundred Blue Wave rapper fans crowded the beaches, but their numbers fell far short of the tens of thousands that city officials and law enforcement had anticipated.

Beachgoers were well behaved and seemed to enjoy themselves, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who assigned more than 50 deputies, a helicopter, marine patrol and ATVs to protect the city's beaches from the Blue Wave Float Party.

There were no arrests at the event, which was organized by blue-haired Forgiato Blow, a self-described "national recording artist" whose real name is Kurt Jantz. No trash was left behind. No landmarks or resorts were vandalized.

Yet, as far as living up to weeks of social media hype or coming close to matching the crowd of 100,000 that trashed Miami Beach at last month's "Floatopia," Blue Wave didn't come close.

"Float flop," is what an irked Maria Lowe, mayor of St. Pete Beach, dubbed the affair. She wanted Blow, a St. Pete Beach resident, to reschedule the event, but he refused.

When Lowe was on the beach earlier Sunday, she said there were only about 150 people with floats surrounding Blow's music-filled tent.

That changed later, however, as float-carrying beachgoers continued to arrive, even into later afternoon. Amid the beach blankets, lounge chairs and multicolored tents were floats large and small, ranging from traditional beach tubes to fanciful sea creatures, some as large as the cars and vans that brought them.

Some, confused by Blow's last-minute change of location to the county beach park north of the Loews Don CeSar Hotel, left the city with their floats still tied atop their cars. Other beachgoers had their cars towed after parking illegally.

Nonetheless, Blow called the event a success.

"I am very satisfied," he said. "I just wanted my fans to have some fun."

David Gay of Madeira Beach heard about the float party from a friend and decided to attend. He now calls himself a Blow fan. "He's the coolest," said Gay.

Others were just happy that the event didn't come with any extra drama.

"This is the way is should be," Gualtieri said.

   
Comments
Some not-so-tiny obstacles in the growing market for tiny houses

Some not-so-tiny obstacles in the growing market for tiny houses

When Tom Alsani heard about plans for a tiny-home community in St. Petersburg, he got so excited he immediately wanted to know more. "Right now I have a house with three bedrooms but the kids are gone and I’m trying to downsize,’’ says Alsani, a qual...
Published: 07/23/18
‘Man, I feel good’: Rays’ Daniel Robertson describes his pinch-hit walkoff grand slam

‘Man, I feel good’: Rays’ Daniel Robertson describes his pinch-hit walkoff grand slam

ST. PETERSBURG — This is why you stay until the end.You hope to see something you've never seen before.And that's what happened Sunday at Tropicana Field. The Rays, who entered the ninth trailing the Marlins by three runs, weren't supposed to w...
Updated: 2 hours ago
South Tampa softball all-stars head to Southeast Regional

South Tampa softball all-stars head to Southeast Regional

TAMPA — Emilee Mezrah could have been on vacation in the Bahamas playing in the surf.Instead she’s on vacation in Georgia playing softball in the dirt.Beach vs. softball …"I chose softball," said Mezrah, a seventh grader at Coleman Middle School. "Ri...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Whoever you are, please put down the Matt Duffy voodoo doll

Rays journal: Whoever you are, please put down the Matt Duffy voodoo doll

Third baseman Matt Duffy returned to the lineup Sunday after sitting out Friday and Saturday because of back spasms. He went 0-for-3.The cause of those spasms? His drive to the ballpark."Just shifting my weight and turning the steering wheel," he sai...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Community holds vigil in Clearwater for man killed in parking lot dispute, protests ‘stand your ground’

Community holds vigil in Clearwater for man killed in parking lot dispute, protests ‘stand your ground’

Friends, family and supporters filled the sanctuary at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church on Sunday night calling for justice in the death of Markeis McGlockton last week.The vigil and protest, organized by the Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County Branch of the N...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Marlins game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Marlins game

ST. PETERSBURG — Takeaways from the Rays' 6-4 walkoff win Sunday over the Marlins at Tropicana Field:1. In six innings, Chris Archer had a season-high 13 strikeouts, but I wouldn't call his outing dominant. The Marlins scored four runs in the s...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tiger Woods was in British Open hunt. Now another major win doesn’t seem so improbable.

Tiger Woods was in British Open hunt. Now another major win doesn’t seem so improbable.

He was in the hunt. For real.False alarm?Did you care?For what seemed like days (it wasn't even an hour), Tiger Woods sat atop a leaderboard at a golf major Sunday.With everyone fading, he was 7 under and all alone at the British Open at Carnoustie w...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Francesco Molinari wins British Open on crazy day at Carnoustie

Francesco Molinari wins British Open on crazy day at Carnoustie

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Francesco Molinari played a steady hand amid the cheers for Tiger Woods and another crazy ending at Carnoustie to win the British Open on Sunday and become Italy's first major champion.Woods brought pandemonium by chargin...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Reactions vary to new USF football uniforms

Reactions vary to new USF football uniforms

Public sentiment remained mixed late Sunday afternoon on the new USF football uniforms unveiled earlier in the day.A brief video of Bulls TE Mitch Wilcox modeling an all-forest green version of the uniforms was released on the football program's offi...
Updated: 11 hours ago
NAACP to hold vigil for man killed in ‘stand your ground’ shooting Thursday

NAACP to hold vigil for man killed in ‘stand your ground’ shooting Thursday

A local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is holding a vigil Sunday for a black man who was killed Thursday in what authorities are calling a "stand your ground" shooting.The vigil for the family of Markeis McGl...
Published: 07/22/18