Friday, August 17, 2018
News Roundup

Hundreds hold hands against offshore drilling on gulf beaches

CLEARWATER — A couple of hundred beach lovers, including assorted local and federal elected officials, clasped hands on Clearwater Beach Saturday to draw a line in the sand against offshore drilling.

"As long as I’m around there’s not going to be any oil rigs out there," Sen. Bill Nelson declared, noting that the BP oil spill off Louisiana hit even Florida beach communities as tourists stayed away.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: BP’s big bill for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill now reaches $61.6 billion

Held annually since the Deep Water Horizon explosion in 2010, the "Hands Across the Sand" demonstration was among 119 similar events staged simultaneously in 18 states and seven countries.

This year’s demonstration occurred as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks to open more of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean to oil exploration. The administration has sent conflicting messages about whether politically powerful Florida would be excluded from that effort.

RELATED STORY: Florida remains off table for Trump oil drilling plan, Zinke says

"The threat doesn’t ever seem to go away," said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. "It’s like a vampire that keeps coming back."

The state director of Environment Florida, Jennifer Rubiello, said Pinellas County had the most participating beaches across the state as people held hands in Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Indian Rocks Beach and Treasure Island late Saturday morning.

"The bottom line is there is overwhelming bipartisan support of not drilling off our coast," Rubiello said.

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos noted that 40 percent of all jobs in Pinellas are linked to tourism, making environmental stewardship — from offshore drilling to litter — essential to the area’s economy and way of life.

"We want to make sure our coasts and our oceans are protected for future generations," Rubiello said. "Today was another testament to that."

All Eyes Photo Gallery: Hundreds participate in ’Hands Across the Sand’

Contact Adam C. Smith at [email protected] Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected]

Comments
Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

ST. PETERSBURG — A political newcomer seeking a Pinellas County Commission seat has faced accusations of physical abuse and stalking from her fiance, who twice sought court-ordered protection from her.Both allegations came after Democrat Amy Kedron f...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Hundreds of animals are dying in red tide. These people are trying to save them.

Hundreds of animals are dying in red tide. These people are trying to save them.

Things are grim in southwest Florida. A toxic algal bloom is poisoning one of most biodiverse regions in the United States. Hundreds of manatees, turtles and dolphins have washed up dead in the worst red tide since 2006.Perhaps the most tragic casual...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Yeah, but …Every Jameis Winston-Marcus Mariota debate is full of them.Winston has completed more passes (939), gained more passing yards (11,636) and thrown more passing touchdowns (69) before his age 24 season than any quarterback in NFL histo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

It remains our biggest economic enigma: Sluggish wage growth despite low unemployment. In a robust job market, pay rises as the supply of available workers shrinks. At least that’s the way it normally works. This time around, the ingredients appear ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Hillsborough has a place among growing number of governments suing opioid makers

Editorial: Hillsborough has a place among growing number of governments suing opioid makers

Local governments across the land can find plenty of reasons to go after the drug industry over the crisis of opioid addiction.Hillsborough County can find more reasons than most.• In 2016, the county led the state with 579 babies born addicted to dr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
In Clearwater, this woman is crafting a unique baseball career

In Clearwater, this woman is crafting a unique baseball career

CLEARWATER — The voice of the Clearwater Threshers grew up a couple hours down the coast, listening to Dewayne Staats and making annual family trips to the Trop.The giveaway to what Kirsten Karbach would become, however, should have been her baseball...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

LARGO — Everything is on clearance inside Tampa Bay’s only Safeway grocery store. Patio furniture, 40 percent off. Beach chairs, too. Most grocery items are 30 percent off; the entire liquor store is 20 percent off.The discounts will probably get ste...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Deputies: Spring Hill baby in critical condition after being left in hot car

Deputies: Spring Hill baby in critical condition after being left in hot car

SPRING HILL — A 9-month-old boy is in critical condition after being left in a hot car Friday, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.The child was found in a car seat at about 11:30 a.m. by his father, who had just returned to the home at...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Former Plant High football player charged with murder in Detroit

Former Plant High football player charged with murder in Detroit

Tykese Keaton-Baldwin wanted to be remembered as a state champion, the best running back in Plant High School history.Now, the 20-year-old former Panther is facing murder charges in Detroit and the possibility of leaving behind a much different legac...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top 5 at noon: Bernie Sanders draws a crowd for Andrew Gillum in Tampa; why red tide is so bad this year; and more

Top 5 at noon: Bernie Sanders draws a crowd for Andrew Gillum in Tampa; why red tide is so bad this year; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com. BERNIE SANDERS DRAWS A CROWD FOR ANDREW GILLUM IN TAMPA A long line snaked around the Armature Works on 1910 N. Ola Ave for an 11 a.m. rally for a rally where Bernie Sanders, the Independen...
Updated: 3 hours ago