Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Sue Carlton: A lift for the homeless

Pinellas County is pondering whether to keep charging homeless people $6.25 for a state ID card that can be key to getting them back on their feet. Meanwhile, in Hillsborough, the tax collector is walking the walk.

Or driving the bus, so to speak, if things work out as planned.

This week Doug Belden told the Times that, as in some other counties, he is dropping the $6.25 processing fee for an ID card for homeless people — maybe a few bucks to you and me, but a whole lot more to someone with nothing.

Later, after brainstorming with staff, Belden told me he's pursuing getting those state mobile driver's license vehicles — called FLOW, as in Florida Licensing On Wheels — that ride into town so you can renew your license without schlepping off to an office.

No, Belden wouldn't actually drive one. The idea is to get the word out beforehand and station those wheeled offices at places homeless people gather, like Metropolitan Ministries and the Salvation Army. The goal is to give them a better shot at getting a state ID card that can be crucial in getting a job, an apartment lease and a better chance at a life off the streets.

With cities struggling between pushing the homeless elsewhere and coming up with ways to actually help them, that's some pretty forward thinking.

•••

People who care about the future of Tampa International Airport — and also about the politics of its governing board — are awaiting word from Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott is expected to soon appoint a replacement for Steve Burton, chairman of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority ,who died recently after complications from a heart transplant.

Only weeks before, Burton was in the news as part of the airport's new master plan — and also for squaring off with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, also a board member.

The point of contention was $500,000 more for TIA chief executive Joe Lopano, if he stays for the next five years. Buckhorn thought what Lopano was paid under his contract was fine. Burton feared Lopano could be lured away. Burton won.

So for those watching the balance on that board, probably the most interesting rumored contender is Republican activist Sam Rashid, a friend of Burton's. Rashid told me maybe 15 people have called to congratulate him on "something I haven't even applied for." Will he?

He tells people he doesn't want to put on a suit for work, as the job would require, which sounds like no to me.

•••

Any Tampa dweller who has wandered through St. Pete's vibrant outdoor market probably, like me, walked away with some serious downtown envy. (And maybe some really excellent fresh pineapple.)

I have whined long and hard about the loss of Tampa's modest but also bustling Friday outdoor market, not to mention the lack of a good explanation for why it had to die.

So I feel duty-bound to report that today Tampa begins a summer concert series at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with food trucks and a steel drum guy. They're calling the monthly event Eat At Joe's. It's no market, but, hey, it's better than that substitute event where they said we could Hula Hoop and throw Frisbees on our lunch hour.

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High school scoreboard for April 24

Tuesday’s scoreboardBaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Jesuit 1Boys TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, King 1Girls TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, Freedom 1...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

PLANT CITY — East Bay senior Haley Murphy had to take a few games off early this season to give the flaring tendinitis in her left knee a rest.When Murphy did come back around midseason, East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez eased her into the fl...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

The family of the 18-year-old Sarasota high school student under fire for the racist prom proposal he sent out on social media this weekend has publicly apologized for their son’s actions.They also said that as a result of his actions, he will not at...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Softball: Boca Ciega gets a shot at defending district champ

DUNEDIN — Standing in centerfield during her team's Class 6A-9 district semifinal Tuesday night, Boca Ciega's Mia Blasingane had one dominating thought: "We want Tarpon Springs real bad. I was saying that to myself. I want to see Tarpon Springs...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Softball: Alonso knocks off defending state finalist PHU in 9A-8 semifinals

PALM HARBOR — To get an idea of just how tough the competition is in Class 9A, District 8, consider that there has been a different tournament champion each of the past three seasons.All three — Newsome (2015), Alonso (2016) and Palm Harb...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 4 hours ago