Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Ernest Hooper: Hillsborough transportation initiative needs some super heroes

Hillsborough's latest foray into creating a comprehensive transportation plan remains perilously close to faltering, and while time, reason and positive results from a series of investigations may help, Go Hillsborough needs a super hero boost.

Transportation Avengers may emerge from the business community just in the nick of time. Columbia Restaurants owner Richard Gonzmart and Lightning owner Jeff Vinik have expressed an interest in transportation, with Gonzmart saying he's willing to help pay for mass transit.

I'll let Gonzmart and Vinik figure out who'll be Captain America and who'll be Iron Man, but this community needs them to suit up and a few others to join them. . . .

Seen on a T-shirt: Me? Sarcastic? Never!

Seniors in Service tabbed me to deliver the keynote at its annual breakfast on Oct. 30 at the Renaissance Hotel International Plaza. Come out and salute those who grace us with dedication and awe us with wisdom. Go to seniorsinservice.org/events or contact Robin Ingles at [email protected] to purchase sponsorships and tickets! . . .

I get the honor of introducing not one, but two authors at Saturday's Times Festival of Reading at USF St. Petersburg: Dewayne Staats and Ersula Knox Odom. If you get high on intellectual stimulation, you need to be at this festival. . . .

We love to tell teachers we're entrusting them with our most precious commodity, but we pay them like we're asking them to guard a junkyard. Money isn't the only motivator, but it's time to get real. Give them support, understanding, innovation and more pay, or risk losing the most dedicated among them.

That's all I'm saying.

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What you need to know for Thursday, Jan. 18

What you need to know for Thursday, Jan. 18

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• The worst is behind us, but we’re not quite yet finished with the chilly weather. Last night was one of the coldest nights in years, and tonight will only be several degrees ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Romano: Are buses really our last gasp?

Romano: Are buses really our last gasp?

To the members of the Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area Leadership group:Listen carefully when a new plan for a rapid bus system is unveiled to you on Friday. All the benefits the supporters will tout will undoubtedly be true.A rapid bus syste...
Updated: 8 hours ago
In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In the state capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers breezed through the bullet points of a higher education bill. They skimmed past a hot-button proposal to consolidate the University of South Florida System into a single university without a peep of pushba...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

"On Nov. 3, 2017, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to 1012 Buena Vista Drive … in reference to a death investigation."So begins a charging document in the case of Andrew Coffey, the 20-year-old Florida State University student who was foun...
Updated: 10 hours ago
New St. Pete City Council gets to work, starting with 2018 budget

New St. Pete City Council gets to work, starting with 2018 budget

ST. PETERSBURG — The new City Council will get its first chance to weigh in on the 2018 budget on Thursday morning — and they’re likely to bring a long list of priorities to the table.In recent years, rising property values have kept city coffers flu...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

After 16 years of combat and counting, the war in Afghanistan gets a happy movie ending in 12 Strong, a thick slice of patriot porn.Based on a true story, 12 Strong rightfully celebrates the first U.S. Special Forces unit battling Taliban forces shel...
Published: 01/18/18
Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and officers with Metro Development Group and Crystal Lag...
Published: 01/18/18

High school scoreboard for Jan. 17

Wednesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 62, Clearwater 52Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Dunedin 0Girls soccerPalm Harbor U. 5, Dunedin 0
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

PORT RICHEY — The first call came into emergency dispatch at 4 p.m. on Sunday from shore, reporting a ‘giant’ boat on fire in the Pithlachascotee River."It’s urgent," the caller said.Others followed quickly, one woman crying as she described from her...
Updated: 7 hours ago
For FSU fraternity, a wild night turned tragic

For FSU fraternity, a wild night turned tragic

The night of initiation was the most that the brothers of Florida State University’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter said they had ever seen their pledge class drink.That was the plan, court records said: Pledges would arrive at the fraternity house Nov. 2 and ...
Updated: 7 hours ago