Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

Land O'Lakes man gets 4 years for selling baseballs with phony Babe Ruth autographs

Largo

Man sentenced to 4 years for baseball fraud

A Land O'Lakes man was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday for selling baseballs with phony Babe Ruth autographs. Marc A. Szakaly, 40, pleaded guilty to organized fraud for having sold or gotten pawnshop loans for the baseballs at dozens of locations throughout Florida. He also repaid the money. Szakaly pleaded guilty Friday without a plea bargain. Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley said the deliberate, deceptive nature of the crime warranted the punishment. The case began with a Largo police investigation and was prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution. Szakaly used old baseballs and doctored certificates of authenticity to make the balls appear legitimate.

Tallahassee

Court has 30 days to rule on maps

A day after lawmakers finished their legislative redistricting maps and sent them to Attorney General Pam Bondi, she swiftly turned them around and certified them to the Florida Supreme Court. The clock starts ticking now as the court has 30 days to get the maps back to lawmakers and either approve them or tell lawmakers to take another shot. That means the court will have until the last day of the session, March 9, to respond. That's enough of a window for lawmakers to extend and give themselves extra time if they need it to work on a redo.

Largo

Fire at jail quickly extinguished

A dryer in a laundry room at the Pinellas County Jail caught fire Friday morning, but the flames were quickly extinguished by deputies, and there were no injuries. An investigation is under way, but the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said an electrical problem appeared to be the source of the fire, which was in a small laundry room off the jail kitchen.

Tallahassee

Death-row inmate asks for review

A man who was denied a stay of execution by the Florida Supreme Court now is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case. Robert Waterhouse filed legal papers on Friday in Washington, D.C. He is asking the court specifically to review the Florida court's decision on Wednesday not to give weight to his contention that destroyed physical evidence could have exonerated him through current DNA testing. The 65-year-old is set to be put to death Wednesday by lethal injection. He was convicted in the rape and murder of a woman in St. Petersburg 32 years ago.

st. petersburg

Van hits woman in Arby's parking lot

A 78-year-old woman was hospitalized with serious injuries Friday evening after she was hit by a van in an Arby's restaurant parking lot. Nancy B. Livingston had just left the restaurant, 3900 Fourth St. N, about 6:50 p.m. and was walking to her car when a 2003 Dodge conversion van bumped her while making a left turn, police said. Livingston fell to the ground and hit her head on the pavement. She was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in life-threatening condition, police said. The van's driver, Brooke R. Taborsky, 26, did not see Livingston, police said. She was not charged in connection with the accident.

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Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

TAMPA — The season started in August with “Hard Knocks,” packed bleachers at training camp and cheers for coach Dirk Koetter.It ended Sunday with a 24-21 loss to the Lions, a lot of empty seats and chants of “We want Gruden ba...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Updated: 6 minutes ago
Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

CLEARWATER — A 38-year-old tree trimmer is in critical condition after he was shocked by a power line Monday, according to Clearwater Fire & Rescue.The trimmer, of Largo, was on a ladder cutting trees with a pole saw when he was shocked just before 1...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

TAMPA — With the Republican tax bill poised to eliminate the opportunity, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority on Monday said it had refinanced a big chunk of its debt to save money in the future.The authority borrowed $152 million from the bo...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

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Updated: 17 minutes ago
Father of Seminole Heights victim repairing damage after vandals hit son’s memorial

Father of Seminole Heights victim repairing damage after vandals hit son’s memorial

TAMPA — Weeks after burying his son Anthony Naiboa, one of four people gunned down over the span of 51 days in Seminole Heights, Casimar Naiboa has a new and unwanted ritual.He drives past a makeshift memorial his family made for his son, set up wher...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Ruth: Legislation turns crime victims into criminals

Ruth: Legislation turns crime victims into criminals

We have entered into the period shortly before the start of the 2018 Florida legislative session that might be described as Daffy Time in Tallahassee.This is that golden moment when state legislators endeavor to file bills that are, well, plainly goo...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Those sonic booms heard across the state Saturday afternoon? The North American Air Defense Command now says they were likely the result of a decision to allow two F-15 fighter jets to hit supersonic speeds that day.That decision, first reported by t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Judge denies former Clearwater fire chief’s motion for a new trial

Judge denies former Clearwater fire chief’s motion for a new trial

A Pinellas circuit judge denied a bid for a new trial in the case of Jamie Geer, the former Clearwater fire chief serving a life sentence for sexually abusing a girl throughout her childhood.Geer, now 63, was in court in October seeking the new tria...
Updated: 1 hour ago
HSBC says U.S. will dismiss criminal charges against it

HSBC says U.S. will dismiss criminal charges against it

HSBC said Monday that U.S. authorities were preparing to dismiss criminal charges against the bank, five years after it reached an agreement to avoid prosecution related to lapses in its money-laundering controls.In 2012, the bank, one of the world’s...
Updated: 1 hour ago