Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

Cemetery plots at center of Dade City dispute

DADE CITY — The owner of six grave sites in a city-owned cemetery is threatening to sue the city after discovering two people he doesn't know have been buried in plots he inherited from his grandfather.

William "Buddy" Rogers Jr. of Orlando, through his attorney, informed the city that he either wants the remains of Frank Hatcher and his wife, Bessie, removed, or to be paid for the two plots and two more empty adjacent grave sites he owns in the cemetery, located off Martin Luther King Boulevard.

"This situation is entirely unsatisfactory to my client," Orlando attorney Mark Koteen wrote in a letter to city attorney Karla Owens.

The letter, sent March 1, was something of an ultimatum, threatening a civil action if the demands are not agreed to by April 1. Owens brought the matter to the commission last week.

Rogers' grandfather, L.G. Rogers, died in 1966 and left the six grave sites to his grandson, but the titles to them were not formally transferred until November 2011, according to Koteen's letter. Since L.G. Rogers' death, three people were buried in the plots. Rogers' great-uncle, Jessie Sumner, was buried earlier, in 1952.

Three plots down from Sumner, the husband of L.G. Rogers' sister, the Rev. Bayless Porter, is buried. The Hatchers are buried between the two — Bessie in 1983 and Frank in 1990. The plots on the other side of Porter are empty.

Owens told the commission the city has pored through cemetery records trying to find information on the Hatchers' burial to no avail. The city did, however, speak to the Hatchers' son, Frank, who said permission was given by L.G. Rogers' sister for them to be buried there. In a response to Koteen, Owens wrote that as a result of that information the city "will not either disinter Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher or make payment for the cemetery lots."

Koteen responded that if that is the case, "Rev. Porter's wife greatly overstepped her authority as the sister of L.G. Rogers," and the city should not have allowed the burials without permission from his client.

Buddy Rogers, through Koteen, declined to comment for this article.

During the meeting last week, Owens sought commissioners' advice on how to proceed. Commissioner Scott Black offered to continue to research the issue.

"I just think I need to know more," Black said Tuesday.

Comments
Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northeast High grad return home

Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northeast High grad return home

ST. PETERSBURG — In November 1969, at a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, Air Force Capt. James White and his wife Sharon enjoyed their last night out together, dining on hotel room service with family friends Neil and Janet Armstrong.It was four months af...
Updated: 1 hour ago
As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

USF's expanded partnership with Yuengling — including naming rights to the Sun Dome — is only the latest part in an evolving relationship between college sports and alcohol, as my colleague, Joey Knight, wrote on the front page ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hometown Pasco for June 22

Hometown Pasco for June 22

We want your news!Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. You c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 1 hour ago
He told his friends his vest was stab-proof and offered to demonstrate. It wasn’t.

He told his friends his vest was stab-proof and offered to demonstrate. It wasn’t.

Five days after his 22nd birthday, Jordan Easton was celebrating with friends at a house in northeast England when he began talking about the vest he was wearing. It was stab-proof, Easton allegedly announced. He offered a demonstration.But the vest ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay gas prices keep falling

Tampa Bay gas prices keep falling

The summer reprieve in gas prices is continuing.After flirting near the $3 mark, Tampa Bay gas prices fell another six cents a gallon over the past week to an average of $2.65 for unleaded, a wide gap with the national average of $2.91 a gallon, acco...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

ST. PETERSBURGThere are a lot of decommissioned gas stations across the country. Some have been reinvented, cleverly made over as upscale restaurants. There’s Big Star in Chicago, Elaia & Olio in St. Louis, Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Va., even Bi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Puerto Rico struggles with jump in asthma cases post-Maria

Puerto Rico struggles with jump in asthma cases post-Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shortly after he turned 2, Yadriel Hernandez started struggling to breathe. His doctor prescribed an inhaler and an allergy pill for asthma, and his symptoms were mostly under control.Then Hurricane Maria devastated Puert...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

The Rays lose three of four games in New York as Rick Stroud says they fail to figure out the Yankees' pitching. With Christian Arroyo injured, they activate Adeiny Hechavarria — one of the stars of Sunday's win — from the disabled list a...
Updated: 2 hours ago