Sunday, December 17, 2017
News Roundup

Governor kills two Pinellas projects, others survive veto pen

Clearwater's Marine Museum won big. As did the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg.

Each of them secured about a million dollars in state funding in next year's budget and dodged the threat of Gov. Rick Scott's veto pen. On Monday, the governor's office released a list of the projects that were less fortunate.

Rep. Darryl Rouson, whose district includes much of South St. Petersburg, had earmarked $78,750 for renovations to the Fannye Ponder House, a historic site that serves as the home of the National Council of Negro Women's St. Petersburg chapter. An architect had looked at the property, Rouson said, and estimated how much it would cost to bring it up to code.

"The money was like to the penny, there was no waste involved," he said.

Perhaps it was the fact that Florida TaxWatch had urged Scott to veto the project, or the fact that Rouson's wife is the president of the city's chapter — either way, the renovations were axed in the end.

The governor also vetoed another of Rouson's spending proposals — $150,000 for a jobs development program run by the Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-entry Coalition, a 12-person nonprofit that tries to prevent people from cycling in and out of jail. The organization's executive director Michael Jalazo said the money would have allowed the group to hire a few more case workers and focus on finding ex-offenders jobs.

"The biggest need these people have is employment," Jalazo said. "I saw Rouson last week and he thought were ok, but I guess not."

Rouson seemed equally baffled.

"Why wouldn't you empower an ex-offender to create, look for, and enhance employment opportunities for other ex-offenders?" he said. "It's a public safety matter...and it's about putting people to work."

A plan to build a 275-mile bike trail from St. Petersburg to Titusville also died during the veto process. Its construction would have cost $50 million.

Sen. Jack Latvala's request that the state spend $200,000 on a consolidation study of the Pinellas and Hillsborough transit agencies made it out alive, but officials in Hillsborough would rather it hadn't. The board of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit system has repeatedly voiced its objections to discussing consolidation with the Pinellas agency, calling Latvala's intervention a power grab and citing concern that the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is underfunded.

And Rouson said that several of his projects had also gone through, including $5 million for the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg College of Business building.

Comments
Church bombing kills 9 in Pakistan; Couples wed in 1st Australian same-sex marriages; more in world news

Church bombing kills 9 in Pakistan; Couples wed in 1st Australian same-sex marriages; more in world news

PakistanChurch bombing kills at least 9Two suicide bombers attacked a church packed with worshippers Sunday in the southwest city of Quetta, killing at least nine people and injuring at least 35 others, several critically, officials said. The assault...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller even as his administration was again forced to grapple with the growing Russia probe that has shadowed the White House for much of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida mayor resigns after arrest for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits

Florida mayor resigns after arrest for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits

DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) — The mayor of a small Florida town arrested for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits to park at city hall has resigned.The Bradenton Herald reports that Teresa Bradley resigned and was given six-months of probation as pa...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Power outage halts flights at Atlanta international airport

Power outage halts flights at Atlanta international airport

ATLANTA — A sudden power outage at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday grounded scores of flights and stranded thousands of passengers during one of the busiest travel times of the year.Passengers were left in the dark when...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Wesley Chapel woman, 28, dies after crashing motorcycle

LUTZ — A 28-year-old motorcyclist died Sunday after she crashed near Lutz Lake Fern Road and Apian Way, Hillsborough deputies reported.Erica Kristen Rodriguez of Wesley Chapel was riding a Kawasaki motorcycle with a small group of motorcyclists eastb...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Woman, 24, hit by Land Rover, in critical condition

LARGO — A 24-year-old woman is in critical condition after she was struck by a vehicle Saturday night, police said.Khadijah Wood was walking through the parking lot of the Sandy Lane Apartment Homes on Belcher Road about 7:30 p.m.At the same time, Ju...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Warm, sunny Sunday in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — It’s another bright, sunny day in Tampa Bay. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay areaHigh temperatures should reach about 80 d...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

A first-degree murder suspect remains at large almost a week after the fatal shooting of a Winter Haven father.The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Johnny Ray Owsley’s murder of 35-year-old Adam Thrower, called "Cook" by friends, involved Owsley’s e...
Updated: 9 hours ago