Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Kenneth City picks new police chief

KENNETH CITY — Council members here have agreed to offer the police chief's job to a former Kenneth City officer who is now a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

If negotiations go well, Michael Baute, 39, of Parrish, will take over command of the Police Department. He will replace Doug Pasley, who retired in June.

Council members chose Baute from a field of 13 candidates that included applications from as far away as Tilson, N.Y., and Pemberville, Ohio. Council member Troy Campbell, who oversees the Police Department, said he was most impressed by Baute's preparation for his job interview. He was familiar with Kenneth City and its issues and also brought ideas from other departments, Campbell said.

"I think he'll do a fabulous job," Campbell said. "I think Mr. Baute brings the strongest set of professional and environmental skills that will help the department and the town."

Baute has served as an FDLE special agent assigned to the Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center since July 2011. Before working for FDLE, he served as a lieutenant in charge of law enforcement operations for the Tampa bureau of the Florida Attorney General's office. He has also worked for the Treasure Island, Pensacola and Gainesville police departments; and the Citrus, Manatee and Aiken (S.C.) County sheriff's offices.

If Baute (pronounced BAW-tay) takes the job, he'll be in charge of a department whose chiefs have often had a contentious relationship with town council members and town residents. Most recently, Mayor Teresa Zemaitis requested the Pinellas County Sheriff to investigate the department. The sheriff concluded that Pasley had poor management skills. But many in the town and on the council saw fault with the department rather than their chief. He was granted a three-year extension on his contract.

Campbell said this time the town will not offer the chief a contract. Instead, Baute would be an employee of the town like any other. That would simplify the situation if things didn't work out and would keep the town from being on the hook for paying large severance packages established by contractual terms.

Pasley, for example, received 26 weeks of severance pay as well as accrued vacation and sick time, totaling about $33,468. He earned about $63,036 a year. That was a bit less than he wanted but more than the council was required to pay.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

Comments
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

ST. PETERSBURG — Beef jerky, mayonnaise and Altoids mints were the only edible things in view inside one of the houses. There was no running water. The refrigerator was empty. A bed sat on top of the deteriorating living room floor. Cigarette butts b...
Updated: 4 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 19

Thursday’s scoreboardBaseballDixie Hollins 8, Canterbury 0Northeast 13, Lakewood 3Calvary Christian 5, Berkeley Prep 2
Updated: 4 hours ago
Firefighters battle apartment complex fire in Tampa

Firefighters battle apartment complex fire in Tampa

TAMPA — Firefighters were battling a blaze at Captiva Club Apartments on Thursday night, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.According to video taken at the scene, the roof of one of the apartment buildings at 4401 Club Captiva Dr. ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Two Florida deputies shot, killed at restaurant in Gilchrist County

Two Florida deputies shot, killed at restaurant in Gilchrist County

Two Gilchrist County sheriff’s deputies were shot and killed at a restaurant about 3 p.m. Thursday.The deputies were at Ace China restaurant in downtown Trenton when a man shot them through the restaurant’s window, a Sheriff’s Office statement said.A...
Updated: 6 hours ago
The St. Pete Pier takes another step forward

The St. Pete Pier takes another step forward

ST. PETERSBURG — Development of the city’s long-awaited pier advanced another step Thursday.The City Council approved a $15 million construction contract and additional money to design a waterside restaurant, build a playground and ferret out naming ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Out early: Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Out early: Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions.The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 at...
Updated: 7 hours ago
FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275

FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275

ST. PETERSBURG — A distracted driver walked away unscathed after his car plunged 50 feet off Interstate 275, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Thomas Highhouse, 61, of Pinellas Park, was driving his 2016 Chevrolet Camaro south on Interstate 275...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning’s Hedman a Norris finalist again

Lightning’s Hedman a Norris finalist again

The Lightning's Victor Hedman is a finalist for the second consecutive year for the Norris Trophy, given to the top defenseman in the league. The other two finalists are Drew Doughty of the Kings and P.K. Subban of the Predators, it was announced Thu...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Police: Knife-wielding burglar breaks into house, says ‘I’m the cops’

Police: Knife-wielding burglar breaks into house, says ‘I’m the cops’

LARGO — Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who broke into a home early Thursday morning and confronted the owners with a knife.The incident took place about 3:40 a.m. at a townhouse at 7360 Ulmerton Road, according to Largo...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Deputies: Man broke into house, set it on fire and stole their dog

Deputies: Man broke into house, set it on fire and stole their dog

SEMINOLE — A Seminole man was arrested on allegations that he burglarized a home, set it on fire and stole the homeowner’s dog, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Austin Lang, 19, now faces numerous charges of burglary, arson and poss...
Updated: 8 hours ago