Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

Mayor faces challenge as Brooksville council members seek to reopen fluoride discussion

BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville Mayor Lara Bradburn, a strong opponent of returning fluoride to the city's water supply, may have a new battle on her hands.

Speaking during his closing comments at Monday night's City Council meeting, council member Frankie Burnett adamantly stated that he felt there was nothing wrong with reopening the debate over fluoride, and he said the issue should be discussed sooner, rather than later.

Burnett said he favored holding a workshop in the next month or two to allow experts from both sides of the fluoridation debate to present their views before the council, "so that we can get the information we need to make a decision."

Burnett's proposal, which had the backing of fellow council members Joe Johnston and Joe Bernadini, is an about-face from his position two years ago, when he was part of a 5-0 decision to quietly drop the $6,000 annual allocation for fluoride from the city's utilities budget during a budget debate.

As she had at previous council meetings, Bradburn objected to bringing the matter up for discussion until budget season. She also said that doing so any earlier might not provide enough time to notify those who oppose fluoridation to present their side of the issue.

Earlier this month, Bradburn denied a request from Hernando County Health Department dental program manager Teresa Keenan to have the issue revisited during the April 1 council meeting. Appearing along with Palm Harbor pediatric dentist Johnny Johnson, Keenan said that not providing Brooksville residents with the tooth decay-fighting benefits that about 78 percent Floridians currently enjoy with fluoride was a public health concern.

Bradburn has long opposed adding fluoride to the public water supply, saying that numerous studies show the chemical is a health hazard. In 2008, she led an unsuccessful attempt to persuade a majority of council members to discontinue the city's nearly 25-year practice of fluoridation.

However, Bradburn may have little leverage when it comes to preventing fellow council members from bringing the subject of fluoridation up during non-budgetary meetings.

While the City Charter allows the mayor to set the order of business for each meeting, there is no wording that prevents specific items from being added to the agenda if requested by a council member. The charter also states that special meetings may be called at the request of a majority of the council.

City Manager Jenenne Norman-Vacha said Tuesday that she is researching open dates in April and May for the council to consider holding an informational workshop, should the need arise.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
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: 4 hours ago
Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

TAMPA — CB Brent Grimes picked up his third interception of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Lions, tying him for the Bucs’ team lead and with another, more impressive group.Since the start of the 2013 season, Grimes has 20 interceptions, tying him...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Police make arrest in home invasion of 77-year-old South Tampa man

Police make arrest in home invasion of 77-year-old South Tampa man

TAMPA — A 19-year-old was arrested Friday in connection with an armed home invasion in the Hyde Park area, according to Tampa police.Leo Butler, 19, faces a charge of robbery of less than $300. He was still in the county jail on Monday, held in lieu ...
Updated: 1 hour 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 were likely from two F-15 fighter jets protecting President Donald Trump during his visit to Florida, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.The jets, which belong to the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Mother, sons lose everything in fire -- except her daughter’s urn

By DIVYA KUMARTimes staff writerST. PETERSBURG — The day after a fire claimed most of Jahmeshia Jackson’s possessions, the 27-year-old mother returned to the house she and her sons had escaped, trying to salvage what she could. She hoped her washer a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot ShotsEmily Joseph, NortheastJoseph, a senior, has been a deadly shooter since her sophomore year. But this season she has added to her game. "She’s gotten physically stronger and has gained confidence," coach Will White said. "She used t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris Sullivan steps off Bloomin’ Brands’ board

Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris Sullivan steps off Bloomin’ Brands’ board

Chris Sullivan, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, resigned from the board of the restaurant chain’s parent company last Wednesday, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The document, filed by Tampa-based Bloomin’ B...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Pets rescued from fire at Tampa apartment complex (with video)

TAMPA — Firefighters rescued a cat and a dog from a blaze Monday that severely damaged an eight-unit apartment building in the Lowry Park area of Tampa.The fire started about 3:30 p.m. inside a two-story building at the Brookshire Townhomes, at 1910 ...
Updated: 2 hours 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.Ernest Harlen, of Largo, was on a ladder cutting trees with a pole saw when he was shocked just before...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winston’s damaged brand?

Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winston’s damaged brand?

TAMPA — What we have at One Buc Place is a game of Clue. The whodunit in this case is the person(s) who put out the information that quarterback Jameis Winston’s relationship with coach Dirk Koetter is on cracked ice.Was it Winston in the weight room...
Updated: 3 hours ago