Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

Pasco panel will consider projects from BP oil spill money

NEW PORT RICHEY — Getting money from the penalties BP paid as a result of its April 2010 oil spill is like playing a party game, a consultant told Pasco County commissioners recently.

"It's like a pinata," said Tallahassee consultant Bill Williams during a workshop held last month to explain the process. "You have to swing at it to get the candy."

And it's a lot of candy.

Pasco County could end up in control of up to $19 million in local funds from the 2012 Restore Act, established to direct most of the civil penalties from BP and other companies responsible for the Deepwater Horizon spill. Pasco is among the counties that will get 25 percent of the funds awarded. Counties more directly affected by the spill will get 75 percent of the total amount.

Other pots of money can also be sought to match with local money, Williams said. The exact settlement has yet to be determined. The federal and state governments will control the other pots of money, but counties can come up with their own projects that are compatible and try to seek more funds.

The first step for the county is establishing an advisory committee. Earlier this week, county officials approved a resolution to create such a panel. County officials have put a notice on the county website seeking volunteers.

The board's voluntary advisory committee will be made of people who have a broad range of knowledge and experience in the following areas:

• A higher education institution (college or university);

• A member from the aquaculture industry or marine industries;

• A member from the workforce development/job creation industry;

• A member with experience in economic development;

• A member from the tourism industry;

• One at-large citizen member;

• A member recommended by the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce.

Pasco residents interested in serving may send an email to [email protected] and provide a brief biography and state what role they can serve on the committee. The county website is pascocountyfl.net.

The committee would make recommendations on how Pasco's share of the money is spent, but the final decision on any projects would rest with the County Commission.

Lisa Buie can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested midday Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on multiple prostitution charges.Nicholson was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of operat...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
An Alabama mayor says her small town smells like rotting corpses more than two months after New York City’s so-called

An Alabama mayor says her small town smells like rotting corpses more than two months after New York City’s so-called "Poop Train" rolled in for an extended stay

PARRISH, Ala. — A stinking trainload of human waste from New York City is stranded in a tiny Alabama town, spreading a stench like a giant backed-up toilet — and the "poop train" is just the latest example of the South being used as a dumping ground ...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

TAMPA — The old Trump tower site on Tampa’s Riverwalk has for years remained empty as a knocked-out tooth, but on Thursday developers put flesh on a vision for what they tout as Tampa’s tallest building, with its most exclusive set of condominiums an...
Updated: 1 hour ago
This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station 82 in Wayne Township, Indiana, last week.Repeatedly pressing the doorbell was a frantic woman. In her arms was a furry, masked animal that firefighters later described as "lethargic," fi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Someone covered a gopher tortoise in red paint and concrete

Someone covered a gopher tortoise in red paint and concrete

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is trying to find the culprit who covered a gopher tortoise in concrete and painted it red.Two people found the gopher tortoise wandering on County Road 455, south of Montverde in Lake County, and...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa; Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools; and more

Top 5 at noon: Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa; Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:MARRIOTT EDITION TO BRING FIVE-STAR HOTEL AMBITIONS TO WATER STREET TAMPAAt the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, hotelier Ian Schrager transformed a Jazz Age building with its own rich h...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Plant alumnus Rex Culpepper doing well in second chemo round at Syracuse

Plant alumnus Rex Culpepper doing well in second chemo round at Syracuse

Former Plant High quarterback Rex Culpepper recently started his second round of chemotherapy but is doing well and should return to football eventually, his college coach said Thursday morning."He's doing really good," Syracuse coach Dino Babers sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Joe Henderson: Boycott Starbucks? Take a deep breath, folks

Joe Henderson: Boycott Starbucks? Take a deep breath, folks

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from someone doing job-related background checks on a friend of mine. He wanted to meet face-to-face, so we did what many other people do in that situation.We picked a Starbucks that was near to both of us. I’v...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Free rides on PSTA and HART buses to celebrate Earth Day

Free rides on PSTA and HART buses to celebrate Earth Day

ST. PETERSBURG — Those who use mass transit across the Tampa Bay area can ride for free on Sunday.To celebrate Earth Day, both the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) will be offering...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Schwettman student charged in threat on River Ridge High

Deputies: Schwettman student charged in threat on River Ridge High

NEW PORT RICHEY—A Schwettman Education Center student was arrested Wednesday after he threatened an attack on River Ridge High School, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The student, 15, is facing a charge of falsely reporting a bomb or f...
Updated: 1 hour ago