Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Pinellas Park to ban synthetic marijuana

PINELLAS PARK — Council members here are ready to ban synthetic drugs and herbs that mimic the effects of marijuana and illegal narcotics.

The ban would include the use, possession and sale by businesses as well as individuals and would carry a potentially hefty penalty, especially for retailers: $500 plus court costs and attorney fees per violation. Each package would count as one violation. Police would also seize the drugs.

The list of substances to be banned is lengthy. It includes such things known as spice, bath salts, K2, Mr. Happy and bliss.

Council members gave the measure tentative approval at last week's council meeting. They're scheduled to give final approval at their May 9 meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers, 5141 78th Ave. N. The meeting is open to the public.

Pinellas Park police Chief Dorene Thomas said the city does not have a big problem with such substances. But St. Petersburg recently passed an ordinance banning the substance known as spice, a synthetic marijuana, and other cities are also considering similar measures, she said. That could spell trouble for centrally located Pinellas Park.

"If you drive them out of one city, you drive them into another," Thomas said. "We're trying to keep pace with some of the other (communities). … We're trying to do a preventive measure."

Council member Rick Butler, who has pushed for the city to develop the ordinance, said it's badly needed. Butler conceded that he's not sure how effective the ban would be when people could simply step outside the city limits into unincorporated Pinellas County and buy the synthetics.

"The county hasn't done anything," he said.

But, Butler said, the ban "sends a message" that the city wants to keep out synthetic drugs and herbs.

"It's bad," Butler said of the synthetic drugs and their effects on users.

Pinellas Park council members last week also approved a resolution urging retailers to stop selling flavored tobacco products to youth. The move came at the request of a group called Students Working Against Tobacco, or SWAT.

Thomas said police are going to retailers to tell them of the request and asking that store managers at least move the flavored tobaccos away from candy and other items directed at youth.

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

Comments
Pinellas judge: U.S. Army major found incompetent to stand trial can leave Florida

Pinellas judge: U.S. Army major found incompetent to stand trial can leave Florida

LARGO — A Pinellas circuit judge ruled this week that Roman Izzo, a U.S. Army major charged with murder but found incompetent to stand trial after he was injured in a motorcycle crash, can move to Kansas with his family.Izzo was released on $1.5 mill...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Bob’s Carpet and Flooring heir was source of family strife before arrest

Bob’s Carpet and Flooring heir was source of family strife before arrest

An heir to a local flooring company charged with failing to report the death of a young woman last year has a troubled criminal history and was a source of strife in his family business, according to court records.Robert Butler III, 52, was arrested ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Horrified friends watch screaming woman driven to her death in Plant City

Horrified friends watch screaming woman driven to her death in Plant City

PLANT CITY — Jonathon Adams heard a scream, "like a dog getting run over by a car," then saw a minivan come tearing around the corner with a woman he knew dangling out of the passenger side.It was the start of a deadly sequence of events Dec. 8 that ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Column: Tax reform is the right path forward for Florida

In Washington, the tax reform process continues to move steadily forward, increasing the likelihood that Floridians will be able to keep more of their own money next year. While it has been the subject of a great deal of criticism (and outright misle...
Updated: 2 hours ago
NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Dade City man turns himself in on warrants for Polk armed robbery

Dade City man turns himself in on warrants for Polk armed robbery

DADE CITY — A 25-year-old man wanted in connection with the attempted robbery of a taxi driver in Lakeland turned himself in late Wednesday night after being prompted by his mother, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Edner Dely of Dade Ci...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Two Tampa area widowers whose wives died of ovarian cancer are suing Johnson & Johnson, joining nearly 5,000 other plaintiffs across the country who blame their illness on the daily use of the pharmaceutical company’s talcum powder.Bryan Isa’s wife, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lawsuit attempts to end conversion therapy ban in Tampa

Lawsuit attempts to end conversion therapy ban in Tampa

TAMPA — A conservative advocacy group is asking a federal court to overturn Tampa’s ban on conversion therapy for minors.The City Council approved an ordinance in March that bars the controversial practice, which tries to change a person’s sexual ori...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

ST. PETERSBURG — Jabil Circuit Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for both profits and revenue Thursday.The St. Petersburg-based contract electronics manufacturer — one of Tampa Bay’s biggest public companies — posted fiscal first-quarter earnings of...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Deputies: Fleeing suspect shoots, injures dog as he runs through yards

DOVER — While fleeing from deputies, a man shot a dog inside a fenced yard Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said they were attempting to pull over a vehicle that might have been stolen near Milagro Court and Bl...
Updated: 3 hours ago