Saturday, February 17, 2018
News Roundup

St. Petersburg curbside recycling transitions to new company

ST. PETERSBURG — City leaders expected a seamless switch when a new firm signed on to handle curbside recycling.

The first week of service, however, didn't go off without a hitch. Many customers reported to the Tampa Bay Times that their recyclables weren't picked up or that their new bins hadn't been delivered.

City officials said Friday that they hadn't received any complaints.

Mike Connors, the city's public works administrator, said residents should still use the containers from the old company until Waste Pro can deliver new bins. He blamed the glitch on a manufacturing issue.

That's news to Waste Pro.

"I have all the bins I need," said Andy Toller, the company's district manager. "We don't have a container issue."

Toller said many households are trying to enroll now because they forgot to make the switch before the contract ended with Waste Services of Florida.

Roughly 7,200 homes out of 76,290 used the previous service.

So far, about 5,200 homes have signed up for the new service, which the city advertised in pamphlets sent with water bills.

Last week, 300 customers enrolled and those customers were not picked up last week. They will be picked up this week, Toller said Friday.

As other households make the switch, "it's created an influx of calls," Toller said.

The City Council voted in July to enter into a three-year contract with Waste Pro, which would keep a voluntary curbside program in the city through 2015.

The contract with the former company, Waste Services of Florida Inc., lagged far below expectations despite the initial public clamor when the service started in 2010.

Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at @markpuente.

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Man found dead in flaming mobile home

TAMPA — Firefighters found a man dead inside a burned-down mobile home Saturday.Tampa Fire Rescue got a call just after 4:30 p.m. that a single-wide mobile home at the 100 block of East Linebaugh Avenue was in flames.The man’s identity was not releas...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

Warning: This story quotes graphic material.Before he killed 17 people at a South Florida high school, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly threatened an ex-classmate who had started dating his former girlfriend, according to a report in Buzzfeed News."I’m going ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Police find dead man in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police found a dead man inside an apartment in the 5200 block of Sonora Court Friday after 3 p.m.Who the man is or how long he’s been dead is not yet clear, police said. The victim appears to have been killed in some sort of "homicidal violen...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Police up patrols at two Pinellas Park schools after Snapchat threat

PINELLAS PARK — Police said they will have a heightened presence at two Pinellas Park schools after a school shooting threat was shared on social media.A post Friday on social media app Snapchat threatened a possible school shooting Tuesday, accordin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Prosecutor: Death penalty was ‘designed’ for cases like Florida school shooting

Prosecutor: Death penalty was ‘designed’ for cases like Florida school shooting

The 17 counts of premeditated murder against Nikolas Cruz are the type of case "the death penalty was designed for," according to the Florida prosecutor in charge of trying the confessed school shooter.But Michael Satz, the longtime Broward state att...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida, angry and grieving, takes gun protest to streets

Florida, angry and grieving, takes gun protest to streets

PARKLAND, Fla. — Thousands of angry students, parents and residents demanded stricter gun control laws Saturday as new details were revealed about the suspect accused of shooting and killed 17 people in a Florida high school. The rally, held in downt...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Parkland vigil and rally scheduled for Saturday night in downtown St. Pete

Parkland vigil and rally scheduled for Saturday night in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — A group of activists were scheduled to host a rally in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday night, demanding lawmakers pass gun control legislation.Organizers said the rally, scheduled for 5 p.m. at Williams Park, was planned in respo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

It’s been five years since the guns and immigration debate collided at the same time on Capitol Hill. This time, the results were even more unproductive.In early 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 students and six educators at an elementary school ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

TAMPA — Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The Florida Orchestra performed two of his works Friday, the second of which paired the dances from West Side Story with the overture to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.The orche...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Woman hit, killed Friday along Memorial Highway

TOWN ’N COUNTRY — A woman died after she was hit by a minivan along Memorial Highway on Friday night, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The 53-year-old woman, whose identity was not released, was trying to cross Memorial Highway f...
Updated: 5 hours ago