Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

St. Petersburg explores buying portion of Rahall Estate for park

The St. Petersburg City Council unanimously voted at its June 19 meeting to authorize the city staff to make an "inquiry" into acquiring a 1.75-acre parcel of the Rahall Estate in southwestern St. Petersburg.

Council member Steve Kornell tried unsuccessfully this month to persuade his colleagues to spend $3.4 million to buy the 4.6 acre property complete with a 10,000-square-foot mansion at 4251 42nd Ave S. The home in the Broadwater area was acquired 55 years ago by Sam Rahall, founder of Rahall Communications.

Kornell is now pitching the idea of buying a smaller parcel — without the house — for a park. The council directed the city to ask Rahall if he'd be willing to sell that for $1.2 million, about $100,000 less than the lower of two appraisals.

Liberti wins support of fellow firefighters

Pinellas County Commission District 4 candidate Macho Liberti's connection to the firefighting community is paying off.

Liberti, a 35-year-old firefighter and emergency medical technician for Largo, has landed endorsements from the Florida Professional Firefighters, a statewide firefighter union, as well as the firefighter associations in Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor/Oldsmar, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Indian Rocks, Largo, Pinellas Park, Seminole, St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach.

Florida Professional Firefighters donated $500 to Liberti's campaign. So has Firefighters and Paramedics for Public Safety, a Venice-based political action committee.

The local support could translate to a potent boots-on-the-ground campaign force in the north county district.

Liberti of Palm Harbor is one of seven Republicans in the race for the seat being vacated by Susan Latvala, who decided not to run again. The others are Dave Eggers, Johnny Johnson, Tim Keffalas, Wanda Kimsey, Peter Nehr and Jim Ronecker.

Another chamber backs transit plan

The Greenlight Pinellas transit referendum has landed the backing of another local chamber of commerce.

This time it's the organization in Safety Harbor that has decided to publicly support the plan that would increase the county sales tax by one cent to expand bus service and build a 24-mile light rail line between St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

"The Greenlight Pinellas plan will greatly improve transit options throughout Pinellas and here in Safety Harbor," Susan Petersen, executive director of the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release. "Our community is an important connector between north Pinellas and the Gateway/Carillon area, and improved transportation will greatly benefit both our businesses and our residents."

According to the release, the endorsement is the 10th from a Tampa Bay area chamber. The others listed in the release are St. Petersburg Area, Clearwater Regional, Clearwater Beach, Tampa Bay Beaches, Central Pinellas, Dunedin, Greater Tampa, South Tampa and Oldsmar Upper Tampa Bay.

However, Oldsmar Upper Tampa Bay president and chief executive officer Jerry Custin said his organization has yet to take a position.

Friends of Greenlight spokesman Kyle Parks said his group provided the list for the Safety Harbor news release and erroneously included Oldsmar Upper Tampa Bay.

Parks said the list should have included the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

Opponents don't want to see a tax increase for a plan that they call an expensive boondoggle. Voters will decide Nov. 4.

Comments
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 24

Tuesday’s scoreboardBaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Jesuit 1Boys TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, King 1Girls TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, Freedom 1...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 5 hours ago
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

PLANT CITY — East Bay senior Haley Murphy had to take a few games off early this season to give the flaring tendinitis in her left knee a rest.When Murphy did come back around midseason, East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez eased her into the fl...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

The family of the 18-year-old Sarasota high school student under fire for the racist prom proposal he sent out on social media this weekend has publicly apologized for their son’s actions.They also said that as a result of his actions, he will not at...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Softball: Boca Ciega gets a shot at defending district champ

DUNEDIN — Standing in centerfield during her team's Class 6A-9 district semifinal Tuesday night, Boca Ciega's Mia Blasingane had one dominating thought: "We want Tarpon Springs real bad. I was saying that to myself. I want to see Tarpon Springs...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Softball: Alonso knocks off defending state finalist PHU in 9A-8 semifinals

PALM HARBOR — To get an idea of just how tough the competition is in Class 9A, District 8, consider that there has been a different tournament champion each of the past three seasons.All three — Newsome (2015), Alonso (2016) and Palm Harb...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 6 hours ago