Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

St. Petersburg finally receives check from Tampa for RNC expenses

ST. PETERSBURG — The check from Tampa finally arrived.

The city received $1,241,547 for expenses connected to last August's Republican National Convention — about $39,945 less than requested.

A memo sent Wednesday to the City Council said that $33,825 of the unfunded expenses was for officer training and is under review by Tampa and federal auditors. The money could be reimbursed at a later date; no other agency has been reimbursed yet for training, the memo said.

Mayor Bill Foster believes the money will come: "This is good and expected news."

If the reimbursement happens, taxpayers would only be on the hook for $5,730 for portable toilets, pension costs and information services.

Melanie Bevan, assistant police chief, said staffers worked to ensure that expenses were covered under the federal grant, adding: "We're pleased with the reimbursement we received."

In the months and weeks leading up to the welcome party at Tropicana Field in August, Foster emphatically stated that taxpayers wouldn't pay for security-related expenses.

In September, he disclosed the city faced an estimated $5.2 million deficit for fiscal 2012. Part of that, $580,000, was used to prepare, secure and clean up the city before and after convention activities.

A city document classified the $580,000 as "estimated RNC costs and no revenue." In the following weeks, controversy swirled around the figure. The City Council and many residents demanded answers.

Foster insisted that a final accounting of expenses would absolve taxpayers of the $580,000. But he said residents would pay about $28,000 for police expenses. He reiterated that taxpayers should consider hundreds of hours in training and the $500,000 in equipment gained by the police department for working the convention.

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

Comments
Atlanta airport power outage cancels 1,000 flights; more Delta cancellations Monday

Atlanta airport power outage cancels 1,000 flights; more Delta cancellations Monday

ATLANTA — A sudden power outage brought the world’s busiest airport to a standstill Sunday, grounding more than 1,000 flights in Atlanta just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush. Authorities announced that electricity would be restored...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

TAMPA — The Bucs and Falcons have each won three straight games on Monday nights as they face each other on a national platform tonight at Raymond James Stadium.How can Tampa Bay continue its streak and stop Atlanta’s? It won’t be easy, but given the...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Bitcoin futures begin trading on CME, price little changed

NEW YORK — Another security based on the price of bitcoin, the digital currency that has soared in value and volatility this year, began trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Sunday. The CME Group, which owns the exchange, opened up bitcoin f...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Woman shot and killed in apparent drive-by shooting in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — A woman was shot to death Sunday night in an apparent drive-by shooting, according to Clearwater police.Authorities said they received an initial call at 8:19 p.m. originating from 800 Belleair Road. The shooting is believed to have occu...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

TAMPA — The beers and the "love ya, bros" were flowing Saturday night at the Hooters in Tampa. Jon Gruden, who will be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime of tonight’s home game against the Falcons, worked the room, greeting family, frie...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Fennelly: Jon Gruden was one hard-working bro

Fennelly: Jon Gruden was one hard-working bro

TAMPA — It’s ridiculous that it took this long to give Jon Gruden a night all his own, given the nights he gave Bucs fans. But it will happen this evening at Raymond James Stadium, a salute to the thermonuclear source of that Super Bowl season, that ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Massachusetts rolls 100-foot-long joint; McCain likely to miss tax bill vote; Cherokee Nation’s fear of losing heritage drives opioid lawsuit; more in U.S. news

Massachusetts rolls 100-foot-long joint; McCain likely to miss tax bill vote; Cherokee Nation’s fear of losing heritage drives opioid lawsuit; more in U.S. news

Massachusetts Rolling a fat one — 100 feet longMarijuana aficionados have rolled a 100-foot-long joint. The effort was led by Boston-based cannabis club and advocacy group Beantown Greentown during an exhibition of pro-marijuana vendors and supporter...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller even as his administration was again forced to grapple with the growing Russia inquiry that has shadowed the White House for much of his ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Friendly competition

Friendly competition

 
Updated: 7 hours ago

More than 300 cruise passengers fall ill with stomach virus

PORT EVERGLADES — More than 300 passengers on a cruise ship that docked at Port Everglades fell ill with a stomach virus. The Naples Daily News reported that the Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited’s ship Independence docked Saturday in Florida reported ...
Updated: 7 hours ago