Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa council approves repairs for long-closed Williams Park Pool

TAMPA — The City Council on Thursday approved a $1.1 million construction contract to renovate the long-closed Williams Park Pool in East Tampa.

"The pool will be operational next summer," parks and recreation director Greg Bayor said.

City officials closed the pool in 2009 because of safety problems. Since then, council member Frank Reddick has sparred with Mayor Bob Buckhorn's administration over the schedule for repairs. Late in summer 2011, city officials said a construction contract could be awarded early this year, but the process has taken longer.

In September, the city received 11 bids but ended up rejecting the low bidder because the company did not comply with Tampa's women and minority business opportunity policies. The city then went with the next lowest bidder, Taborelli Construction of Tampa.

Council members were pleased, but wanted to verify that this time, it really was happening.

"I want to make sure that .... we're going to see a pool at Williams built and that there are no other things that are holding it up," council member Mike Suarez said. "I wanted to make sure that the money that we're providing finally is going to actually build a pool."

"We'll have a wet summer over there," Bayor said.

In other business, council members approved:

• Paying $17,500 over two years to The Network Inc. of Norcross, Ga., to establish and manage an internal hotline and website where the city's 4,200 employees could anonymously report waste, fraud and ethical lapses.

• Paying $65,000 to Svetlana Savacenco, 28, of New Hampshire to settle her lawsuit alleging that she was falsely arrested hours before the Super Bowl in 2009.

Savacenco and her husband, James DiZoglio, 48, were arrested on charges of trying to sell counterfeit tickets to three Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Charges against both were dropped after the NFL confirmed the tickets were in fact real.

A federal judge threw out most of DiZoglio's claims against the city on the grounds that police had reason to believe the tickets were fake after an NFL-issued scanner erroneously red-flagged them as suspect. But the city offered to settle with Savacenco, who did nothing more than sit in the car while her husband negotiated the sale.

• An agreement to accept a $10.9 million federal transportation grant to complete the Riverwalk and create a multiuse "greenway" trail under the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.

The agreement, which still must be signed off by state and federal officials, will allow the city to move ahead on the last two unfinished sections of the Riverwalk. One section will go south from Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park under the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge. The other will go north from the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts to Water Works Park.

Design and construction are expected to take place in the next year, and officials expect both sections to be done by spring 2015.

Comments
Sting nets arrests of more than 20 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors in Pinellas

Sting nets arrests of more than 20 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors in Pinellas

DUNEDIN –– The unlicensed contractors answered calls to perform electrical, plumbing and other types of work at a home since Saturday. But the workers had no idea that Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies posed as homeowners.Since Saturday, deputies ar...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Bi-Lo LLC, a subsidiary of the same Jacksonville company that owns Winn-Dixie, could file for bankruptcy as soon as next month, according to a Bloomberg report.Parent company Southeastern Grocer is planning to shut down nearly 200 stores either befor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
This gun owner said the Parkland shooting was the last straw. So he turned his rifle over to deputies

This gun owner said the Parkland shooting was the last straw. So he turned his rifle over to deputies

The Parkland school shooting inspired a Florida gun owner to turn his beloved AR-57 over to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office."As I struggle to make heads or tails of another senseless mass shooting in the USA, I can no longer offer only my ‘though...
Updated: 1 hour ago
New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

TAMPA — More than a dozen bus routes in Hillsborough County will have new times, paths and stops starting Sunday. The changes come almost four months after the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority rolled out an entirely new bus network, scrap...
Updated: 1 hour ago
President Trump expresses support for senators’ gun bill

President Trump expresses support for senators’ gun bill

President Donald Trump signaled support for one piece of gun control legislation on Monday, five days after a mass shooting at a Florida high school left 17 people dead and scores injured."The president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Why Parkland students have emerged as a powerful political voice; unlicensed contractors arrested after Pinellas sting; and more

Top 5 at noon: Why Parkland students have emerged as a powerful political voice; unlicensed contractors arrested after Pinellas sting; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.WHY PARKLAND STUDENTS HAVE EMERGED AS A POWERFUL POLITICAL VOICEThe boldest voices to emerge in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland have ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
From eyeball worms to a ‘frat house’ fire department, the top quotes from last week’s Tampa Bay Times

From eyeball worms to a ‘frat house’ fire department, the top quotes from last week’s Tampa Bay Times

From parasitic worms to the Parkland school shooting to a fire department run like a "frat house," your top quotes from last week’s Tampa Bay Times.• "You see cases where there are cysts full of fertilized eggs all over the brain. Luckily we caught i...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has led to the closure of one small business.According to the Miami Herald, the owners of Sunrise Tactical Supply, the Coral Springs, Florida shop that auth...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Fergie’s NBA All-Star Game national anthem confuses, amuses

Fergie’s NBA All-Star Game national anthem confuses, amuses

LOS ANGELES — Fergie tried something different with her national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game, and not everybody was cheering.The Black Eyed Peas singer's slow, bluesy rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" on Sunday night wasn't particular...
Updated: 3 hours ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is set to announce that the city’s main library will be renamed after former President Barack Obama.The announcement that the facility will be renamed after the nation’s first African-American president has been t...
Updated: 3 hours ago