Sunday, February 18, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa hires Baltimore official as new parks and recreation director

TAMPA — Two years after being asked to turn around the parks department in Baltimore, Greg Bayor is taking on a similar mission in Tampa.

Bayor was named Tuesday to replace Karen Palus, who resigned in December as Tampa's parks and recreation director.

"What Greg's going to bring is a good mix," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.

In a career of more than 30 years, Bayor, 64, has experience with both big-city and suburban programs, having worked as director of recreation in Montgomery County, Md.

"Some of our parks are a lot more suburban than urban; for example, New Tampa," Buckhorn said. He also praised Bayor's record of building relationships with groups like the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Baltimore Ravens.

Finally, it didn't hurt that Baltimore has its own lacrosse program, "which I would like very much to see implemented down here," said Buckhorn, who played the sport at Penn State.

A graduate of the University of Baltimore — where, by the way, he played Division I lacrosse himself — Bayor will be paid $132,000 annually. A start date has not been set, but Bayor will work in an interim capacity until he moves to Tampa, at which time the City Council will consider his nomination.

In Baltimore, Bayor has 215 employees and a $32 million budget. Here, he'll run a department with 485 positions and a budget of nearly $50 million.

When he became Baltimore's recreation and parks director in April 2010, Bayor was told to improve programming and craft a strategic plan for a department that had been cut repeatedly and had morale problems.

Since then, the department has put together a task force of community and business representatives to write a master plan. It is now looking for and has had some success finding private partners to operate its recreation centers, which tend to be small.

In Tampa, he'll come into a department that Buckhorn wants to make more responsive. He said Bayor will need to focus on morale, team-building and "getting everybody focused on what their task is and excited about coming to work."

That's one of Bayor's strengths, said Baltimore City Council member William Cole.

"He's done a remarkable job," said Cole, the chairman of that council's recreation committee. He said Bayor values customer service and expects performance but is approachable and will "sit down and talk with anybody."

"There is not any question that he's leaving us in a much better spot than we were in when he started," Cole said.

Comments

Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

PINELLAS PARK — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday said detectives arrested a 14-year-old boy and accused him of posting a threat to a school on his Snapchat account.Edward Charles Osgood, who attends Lealman Innovation Academy, was a...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Ten things to know about Stormy Daniels

Ten things to know about Stormy Daniels

1. Was editor of her high school newspaper, president of her 4-H club.2. Started stripping at age 17 in Baton Rouge, La.3. Made her first porn film with a girlfriend.4. Took her stage name from the Motley Crue bassist, who named his son Storm, and fr...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

MUNICH — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was "incontrovertible" evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, a blunt statement that shows how significantly the new criminal charges leveled by an...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style fi...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — A red heart-shaped balloon rose above crowd of several hundred people that had gathered at Williams Park on Saturday evening to mourn Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County and to protest gun violence.Below the balloon, signs ...
Updated: 7 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 orches...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Stormy at the strip club: A porn star cashes in on presidential connection

Stormy at the strip club: A porn star cashes in on presidential connection

TAMPA — In the center of the nightclub, between the cigar case and bustling bar, a giant screen blankets the back wall. Usually, ads for drink specials and coming attractions scroll across.But Friday night, a life-size picture of President Donald Tru...
Updated: 8 hours ago

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: 10 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: 11 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: 11 hours ago