Tuesday, January 23, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa moves to fine landlords for house parties

TAMPA — Landlords whose tenants throw house parties allowing underage drinking or illegal drug use could be fined under an ordinance that won initial City Council approval Thursday.

For two years, homeowners in West Riverfront and North Hyde Park have complained that parties at houses rented by University of Tampa students have disrupted their sleep, clogged their streets with taxicabs and littered their yards with red plastic cups.

Already this semester, neighborhoods near campus have seen three or four big parties attended by students and nonstudents alike, officials said. One drew a crowd of more than 300, some of whom threw objects at police cruisers.

"It was out of control," said UT associate dean of students Gina Firth, one of three university administrators who said the ordinance would be another tool to help police, the university and residents address the problem. "The landlords are actually going to be educated more as soon as they learn about this, and they can use this in their leases."

Council member Frank Reddick, who requested the ordinance, has written landlords to ask them to rein in their tenants.

"Most of them have attempted to resolve the problem, and some of them have been frustrated at finding out that these things were going on," he said.

As proposed, landlords would get one written warning, then would face fines of $450 for each underage house party after that. A final vote is scheduled after a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 18.

The council also:

• Voted to pay $100,000 to settle a federal civil lawsuit filed by Eddy Leon Graddy. In 2008, Graddy was Tasered, fell and broke his arm as he ran from three police officers who stopped to question and search him on a N Nebraska Avenue sidewalk.

Graddy, now 51, was charged with possession of cocaine, but the case was dismissed after a judge ruled the officers acted on an anonymous tip without making any observations to corroborate that Graddy was doing anything wrong. Graddy sued the city and Officers Robert Barrett, Christopher Cornelius and Chad Smith, alleging the Tasering and arrest violated his Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure.

City attorneys have not said the officers did anything wrong, but they acknowledge that if the case had gone to trial, Graddy likely could have won a jury verdict bigger than the settlement.

• Gave its initial approval to a proposed $876 million budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins on Oct. 1.

The budget is based on a tax rate of about $5.73 in city property taxes for every $1,000 of assessed, nonexempt value. That's the same rate as this year, but because property values have risen, it works out to a tax increase of nearly 5.2 percent.

Someone who owned a home assessed at $140,000 with standard exemptions would pay about $516 in city taxes. Include proposed property taxes levied by other agencies, and that total tax bill would be about $2,067.

A final budget hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 17.

Comments
Career Q&A: Sharpen interview skills to overcome impression of shyness

Career Q&A: Sharpen interview skills to overcome impression of shyness

Q: At the end of a recent interview, the manager told me that I would not be getting the job. He said I wasn’t a good fit for the position because I was shy. As a naturally introverted person, I found this very discouraging. How can I avoid similar p...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lawmakers call for additional investigations into Tampa Bay’s two CareerSource boards

Lawmakers call for additional investigations into Tampa Bay’s two CareerSource boards

Federal and state lawmakers are calling on Congress and the Florida House of Representatives to investigate whether two regional workforce centers inflated the number of people they helped find jobs. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D–St. Petersburg, and sta...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Undersea quake causes fear of tsunami in Alaska; Kentucky teen kills 2 classmates in shooting; ex-gymnast tells Nassar: ‘You didn’t heal me. You only hurt me’; more in U.S. news

Undersea quake causes fear of tsunami in Alaska; Kentucky teen kills 2 classmates in shooting; ex-gymnast tells Nassar: ‘You didn’t heal me. You only hurt me’; more in U.S. news

AlaskaUndersea quake causes panicA powerful undersea earthquake sent Alaskans fumbling for suitcases and racing to evacuation centers in the middle of the night after a cellphone alert warned a tsunami could hit communities along the state’s southern...
Updated: 2 hours ago
MacDill crews shift from Islamic State battle to join winter fight against Taliban

MacDill crews shift from Islamic State battle to join winter fight against Taliban

Now that the fight against the largely defeated Islamic State is winding down, the U.S. Air Force is turning its efforts toward the Taliban and moving aircraft and crews to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.Crews and a KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refue...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Deputies identify 11-month-old who drowned, no other details released

Deputies identify 11-month-old who drowned, no other details released

BRANDON — The 11-month-old girl who drowned in an apartment complex pond on Monday was identified as Deleah Morgan by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday.Deputies released no other details about the incident or the ongoing investigation....
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: A good first step in restoring the right to vote

Editorial: A good first step in restoring the right to vote

Allowing felons a meaningful chance to reclaim their right to vote and rejoin civic life is edging closer to reality in Florida. On Tuesday the state announced that a yearslong petition drive to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot h...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Man, 60, arrested in fatal shooting of his neighbor in Holiday

HOLIDAY — A 60-year-old man fatally shot his neighbor on Tuesday while the younger man stood outside his own home, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said Qiu Feng Kek shot Edward Tudor, 37, outside 3519 Richboro Drive. He died a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Avalanche causes evacuations in Italy; indictment says Madsen abused journalist Wall before killing her; more in world news

Avalanche causes evacuations in Italy; indictment says Madsen abused journalist Wall before killing her; more in world news

Italy150 evacuated after avalancheFour helicopters evacuated 150 people trapped in a four-star hotel and other remote structures Tuesday after an avalanche, authorities said, as heavy snow caused disruption across the Alps. The Langtauferer Hotel, lo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
ScarFace the Osprey scarfs up prized neckwear to make Coquina Key home

ScarFace the Osprey scarfs up prized neckwear to make Coquina Key home

ST. PETERSBURGSome 25 feet up in the air, towering over Coquina Key, sits an osprey surveying the park below.It is on the hunt for any bit of material so it can prepare a nest for future hatchlings. Whether it be sticks, hay, palm leaves, a trash bag...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?

Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for hours in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, the Justice Department said Tuesday, as prosecutors moved closer to a possible interview with President Donald Trump about whether he ...
Updated: 4 hours ago