Monday, June 25, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa to spend $6 million on police radios for use at Republican National Convention

TAMPA — City Council members Thursday okayed Tampa's biggest security expenditure yet for the Republican National Convention.

The city will pay Communications International of Vero Beach $6 million for more than 1,900 handheld or vehicle-mounted radios for the convention, scheduled for Aug. 27-30.

Police say the radios are needed because up to 3,000 officers from other parts of Florida will be working convention security, and they all need to be on the same communications system.

With the radios, the city has approved spending nearly $12 million of a $50 million federal convention security grant on technology and equipment. After the convention, the radios will go to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Council members also:

• Voted 5-0, with Chairman Charlie Miranda and member Lisa Montelione absent, for a resolution supporting a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations don't have the same rights as people, nor is spending corporate money on elections a form of constitutionally protected speech.

New York, Los Angeles and other cities have adopted "corporate personhood" resolutions in response to the U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United ruling. The 2010 case opened the door to unlimited corporate and labor spending in federal elections.

"It's important that we show our constituents that we are not owned and don't feel that politicians and our representatives should be subsidiaries of corporations," said council member Mary Mulhern, who proposed the measure.

• Set a workshop for 9 a.m. April 26 on whether to change Tampa's rules to make it easier to keep backyard chickens. Several residents praised the fowl, but not everyone was a fan.

"To hear comments from individuals talking about a chicken as a pet is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," said council member Frank Reddick, who described a brazen bird that would "stroll down the sidewalk like he owned the neighborhood" and kick the mulch out of his flower beds. "Any chicken running loose in your neighborhood is a public nuisance."

• Voted to ask the U.S. Navy to name a littoral combat ship — a type of fast, light ship that operates near shore — after Tampa.

"We have a very rich history in the military," council member Mike Suarez said. In 1918, the Coast Guard cutter USS Tampa was sunk by a German U-boat, killing 130.

U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have supported the idea in a letter to the Navy.

• Heard that the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce and recently formed Ybor Merchants Association are working on a plan for Guavaween that could take down a fence that many merchants say kills business.

Ybor business owners said the groups may seek city sponsorships and grants from the city's Ybor City Development Corp. Mayor Bob Buckhorn has said he doesn't care whether there's a fence, but if Guavaween needs police, firefighters or solid waste crews, private organizers will have to pay for them.

Comments
Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Former Alabama star and Bucs defensive end Keith McCants was arrested in St. Petersburg early Monday morning and is facing a felony charge of possession of crack cocaine, according to arrest records.McCants, 50, was arrested by the Pinellas County Sh...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Tampa man faces murder charge in hit-and-run that killed father during family bike ride

Tampa man faces murder charge in hit-and-run that killed father during family bike ride

TAMPA ó A Tampa man faces charges , including premeditated first-degree murder, following his arrest Sunday night in a hit-and-run that killed a father and left his 3-year-old son seriously injured while on a family bike ride earlier in the afternoon...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Arrest made in New Tampa hit-and-run; who will pay for their name on proposed Rays park in Ybor?; Rays complete series sweep of Yankees

The Daystarter: Arrest made in New Tampa hit-and-run; who will pay for their name on proposed Rays park in Ybor?; Rays complete series sweep of Yankees

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today. † • We’ll have another wet day to start the week, with widespread afternoon and evening thundershowers, according to 10Weather WTSP. High temperatures should top out near ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
PolitiFact Florida: Republican PAC misleads in ad about Sen. Bill Nelsonís record on Social Security, Medicare

PolitiFact Florida: Republican PAC misleads in ad about Sen. Bill Nelsonís record on Social Security, Medicare

A new ad portrays Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson as a career politician who doesnít have the backs of senior citizens.The New Republican PAC, which is backing Gov. Rick Scott in Floridaís closely watched Senate race, released a 30-second ad criticizing ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What name would a new Rays stadium carry? Itís a multi-million dollar question

What name would a new Rays stadium carry? Itís a multi-million dollar question

TAMPA ó Yankee Stadium, Fenway and Wrigley are ballparks whose names are woven into the lore of Americaís national pastime.Petco Park and Guaranteed Rate Field? Not so much.The trade-off for that clunky corporate handle is typically an annual payout ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The pros and cons of Tom Jurich as potential USF AD candidate

The pros and cons of Tom Jurich as potential USF AD candidate

Former Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has emerged as a legitimate candidate to take over USF, as our Joey Knight reported late last week.Despite the chatter around USF and in the industry, I'm skeptical; I wouldn't be surprised if the Bulls'...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Hooper: Michelle Obamaís 2016 clarion call needs to be heard today

When they go low, we go high.Those words drew an astounding amount of applause when then First Lady Michelle Obama delivered them at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.Yet some people treat the statement as merely the basis of a good meme, inste...
Published: 06/25/18
Wondering what St. Pete is up to? Check the cityís data yourself

Wondering what St. Pete is up to? Check the cityís data yourself

ST. PETERSBURG ó Maybe you want to track your tree-trimming request. Or see what kind of water mains were worked on last month. Or check how many police calls came from downtown on a recent Thursday before 4 p.m. (The answer is 25.)Now city residents...
Published: 06/25/18
Norwegian Airlines offers direct flights from Tampa to London-Gatwick

Norwegian Airlines offers direct flights from Tampa to London-Gatwick

TAMPA ó Norwegian Airlines announced Monday it will start direct flights twice a week between Tampa International Airport and London Gatwick effective Oct. 31, giving Tampa International Airport another much-desired international flight.Bookings were...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

TAMPA ó Stripped to the girders, the old Bromley office building looked about as substantial as fish bones on a dinner plate.But the 5-story structure proved Sunday it still had a surprising amount of fight left in it.A demolition team had planned to...
Updated: 1 hour ago