Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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.

Tampa airport ranks No. 4 for most affordable parking rates

Tampa airport ranks No. 4 for most affordable parking rates

TAMPA — Holiday flight prices may be high, but parking rates at Tampa International Airport are a little more manageable. TIA has the fourth-cheapest parking rates in the country, a study by travel and expense app company TravelBank said. TIA, the st...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Dunedin City Commission punts decision on paid parking

Dunedin City Commission punts decision on paid parking

DUNEDIN — At 1 a.m. Wednesday, after seven hours of public input and back-and-forth discussion on the dais, the City Commission failed to agree on a path forward for the downtown paid parking trial program that was scheduled to expire Tuesday.Instead...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

BROOKSVILLE — The new year could bring about new beginnings for at-risk girls in Hernando County.Pending a vote by the School Board next month, PACE Center for Girls, an alternative education program for middle- and high-school students, could open a...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Updated: 22 minutes ago

Hernando Government Meetings for Dec. 15

Here is a listing of public meetings scheduled for this week:MondayBrooksville City Council, 7 p.m., council chambers, City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville.TuesdayBrooksville Housing Authority Board Meeting, 5 p.m. council chambers, City Hall, 201...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Pinellas sheriff to announce findings of excessive force investigation

Pinellas sheriff to announce findings of excessive force investigation

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri will announce Wednesday the findings of an internal investigation sparked by dashboard camera video that appears to show deputies beating, choking and yanking the hair of a 25-year-old man during an arrest.Gualti...
Updated: 24 minutes ago

Hernando briefs for Dec. 15

COUNTYWIDEDriver safety programAARP Driver Safety Program classes are available at various locations. The cost for each six-hour course is $15 for AARP members (bring membership card) and $20 for non-members. These classes are scheduled in January:• ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Petersburg police make several arrests in death of woman, 22, found in alley

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have made a series of arrests in connection to the death investigation of a 22-year-old woman whose body was found in alley last December.Investigators said over the course of the last year they learned that the woman, Taylor ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hernando Bloodmobile for Dec. 15

LifeSouth Community Blood Center will have blood drives at the following off-site locations during the coming week.Dec. 15: 7:30 a.m. to 2:10 p.m., Nature Coast Technical High School, 4057 California St., south of Brooksville; 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Her...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hernando Business Digest for Dec. 15

EventsDISCOUNT OFFERED TO THOSE WHO DONATE TO HELP HOMELESS: In advance of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, BonWorth clothing store, 12987 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill, will offer a 10 percent discount on purchases to those who donate unwanted c...
Updated: 1 hour ago