Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

Zephyrhills mayor invites former President George H.W. Bush to celebrate his 100th birthday with a jump at Skydive City

ZEPHYRHILLS — News that former President George H.W. Bush marked his 90th birthday last week by jumping from a plane got the attention of Zephyrhills Mayor Gene Whitfield. Capitalizing on the publicity, Whitfield sent a letter to Bush inviting him to make Zephyrhills the site of his 100th birthday jump.

"Whether President Bush knows it or not, he is an inspiration to so many people around the world, not just for his years of public service, but for the example he sets by making every day count and living an active, healthy life well into his golden years," Whitfield said in a news release. "It would be a thrill for all of us to see him jump here at Skydive City on the day he turns 100."

Skydive City is a jump zone located at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, and this year's host for the 5th Annual FAI World Championships of Canopy-Piloting Nov. 1-7.

Whitfield added that the elder Bush was welcome to bring former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush along "so they can all jump together" at the city's expense.

According to the Associated Press, the 41st president, who can no longer use his legs due to a form of Parkinson's disease, made his eighth jump on Thursday near his summer home in Maine while harnessed to a retired member of the Army's parachute team. The first time Bush jumped from an airplane was when his plane was shot down in World War II over the Pacific.

As a World War II veteran, city leaders say, the former president would feel right at home in Zephyrhills. The Zephyrhills Airport was once a World War II training facility and is home to the Zephyrhills Museum of Military History.

Comments
Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

HOUSTON — The Rays brought up several of their top prospects so they can get as much experience as possible.And Monday that included seeing how the relentless defending champion Astros worked their way back from an early four-run deficit to sco...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

HOUSTON — Well before the idea of using a reliever to open games, as the Rays did against the Astros Monday for the 12th time, and then bringing in a starter was even a gleam in the eyes of the current Rays staff, former manager Lou Piniella wa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Nazi or not? Tattoo sparks Twitter storm over wounded New Port Richey veteran

Nazi or not? Tattoo sparks Twitter storm over wounded New Port Richey veteran

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is pushing back against a social media post implying that a combat-wounded New Port Richey veteran has a Nazi symbol tattooed on his arm.In a tweet Monday afternoon, ICE officials denied the vete...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pinellas protesters: Stop separating families at the border

Pinellas protesters: Stop separating families at the border

Protests were held on both ends of Pinellas County on Monday in opposition to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents as they seek asylum at the U.S. border."Children are not pawns," "No kids in cages" and "I would...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Two people drowned and another suffered life-threatening injuries in the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.Investigators said all three cases appear to be accidents, but the incidents stand as a reminder that summer, with vacation ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

SEMINOLE — She was 22 when deputies said a man forced her at knifepoint into the woods off Seminole Boulevard and sexually battered her in February 1987.The case went cold, but now the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested the man it ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

TAMPA — Iceland isn't what it used to be. Literally. The Nordic island country is shrinking, what with global warming. Iceland's glaciers are getting smaller. If you took all that ice and laid it end to end, well, you clearly have nothing bette...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian on Sunday night and then drove off.The incident took place at 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh Avenue.No details a...
Updated: 5 hours ago