Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

Zephyrhills passes 1-year moratorium on Internet sweepstakes cafes

ZEPHYRHILLS — Anyone considering opening an Internet sweepstakes cafe within city limits better hold that thought for a year.

The City Council on Monday night unanimously passed an emergency ordinance placing a moratorium on accepting or processing applications for any Internet cafes while Zephyrhills staffers study the industry and come up with ways to best regulate the businesses. The moratorium took effect immediately.

The ordinance states that some communities have had trouble with the cafes and had difficulty dealing with those issues, because their city codes didn't address such outfits or take into account how they might affect other neighboring homes and businesses.

"We have not had such a concern in our community so far," City Manager Jim Drumm told council members before the vote, adding he wants to be proactive.

While Zephyrhills does not have any Internet cafes and no applications for one have been received, Drumm said, the city has had inquiries recently.

"I've heard nothing good about these Internet cafes," council member Charlie Proctor said before the vote. "I don't want them coming into our little community."

Drumm said it's not the city's intent to ban such businesses.

Council vice president Jodi Wilkeson said it's important to be careful not to "close out legitimate businesses" and thinks the moratorium is a good approach.

Customers at such cafes purchase Internet time or a phone card that they then use to access casino-style sweepstakes games on computers. Points won in the games can be redeemed for cash.

The Coalition of Florida's Internet Cafes says the businesses are not gambling facilities and are legal in Florida. They say the games merely promote the business — like the peel-back card prize promotions that fast-food restaurants use. They insist winning is predetermined, not up to chance.

Drumm said if the study is done before the 12 months is up, officials could lift the moratorium earlier.

Comments
Space heater likely cause of early-morning home fire in Valrico

Space heater likely cause of early-morning home fire in Valrico

VALRICO ó A space heater is believed to be the cause of a home fire in Valrico on Tuesday morning.It took firefighters about 20 minutes to control the fire in a mobile home on Pierce Christie Drive, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.The ca...
Updated: 1 hour ago
French group to take over Westfield malls for $15.7 billion

French group to take over Westfield malls for $15.7 billion

PARIS ó French real estate company Unibail-Rodamco has agreed to buy Australia-based shopping mall operator Westfield Corporation for $15.7 billion in cash and shares.The companies would together have 104 shopping centers in 13 countries that bring i...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Find out Politifactís 2017 Lie of the Year; Alabama voters go to the polls; arraignment for accused Seminole Heights killer; Yankees may hasten Raysí dismantling

The Daystarter: Find out Politifactís 2017 Lie of the Year; Alabama voters go to the polls; arraignment for accused Seminole Heights killer; Yankees may hasten Raysí dismantling

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecastē Low temperatures continue this morning but itíll be pretty nice by the afternoon. Itíll be in the high 40s overnight and then start to rea...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Obama, Biden and Trump make late pushes in Alabama Senate race

Obama, Biden and Trump make late pushes in Alabama Senate race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ó National political leaders, a Hollywood actress and a retired basketball star made last-ditch efforts to woo voters in the Alabama Senate race Monday, as the candidates gave their final arguments in a pivotal special election that ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romano: Come to Madeira Beach for the sand, sun and scorn

Romano: Come to Madeira Beach for the sand, sun and scorn

Forgive the folks in Madeira Beach for not yet updating the FAQs portion of their website. They’ve been quite busy lately, which might explain why three of the five commissioners listed are no longer in office. Or maybe it’s just a nod t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Warm breezes across Tampa Bay ahead of fluctuating conditions

Forecast: Warm breezes across Tampa Bay ahead of fluctuating conditions

Chilly, windy, colder, sunny, warmer, rainy. 10News WTSP Feels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area This week’s inconsistent weather conditions will at least keep things interesting across the Tampa Bay area, even if it makes it d...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tampa forum focuses on reforming Floridaís juvenile justice system

TAMPA ó Changing the way Florida treats juvenile offenders was the focus of Monday nightís public forum on criminal justice reform."We send more children to adult prison than any other state," said Raymer Maguire IV, manager of the ACLUís Florida Cam...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Jury selection in trial of Clearwater man charged with motherís death begins today

Jury selection in trial of Clearwater man charged with motherís death begins today

Jury selection is expected to begin Tuesday morning in the case of a 61-year-old man charged with beating his elderly mother to death.Daniel Edward Richards of Clearwater is charged with second-degree murder. He is representing himself during the tri...
Published: 12/12/17
Kathy Fountain, from anchor chair to therapistís chair

Kathy Fountain, from anchor chair to therapistís chair

A knowledgeable voice and familiar face beamed into Tampa Bay homes when Kathy Fountain delivered the 5 oíclock news and chatted with talk show guests on WTVT-Ch. 13. She created some news of her own as co-anchor of the first female team in the Tampa...
Published: 12/12/17
Medical field accounts for 7 of 10 highest-paying jobs

Medical field accounts for 7 of 10 highest-paying jobs

The nationís highest-paying jobs donít quite track with the fastest-growing jobs in Florida. According to a new study released today by California-based CareerCast, the highest-paying jobs are largely in the medical field and require post-graduate de...
Published: 12/12/17