Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Zephyrhills to administer citizen survey

ZEPHYRHILLS — The city's annual survey of citizen satisfaction levels will not be conducted by University of South Florida students, as has been done for the past decade.

Instead, the city will handle the survey in-house this year. City Manager Jim Drumm gave the city council a draft of this year's survey at Monday's council meeting, but members decided to delay approval until their next meeting to give them more time to consider topics they want residential feedback on.

The draft includes a new question — whether residents favor a slight hike in the city property tax rate of .25 for every $1,000 of taxable property value — to help open and maintain a city-owned swimming pool. The council has been discussing possible uses for the school district-owned Hercules Park and swimming pool for several months; the county, which once leased the property from the school district, closed the park and pool two years ago. The district has discussed with city officials the possibility of the city taking responsibility for the property.

The survey has previously been administered at no cost by students in USF's public administration master's program, but Drumm said program officials notified him recently that the survey project is no longer included in the course syllabus. The officials said university staff are available to conduct the survey at a cost of $4,000 to $5,000, Drumm said.

Drumm suggested the city's administrative services director, Larry Strickland, conduct the survey since he handled it two years ago when he was a student in the USF program.

Comments
Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

ZEPHRYHILLS — On a Thursday morning in a small warehouse off Gall Boulevard, a well-oiled machine of goodwill is cranking. At the Thomas Promise Foundation, volunteers Carlos and Robin Clothier, pack boxes of macaroni and cheese, granola bars, apple ...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
One killed, two injured as boats collide on Little Manatee River

One killed, two injured as boats collide on Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — Two boats collided on the Little Manatee River Friday morning, killing one person and injuring two others, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.The two who were injured are being treated at a hospital.The identities of the three were...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Tampa judge sentences man to 330 years after repeat trips to the Philippines to have sex with children and make child porn

Tampa judge sentences man to 330 years after repeat trips to the Philippines to have sex with children and make child porn

TAMPA — A Venice man convicted of producing child pornography and regularly traveling to the Philippines to have sex with children was sentenced Friday to spend 330 years in federal prison. In October, a federal jury found David Paul Lynch, 56, guilt...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citigroup is preparing to issue $330 million in refunds after the bank discovered it had overcharged nearly 2 million credit card customers on their annual interest rates, a spokeswoman said Friday.The bank, which has about 150 million credit card ac...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey, the leader of Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations over the way they report job placement figures, says he has no intention of stepping down unless he is paid a severance.In a letter from his attorney...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Enough is enough. The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has renewed conversations about gun control in Washington and Tallahassee. Young people are demanding action, and there are cracks in the National Rifle Association’s solid w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
She’s taught at the Parkland high school for 14 years. Can she go back?

She’s taught at the Parkland high school for 14 years. Can she go back?

She was afraid of what it would feel like, but she needed to know, so Melissa Falkowski pulled into the faculty parking lot. She took a deep breath in through her nose and climbed out of her car. She was back, in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas Hig...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Column: A combat zone, with desks

Column: A combat zone, with desks

For nine months in Kandahar, Afghanistan, I went through the same routine every day.I put on my uniform and tied my boots. I put a magazine in my 9-millimeter handgun and locked it in my hip holster. I put a 30-round magazine in my M-4 and slung it o...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Column: Billy Graham, the last nonpartisan evangelical?

It’s difficult to overstate the influence of the Rev. Billy Graham — who died at 99 last week — on American public life, and indeed the world, over the past century. It’s estimated that the globe-trotting preacher shared the Christian message with 21...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

ODESSA — The 63-year-old lakeside summer camp had no air conditioning or electricity. Cabin floors were often covered in grime, and cobwebs clung to the windows.But under new ownership, the 18.6 acres of Florida woods known as Camp Scoutcrest to memb...
Updated: 2 hours ago