Friday, September 21, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: Gasparilla's Navy 'hero' survived danger; Ruth: Don't expect much from $6B in local road work; Famous violin comes to Tampa

Here's what's new this morning.

GASPARILLA PARADE'S NAVY HERO SURVIVED DANGER, INJURY

When U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr Ramesh Haytasingh got in trouble as a young man, a judge told him to speak with a U.S. Navy recruiter. That meeting led Haytasingh to deployments totalling four years and eight months in Iraq and Afghanistan, half of them as an explosives specialist. On Saturday, he will roll down Bayshore Boulevard with the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates as the procession's community hero. The honor goes to a local person with an inspiring story.

OPPONENTS LINE UP AGAINST NEGRON'S EVERGLADES PLAN

Rochelle Neumann held back tears up as she told a Senate committee how her family rebuilt their paddle board company in Stuart four years ago only to have it closed for good when toxic algae plumes returned last year and poisoned the coast. Neumann was among dozens of residents and business owners who came to testify Wednesday before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Natural Resources, which is drafting a $2.4 billion plan to use tax money to  bring fresh water to South Florida and avoid another toxic algae summer.

FEDS ORDER PINELLAS BALLOTS BE PRINTED IN ESPANOL

Bilingual ballots will soon be routine in elections in Pinellas County, which has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice to  publish all voting materials in both English and Spanish for the first time.

RUTH: DON'T EXPECT MUCH FROM BILLIONS IN ROAD WORK

[Times files]

 

By the time the $6 billion plan by the Florida Department of Transportation to add 90 miles of toll lanes to Interstates 75, 275 and 4 and expand a new Howard Frankland Bridge to eight free lanes, plus two express, pay-to-drive lanes, is completed, on this much we can probably all agree: we will all be such burnt, fried and scorched toast.  Here's what we'll likely wind up with for $6 billion, according to columnist Daniel Ruth.

EPILOGUE: LONGTIME MADEIRA BEACH PUBLIC SERVANT PATRICIA SHONTZ

If ever there was an institution embodied by one person, for Madeira Beach that person was Pat Shontz, who died Jan. 19 at the age of 83. "She had a great love for this city," said longtime friend and business associate Art Broderick.

HAWAII? EVEN BUCS PRO BOWLERS ARE OK WITH ORLANDO

For most of its history, the real perk of going to the Pro Bowl -- as an NFL player, as a coach, as a fan, as a reporter -- was Hawaii, the king of All-Star venues. With this year's game and the next two years in Orlando -- Sunday's game at Camping World Stadium and this week's practices at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista -- you could expect a understandable drop in excitement, compared to its island predecessor.

BY THE NUMBERS: FSU A RECRUITING POWERHOUSE

Since Jimbo Fisher took over in 2010, Florida State has been one of the top recruiting programs in the country. Each class has been ranked in the top 11, a streak that will likely continue this season. Here's a numerical breakdown.

SAFETY HARBOR MAYORAL CANDIDATES FOCUSED ON DOWNTOWN

On March 14, voters will choose between former mayor Joe Ayoub and current Seat 1 Commissioner Janet Hooper to replace Mayor Andy Steingold, who has decided to step out of local politics for the first time in a decade. The Tampa Bay Times asked the candidates to share a bit about themselves and what they plan to do if elected.

THE STORY BEHIND MY FAMOUS, ONCE-STOLEN VIOLIN

[Joshua Bell]

The violin is more than 300 years old. There's only a handful like it in the world. Known as the Gibson ex Huberman, the revered instrument came Joshua Bell's life one fateful day during the summer of 2001. Bell, in his own words, tells the story of this once-stolen violin, before he comes to Tampa to play the Straz Center.


Comments
Top 5 at noon: For Florida officials, it's always Hammer time; St. Pete says couple can't park on its new $15,000 driveway; and more

Top 5 at noon: For Florida officials, it's always Hammer time; St. Pete says couple can't park on its new $15,000 driveway; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:NRA SWAY: FOR FLORIDA OFFICIALS, IT'S ALWAYS HAMMER TIMEThose who work in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services never know when National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Examining Florida-Tennessee, FSU-NIU and the other state college football matchups

Examining Florida-Tennessee, FSU-NIU and the other state college football matchups

† Eye on the NFL draft At 6-foot-1, 237 pounds, Northern Illinois DE Sutton Smith doesn't have NFL size, but he does have next-level productivity. He ranked in the top four nationally last year in sacks, tackles for loss and fumbles forced/recovere...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
They spent $15,000 adding a driveway to their St. Pete House. Now the city says they canít park on it

They spent $15,000 adding a driveway to their St. Pete House. Now the city says they canít park on it

ST. PETERSBURG ó One day in January, Dana Cremo was on her front porch hanging a vintage screen door when two city employees walked up. "You canít park on your driveway," they said. "Why?" she asked. "Because somebody filed a complaint," they said. F...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Pasco Business Digest for Sept. 28

Pasco Business Digest for Sept. 28

BrieflyPARADE APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE: The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce will host the 2018 "Magical Night Christmas Parade," sponsored by Florida Hospital Dade City/Zephyrhills on Dec. 7 on 8th Street, Dade City. Applications for se...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
John Jonchuck will go to trial soon, but first lawyers will fight over an expert witness

John Jonchuck will go to trial soon, but first lawyers will fight over an expert witness

The judge rested her chin in her palm. The prosecutor marched in circles, then threw up his hands and rubbed them across his head.Plans were crumbling before them.The defense team stood in a huddle, whispering frantically. They had just thrust an Ode...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Raysí playoff chances, more

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Raysí playoff chances, more

It's our mailbag episode, with questions about how many games the Bucs can win this season, the reason for their offensive explosion and what we can expect from Vita Vea this week against the Steelers.Plus, what moves should the Rays make this offsea...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Federal loans open to Pinellas businesses struggling against Red Tide

Federal loans open to Pinellas businesses struggling against Red Tide

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended its disaster loan program to include Pinellas and Pasco county businesses affected by Red Tide.Already, the Pinellas County Economic Development Office was taking applications for bridge loans to he...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida adds 20,500 jobs in August, unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7 percent

Florida adds 20,500 jobs in August, unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7 percent

Floridaís jobless rate held steady in August at 3.7 percent, unchanged from July, according to state figures released Friday. That makes this the 11th-straight month with an unemployment rate below 4 percent. The state added 20,500 jobs in August and...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Colombia-based body shapewear boutique, Sexy Skinz opens second location in South Tampa

Colombia-based body shapewear boutique, Sexy Skinz opens second location in South Tampa

After listening to the needs of men and women desiring and personally desiring to look slimmer without having to exercise, Colombia native, Elizabeth Muñoz spent years designing top-of-the-line body shapewear at her undergarment shop in Colombia...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hometown Pasco for Sept. 28

Hometown Pasco for Sept. 28

We want your news!Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it's snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting events or news from your last club meeting. You can contact Hometown Pasco news coordinator Jean Hamilt...
Updated: 2 hours ago