Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.


Morning Watch: Gasparilla's Navy 'hero' survived danger; Ruth: Don't expect much from $6B in local road work; Famous violin comes to Tampa 01/26/17 [Last modified: Thursday, January 26, 2017 9:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  2. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  3. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]