Tuesday, January 23, 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
Florida may hand out school vouchers to bullied students

Florida may hand out school vouchers to bullied students

TALLAHASSEE — Florida students who get bullied may get taxpayer help to attend a private school.A Senate panel on Monday voted for a bill that would allow students who are victims of bullying, physical attack, robbery and other types of violenc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

NEW YORK — Guillermo del Toro’s lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" fished out a leading 13 nominations, Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated for best director and "Mudbound" cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history as the f...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Truck carrying frozen chickens catches fire on I-75 in Brandon

Southbound lanes on Interstate 75 were closed in Brandon early Tuesday morning after a semi-trailer carrying frozen chickens caught fire.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 52-year-old Brian Keith Jester, of Venice, was driving southbound near S...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Five Hernando County educators nominated for LifeChanger of the Year Awards

Hernando County Public Schools has five educators in the running for prizes ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 in the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year awards. The program will give out 17 awards.Travis Bruns and Doug Poteet of Pine Grove Elemen...
Updated: 2 hours ago
MacDill crews shift from Islamic State battle to join winter fight against Taliban

MacDill crews shift from Islamic State battle to join winter fight against Taliban

Now that the fight against the largely defeated Islamic State is winding down, the U.S. Air Force is turning its efforts toward the Taliban and moving aircraft and crews to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.Crews and a KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refue...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Alaska hit by 7.9 earthquake; tsunami warning canceled

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck off Alaska’s Kodiak Island early Tuesday, prompting a tsunami warning for a large swath of the state’s coast.Officials at the National Tsunami Center canceled the warning after a few tense hours a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
More teacher protests and another charter school approval expected at the Hillsborough County School Board meeting

More teacher protests and another charter school approval expected at the Hillsborough County School Board meeting

TAMPA — This will seem familiar: Teachers are mobilizing to protest outside Tuesday’s Hillsborough County School Board meeting about their frozen pay rates.And this too: A vote is expected on a new charter school.Florida Connections Academy is a virt...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Naomi Parker Fraley, the real Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96

Naomi Parker Fraley, the real Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96

Unsung for seven decades, the real Rosie the Riveter was a California waitress named Naomi Parker Fraley.Over the years, a welter of American women have been identified as the model for Rosie, the war worker of 1940s popular culture who became a femi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, joking that he "used to be a comedian" and playing with a jazz band in his hometown as a retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault ca...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Daystarter: Seminole Heights suspect could face death penalty; soggy commute across Tampa Bay; Oscar nominations released today; Lightning shut out Blackhawks

The Daystarter: Seminole Heights suspect could face death penalty; soggy commute across Tampa Bay; Oscar nominations released today; Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• Those Monday evening showers could linger to saturate Tuesday morning’s commute, according to 10Weather WTSP. They’ll move out by the afternoon as a cool — not quite a cold —...
Updated: 4 hours ago