Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Veterans group seeks ouster of secretary

Washington

Veterans group seeks ouster of secretary

The nation's largest veterans group called Monday for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and two top department administrators over alleged issues with quality of care and coverups at some VA medical centers. The American Legion said it will formally ask President Barack Obama to remove Shinseki from office, along with Undersecretary for Health Robert Petzel and Undersecretary for Benefits Allison Hickey. The White House indicated Monday that Obama will stand behind Shinseki, noting that the department's inspector general is investigating the allegations. The Veterans of Foreign Wars also disagreed with the American Legion's position, calling for strong action from Shinseki and greater congressional oversight rather than resignations.

Providence, R.I.

Clip suspected in circus accident

Investigators suspect that a snapped clip sent eight aerial acrobats plummeting 20 feet or more during a daring act in which performers dangle from their hair. One injured performer told her father she didn't notice anything amiss before her "plunge into darkness." The clip, a common type called a carabiner that is used for everything from rock climbing to holding key rings, was one of several pieces at the top of a chandelierlike apparatus that suspended the performers, fire officials said. After the accident, the 4- to 5-inch steel clip was found in three pieces on the ground. The acrobats remained in the hospital.

Dallas

Prosecutor blasts judge in rape case

A Dallas judge's handling of a rape case and her suggestion that the 14-year-old victim was lying has outraged Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, who said Monday that the case makes other victims reluctant to help authorities. State District Judge Jeanine Howard voluntarily recused herself from the case of Sir Young, 20, who pleaded guilty to raping the girl in 2011. Howard sentenced Young to probation and limited some of the conditions a sex offender might normally receive. She told the Dallas Morning News last week that she questioned the veracity of the teenager's story.

Guthrie, Okla.

Residents assess wildfire damage

Residents in an Oklahoma community where a wildfire killed one person, burned thousands of acres and destroyed at least six homes returned to survey the damage Monday as firefighters continued to battle the stubborn blaze. The fire in Guthrie, about 35 miles north of Oklahoma City, went awry Sunday and swept through the parched countryside with wind gusts at 31 mph. Fire officials said Monday afternoon the blaze was about 75 percent contained and they are investigating to determine whether any criminal conduct occurred when it was set. A burn ban was not in place at the time.

Elsewhere

Washington: The Obama administration on Monday announced enhanced diplomatic standing and $27 million in new aid for the Syrian Opposition Coalition, the main opposition group.

Los Angeles: The primary air traffic control system around Los Angeles shut down last week because data from a U-2 spy plane's flight plan confused software that helps track and route aircraft in the region, the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday.

Times wires

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Police: ‘Man-bun bandit’ seen stealing packages from Clearwater home

Police: ‘Man-bun bandit’ seen stealing packages from Clearwater home

Clearwater Police are searching for a "man-bun bandit" who is seen stealing packages from a residence.Police on Thursday tweeted this video of the suspect, who is seen attempting to balance multiple packages while gathering them at a home on Majestic...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay area doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

Tampa Bay area doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

To no one’s surprise, Amazon on Thursday released its list of location finalists for its second headquarters, and neither Tampa nor St. Petersburg was on it."We knew it was going to be a long shot and a difficult road," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said....
Updated: 1 hour ago

As temperatures fall and rise, Tampa braces for another round of water main breaks

TAMPA — This week’s cold snap is expected to keep the city of Tampa’s utility crews busy over the next few days.The city is bracing for another spike in water main breaks as temperatures climb from this morning’s near record lows and another round of...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Sometimes, people in authority need a reality check before they can recognize a problem that should have been obvious.In this case, it took a meticulously reported story last Sunday by education writer Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times to alert Hi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

TAMPA — The bearded man with shackled hands sat slumped and weeping as he listened to witness after witness — his mom, aunt and sister among them — recount his childhood of poverty, abuse, and depression.Kyle Moran leaned forward occasionally, stretc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Winter weather deaths climb to 15 as the South cleans up snow

Winter weather deaths climb to 15 as the South cleans up snow

The deep freeze that shut down much of the South began to relent Thursday as crews salted and cleared roads after a slow-moving storm left ice and snow in places that usually enjoy mild winters. At least 15 people were killed in accidents and frigid ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Oldsmar rejects plan to host cycling event

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 3-2 against hosting a 2018 BMX World Cup qualifying event that would have brought 200 elite riders to the city and been broadcast in 42 counties. The decision came in December after two lengthy discussions about Oldsm...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Deal clears way for Oldsmar townhomes

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 4-1 last month in favor of approving a development agreement for a 50-unit townhome community on a nearly 4-acre parcel on St. Petersburg Drive. According to the terms of the agreement, Oldsmar Towns LLC will build a ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Safety Harbor centennial banners on sale for $50

SAFETY HARBOR — Safety Harbor commemorative centennial banners are on sale for $50, with proceeds to benefit the city’s Partners in Progress Youth Scholarship fund. To purchase a banner, fill out the order form at safetyharbor.com and return with pay...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Contest seeks designs for new bike racks at Safety Harbor library

Contest seeks designs for new bike racks at Safety Harbor library

SAFETY HARBOR — The Safety Harbor Public Library and the Friends of the Safety Harbor Library are seeking design submissions for bike racks with an artistic flair as two traditional library bike racks at the facility will be replaced with ones design...
Updated: 3 hours ago