Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office sweep results in more than 80 arrests, one human trafficking charge
More than 80 people have been arrested as part of a months-long, covert human trafficking sting, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Monday. The sting focused on hotels, motels, spas, massage parlors, strip clubs, adult bookstores and other activities in Hillsborough County, Chronister said. Of the 85 arrests made during the investigation, only one person was identified as a sex trafficker, the sheriff said. Prostitutes were also arrested during the sting. Others face charges including possession of child pornography and voyeurism, among other things.
Republicans make noise in Miami as Democrats gather for debates
As Democrats converge on Miami this week for the first of the party’s 2020 presidential debates, the Republican Party is trying to counter their efforts to unseat President Donald Trump by rolling out a counter-message intended to hammer the presidential hopefuls. Many prominent Republicans, chief among them Vice President Mike Pence, are expected to arrive in Miami this week to host fundraisers, launch the campaign’s national Latino coalition and stage rallies outside the debate venue.
Marriott 'Tribute' hotel planned for St. Petersburg's Edge District
St. Petersburg's edgy Edge District is getting its first new hotel, a Marriott-managed lodging that will be a throwback to Florida of the 1950s and '60s. City permitting is underway for the 11-story hotel that will rise on what is now a parking lot on the southeast corner of First Avenue N and 11th Street. Construction is expected to begin by year's end, said developer Jonathan Daou, who owns the site and is working with Michigan-based DevMar Development. The hotel will be part of Marriott's Tribute Collection, a boutique brand that is managed by the giant hotel company but that allows for customization.
Port Richey’s new mayor hopes to restore city’s image
Port Richey mayor-elect Scott Tremblay was elected Tuesday to replace jailed former mayor Dale Massad after a five-person race for the seat. Tremblay, a former prosecutor with the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office and now a private defense attorney at his own firm, enters office with a shadow of ex-mayor chaos over the city, but with an optimistic outlook.
You now can forget that higher boat fee in Pasco
Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano has pulled the plug on raising boat registration fees in Pasco County. “It’s really not much of a source (of money). To cause dissension around the county is not the way to go,’’ Mariano told fellow commissioners in a June 18 meeting. His comments came two weeks after the commission debated, but reached no resolution, on Mariano’s proposal to increase the cost of registering a boat in Pasco County with the extra revenue earmarked for dredging coastal canals in west Pasco.