Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Bebo Valdes, renowned Cuban pianist and composer, dies at 94

Bebo Valdes, 94, the renowned Cuban pianist who was a composer and bandleader, recorded with Nat "King" Cole and was musical director at Havana's legendary Tropicana Club, died of pneumonia on March 22 in Stockholm, Sweden. Leery of the Castro regime, he left Cuba in 1960. In recent years he won three Grammy Awards and six Latin Grammys.

Booth Gardner, 76, a two-term governor of Washington state whose diagnosis with Parkinson's disease after he left office helped motivate him to lead a successful voter initiative to allow physician-assisted suicide, died on March 15 in Tacoma.

Rise Stevens, 99, the internationally renowned mezzo-soprano who had a 23-year career with the Metropolitan Opera, where she practically owned the role of Carmen during the 1940s and '50s, died on March 20 in New York. She brought opera to millions of Americans through her performances on the radio.

James M. Nabrit III, 80, a civil rights lawyer who fought school segregation in cases he argued before the Supreme Court and helped ensure that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., was allowed to go forward, died of lung cancer on March 22 in Bethesda, Md.

Ian M. Ross, 85, who helped perfect the transistor and calculate whether the moon's surface could support a spaceship's weight, and then went on to lead Bell Laboratories, the legendary fount of technological marvels and Nobel Prize winners, died on March 10 in New Smyrna Beach.

Olen Burrage, 82, a Ku Klux Klan member who owned the Mississippi farm where the bodies of slain civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were found in 1964, died on March 15 in Meridian, Miss. He was acquitted of federal charges of conspiring to violate the civil rights of the trio.

Bobbie Smith, 76, whose mellifluous vocals helped make the Spinners one of the leading soul acts of the 1970s, died of complications from pneumonia and influenza on March 16 in Orlando. His voice was out front on a number of the Spinners' biggest hits, including Could It Be I'm Falling in Love, I'll Be Around, Games People Play and the Dionne Warwick duet Then Came You.

James Herbert, 69, a British novelist who wrote supernatural thrillers and horror stories and whose menagerie of marauding rats, serial killers, evil spirits, ghosts and ghost hunters filled books that sold millions of copies and frightened readers around the world, died on March 20 in Sussex, England.

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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: 1 hour 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: 1 hour 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: 1 hour 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: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

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

Amazon on Thursday released its list of location finalists for its second headquarters — and neither Tampa nor St. Petersburg is on it.Miami, however, made the short list of cities left vying for the new build. Pinellas and Hillsborough counties had ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hurricane Hermine damage to Largo’s road base still being worked on

Hurricane Hermine damage to Largo’s road base still being worked on

LARGO — Almost 16 months after Hurricane Hermine drenched Largo, city leaders are still working on cleaning up the mess it left behind, awarding a contract for the repair of several roads damaged by the storm.City commissioners voted 7-0 during a mee...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Record-breaking cold sends arctic blast through Tampa Bay

Record-breaking cold sends arctic blast through Tampa Bay

It was record-breaking cold this morning as a deep freeze cast over Tampa Bay.Wind-chill advisories are out as feels-like temperatures sit between a bitter 20 and 30 degrees.Tampa tied its recorded for the lowest temperature of 29 degrees on Jan. 18,...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Gulf Boulevard drainage to be fixed in tandem with burying utilities

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — Months of disruption for motorists on Gulf Boulevard are just ahead. Florida Department of Transportation officials revealed plans to improve drainage issues along the road at City Commission meeting this month.John Novak, a DOT ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

REDINGTON SHORES — There will be no election this year, but the changeout of commission members that began last year will continue. When the new commission is sworn in this March, four of five members, including the mayor, will have changed within th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Pete police presence at MLK Day after-party raises concerns

St. Pete police presence at MLK Day after-party raises concerns

ST. PETERSBURG— Several people have complained about police patrols around the celebration in Midtown that follows the city’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, questioning whether a robust law enforcement presence this year was racially m...
Updated: 1 hour ago