Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Buzz: Obamas to attend April 29 shuttle launch


President Barack Obama and his family will attend the space shuttle launch April 29 at Kennedy Space Center, the White House said. Obama is already scheduled to be in the state to deliver a commencement address at Miami-Dade College. The two-fer gives Obama added exposure in a state key to his re-election. The launch of Endeavour is NASA's next-to-last shuttle flight. The mission will be led by Mark Kelly, husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who may attend as well, her first public appearance since being shot in January.

Highway renaming passes House

The House passed a measure to honor five St. Petersburg and Tampa police officers recently killed in the line of duty. The proposal designates a portion of State Road 687 from I-275 to I-175 in Pinellas County as "Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger, Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz and Officer David. S. Crawford Memorial Highway." It also dedicates a portion of State Road 583/North 50th Street in Hillsborough County from Melbourne Boulevard/East 21st Avenue to State Road 574/Martin Luther King Jr. as "Officer Jeffrey A. Kocab and Officer David I. Curtis Memorial Highway." "Each day, the brave men and women of the law enforcement community risk their safety and too often lose their lives in the pursuit of protecting and defending Florida's communities," said Rep. Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg, House sponsor of the bill, in a statement. "This bill is an opportunity for us to show our deep respect and sincere gratitude for the ultimate sacrifices that were made by Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officers Jeffrey Yaslowitz, David Crawford, Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis."

Panel dislikes red-light cameras

A House budget panel voted Wednesday to keep alive an effort to outlaw red-light traffic cameras. The Legislature passed a law last year regulating the cameras. But Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, cited a slew of examples from cities and states across the country where he said the cameras were not preventing accidents. "This isn't exactly what we thought it was," Corcoran said. Courts have thrown out many red-light camera tickets, he added, saying the problems with implementing last year's bill are "overwhelming." After about an hour and a half of discussion, the committee sided with Corcoran — even though law enforcement and other advocates cautioned that getting rid of the cameras would put drivers' lives in danger and cost Florida municipalities $71 million in revenue from camera tickets. "Our sheriff tells us that these red-light cameras are saving lives," concluded Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City. A House staff analysis on HB 4087 estimated repealing the red lights would cost the state $86 million next year and local municipalities more than $71 million. The bill now heads to the House floor. Its companion in the Senate, SB 672, has stalled.

Times/Herald staff writers Alex Leary, Patricia Mazzei and Jodie Tillman contributed to this report.

The Buzz: Obamas to attend April 29 shuttle launch 04/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 8:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.
  2. Republican leader McConnell pulls the plug on latest Obamacare repeal effort

    WASHINGTON --- Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday officially pulled the plug on the latest plan to repeal the health care law, telling senators they will not vote on the measure and effectively admitting defeat in the last-gasp drive to fulfill a core promise of President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, after the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary. DeVos was approved by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) DCSA119
  3. Lightning's Brayden Point could be perfect fit alongside Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov

    Lightning Strikes

    SUNRISE — Brayden Point ended last season as the Lightning's No. 1 center, thrust into the role as a rookie due to injuries.

    Lightning center Brayden Point (21) advances the puck through the neutral zone during Friday's preseason game against the Nashville Predators. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  4. For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Blake Snell starting, Wilson Ramos cashing in


    The Rays open their final road series of the season tonight at Yankee Stadium, which is also where they played their first of the season.

    LHP Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, looking to continue his successful late-season run, in which he is 4-0, 2,57 over his last eight starts.

    Tonight marks Wilson Ramos' 55th start of the season.
  5. Cannon Fodder podcast: Considering Gerald McCoy's comments


    Greg Auman talks about Gerald McCoy's comments — both about fan criticism online and Donald Trump — in the latest episode of our Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Gerald McCoy, front, said Monday that he would love to have a conversation with any of the fans who take to social media to criticize him and his Bucs teammates. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]