Thursday, July 19, 2018
News Roundup

Don Jason's route out of Scientology

1 August 1996: Working at Scientology's Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Don Jason is told that the church is going to discipline him for something he felt was unfair. He leaves the next day without permission and drives on I-4 to Daytona Beach. He takes back roads north to Fernandina Beach and spends the night at a motel.

2 The next day: He continues north through Savannah. He assumes the church will look for him in his native Milwaukee, so he randomly chooses to settle in Atlanta.

3 After six weeks: He gets second thoughts about how he left. He returns to Clearwater to follow the church's approved "routing out'' process.

4 October 1996: Jason flies to the Bahamas to board Scientology's cruise ship, the Freewinds, where he becomes a virtual prisoner.

5 Six weeks later: Jason escapes over the bow of the Freewinds and makes it to the airport. He buys a ticket to Milwaukee, with a layover in Atlanta. A Scientology official buys the seat next to Jason on the leg to Atlanta. The layover: Marty Rathbun, a top Scientology executive, intercepts Jason at the Atlanta airport. Rathbun tries to persuade him to return to Clearwater and follow proper procedure to leave the church. Jason refuses, and Rathbun flies with him to Milwaukee.

6 In Milwaukee: Jason's mother and a sister pick him up at the airport. The next day, he comes to Rathbun's hotel and signs confessions to his "crimes."

7 Twelve years later: Jason works in Chicago as an operations manager for a building supply company.

Comments
Search continues for missing diver at Eagle’s Nest in Hernando

Search continues for missing diver at Eagle’s Nest in Hernando

WEEKI WACHEE — Rescue crews will continue to search Thursday morning for a diver who failed to resurface at a dangerous cave in Hernando County.The unidentified diver was free-diving at Eagle’s Nest, meaning he was not carrying oxygen, sometime befor...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
At Tampa camp, kids are on their toes, early and often

At Tampa camp, kids are on their toes, early and often

Eleven-year-old Hector Jain hasn’t been whiling away his summer.Every day, for five weeks, he and 175 other kids from across the world have been participating in the Next Generation Ballet Summer Intensive camp at the Straz Center for Performing Arts...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Epilogue: ‘Captain Dan’ Lunin, a broadcasting ‘genius’ in Tampa Bay

Epilogue: ‘Captain Dan’ Lunin, a broadcasting ‘genius’ in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — He was known as "Captain Dan" and the "Eye in the Sky" for delivering his daily traffic reports from the two-seat plane he flew over Tampa Bay’s clogged interstates.Daniel Lunin’s real legacy, though, was built on the ground.He was a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Jeff Greene’s special money offer at Democratic debate; diver missing at dangerous Hernando cave; Publix, Kahwa change the coffee game

The Daystarter: Jeff Greene’s special money offer at Democratic debate; diver missing at dangerous Hernando cave; Publix, Kahwa change the coffee game

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Coastal showers will form this morning before moving inland, according to the National Weather Service. Expect highs to be in the upper 80s to low 90s.• As you head out for your morni...
Updated: 1 hour ago
SEC media days: Why I’m picking Alabama and Georgia to meet again

SEC media days: Why I’m picking Alabama and Georgia to meet again

ATLANTA — Continuing my annual tradition of idiocy, here are my predicted SEC football standings for the fall. I'll revisit them after the season, so I can laugh at myself before anyone else can laugh at me.SEC West1.   ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romano: One last shot at saving St. Pete Pier art

Romano: One last shot at saving St. Pete Pier art

(Holds a painting against a wall.)Does it look good here?(Moves it lower.)Okay, how about it here?(Moves it to the left.)Are you sure you want this?• • •Now try that with 250,000 amateur critics.And a piece of art that stretches more than 200 feet.Ye...
Published: 07/19/18
Joe Henderson:  School custodians doubling as soldiers? Our Founding Fathers are reeling.

Joe Henderson: School custodians doubling as soldiers? Our Founding Fathers are reeling.

If you just dropped in from another planet and needed to learn about Florida’s insidious gun problem, all you had to do was check out the front of Wednesday’s local section of the Tampa Bay Times. In the center was a story about a school safety drill...
Published: 07/19/18
Hernando County leaders may help School Board pay for campus security

Hernando County leaders may help School Board pay for campus security

BROOKSVILLE — With an Oct. 1 deadline looming for the Hernando County School Board to find a way to pay for school security once its agreement with the County Commission expires, leaders from both governments will consider extending the partnership.B...
Published: 07/19/18
Kahwa’s next stop after 10 years in Tampa Bay? Publix

Kahwa’s next stop after 10 years in Tampa Bay? Publix

ST. PETERSBURG — It’s been Kahwa Coffee co-founders Raphael Perrier’s goal from the start.The chain of Tampa Bay coffee shops he opened with his wife has its roots in wholesale — so he dreamed of one day winning over a big distributor to get inside P...
Updated: 1 hour ago
At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

ST. PETERSBURG — Linda and Jack Miller braved the humidity at Demens Landing on Wednesday night for a simple reason: "Treason," said Linda Miller, 66. The St. Petersburg couple joined more than 100 protesters toting signs, pins and megaphones...
Updated: 1 hour ago