Sunday, June 24, 2018


Charlie Frago

Charlie Frago

Charlie Frago covers Tampa for the Tampa Bay Times. Previously, Frago covered St. Petersburg and Clearwater for the newspaper. He has also worked for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina and the City News Bureau of Chicago. He joined the Times in April 2013.

Barb Haselden, 65, is a St. Petersburg resident and a 2018 Republican candidate for the District 6 seat of the Pinellas County Commission. [Photo courtesy of Pinellas Supervisor of Elections]

Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six local candidates across Tampa Bay — all county commissioners and city council members — effectively won their elections Friday by default: No one qualified to run against them.The rest still have a fight.Some will square off in an...
Published: 06/22/18
ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   TimesThe live oak inside the setback of the house located at 4318 W Obispo Street in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

Tampa’s trees have the summer off. City Council delays action on removal.

Tampa and trees.The debate about how to fix what all sides agree is a cumbersome process to cut down a tree and replace it has moved at a slightly faster pace than a Bonsai grows.On Thursday, another delay.Both advocates...
Published: 06/21/18
Developers propose filling part of this Rocky Point cove for construction of luxury townhouses. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]

Is it okay to fill in Tampa Bay for townhomes? Tampa City Council is next to weigh in

TAMPA — Opposition is mounting to a plan for filling in three acres of a Rocky Point lagoon to build luxury townhomes, but proponents say they’re confident of approval.A measure paving the way for the project met with approval a month ago from...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Residents disagree on how to make a busy stretch of Bay to Bay Boulevard safer for bikers and pedestrians without making traffic worse, especially coming off of the Leroy Selmon Expressway.

Bay to Bay businesses ask Bob Buckhorn to reconsider scrapped street plan

A group of 18 businesses along Bay to Bay Boulevard, the South Tampa artery that has been at the center of a raging debate over safe streets, asked Mayor Bob Buckhorn Wednesday to reconsider his decision to
Published: 06/20/18
Bob Buckhorn is presenting the last of his eight budgets as mayor of Tampa before he leaves office next year because of term limits. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]

Tampa’s budget is lean and straightforward this year, but trouble may be looming

TAMPA — Tampa City Council members have reacted to Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s cautious budget with their own hedge, saying the city’s financial outlook could turn if the national and regional economy goes south in the next few months.Buckhorn has...
Published: 06/19/18
Jeremy Finney, 41, was demoted from captain to paramedic by Tampa Fire Rescue over an encounter he had on the job with a homeless man. [Facebook]

Tampa fire captain demoted for stripping off shirt, daring homeless man to fight

TAMPA — Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Jeremy Finney was, by all accounts, a model firefighter — until he lost his cool. The outburst cost him two ranks.Finney has served nearly 16 years in the department and was a member of the Tactical Medical...
Published: 06/15/18
Rays exec says team will know in six to nine months whether Ybor City site can work

Rays exec says team will know in six to nine months whether Ybor City site can work

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Rays have kept mum about what happens next if a financial deal isn’t sealed for a new Ybor City ballpark by the end of the year.
Published: 06/15/18
ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times(From right) Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn speaks during a press conference at Tampa International Airport while TIA CEO Joe Lopano and Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board chairman Robert Watkins look on on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Tampa, Fla.

Tampa City Council hears cautious optimism in Buckhorn’s modest last budget

Tampa City Council members reacted to Mayor Bob Buckhorn's cautious last budget Thursday with their own hedge, saying the city's economic forecast could change on a dime if the national and regional economy goes south in the next few...
Published: 06/14/18
Susan Valdes has served on the Hillsborough County School Board since 2004. [HCPS]

Hillsborough School Board member Susan Valdes’ resignation letter raises objections

Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes, who is running for the Florida House District 62 seat, sent in her legally required resignation letter hours before last Friday's deadline.
Published: 06/13/18
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says the city's proposed budget for 2018-2019 will be without frills.. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]

Buckhorn says there will be no frills in Tampa budget proposal for 2018-19

TAMPA — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s final budget won’t be sexy. "This budget doesn’t have a lot of frills in it. There won’t be any new projects of any significance," Buckhorn told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.Despite a...
Published: 06/13/18