Saturday, December 16, 2017


Charlie Frago

Charlie Frago

Charlie Frago covers St. Petersburg for the Tampa Bay Times. Previously, Frago covered 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. In 2011-12, Frago was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He joined the Times in May 2013.

St. Petersburg City Hall. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]

St. Pete will pay developer to build and run Edge District garage

ST. PETERSBURG — The booming Edge District has received the initial green light for a parking garage that will be built with public dollars and then be turned over to a private owner.The St. Petersburg City Council gave unanimous approval...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
The City Council's 5-3 vote Thursday night derailed a deal that would have changed the ownership structure of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. The hospital is owned by a joint venture that is 80-percent controlled by Nashville-based Community Health Systems, with a 20 percent share held by the nonprofit Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

City Council sinks deal to alter ownership of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — After months of tense negotiations and weeks of political impasse, the City Council on Thursday derailed a proposal that would have changed the ownership structure of the city’s largest hospital, Bayfront Health St.
Published: 12/14/17
A view of the St. Petersburg Marina looking west across the central basin towards Bayshore Drive NE from the Demens Landing boat ramp in St. Petersburg Tuesday morning. Hurricane Irma sunk six boats at the city marina. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

After Irma sinks boat at St. Pete marina, city floats insurance requirement

ST. PETERSBURG — Most could breathe a lot easier after Hurricane Irma blew past the region in September, leaving relatively little damage behind in the bay area.Not Daniel Harrell.The storm left the boating aficionado homeless after his...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, seen here talking about Hurricane Irma in September, hopes small steps will get the city closer to his goal of running on 100 percent renewable energy. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]

St. Pete takes small steps on the way to sustainability

BY CHARLIE FRAGOTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — It was a big promise made by Mayor Rick Kriseman more than two years ago: Get the Sunshine City to eventually run on 100 percent renewable energy.In a few months, the city will...
Published: 12/11/17
Artist Gary Ragerof Rager Studios in Sanford, FL., attaches rope lighting to his sculptural work entitled

After reclaimed water rate hike, St. Pete council could ease pain

ST. PETERSBURG — The message sent to the city’s 11,500 reclaimed water users by the City Council on Thursday: Give us a year to figure this out.The council voted 5-2 to approve a 25.5 percent increase in reclaimed rates starting Jan. 1. It is...
Published: 12/07/17
Updated: 12/08/17
LARA CERRI   |   Times
St. Petersburg's bike share program is a little more than a year old. Ridership is up, but a few riders are taking the bulky blue rental bikes, intended for short hops, on long treks. This is a bike rack on Central Avenue inn the Grand Central District.

Meant for short hops, some St. Pete cyclists pedal longer than marathons on Coast bikes

ST. PETERSBURG — When the Coast bikes first started popping up in St. Petersburg last year, the idea was for residents to use them for short hops around town.But some users had more ambitious plans.At the request of the Tampa Bay Times,...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker (left) sent re-elected Mayor Rick Kriseman (right) this concession text (middle) after Kriseman defeated him in the November mayoral election.

Rick vs. Rick Coda: No concession call, just a text

ST. PETERSBURG — When he lost the 1968 presidential election, Hubert Humphrey called President-elect Richard Nixon the next morning to concede the race. "I know how it feels to lose a close one," Nixon told him.
Published: 12/05/17
A pipe carrying reclaimed water at the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tampa. Reclaimed water rates for St. Petersburg residents could climb steeply if approved by City Council this week. But some neighborhoods are not happy. [CHRIS URSO  |   Times]

Game of Rates: Will St. Pete raise reclaimed water bills?

ST. PETERSBURG— Whether or not the city should charge residents more for reclaimed water rates is breaking down along two narratives:
Published: 12/04/17
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

For Kriseman, second term means finishing what he’s started, experimenting

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman says he is ready to put a recent nasty re-election fight behind him and, continuing a theme from the campaign, is looking to the future.In an interview last week, he said he is relishing the chance to see...
Updated one month ago
A city street sweeper helps prepare the track before a grand prix race in St. Petersburg. City officials have suggested purchasing a new sweeper to comply with a state consent decree. But state environmental officials say the money would be better spent to fix leaky private sewer lines. [DIRK SHADD   |  Times]

DEP to St. Pete: Spend money on sewer lines, not other suggested fixes

ST. PETERSBURG — Forget that street sweeper. Take a rain check for the aerators to spruce up Lake Maggiore. And, while you’re at it, find some other source of cash to make those city recreation centers more energy efficient.That was the message...
Updated one month ago