Sunday, March 18, 2018


Christopher O'Donnell

Christopher O'Donnell

Christopher O'Donnell is a general assignment and local government reporter with the Tampa Bay Times. He was born and grew up in London, England, where he worked for IBM and Citi as a computer programmer and IT analyst. After moving to Florida in 2001, he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida before landing a job with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. During a seven-year stint there, he earned a Florida Society of News Editors award for his coverage of K-12 education. Before joining the Times, he spent three years with the Tampa Tribune and covered city government in both St. Petersburg and Tampa and led coverage of the Tampa Bay Rays' quest for a new ballpark. Away from work, Chris rides his road bicycle on local trails and is an avid soccer fan.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller

Hillsborough commissioners want a say on CRC proposals

Every 20 years, Florida convenes a group with extraordinary powers.Proposals approved by the Constitution Revision Commission go straight before  voters without having to be approved by the governor...
Updated one month ago
DCF Secretary Mike Carroll

Lawsuit: hundreds of foster kids harmed by being bounced from home to home

An international law firm and a children's advocacy group are suing the Florida Department of Children and Families for failing to provide adequate accommodation and care for foster children.Law firm Baker McKenzie and non-profit group...
Updated one month ago
Wednesday’s arguments in the case centered on the role that American Traffic Solutions, Inc. --- a major player in the industry --- has in handling red-light traffic violations. [News Service of Florida]

Red light camera challenge gets rough ride at state Supreme Court

TALLAHASSEE — Motorists hoping that the courts will pull the plug on red light cameras may have hit a roadblock: the Florida Supreme Court.On Wednesday, the court heard arguments in a case that could decide the legality of red light...
Updated one month ago
[Steve Madden]

‘We need to fix it’: Watchdogs, lawmakers try to halt Zombie Campaign spending

A Washington D.C. watchdog group and a Tampa congresswoman are pushing to close a loophole that has allowed ex-politicians to keep spending campaign donations years after leaving office.The Campaign Legal Center
Updated one month ago
Republican County Commissioner Ken Hagan's sudden announcement of a county offer for a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark in Tampa has some wondering what effect it will have on St. Pete mayor's race

Bad timing? Will news of a Tampa ballpark for Rays hurt Rick Kriseman's reelection chances?

Amid all the buzz about Tuesday's announcement that Hillsborough County has identified a stadium site in the Ybor City-Channel District area to offer to the Tampa Bay Rays for a new ballpark, St. Petersburg political observers wondered about something...
Updated: 5 months ago
Madelynne Barenbrugge and Alan Morris pose with their son, Liam, for a photo posted on a family member's Facebook page in August 2016. Liam drowned Sept. 28 in a bathtub. A state report said he was left alone for about five minutes.  [Facebook]

Clearwater infant who drowned in tub was left alone for about five minutes, report states

DCF looks into the drowning and reports needles found in a troubled household.
Updated: 5 months ago
Rendering of the West River project, which includes The Boulevard at West River. The Tampa Housing Authority won a state tax credit award worth $21 million over 10 years to help fund the apartment complex. But it has now been disqualified after a competing developer, Blue Sky Communities, identified mistakes in its application and challenged the award in court. Blue Sky will now get the tax credits to go toward The Preserve at Sabal Park, a 144-unit workforce housing complex planned for Williams Road.

$21 million mistake delays Tampa Housing Authority's West River project

TAMPA — Errors in an application have cost the Tampa Housing Authority a 10-year, $21 million tax credit that was earmarked to help build much-needed affordable housing in Tampa's ambitious West River revitalization project.The credits...
Updated: 6 months ago
Liz Rutenbeck, 24, poses with her son William in a Facebook photo. Baby William Hendrickson IV died while his mother was in jail after police said his father left ihim in a sweltering room.  A state investigation into the boy's death found multiple failures on the part of the child welfare system.

State investigation cites multiple failures in death of Largo child

A case manager who visited the home one day before the boy's death failed to take necessary action, an abuse hotline operator failed to code an abuse report as "immediate," and the case manager and her supervisor failed on several occasions to...
Updated: 6 months ago
FishHawk Fellowship Church volunteers help Brian Hood, second in line, drag a tree from his Valrico yard Saturday.

Along the Alafia River, the grateful extend a hand to the Irma-sodden weary (w/video)

Floodwaters recede, revealing destruction inside and out.
Updated: 6 months ago