Sunday, May 27, 2018


Jamal Thalji

Jamal Thalji

Jamal Thalji has spent two decades covering crime, business, courts and sports for the Tampa Bay Times. Now he's an assistant metro editor. He was raised in the Tampa Bay area, attended Osceola High School and is a graduate of the University of South Florida in Tampa. He worked for the Times while he was in college and interned at the Des Moines Register. He returned to Florida to work for the Times in its Citrus and Pasco County bureaus. After five years covering criminal and civil court in Pasco County for the Times, in 2008 he became metro police reporter for the city of St. Petersburg. In June 2012 he joined the Times business staff and covered Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay, the tourism industry and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's $1 billion plan to redevelop downtown Tampa. Along the way Thalji has also covered NASA, the NFL, the NBA, college football, hurricanes, forest fires, space shuttle launches, criminal trials and lots of high school football. In June 2015, he became an assistant metro editor in the Tampa newsroom. Did you know: He filed the last byline in the history of the St. Petersburg Times, which changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 1, 2012.

Last year two masked motorcycle gang members (background) were accused of taking part in the Dec. 21, 2017 execution of Paul Anderson, 44 (left), president of the Cross Bayou chapter of the Outlaws. Three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were charged with murder (from left to right): Christopher Cosimano, Michael Mencher and Albert Guilto. Those three were indicted on federal charges that include racketeering, drug trafficking, firearms violations, conspiracy and murder, according to the U.S. Attorney's  Office in Tampa. Two other alleged 69ers members were also named in the indictment (last two on the right): Erick Robinson and Cody Wesling. They are all being held in local jails. [Pasco County Sheriff/s Office / Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal...
Published: 05/25/18

FDLE: Pasco couple scammed elderly employer out of $480,000

TAMPA — A Pasco County couple face dozens of charges after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said they stole more than $480,000 from their elderly employer.Chet Alan Ragsdale, 45, was arrested Monday on 28 counts of grand theft, 25...
Published: 05/21/18
Left: The front page of the Tampa Bay Times on June 13, 2016, after 49 people died in the Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre. Right: The front page of the Tampa Bay Times on  Feb. 15, 2018, after 14 people were killed in the Parkland school shooting.

Grim front pages: A history of mass shootings (Updated: Santa Fe, Texas)

UPDATE: The front page after Friday's school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, has been added to this compendium of Tampa Bay Times front pages after mass shootings.
Published: 05/21/18
Paul G.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge plunged into Tampa Bay 38 years ago

ST. PETERSBURG — The twin golden spires of the Sunshine Skyway bridge meet at the entrance of Tampa Bay, forming our most iconic symbol.It also marks our greatest tragedy.It was 38 years ago Wednesday that the storm-blinded...
Updated one month ago
David Kenneth Buser, 72, was arrested on four counts of sexual battery on a child and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child, officials said. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

Deputies: Man, 72, abused two victims for a decade.

PLANT CITY — A 72-year-old man was arrested earlier this month on allegations that he sexually battered two victims going back a decade, when both were children, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.David Kenneth Buser was...
Updated one month ago
Robert Lee Burton, 48, was arrested on a charge of sexual battery with a deadly weapon in connection with a 1993 assault that was recently solved thanks to DNA technology, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]

DNA leads to arrest of St. Pete man 26 years after sexual assault

ST. PETERSBURG — A 48-year-old man was arrested Wednesday nearly 26 years after the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said he sexually assaulted a woman at gunpoint.Robert Lee Burton faces a charge of sexual battery with a deadly...
Updated one month ago
St. Petersburg police are searching for Rashad Levon Webb, 19, in connection with an incident where he is accused of stealing a car left running with an 8-month-old baby left strapped in the back on Monday. The child was found unharmed. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]

St. Pete police identify man wanted for stealing car — and baby

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are searching for a 19-year-old man accused of stealing a car left running with an 8-month-old baby left in the back on Monday.The baby was found unharmed by two WFLA-Ch. 8 journalists a short time later, according to...
Updated one month ago
WFLA-Ch. 8 photojournalist Michael Egger found an 8-month-old infant in an apartment complex parking lot on Monday. The child was in the back of a car reported stolen about 27 minutes earlier. Egger and reporter Mark Douglas called 911, bringing police to the scene. [MARK DOUGLAS  |  WFLA-Ch. 8]

In search for stolen car, the baby inside was the calmest one

ST. PETERSBURG — Photojournalist Michael Egger pulled into the apartment complex off 71st Avenue N on Monday afternoon, waiting for reporter Mark Douglas. The two WFLA-Ch. 8 journalists were looking for someone — they wouldn’t say who — when they...
Updated one month ago
There are two big changes coming to the staff of the Tampa Bay Times in May. Deputy Managing Editor Amy Hollyfield (left) will become the DME for Politics, Metro and Business. Graham Brink (right), a former business editor and current assistant managing editor for metro and business, will become the Times' new business columnist.

Meet the Tampa Bay Times’ new business columnist

The Tampa Bay Times has a new business columnist: Veteran reporter and editor Graham Brink will take on that role in May.That will lead to changes in newsroom leadership as Deputy Managing Editor Amy Hollyfield takes on oversight for...
Updated one month ago

Deputies: Property appraiser clerk filed false deed for $79,000 home

DADE CITY — An employee of the Pasco County Property Appraiser’s Office was arrested on allegations that she filed a fraudulent deed to take control of a $79,000 home, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Leticia Molina, 43, a...
Updated one month ago