Monday, October 15, 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.

The Tampa skyline in 2018. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]

Heat of the moment: Tampa sets record high today with 95 degrees

TAMPA — Congratulations, Tampanians (and a couple of you Tampans, too) because you all set a record on Thursday.The city had a record high of 95 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.That exceeded the old high of 94 degrees...
Updated one month ago
Jaime Schultz and Jalen Beeks pose in their rookie dress up gear. Said organizer Sergio Sergio Romo:

The Daystarter: Rays keep rolling in playoff chase; how the Mississippi River is affecting Red Tide; behind the scenes at Howl-O-Scream

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Start the day with a 30 percent chance of isolated...
Updated one month ago
Rick Scott and Bill Nelson (Associated Press photos)

Debate time: Bill Nelson, Rick Scott set to face off Oct. 2

U.S. Sen Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott will face each other in an Oct. 2 debate in Miami.The Nelson campaign announced the date of the first debate of Florida's U.S. Senate race — one of the most closely watched races in the...
Updated one month ago

St. Pete robbery via Facebook marketplace lands two men in jail

ST. PETERSBURG — A young couple with a newborn child set out to buy a Samsung Galaxy smartphone in July. Instead, they ended up robbed at gunpoint, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.This week, two men were arrested in that...
Updated one month ago
The City of St. Petersburg is drawing up a 20-year plan to add more

More bike lanes, angled parking planned for St. Petersburg streets

ST. PETERSBURG — One of the city’s main thoroughfares is on a "road diet." Work started Tuesday to slim down two miles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N from four lanes of traffic down to three to make room for a buffered bike lane on each...
Updated one month ago
Rhionna Leann Anderson, 24 (left) and Derrick Heckman, 30 (right) are being sought on charges of attempted murder and kidnapping, according to Largo police said. They and a third person, now in custody, are accused of attempting to kidnap a man and then shooting him in the head when he escaped. The victim is expected to survive, police said. Anyone with information about these two or their whereabouts was asked to call Largo police at (727) 587-6730. [Largo Police Department]

Man, woman sought in kidnapping that left victim shot in the head

LARGO — Police are searching for a man and a woman wanted in a botched armed kidnapping that took place Wednesday.A third man is in custody while the target of the apparent kidnapping plot was shot in the head while trying to escape, according...
Updated one month ago
Thousands came out to greet President John F. Kennedy's motorcade as he drove around Tampa during his Nov. 18, 1963 visit. The president would be assassinated in Dallas four days later. [Times files]

Five memorable presidential visits to Tampa Bay, from JFK to Reagan

President Donald Trump brings his roadshow to Tampa today. But he's just one in a long line of Commanders-in-Chief who made memorable visits to the Tampa Bay region. Here are five to remember:1. JFK VISITS TAMPA: Nov. 18,...
Updated: 3 months ago
Associated Press
Longtime NBC News anchor Lester Holt will receive the 2018 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism.

Poynter Institute’s Bowtie Ball will honor ‘NBC Nightly News’ anchor Lester Holt

ST. PETERSBURG — Longtime NBC News anchor Lester Holt will receive the 2018 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism this fall.The 59-year-old Holt will be honored at the Poynter Institute’s annual Bowtie Ball on Dec. 8. The Poynter...
Updated: 3 months ago
Quinton Cheatham, 26, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. [PCSO]

Deputies: Bystander escapes harm when man fires gunshots

ST. PETERSBURG — A 26-year-old man was arrested Thursday hours after, deputies said he fired gunshots at a bystander during the Fourth of July.Quinton Cheatham faces a charge of attempted murder.The incident took place at about 2:16 p.m.
Updated: 3 months ago
Check the latest breaking news and developments.

Inmate found dead in cell at Pinellas County jail

LARGO — A 49-year-old former law enforcement officer accused of sexually battering a 10-year-old girl was found dead in his jail cell on Thursday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Christopher Wayne Stufft died by...
Updated: 3 months ago