Saturday, June 23, 2018

Writers

Tony Marrero

Tony Marrero

Tony Marrero covers breaking news and general assignment stories in Hillsborough County. A Baltimore native, he joined the Times in 2009.



Gary Pruitt, right, a Democrat and former Tampa police corporal, qualified Friday to challenge Republican Chad Chronister in the race for Hillsborough County sheriff. Chronister was appointed to the post last year. after Sheriff David Gee retired early.  [Times file]

Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

TAMPA — A Democrat has officially joined the race for Hillsborough County sheriff.Gary Pruitt, a 50-year-old former Tampa police corporal who now works as director of security at a local mall, qualified Friday to challenge Republican Sheriff...
Published: 06/22/18
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister arrives for a meeting with Hillsborough public schools officials about campus safety.  By the time voters go to the polls in August, Chronister will have held the title sheriff for 10 months. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

New sheriff won over those in power. The voters? They don’t get a say

TAMPA — In 1964, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, the first Ford Mustang rolled into showrooms and Mary Poppins hit movie theaters.It was also the last time Hillsborough County saw a truly competitive...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
A recent construction fraud sting by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was dubbed Operation Bring Down the House and netted 15 arrests, Sheriff Chad Chronister said at a news conference Wednesday. [TONY MARRERO   |   Times]

15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

TAMPA — The contractors arriving at the Brandon home thought they were meeting with a potential customer. They were wrong.In fact, the would-be clients were undercover detectives and the contractors, lacking a license to ply their trade, left...
Published: 06/20/18
Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri weighed in on the practice of separating families at the southern U.S. border, calling it

Pinellas, Hillsborough sheriffs weigh in on ‘devastating’ family separation at border

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri this week denounced the federal government's practice of separating children from their families at the border as "devastating" while calling on Congress to pass laws to slow the flow of undocumented...
Published: 06/19/18
Helen Rich was photographed with her dog, Lady, at their Odessa home in September 2014. Rich dispatched two employees to charter a jet and fly Lady from Kansas to Florida after reading of the dog's plight. The two employees, Barbara DiCioccio and Chet Ragsdale, are now accused of stealing from Rich.  [Times (2014)]

Records detail Wrigley heir’s $480,000 betrayal by trusted employees

ODESSA — One day in the summer of 2014, Helen Rich spotted a Facebook post about an aging black Labrador in Kansas named Lady who badly needed a new home. The author and heir to the Wrigley gum fortune had recently lost her own Black lab.
Published: 06/15/18
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, shown here at a news conference in May, has raised more than $1 million in his bid to keep the job he was appointed to last year. That appears to be a record for a local race in Hillsborough County. [JAMES BORCHUCK/Times staff]

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

TAMPA — Law enforcement officers never want to be outgunned. Neither do political candidates.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister need not worry.The Republican candidate has amassed what appears to be a record-sized war chest of just...
Published: 06/12/18
The Herrin family traveled in November to SkyDive City in Zephyrhills to celebrate Cameron Herrin's 18th birthday. This image is taken from a video posted online. From left are Cameron's brother Tristan, the teens' father Chris Herrin, Cameron Herrin, and mother Cheryl Herrin. [YouTube]

Parents of teens in fatal Bayshore crash described as loving, attentive and devastated

TAMPA — It was late April when the shiny black muscle car rolled off the lot of a Tampa Ford dealership.
Updated one month ago
The U.S. Coast Guard was searching Tuesday for a 50-year-old North Carolina man who reportedly fell off the Tampa-based Carnival Paradise, seen here in this file photo, about 85 miles off the coast of Fort Myers. The ship recently returned to its home port at Port Tampa Bay after a refurbishment. [Times files]

Search underway for North Carolina man missing from Tampa-based Carnival Paradise

The U.S. Coast Guard was searching Tuesday for a 50-year-old North Carolina man who reportedly fell off a Tampa-based cruise ship.The Coast Guard Key West received a call from the cruise ship Carnival Paradise about 10 a.m. saying the man,...
Updated one month ago
Gov. Rick Scott announces 2017 statewide crime statistics at a news conference in Jacksonville on Tuesday. Standing to his left are Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams. [Facebook]

Crime in Florida, Tampa Bay region decreased in 2017

Crime in Florida reached a 47-year low in 2017, according to state figures released Tuesday and touted as a major announcement by a governor seeking to win a U.S. Senate seat.The state's total crime rate dropped by 6 percent from 2016,...
Updated one month ago
Gov. Rick Scott announces 2017 statewide crime statistics at a news conference in Jacksonville on Tuesday. Standing to his left are Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams. [Facebook]

Crime in Florida, Tampa Bay region decreased in 2017, data show

Crime in Florida reached a 47-year low in 2017, according to state figures released Tuesday and touted as a "major announcement" by a Republican governor determined to win a U.S. Senate seat. The state’s total crime rate dropped by 6 percent...
Updated one month ago