ST. PETERSBURG — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Friday that the agency's law enforcement division is investigating the city of St. Petersburg's sewage spills in August.
The investigation is nearly complete, but details can't be released until it's closed, said Officer Baryl Martin, spokesman for the commission's law enforcement division.
Few details emerged Friday about why the agency, which protects state wildlife and habitat, was investigating the city. Mayor Rick Kriseman declined comment. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg architect Sean Williams has watched the nearly decade-long saga of hurt feelings, cold shoulders and failed schemes that have defined the relationship between the Tampa Bay Rays and the city.
A few months ago, Williams decided to give both sides something to rally around: a sketch of what those 85 acres at Tropicana Field could look like with a 30,000-seat stadium connected to bike paths, high-end office space, restaurants and stores. ...
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed Friday to the Tampa Bay Times that the agency's law enforcement divison is investigating the city of St. Petersburg's sewage spills in August.
Since the investigation is ongoing, the agency can't release many details, said Kelly Richmond, a spokeswoman for the commission.
After several weeks of heavy rains, the city released more than 31 million gallons of raw and partially treated sewage into Clam Bayou, Tampa Bay and the campus of Eckerd College in the first ten days of August....
St. Petersburg architect Sean Williams has watched the long-running saga of "What to do with the Trop site" that has played out City Council chambers for the better part of a decade.
A few months ago, he decided to enter the fray, drawing up renderings and shopping them to Mayor Rick Kriseman, City Development Administrator Alan DeLisle and St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Steinocher....
10/01/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — It was another anticlimactic chapter Thursday in the ongoing saga between city officials and the Tampa Bay Rays.
The City Council decided to delay a vote until next week on a resolution to ask Pinellas officials to hold off on decisions regarding $6 million in annual bed tax money for the Rays.
Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes wanted to send a message to the county about the money, which had been earmarked for paying off bonds for the construction of Tropicana Field....
Mayor Rick Kriseman had already turned down council member Jim Kennedy's request to have the Urban Land Institute conduct an economic impact study on the 85-ace Tropicana Field site last week in a memo.
But at the council's Thursday meeting Kennedy asked the mayor to reconsider and a majority of council agreed in a 4-3 vote.
Kriseman had argued that the study wasn't going to reveal anything. He left the chambers without comment after the vote....
The City Council decided to push back a vote until next week on a resolution to ask the county to freeze any decisions regarding $6 million in annual bed tax money for the Rays.
Council chairman Charlie Gerdes wanted to send a message to the County Commission and the Tourist Development Council about the money, which had been dedicated to paying off bonds for the construction of Tropicana Field....
The City Council gave its final approval to a $1.74 million purchase of 2.3 acres bordering Abercrombie Park, coveted by city staff as a rare opportunity to expand parkland in Florida's most-densely populated county.
Rare Native American artifacts are also present on the property, currently a private home and grounds owned by Evelyn Kuttler, the former wife of retired St. Petersburg College President Carl Kuttler. ...
St. Petersburg's 70 school-zone crossings are getting a make over to comply with state law after the City Council voiced displeasure with the perception that the city is creating speed traps in the zones.
Mayor Rick Kriseman said he has directed staff to comply with all state rules and regulations. Interim Public Works Administrator Tom Gibson said the work should be completed by November....
09/30/15 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — Details of a new proposed deal were revealed Wednesday that would allow the Tampa Bay Rays to look for a new stadium site by paying a steep annual fee.
Hatched by St. Petersburg City Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes, the proposal would require the team to pay a $1.4 million "exploratory fee" to the city for each year it looks for a new stadium site. That cost would cover what the city pays each year for security and repairs at Tropicana Field....
St. Petersburg City Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes has a plan to jumpstart stalled negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays on their quest for a new stadium.
And he plans to present it to his council colleagues by the end of October or early November, just about the same time that the Pinellas County Commission will take up the Atlanta Braves' plan to move its spring training to Toytown, a former landfill and a potential stadium site, Gerdes said Wednesday....
Hours after former mayor Rick Baker endorsed Will Newton in the District 7 council race Tuesday, the Pinellas County Stonewall Democrats fired off a letter to Newton demanding he "publicly separate" himself from Baker and two other Republicans who have endorsed him: incoming City Council member Ed Montanari and State Rep. Kathleen Peters.
The LGBT group has endorsed Newton's opponent, Lisa Wheeler-Brown....
Will Newton racked up another endorsement Tuesday: former mayor Rick Baker.
"Will Newton is focused on building on our past success and making St. Petersburg the best city in America. I strongly support his effort to become our Council Member," said Baker in a news release.
Last Friday, incoming council member Ed Montanari, endorsed Newton for the District 7 race over his opponent, Lisa Wheeler-Brown. Montanari had previously said he wasn't going to endorse anyone....
Will Newton has touted his negotiating prowess as president of the city's firefighter's union in his quest to replace his brother Wengay on the St. Petersburg City Council.
But, under his leadership, the union failed to reach collective bargaining agreements three times--- 2006, 2008 and 2011. Newton was ousted as president by union members after the 2011 deadlock.
Newton's opponent Lisa Wheeler-Brown campaign called attention to Newton's record on Monday....
ST. PETERSBURG — A report from a consultant hired by Eckerd College to test soil and water on the campus after 15 million gallons overflowed from a city sewage plant in early August found high levels of a bacteria associated with feces.
The Sept. 10 report from HRP Engineering in Tampa, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, doesn't draw any conclusions about the origin of the fecal coliform....