ST. PETERSBURG — Cranes dot the downtown skyline as high-rise condominium and apartment towers sprout into the air, the latest sign of the city's renaissance.
Tropicana Field is also fertile ground for growth. Within 10 years or so, whether the Tampa Bay Rays are still there or not, the 85-acre stadium site will likely be covered with even more development: apartments and condos, bars and restaurants....
Congressman Charlie Crist joked Friday that the news coming out of the White House these days is so fast and furious that he has trouble keeping up.
“It’s challenging for us, your members of Congress,” Crist told several hundred people gathered for the 5th annual St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs at the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg. “I don’t get to see this stuff all day because I’m usually in meetings all day or hearings. And so, at the end of the day, I’ve got to find out what in the world went on over there. You know, what order was signed. Or what happened. And if I don’t get it that day I have to watch Saturday Night Live on Saturday night to figure it out.”...
ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council chamber had plenty of soccer aficionados outfitted in green and gold show up Thursday to support the Tampa Bay Rowdies' bid to join Major League Soccer and expand their waterfront home at Al Lang Stadium.
Those fans also had a former mayor (and potential future mayor if he runs in 2017) in attendance. Edwards Group president Rick Baker, representing Rowdies owner Bill Edwards, was there but did not speak in favor of the ordinance....
ST. PETERSBURG — The potential price tag of a new police headquarters continues to rise as City Council members Thursday tentatively approved spending another $4.2 million more to add energy efficient features and more parking.
The rising cost of the police headquarters mirrors the recent price hike for the new Pier. Add to that a steadily increasing bill to fix the city’s leaky sewers, soon to be under a state consent order....
What's in a name? Bill Edwards hopes to sell naming rights to everything inside, around Mahaffey Theater02/15/17Corporate
ST. PETERSBURG — The name on the outside of the Mahaffey Theater isn't changing, but the names of nearly everything inside and around it is up for sale.
St. Petersburg City Council members heard the details of a plan on Feb. 2 to sell naming rights to a dozen spaces on the 98,000-square-foot performing arts venue.
For $100,000 a year for five years, a company could hang its moniker on the theater's 2,000-seat main hall....
Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman plans to start talking about gun violence again.
A Feb. 6 state attorney general's opinion supports her desire to talk about gun violence. Her son, Cabretti Wheeler, was killed in gun violence in 2008.
Last year, Wheeler-Bowman sponsored a resolution in support of a League of Women Voter's call for special legislative session on gun violence. She removed her resolution after City Attorney Jackie Kovilaritch told her that state law preempting local elected officials from interfering with gun laws put her at risk of fines, lawsuits or even removal from office. ...
A small group of activists gathered Tuesday on the steps of St. Petersburg's City Hall to call on the City Council to pass a resolution asking the county to seek sanctuary status for undocumented immigrants.
Recently, Mayor Rick Kriseman sparred with Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri over the issue after Kriseman wrote a blog post that some interpreted as making St. Petersburg to be a sanctuary city. Gualtieri said the county has that authority and he would not stop cooperating with federal authorities over the immigration status of prisoners in the county jail....
City politics have begun to stir in advance of this year’s municipal elections.
So far, only incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman has announced his reelection bid, although former mayors Rick Baker, Bill Foster are rumored to be contemplating bids....
ST. PETERSBURG — Reaction to Sunday's Tampa Bay Times story about the troubled history of Tangerine Plaza has elicited strong opinions from current and former mayoral administrations.
From the tone of the dueling cousins, Kanika Tomalin and Goliath Davis III (Davis officiated at Tomalin's wedding), the fate of the Midtown shopping plaza that has seen two national grocers fold in four years will likely be a campaign issue, especially if former mayor Rick Baker jumps into the race against Mayor Rick Kriseman....
ST. PETERSBURG — The city’s annual Pride parade is moving downtown. But the other festivities are staying put in Grand Central, the funky neighborhood where Florida’s largest LGBT parade was born in 2003.
That’s according to the tentative compromise brokered by Mayor Rick Kriseman this week.
The St. Pete Pride parade will move from its old route through the Kenwood and Grand Central neighborhoods and relocate to Bayshore Drive NE....
ST. PETERSBURG — For the past 15 years, a key issue in mayoral elections has been the success of a single grocery store in the low-income, predominantly black Midtown community.
In a city where one in four residents is black, no mayor of St. Petersburg can get elected without the black vote. And few things mean more to key black leaders in the city than efforts to improve Midtown.
Since race riots gripped the area in 1996, there has been no more visible symbol of those efforts than the bids by Mayors Rick Baker, Bill Foster and Rick Kriseman to lure and keep a supermarket there, at 22nd Street and 18th Avenue S....
Maria Scruggs, the president of St. Petersburg’s NAACP chapter filed Friday for City Council, saying she wanted to make sure Midtown had a say in its own redevelopment and struggling schools.
Scruggs, 59, is no stranger to political races. She lost to Rick Baker in the 2001 mayoral race. In 2004, she lost to Ken Welch for a seat on the Pinellas County Commission. And in 2005, she finished third in a five-person primary field for a City Council seat eventually won by Earnest Williams....
ST. PETERSBURG — The city still would have discharged sewage into Tampa Bay during the past two summers even if it hadn't shuttered a waterfront sewage plant near downtown.
But having the plant available would have reduced the spills, a state investigation concluded.
The report also found a lack of cohesion among sewer officials. It revealed that none of the city's chief sewer plant operators agreed with the decision to close the Albert Whitted plant. ...
Paul Congemi is running for mayor for the third time. And it hasn’t started out well for him or his family.
Last week, Congemi was charged with felony elder abuse after his 87-year-old mother ended up in intensive care for bed sores. She remains in the hospital, he said.
BayNews9 reported last week that Congemi’s mother was in intensive care at Bayfront Medical Center. Congemi said Tuesday she had improved. Hosptial officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment....
Bill Edwards, former Mayor Rick Baker and a swarm of Ralph’s Mob, the fervent fans of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, delivered the team’s Major League Soccer application Monday to league executives in New York.
Considering the Rowdies haven’t played their first game in their current league, the newly-ordained second-tier United Soccer League, how do USL officials feel about being a stepping stone before the Rowdies have even placed a toe in the league?...