Charlie Frago, Times Staff Writer

Charlie Frago

Charlie Frago covers St. Petersburg for the Tampa Bay Times. Previously, Frago covered Clearwater for the newspaper. He has also worked for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina and the City News Bureau of Chicago. In 2011-12, Frago was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He joined the Times in May 2013.

Phone: (727) 893-8459

E-mail: cfrago@tampabay.com

Twitter: @CharlieFrago

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  1. St. Petersburg officials trying again on city's little-used port

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Walt Miller has a vision for the tiny port he manages: Woods Hole, Florida edition.

    Establishing something like the famed oceanographic institute in Massachusetts would be an ideal way to rekindle the sliver of St. Petersburg's port wedged on a few acres to the south of Albert Whitted Airport.

    Standing on a recent afternoon in a forlorn cruise terminal building amid unplugged metal detectors and orange life-saving rings, Miller said one day the city's port could be a marine-research hub with a significant educational aspect. Think eager schoolchildren rubbing shoulders with marine biologists. ...

  2. State House of Representatives: District 69

    Kyc

    State House | District 69

    Republican incumbent Kathleen Peters touts her ability to get things done in Tallahassee, most recently by announcing she will sponsor legislation to more tightly regulate Duke Energy's business practices. Political newcomer Scott Orsini says the swing district will not be swayed by Peters' recent conversion on Duke. He says he will fight for small businesses and families. Both candidates say they will work for commonsense solutions in the Legislature. By Charlie Frago, Times staff writer...

    These three are running in the Republican Primary for Florida House District 69. PLEASE PULL headshots off their web sites.
Kathleen Peters: http://votekathleenpeters.com/meet-kathleen
  3. Eckerd College officials to study proposed sewage treatment project

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A $3 million city wastewater project bordering Eckerd College has been put on hold while college officials craft a list of questions for the city.

    The City Council took no action Thursday on a proposal to construct a 15 million-gallon tank that would stand more than 50 feet high and would be located about 40 feet from Eckerd's campus.

    Eckerd president Donald Eastman asked for the city to delay the project for two weeks while the college and its engineering consultants review the plan and compile a list of questions, said Mike Connors, public works administrator. ...

  4. St. Petersburg to look into expected sea level rise in waterfront master plan

    Environment

    ST. PETERSBURG

    When city officials publicly kicked off the downtown waterfront master planning process in August, they described the nearly seven miles fronting Tampa Bay as a beautiful gem that set the city apart.

    What Mayor Rick Kriseman, Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin and planning chief Dave Goodwin didn't mention in their remarks to hundreds of residents gathered in a ballroom at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront was the threat of rising sea levels between Coffee Pot Bayou and Lassing Park. ...

    Much of St. Petersburg’s waterfront, shown from the Vinoy Renaissance hotel, left, to the tip of the Albert Whitted Airport runways, right, is barely above sea level. Experts agree that Tampa Bay’s sea level is expected to rise several feet by 2100.
  5. St. Petersburg City Council sued for not following rules on long meetings

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — City Council members debated at some length Thursday whether they should study how to become more efficient.

    As if to underscore the need, a longtime activist has filed a lawsuit accusing the council of selectively letting some residents speak too long at meetings. Council members are guilty of indulging their chatty sides, too, said Monica Abbott, who filed her lawsuit in Pinellas County Circuit Court on Monday....

  6. St. Petersburg may consider further restrictions on noisy pile drivers

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — The patience of downtown residents irked by pile drivers hammering away at a downtown construction site won't be further stretched by more metallic pounding when the nearby Tropicana Block is developed.

    Nor will nearby residents scramble for noise-canceling earphones when Bliss, an upscale condo, rises near Beach Drive early next year.

    Those developers say they'll employ quieter methods of building a sturdy foundation, instead drilling holes deep into the soil and filling them with concrete, rather than pounding in prefabricated pilings with a noisy motorized hammer....

    St. Petersburg, like Tampa, restricts the hours for pile driving, but is considering stronger measures to discourage the noisy construction activity. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  7. Bill Edwards' $1.5 million deal to manage Al Lang Stadium apparently back on

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A deal to allow businessman Bill Edwards to take control of operations at Al Lang Stadium appears to be back on, two weeks after it dramatically fell apart.

    Joe Zeoli, a city official in charge of downtown enterprise facilities, advised City Council members late Monday night that the issue would be added to Thursday's meeting agenda.

    "Both The Edwards Group (Citrus Sports) and St. Petersburg Baseball Commission requested that this item be brought forward at your October 2nd meeting because of the impact of a delay on their on-going business activities. City Administration supports this request," Zeoli wrote in an email....

    Thursday’s vote will be the latest chapter in the Al Lang Stadium saga, which has been complicated by the fact that the city doesn’t yet know what the future of the stadium will be.
  8. New stadium talks to ramp up between city, Tampa Bay Rays

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Now that the Tampa Bay Rays have wrapped up their season, talks between the city and the team should become more substantive, Mayor Rick Kriseman's chief of staff, Kevin King, said Monday.

    Kriseman and Rays president Matt Silverman met for about an hour Friday afternoon at Tropicana Field, the latest in a series of "good" meetings that haven't yielded any concrete steps toward resolving the long-running saga of finding a new stadium site for the Major League Baseball team that finished a losing campaign Sunday with (depending on how you tally the numbers) MLB's lowest attendance. ...

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman
  9. Kriseman's discussions with Rays to get more serious

    Blog

     

    St. Petersburg---Now that the Tampa Bay Rays have wrapped up their season, talks between the city and the team should become more substantive, Mayor Rick Kriseman's chief of staff said Monday. 

    Kriseman and Rays president Matt Silverman met for about an hour at Tropicana Field on Friday afternoon, the latest in a series of "good" meetings that haven't yielded any concrete steps toward resolving the long-running saga of finding a new stadium site....

  10. St. Petersburg Fire Chief's hiring decision comes under scrutiny

    Fire

    ST. PETERSBURG — A city internal investigative report obtained Friday by the Tampa Bay Times concluded that St. Petersburg fire Chief Jim Large made missteps when he hired a rescue chief in April.

    The Sept. 11 report by a city labor relations officer, who was investigating an anonymous complaint, found three "substantiated" concerns with Large's hiring of Ian Womack in April....

    Jim Large changed a job’s level and hired an applicant who didn’t meet original qualifications.
  11. St. Petersburg edges closer to universal curbside recycling

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Curbside recycling moved closer to reality Thursday as City Council members advanced a proposal to buy new trucks and containers using a $6 million loan.

    The money would buy seven trucks and 80,000 recycling containers, but the details of when the program will start and how much it will cost remained unanswered.

    Some council members said they were uneasy about approving the loan before hearing the details of the program — still being finalized....

  12. Mayor mugs with Cheech and Chong

    Local Government

    Smoking is not allowed in airports anymore but selfies still are and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman took full advantage last Saturday in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

    Kriseman tweeted out a pic taken with a sunglass-wearing Richard "Cheech" Marin and sleepy-eyed Tommy Chong, the veritable stoner comedy duo.

    A subtle smoke signal on the upcoming statewide medical marijuana referendum, perhaps? ...

    The mayor’s selfie with Cheech and Chong.
  13. HCA will close St. Petersburg's Edward White Hospital, citing low revenues

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly 40 years after opening its doors, Edward White Hospital will close in November amid another year of empty beds and a multimillion-dollar shortfall.

    It will be the first Florida hospital to close since the 2012 shutdown of A.G. Holley State Hospital, the state's only tuberculosis institution, in Palm Beach County. Hospital closures are rare, but admissions are declining nationally amid changes in how insurers pay for care and the fact that more medical procedures can be done without an overnight stay....

    HCA West Florida has decided to close Edward White Hospital in November after the facility lost $5.5 million last year.
  14. St. Petersburg airport's waterfront location could be reconsidered

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman recently told the Tampa Bay Times that he thought Albert Whitted Airport, home to about 200 planes, wasn't the best use of so much valuable waterfront land.

    But he remembers the will of 75 percent of voters, who in 2003 decided to change the city charter to perpetually preserve space for aviation on 110 acres of pricey downtown real estate....

     St. Petersburg Fire Rescue and St. Petersburg Police surround a Piper Challenger 180 aircraft that crashed into Vinoy Park, Monday 9/15/14.  The plane had been cleared to land at Albert Whitted Airport when it went down. The plane was flying from Tallahassee and was a carrying four people from the United Kingdom according to St. Petersburg Police.
  15. Kriseman mugs with Cheech and Chong

    Blog

    Smoking is not allowed in airports anymore but selfies still are and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman took full advantage Saturday in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

    Kriseman tweeted out a pic taken with a sunglass-wearing Richard "Cheech" Marin and sleepy-eyed Tommy Chong, the veritable stoner comedy duo.

    A subtle smoke signal on the upcoming statewide medical marijuana referendum, perhaps? ...