Clear87° FULL FORECASTClear87° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

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

link
  1. St. Petersburg City Council member has new name, same initials

    Politics

    ST. PETERSBURG — When the St. Petersburg City Council returned from its monthlong vacation last week, a string of well-wishers congratulated one council member on her recent nuptials.

    The former Lisa Wheeler-Brown married Lynnie Bowman on June 24. Her husband is a retired Largo city employee who now works for St. Petersburg in the stormwater department.

    Lisa Wheeler-Bowman said she wasn't sure how to spread the news. Her bio page on the city website has been changed. So has her nameplate in on the council dais....

    The former Lisa Wheeler-Brown, a St. Petersburg City Council member, married Lynnie Bowman on June 24. SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES
  2. Midtown wants say in what come next for Tropicana Field site

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city kicked off its public discussion this week on how to reimagine the 85 acres around Tropicana Field as planners and city officials promised a dense, walkable destination that, for now, includes a baseball stadium.

    That message met two very different receptions.

    On Monday, a large mostly white crowd at the Coliseum wanted to know about transit options, parking and more details about the retail mix on the site. The next day, a smaller, more racially-mixed crowd at the Campbell Park Recreation Center, just south of the Trop, wanted to know how the billion-dollar project would benefit Midtown, where many families of black residents were displaced when the domed stadium was built in the 1980s now live....

  3. County sewage had dangerous bacteria

    Blog

    A University of South Florida study released today found antibiotic-resistance bacteria in untreated sewage spilled from a broken Pinellas County sewer line in the Joe's Creek area, north of St. Petersburg, into Boca Ciega Bay in 2014.

    Two USF researchers published their findings Wednesday in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal, concluding that the sewage "raise several significant public health concerns."...

  4. Crist leads 13th District race in new poll

    Blog

    A new poll shows former governor Charlie Crist with a 12-point lead in the 13th Congressional District over incumbent Republican David Jolly.

    Jolly had been running for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat before Rubio decided to fight to keep it late last June. Jolly then announced he would defend his congressional seat. 

    The Anzalone Liszt Grove Research poll conducted 501 telephone interviews with likely voters in the November general election between July 12 and July 17....

  5. Pinellas County identifies 10 potential stadium sites for the Tampa Bay Rays

    Economic Development

    The saga over where to build a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays grew murkier Tuesday as Pinellas County unveiled a list with 10 possible sites that officials hope could keep the team from crossing the bay.

    Pinellas County commissioners didn't press county administrator Mark Woodard or staffers for details on the 10 sites, but the elected leaders said the next step is for the team to meet with county officials to discuss the sites. ...

    Pinellas County unveiled a list with 10 possible sites for a stadium that county officials hope could keep the Tampa Bay Rays from crossing the bay. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  6. UPDATE: St. Pete asks Tampa, Hillsborough to halt final vote on ferry

    Blog

    St. Petersburg city officials asked Hillsborough County and Tampa to delay final action on the ferry contract Tuesday.

    After asking Hillsborough County to make a last-minute addition to its agenda to consider the ferry contract, St. Peterburg put on the brakes because the contract still isn't finalized, said Ben Kirby, Mayor Rick Kriseman's spokesman.

    The Pinellas County Commission will also delay its vote, he said....

    HMS Ferries would provide this 149-passenger vessel for a pilot project of ferry service between St. Petersburg and Tampa.
  7. Help shape St. Petersburg's master plan for Tropicana Field

    Economic Development

    ST. PETERSBURG — A second public meeting to discuss plans to redevelop Tropicana Field with a new baseball stadium to replace the aging dome will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Campbell Park Recreation Center, 601 14th St. S.

    On Monday, a public meeting was held at the Coliseum. HKS Architects, a global architectural firm with stadium-building expertise, will deliver a master plan by Sept. 30 that will include a stadium. A later plan — without a stadium — will come later. ...

    A second public meeting to discuss plans to redevelop Tropicana Field with a new baseball stadium to replace the aging dome will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Campbell Park Recreation Center, 601 14th St. S. [SCOTT KEELER    |    Times]
  8. Master plan for Trop redevelopment begins

    Blog

    The city kicked off its public discussion Monday on how to reimagine the 85 acres around Tropicana Field as planners and city officials promised a dense, walkable destination that, for now, includes a baseball stadium.

    The city has paid $320,000 (with the Rays kicking in $100,000)  to HKS Architects to come up with a master plan for the Trop site. Originally due by the end of September, HKS said it was working with the Tampa Bay Rays to extend the deadline by about a month....

    Residents gathered at the Coliseum Monday night to pitch their ideas on how to redevelop Tropicana Field
  9. St. Petersburg had options during sewage crisis — so what happened?

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG — Historic rains last year overwhelmed the city's ancient wastewater system, sending 31.5 million gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage gushing into the waters of Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay in August.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman called it a once-in-a-century calamity.

    Then it happened again.

    Last month, 9.8 million of gallons of sewage — estimated to be 30 to 50 percent untreated sewage — spilled into the bay. Untreated sewage also gushed from manholes in Clam Bayou, leaked into the locker room at Al Lang Stadium and befouled the basement of the Vinoy Renaissance resort....

    Last year St. Petersburg officials closed its oldest sewer plant, the Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility, which is on Tampa Bay near the small airport of the same name. It was closed because of the costs of maintaining the aging facility and a state rule change that would have raised those costs. But in doing so, it removed more than 12 million gallons of capacity from the city’s sewer system.
  10. Crist has cash edge in 13th District

    Blog

    The latest campaign cash filings in the 13th Congressional District were't accompanied by trumpeting news releases.

    Instead, they were filed quietly with the Federal Election Commission.

    Democrat Charlie Crist raised $216,943 from the beginning of April until the end of June. Jolly, who switched from running for a U.S. Senate seat to the House race, raised $184,840, according to FEC records....

  11. St. Petersburg City Council dives back into sewer problem

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — City Council members returned from a nearly month-long vacation on Thursday and plunged right back into the thick of it: what should the city do about its broken sewer system?

    City officials have blamed leaky pipes for the 10 million gallons of sewage that ended up being dumped and spilled — most of it ending up in the waters of Tampa Bay last month during Tropical Storm Colin....

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday again discussed what to do about the city's broken sewer system. One of the components of that system is a 750,000 gallon structure called a Clarifier at the decommissioned Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility south of Albert Whitted Airport. There are four Clarifiers that separate solid stream and liquid steam. They are not currently in use except for water overflow during a tropical storm, according to Jason Venable, 41, Plant Maintenance Supervisor at the Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  12. Kriseman wants small property tax cut

    Blog

    Mayor Rick Kriseman submitted his 2017 fiscal year budget to the City Council Thursday, recommending a small millage rate cut.

    That was the major change from earlier budget presentations on the city's $508 million budget.

    Kriseman is asking for a cut from 6.7700 to 6.7550 mills. The last cut three years ago during the final budget of former Mayor Bill Foster was similarly miniscule: 6.7742 to 6.7700....

  13. St. Pete moving ahead with short-term sewage fix

    Blog

    The St. Petersburg City Council voted unanimously Thursday to pay $400,000 to get an additional three million gallons of emergency sewage storage at its shuttered waterfront plant.

    The fix is only designed to last until the city's Southwest sewer plant is expanded to 2 1/2 times it current capacity. That $35 million project is at least two years away.

    By repairing and repurposing some reclaimed water and digester tanks at the Albert Whitted plant, which opened in the 1920s, the city will have the extra storage by the end of the year, a consultant said....

  14. Kriseman says he'll push for improvements at Jordan Park

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman said he would use his "bully pulpit" as mayor to advocate for improved conditions at the Jordan Park public housing community.

    Kriseman told members of the Citizen Advisory Committee of the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area on Monday that although the city doesn't own the property, he would push for "cultural changes" through appointments to the St. Petersburg Housing Authority's board and by encouraging better management of the 446-unit Midtown complex....

  15. St. Petersburg City Council's 'Notorious LWB' now goes by Lisa Wheeler-Bowman

    Blog

    The St. Petersburg City Council has been on vacation since its June 16 meeting. As council members, staff and the public gathered for committee meetings Thursday, many congratulated a council member on her recent nuptials.

    The former Lisa Wheeler-Brown married Lynnie Bowman on June 24. Her husband is a retired Largo city employee who now works for St. Petersburg in the stormwater department....