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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 Mayor Rick Kriseman shelves plans to ask voters for permission to expand Al Lang

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman and the Tampa Bay Rowdies announced plans in March to ask voters to give the team — and its owner, Bill Edwards — a longer lease for historic waterfront venue Al Lang Stadium.

    At the time, Edwards and a team executive said a longer lease would allow the Rowdies to expand Al Lang and transform it into a city showpiece.

    But those plans have been shelved along with any request to ask the county for tourism dollars to add seats and other amenities....

    Fabricio Ortiz, left, of the Jacksonville Armada and Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Maicon Santos battle for the ball during a game at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg last year.
  2. St. Pete flap with county is bump in the road says administrator

    Blog

    Pinellas County administrator Mark Woodard said Tuesday the partnership between St. Petersburg and the county remains strong despite recent discord over Mayor Rick Kriseman's focus on keeping the Tampa Bay Rays in the city.

    State. Sen. Jack Latvala and several county commissioners, most vocally Janet Long, have criticized Kriseman and his chief of staff Kevin King for creating a St.-Pete -centric "Baseball Forever" campaign and, for King's dimissive comments about Oldsmar as a possible site for a new Rays stadium....

  3. Pinellas Commissioner says Kriseman has set back regional cooperation by two years

    Blog

    Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long doesn't like the comments about the Tampa Bay Rays stadium search emanating from Mayor Rick Kriseman's office.

    She doesn't agree with St. Pete-focused campaign being waged by the mayor to keep the Tampa Bay Rays at the Trop.

    And she's told him so.

    Kriseman had done a good job building relationships with the county commission, other Pinellas cities and Tampa, she said. ...

  4. St. Pete's $20 million gamble: Growing seagrass for money

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's good to be green, especially if it makes the city millions in cash.

    That's the appeal — and the challenge — of an ambitious environmental project to restore dozens of acres of seagrass just off North Shore Park. The program is not just intended to protect the area from future degradation, but also to sell credits to developers who are destroying seagrass elsewhere....

    Seagrass meadows provide habitat for snook, redfish and trout, stone and blue crabs, and manatees that feed on the plants.
  5. Marijuana civil citations move toward approval in St. Petersburg

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — Over the objections of police Chief Tony Holloway, council members on Thursday tentatively approved a measure that would allow people caught with small amounts of marijuana to avoid jail and instead pay a fine.

    The measure now moves to a full council vote, perhaps as early as May, which could make St. Petersburg the second major city in Tampa Bay to decriminalize minor pot possession. Tampa's City Council passed a similar ordinance in March. ...

    Police Chief Tony Holloway wants to wait and see what a county ordinance will create.
  6. Marijuana civil citation advances in St. Pete

    Blog

    A St. Petersburg with City Council commiittee  approved a civil citation ordinance Thursday that would decriminalize possessing small amounts of marijuana and other misdemeanors after months of deadlock.

    The Public Safety and Infrastructure Commitee voted the ordinance over the objections of Police Chief Tony Holloway, who urged that the city would for a county diversion ordinance, currently under discussion, that would create uniformity among Pinellas County's nearly two dozen governments....

  7. Kriseman brushes off criticism that Rays campaign is too slow

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — When the "Baseball Forever" campaign launched at Ferg's in February, people cheered and danced at the prospect of keeping the Tampa Bay Rays right where they play now: Tropicana Field.

    Since then, the 37-member commission put together by Mayor Rick Kriseman and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce has held a meeting to pick subcommittees. It has also given away nearly 1,000 T-shirts with the campaign's logo, hundreds of them on opening day....

    Mayor Rick Kriseman  
  8. Pace of game problems? St. Pete's campaign is on track, says city

    Blog

    When the "Baseball Forever" campaign was launched at Ferg's at the end of February, people cheered and danced at the prospect of keeping the Tampa Bay Rays right where they play now: Tropicana Field.

    Since then, the 37-member commission put together by Mayor Rick Kriseman and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce  has held a meeting to pick subcommittees and given away nearly 1,000 t-shirts with the campaign's logo, hundreds of them on Opening Day....

  9. Rays owner says local business support essential to team success

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — By now, it's a familiar message from the Tampa Bay Rays.

    If fans don't attend and corporations don't scoop up suites and blocks of season tickets, the team can't afford to stay in the region.

    During a luncheon hosted by the Clearwater and St. Petersburg area chambers of commerce Tuesday, team principal owner Stuart Sternberg and president Brian Auld didn't quite put it so bluntly, but they made clear that their patience was wearing thin....

    Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said a new stadium will need greater corporate support. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times] 
  10. Stu Sternberg to Tampa Bay business community: Rays need corporate support now

    Blog

    Rays owner Stu Sternberg didn't mince words at Tuesday's annual Rays luncheon sponsored by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

    The Rays need the region's business community to step up and buy sponsorships, season tickets and otherwise show their support as the team decides where to build a new stadium.

    After the event, Sternberg said, that hasn't happened yet. And he's running out of ideas, he said....

  11. Latvala urges Kriseman to broaden efforts to keep Tampa Bay Rays

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman needs to broaden efforts to keep the Tampa Bay Rays from leaving Pinellas County, according to Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater.

    "Baseball Forever," a committee that Kriseman and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce assembled this year to promote major league baseball in St. Petersburg, is too narrowly focused, Latvala said in a sharply worded letter Monday to Kriseman....

    Sen. Jack Latvala made reference to  “the St. Pete attitude.”
  12. Jolly should stay in House, take on Crist, says Clearwater mayor

    Blog

    David Jolly is preparing for a big debate tonight against Alan Grayson, a possible Democratic opponent this November for a U.S. Senate seat.

    But a political ally Monday said he wished Jolly would reconsider his decision to run for Marco Rubio's seat and stay in his current job, congressman for the 13th District.

    Jolly would be the best bet to take on the Democratic nominee of a now heavily Blue district either former governor Charlie Crist or former Obama admnistration official Eric Lynn, said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos....

  13. Jolly should stay in House, take on Crist or Lynn, says Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos

    Blog

    David Jolly is preparing for a big debate tonight against Alan Grayson, a possible Democratic opponent this November for a U.S. Senate seat.

    But a political ally Monday said he wished Jolly would reconsider his decision to run for Marco Rubio's seat and stay in his current job, congressman for the 13th District.

    Jolly would be the best bet to take on the Democratic nominee of a now heavily Blue district either former governor Charlie Crist or former Obama admnistration official Eric Lynn, said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos....

  14. Latvala urges Kriseman to include the rest of Pinellas in pitch to Rays

    Blog

    State Sen. Jack Latvala helped bring the Tampa Bay Rays to St. Petersburg nearly 20 years ago.

    And, in a letter to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, he wants a role, along with elected officials outside of St. Pete, in keeping the team in the county.

    We'll have more to come on this breaking news story....

    State Sen. Jack Latvala helped bring the Tampa Bay Rays to St. Petersburg nearly 20 years ago.
  15. By linking Tropicana Field to waterfront, global firm wins design competition

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — The water won in the end.

    A proposal that linked 85 downtown acres that are home to Tropicana Field to an already vibrant waterfront was selected by a seven-member committee on Friday as a crucial next step in the city's redevelopment.

    A Dallas firm, HKS Architects, designed the winning concept, beating out six other firms. In its design, Central Avenue and First avenues N and S would connect the Trop site to Tampa Bay....