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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. Pete's Kennedy releases long list of requests in advance of Rays workshop

    Blog

    St. Petersburg-- City Council member Jim Kennedy released a memo requesting 11 points of clarification and information Monday that he wants to see included in a Feb. 19 council workshop.

    Kennedy wants a list of all the possible stadium sites that the Tampa Bay Rays intend to vet and the standards used to evaluate them like traffic studies. He also wants to know if those standards will become public record....

  2. Mayor Rick Kriseman has deal for new St. Petersburg police headquarters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG— Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Saturday that he has struck a deal with Pinellas County that will allow the city to build a new police headquarters all at once. The revelation was the highlight of his first State of the City address from the steps of City Hall.

    In figuring out the financing for a $70 million facility, Kriseman might have found a solution to a problem that has bedeviled two previous administrations. He told the crowd he had reached an agreement in principle with the county to redirect Penny for Pinellas money. Both the City Council and the County Commission, however, will need to approve it....

    Mayor Rick Kriseman greets supporters after his state of the city address Saturday Jan. 24, 2015. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times]
  3. In St. Pete, lower taxes or more spending?

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A conversation among City Council members Thursday telegraphed potentially competing priorities between spending more or reducing taxes and fees.

    Council member Bill Dudley said he'd like to push back the city's taxes and fees and council member Jim Kennedy suggested the council adopt the "rollback rate" for property taxes — a designation in state law for the rate that would raise the exact same amount as the previous year....

  4. Kriseman off to mayors' gathering in D.C.

    Blog

    St. Petersburg----- Mayor Rick Kriseman is  heading to Washington, D.C.  Wednesday for the 83rd winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors where he'll listen to remarks by Vice President Joe Biden and attend meetings with other mayors at the White House. ...

  5. St. Petersburg wants property owners to clean out overgrown alleys

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city has identified about 75 alleys so densely overgrown or otherwise blocked that they're impassable.

    To clear them out, code enforcement workers will launch a public education campaign to alert property owners that they — not the city — are responsible for maintaining the approximately 3,000 alleys in St. Petersburg.

    Tackling the worst alleys will make it easier for police cars, fire trucks, garbage trucks, or utility workers to access power lines or put out fires, officials told a City Council committee Thursday....

  6. Hold the Mangroves on St. Pete waterfront

    Blog

     

    ST. PETERSBURG---Mangroves aren't a major part of the mix to create a more storm-resistant waterfront, the city's top official overseeing a waterfront master plan said Wednesday. 

    Dave Goodwin said the idea of planting mangroves along vast stretches of the nearly seven miles stretch of the city fronting Tampa Bay to help protect the city from rising seas and storm surges didn't pass community muster and won't be part of the final plan.  ...

  7. Eco-friendly solution to rising seas in St. Petersburg? Fake islands

    Environment

    ST. PETERSBURG — Consultants are proposing a big change of scenery for the downtown waterfront: islands.

    Man-made, eco-friendly barrier islands made of organic materials like planted rock piles, sea grass or mangroves — a living breakwater — would protect the city against storm surges associated with higher sea levels.

    They would also smooth out an often choppy basin, making for an easier ride for kayakers and small watercraft enthusiasts....

  8. Mayor sees solution for pollution at Tropicana Field site

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — A red herring or potential environmental mess?

    City officials scoff at suggestions that Tropicana Field is too polluted to redevelop if the Tampa Bay Rays leave.

    State environmental regulators are prepared to declare the site ready to build on again.

    But others, including former mayoral candidate Kathleen Ford, say environmental hazards from a gas plant that once stood on the site are still of concern....

  9. Gerdes schedules February workshop on St. Pete stadium for Rays

    Blog

     

    ST. PETERSBURG---Newly-annointed City Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes wasted little time in reviving talk about the future of the Tampa Bay Rays. 

    He has scheduled a Feb. 19 workshop to discuss finding a suitable location and the possibility of building a stadium to keep the team in St. Petersburg.  ...

  10. Kriseman criticizes City Council, says he will work with Rays

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman extended a political olive branch to the City Council Thursday, saying he is ready to try again after a council majority scuttled his plan to allow the Tampa Bay Rays to explore new stadium sites in Tampa.

    Moments later, however, he repeated his criticism that the council prefers talk to action.

    Three weeks after the council voted down a tentative agreement with the Rays, the mayor told an audience at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club that, although he has no timetable to bring an agreement to council, he'll continue to work with Rays president Brian Auld. ...

    “We’re not always going to see
eye to eye. Hopefully, we don’t take it personally. If we lose a vote, we move on.” 
Rick Kriseman,  St. Petersburg mayor
  11. State Rep. Darryl Rouson's son charged with felonies in road rage incident

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — State Rep. Darryl Rouson's son was arrested early Wednesday after a road rage incident in which police say he brandished a gun at another car carrying an infant.

    Daniel Rouson, 20, told police he was leaving a restaurant near 54th Avenue N and 16th Street shortly after midnight when a Ford Explorer cut him off.

    The driver of the Explorer said Rouson then tailgated her and cut her off. Rouson told police that the other driver had driven her vehicle in a similarly threatening manner, said Mike Puetz, St. Petersburg police spokesman....

  12. St. Petersburg's skyline might rise if FAA agrees to Albert Whitted change

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — If a developer and the city get their way, high-rises topping out at 500 feet might one day reshape the city's skyline.

    One Progress Plaza holds the title as the city's highest at 386 feet, 5 feet taller than Signature Place, and a little under the Federal Aviation Administration's height limit of 400 feet.

    But the Kolter Group wants its proposed One St. Petersburg 41-story tower at First Avenue and First Street N to grab the altitude crown at 450 feet....

    The city is considering asking the Federal Aviation Administration to approve changes for managing air traffic using Albert Whitted Airport that would allow for an increase in the maximum height for downtown buildings.
  13. Merry Christmas to your ears: Pile driving to cease over holiday

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Downtown residents and businesses are about to enjoy a gift that even the Grinch could appreciate —a brief Christmas reprieve from the gloomy, clamorous clangs of a pile driver.

    After steadily pounding through most of 2014, the big hammer will fall silent today through Friday, the city's top building official, Rick Dunn, said Tuesday.

    DPR Construction of Tampa offered the olive branch during a Dec. 5 meeting with residents and business owners, Dunn said....

    A pile driver’s constant hammering during construction at 330 Third St. S in St. Petersburg has frayed the nerves of people who live nearby. It will shut down for Christmas and New Year’s Day.
  14. Rays' president strikes cooperative tone on stadium deal with St. Petersburg

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A day after the City Council slammed the stadium door on the Tampa Bay Rays, two main players made pointed overtures toward reconciliation.

    "Despite the tally last night there seems to be good momentum toward reaching an agreement,'' Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said Friday, referring to the council's 5-3 vote against a plan to let the team explore stadium sites in Hillsborough County....

    Mark Ferguson, owner of Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill just across the street from the Trop, says the deal wasn’t good enough and he’s happy the council didn’t accept it.
  15. Rays attitude irks Council

    Blog

     

    ST. PETERSBURG----City Council members clearly remained irked Friday at Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld a day after they voted down a deal to allow the team to look for stadium sites in Tampa. 

    Several said that  Auld's brusque responses at Thursday's meeting played a big role in the no vote.   ...