Curtis Krueger, Times Staff Writer

Curtis Krueger

Curtis Krueger is the Pinellas courts reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, and has written for the Times since 1987. He also covers a variety of other issues, including space and science.

Phone: (727) 893-8232

Email: ckrueger@tampabay.com

Twitter: @CKruegerTimes

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  1. Two TradeWinds executives get prison for embezzlement

    Crime

    At a bustling hotel like TradeWinds in St. Pete Beach, you need a lot of computers to keep the business humming.

    So two of the resort's key financial executives frequently rushed payments to various IT businesses, sometimes making or approving disbursements via American Express and PayPal.

    But on Tuesday morning, former chief financial officer Sam Baage, 60, and former technology director Harold William James, 47, stood in court and admitted that all those computer expenses were a sham. ...

    Harold James, former technology director, must help pay $338,000 in restitution.
  2. Two Pinellas GOP candidates want to take on Democratic state Rep. Dwight Dudley

    Elections

    The starting point for any discussion of the Republicans in the state House District 68 race begins with one word: civility.

    The first reason comes from candidate Bill Young, who said he was inspired to run for office because of his father, longtime U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who died last year after serving more than four decades in Congress and was known for civility and bipartisanship. ...

    Bill Young says he learned a lot from his well-known father.
  3. Former Air Force sergeant sentenced to death in Pinellas

    News

    LARGO — Ralph Wright Jr. was sentenced to death Friday for killing his ex-girlfriend and their baby in a way that the judge called cold, calculated, heinous and cruel.

    During a hearing Friday, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Thane Covert recounted many details of the killing to explain his conclusion that "the death penalty is the appropriate sentence."

    Perhaps the most chilling part of the narrative came as Covert described how Wright came uninvited to the St. Petersburg home of Paula O'Conner, his ex-girlfriend....

    Ralph Wright Jr., 46, who was an Air Force sergeant at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa at the time of the killings in July 2007, showed no reaction Friday during his sentencing.
  4. State House, District 68

    Politics

    State House | District 68

    Two Republicans are vying for the right to run against incumbent state Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg. The winner in the GOP primary will go up against Dudley in the Nov. 4 general election. Curtis Krueger, Times staff writer

     

    Joshua Black, 32

     

    Taxi driver...

    Biill Young
  5. State House, District 67 (Republican)

    Politics

    State House | District 67

    Republican state Rep. Ed Hooper is leaving this seat because of term limits and is running for a County Commission seat. Two Republicans and three Democrats are in the race to replace him in the state House of Representatives. The winners will face off in the Nov. 4 general election. Here is a look at the Republicans. Curtis Krueger, Times staff writer ...

    Chris Latvala
  6. State House, District 67 (Democrat)

    Politics

    State House | District 67

    Republican state Rep. Ed Hooper is leaving this seat because of term limits and is running for a County Commission seat. Two Republicans and three Democrats are in the race to replace him in the state House of Representatives. The winners will face off in the Nov. 4 general election. Here is a look at the Democrats. Curtis Krueger, Times staff writer ...

    Steve Sarnoff
  7. Third inmate this year commits suicide in Pinellas County Jail

    Crime

    LARGO — Hours before he was scheduled to appear in court to face a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, Larry Kobielnik killed himself.

    Deputies found him hanging by a shoelace early Thursday in the shower of his single cell, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

    Kobielnik is the third inmate to commit suicide in the Pinellas County Jail this year, the second to kill himself after being convicted....

    Larry Kobielnik, 38, hanged himself with a shoelace Thursday morning.
  8. VA health care rules may cost Pinellas veteran his life

    Veterans

    SEMINOLE — U.S. Army veteran David Davis was calm and clear-eyed on Monday, even as he sat in a congressman's office and told reporters about the cancer that will likely kill him.

    Davis, 60, said he went to a Veterans Affairs hospital for treatment of skin growths and was told he had a cyst or an infection. They gave him antibiotics.

    But Davis believed the problem was more serious....

    David Davis, right,  an Army veteran who says he went to the VA for medical treatment, didn’t get appropriate treatment or diagnosis  and now has stage 4 skin cancer,  holds a press conference in the  Office of U.S. Rep. David Jolly, left, on the St Petersburg College  Seminole campus Monday, 8/11/2014.   CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
  9. Florida Right to Life endorses Pinellas House member once labeled 'pro-abortion'

    Elections

    Republican state Rep. Kathleen Peters was endorsed this week by the antiabortion group Florida Right to Life, which doesn't sound surprising on the surface.

    Except for one thing: Less than a year ago, National Right to Life labeled her a "pro-abortion state Rep." and claimed she had a "100% pro-abortion voting record."

    Peters said on Friday she was pleased to receive the state group's endorsement because it reflects her "core values."...

  10. Allegiant Air flight makes emergency landing in Pinellas after attendant injured in turbulence

    Public Safety

    An Allegiant Air flight made an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Monday after a flight attendant was injured during turbulence.

    The MD-80 airplane left Fort Lauderdale en route to Asheville, N.C., with 147 passengers and six crew members aboard, said airport operations manager Lloyd Tillmann. The flight attendant suffered head injuries during the turbulence. She was taken to a hospital for treatment immediately after the landing Monday afternoon, Tillmann said....

  11. State House candidate Shawna Vercher chooses her words very, very carefully

    Blog

       Shawna Vercher, one of three Democratic candidates in state House District 67 in Pinellas County, has posted this quote from the Tampa Bay Times on her campaign web site:

       "Shawna Vercher is a poised, articulate businesswoman who in many ways appears an ideal Democratic candidate..."

        What the web site doesn't say: The excerpt comes from a Times article quoting people who dispute many claims that Vercher has raised in a book and in her campaign....

  12. Clearwater Bar gives honors

    Blog

       Three judges and a court system spokesman have been honored by the Clearwater Bar Association, according to a news release issued Thursday.

       * The John U. Bird Judicial Excellence Award was given to Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judges Raymond Gross and William R. Webb.

       * The late Pinellas County Judge Patrick Caddell, who died earlier this year of cancer,  received the George W. Greer Judicial Independence Award....

  13. Democratic candidates say they have the right experience for Pinellas District 67

    Elections

    With all the money in politics, does anyone represent the regular guy?

    The three Democratic candidates in the House District 67 race all say they would, and each claims the perspective comes from working-class roots.

    Thomas Ryan works at a dairy, was happy when his salary got into the $30,000 range, and said "I think I'd be a voice for the poorer people, for the people who really struggle."...

  14. Officials dispute Pinellas candidate's claims of legal abuse

    Elections

    Shawna Vercher is a poised, articulate businesswoman who in many ways appears an ideal Democratic candidate in a tough battle for a state House seat in Pinellas County.

    She's at ease in front of cameras and energetic enough to shake every hand in the room. Although she lost a $1.5 million court case and filed for bankruptcy, she has attempted to turn the setback into an advantage by writing a blistering book on the need to reform Florida's justice system....

    Shawna Vercher was ordered to pay $1.5 million to an NBA referee whose book she published.
  15. Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly supports same-sex marriage ruling

    Politics

    U.S. Rep. David Jolly on Monday said that although he's a Christian who believes in traditional marriage, he supports a judge's recent decision striking down Florida's gay marriage ban.

    Jolly, R-Indian Shores, described himself as "a 41-year-old less-government conservative," and said same-sex marriage is "an issue of less government and personal liberty."

    Therefore, he told the Tampa Bay Times in an interview, "a state that embraces both same-sex marriage and traditional marriage is something that I support."...