TAMPA — The dead girl lay in the weeds beside a chain link gate. The workers didn't notice her at first, even as they rode past her body toward the sewage treatment plant.
When someone finally saw her near a sign for the Progress Village Sewage Treatment Plant, they phoned sheriff's deputies.
She was Betty Sue Foster, a sometime carnival worker from Gibsonton. She was 17. She had been shot in the chest. ...
TAMPA — A 19-year-old man is under arrest in the shooting death of a taxi driver near Busch Boulevard.
Police say Devante Bell is one of three men who called for a Yellow Cab just before 8 p.m. Sunday and then killed the driver, John Dooley, 56, in an attempted robbery.
In a review of phone records, investigators pinpointed the cellphone number that was used to call the cab company, according to arrest reports....
TAMPA — Authorities arrested a stowaway on a Jamaican cargo ship who was carrying more than 3 1/2 pounds of marijuana when the ship docked late Sunday in the Port of Tampa, officials said.
Duwayne Courtney Hines, 23, who lives in Jamaica, boarded the cargo vessel Dinkeldiep without permission last week while the ship was stopped in a Jamaican port, authorities said. After the Dinkeldiep took to the seas, crew members discovered Hines hiding aboard the vessel....
TAMPA — On the same day that severe winter weather canceled and delayed flights to and from the Northeast and Midwest, Tampa International Airport officials announced their 11th weekly flight to Cuba amid clear skies and 80-degree temperatures.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor joined airport CEO Joe Lopano in a news conference to announce the new flight, a weekly charter to Havana. The flight, they said, represents an important milestone for the Tampa Bay community and the airport, which began offering direct flights to Cuba two years ago....
BRANDON — A decade after her charred body was found in Mississippi woods, authorities have confirmed that a once-nameless murder victim is the long-lost sister of a Brandon man.
For two years, investigators have run tests to determine if the unidentified woman known as "Rosa Doe" was Asenath Mary Woodin, who lived in Hillsborough County in the 1990s.
The effort began in 2011 when Woodin's brother, Arthur Jones, phoned the Tampa Bay Times and asked for help in locating his sister, whom he had not seen in 11 years....
TAMPA — Sheriff's deputies were looking for two unidentified men Tuesday who attacked a man at his Tampa home, shooting him in the leg before fleeing.
Darrell Moore, 30, walked out of his home at 6408 Wilshire Drive just before midnight, according to Hillsborough sheriff's deputies. As he approached his car, the two men appeared, armed with handguns.
Moore ran toward a nearby privacy fence, but the men caught up with him as he fumbled with a lock on the gate, authorities said....
TOWN 'N COUNTRY — Sheriff's officials have released surveillance images of a man they think might have information about the November shooting of a security guard at a Town 'N Country apartment complex.
Detectives do not think the unidentified man was involved in the Nov. 24 shooting at Royal Oaks Apartments, which left 50-year-old Ammar Al Nueimy hospitalized, according to Hillsborough sheriff's deputies. But they think the man might know something about what happened....
TAMPA — A man who went on a rampage of assaults in early September, touching off a massive daylong manhunt, had heavy amounts of illegal "bath salts" in his body when he was shot to death by police.
An autopsy and toxicology report released Friday by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office shows that Charlie "Chris" Bates had heavy concentrations of methylone in his system when he died....
Valessa Robinson, who was a 15-year-old when she helped murder her own mother, was released from state prison early Friday.
Department of Corrections officials confirmed that Robinson was let out of Homestead Correctional Institution shortly after midnight, having reached the end of her third-degree murder sentence for the 1998 death of Vicki Robinson, a Tampa Realtor.
Robinson was killed in her Carrollwood home. At the time, she was struggling to get control of her daughter, who was acting out and dating Adam Davis, a 19-year-old with a criminal past....
12/04/13 Local Government
TAMPA — The legion of public officials, both current and retired, gathered under a bright sun Wednesday morning in Ybor City, sweating in dark suits and white, neatly pressed sheriff's uniforms.
They were there to honor one of their own, a man they said left a mark on the county he served as a sheriff and the state he helped lead as a legislator. Amid the fanfare, Malcolm Beard watched humbly as a curtain rose atop the main entrance to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office operations center, revealing his name newly adorning the building....
Man, 20, is killed in drive-by shooting
A man was shot to death early Tuesday while standing in the driveway of a home, according to Tampa police.
Stephon Reyshad Roundtree, 20, was standing in front of 3628 E Mohawk Ave. in East Tampa just after midnight when someone in a passing car fired a gun at him, police said. He died in the driveway.
Homicide detectives were investigating. No arrests have been announced and the motive for the shooting was not immediately known....
TAMPA — An imitation smartphone that plays music loud enough to cause hearing loss. A toddler's play mat laced with antimony. A plastic action figure so small it could lodge in a child's throat.
Those are a few of the children's toys showcased Tuesday at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital as examples of the many "dangerous" and "toxic" items that are still widely available for purchase. The gathering, organized by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and Florida Public Interest Research Group, highlighted the dangers of such seemingly harmless toys and served as a call for greater regulations to prevent them from entering the marketplace....
11/26/13 Public Safety
TAMPA — What a family feared might be a sinkhole under their home turned out to be a shoddy tile job, according to code enforcement officials.
Residents of the single-story home at 2103 W Sligh Ave. evacuated about 7:30 p.m. Monday and phoned authorities when they noticed the living room floor buckling, officials said.
The house was blocked off with yellow tape and a sign declaring it unfit for habitation was placed on the front window....
TOWN 'N COUNTRY — Outside an apartment where two children watched a Christmas movie with their mother Sunday night, a security officer approached two men in the darkness.
Ammar Al Nueimy spotted the men standing between buildings about 10 p.m. near 7307 Casitas Court at Royal Oaks Apartments. He told them they were trespassing and would have to leave.
One of the men pulled a gun and put two bullets into Al Nueimy, according to Hillsborough County sheriff's officials, leaving the security officer, 50, bleeding in the parking lot....
BRANDON — One man stood in the driveway, a gun in his hand. Another lay on the concrete, shuddering as the bullets plunged into him. This is what Elizabeth Baxley saw as she stepped out of her front door Thursday morning.
Baxley, 48, was one of few witnesses to the shooting at 612 E Morgan St., which sent two men to the hospital, put five schools on lockdown as a manhunt ensued and ended with three men in custody....