07/21/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — A day after Mayor Rick Kriseman interviewed his top four candidates for police chief last month and introduced them to the community in a public meet-and-greet, he got on a plane to Dallas.
He was unsettled, unconvinced that any was the right fit.
At a conference that weekend, Kriseman sought advice from other mayors around the country. They all had the same message: Don't settle. Don't be afraid to scrap the list....
07/20/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman has picked a surprise candidate to lead the St. Petersburg Police Department, after eliminating all four known finalists over the weekend.
Kriseman would not say whom he selected but confirmed that the candidate accepted the offer.
So who got the job? The focus Sunday was on Clearwater police Chief Anthony "Tony" Holloway.
Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times that Holloway was approached about the St. Petersburg job, but he did not know if a deal was inked....
07/19/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — When he took office this year, Mayor Rick Kriseman wasted no time trying to jump-start the city's sputtering effort at universal curbside recycling.
His administration unveiled a plan in February to get recycling bins to all of St. Petersburg's 76,000 households, not just those who pay a special fee for it now.
But almost six months later, the endeavor is bogged down and essentially on pause....
ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman eliminated three of the four finalists to head the police department on Saturday, including a popular internal candidate, while the fourth finalist said he had yet to hear from Kriseman.
Meanwhile, speculation is growing that Kriseman is courting a mystery candidate who was not among the finalists.
Kriseman did not return phone calls Saturday, and Ben Kirby, the mayor's communications director, would not comment, other than to say that an announcement naming the next chief will come this week....
ST. PETERSBURG | The city advanced a plan to refinance a portion of its debt related to Tropicana Field on Thursday, though final approval by the City Council is required at next week's meeting.
Under a deal with SunTrust Bank, the city will refinance about $17 million remaining on debt that matures in 2025 and is covered by a $2 million annual payment from the state to the city.
SunTrust has agreed to give the city an annual interest rate of 2.63 percent, leading to a projected savings of about $1.7 million, finance director Anne Fritz told a city council budget committee. (See our earlier story on the issue here.)...
It's that time of year again y'all. This week brings us two annual events for those of us who love shopping and fashion. Big bonus: both are local, homegrown events.
One will have you browsing downtown streets in your jammies, the other could spark some ideas for the crafty, DIY-diva. (We're looking at you, Keyonna)
So, without further ado...
For the fancy among us:...
07/11/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Steve Nadel remembers clearly when he first thought of luring the Tampa Bay Rowdies away from George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
The director of the St. Petersburg Baseball Commission was sick in bed when the idea of enticing the struggling soccer franchise to play at Al Lang Field occurred to him, he told the St. Petersburg City Council last month.
Nadel might now regret that flash of inspiration....
Growing up, I always associated full skirts with, well, grown women. My mom wore them, my teacher wore them, my bosses wore them.
But me? I rarely went for them, opting more often for a pencil or A-line shape (or, for those few misguided years in middle school, a mini).
Yet for months now, it's been hard to resist the strong pull, and appeal, of the full skirt. Probably cause I too, am now a grown woman. And do what-eva I want.* But there are plenty other reasons to indulge in a full skirt this summer. See them after the jump. ...
07/10/14 Public Safety
ST. PETERSBURG — Interim police Chief Dave DeKay promoted five officers Thursday, capping a process clouded earlier this year by allegations of impropriety during testing.
DeKay selected Sgt. Stephen Mandakis to fill a lieutenant position, and Officers Candace Marklin, Terri Nagle, Ricardo Lopez and Jason Deary to fill sergeant slots.*
The promotions were to have taken place several months ago but were halted in March after concerns about racial divisions within the agency were raised at a community meeting at a local church. During the gathering, attended by several police officers, community activists and city officials, people also raised specific allegations about the latest round of promotions testing, prompting Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin to call for an investigation....
07/08/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — On the campaign trail, Mayor Rick Kriseman said he would consider hiring a new police chief from outside the agency.
He also said he would listen to the community's wishes. Letters and emails have since come into City Hall, filling a binder two inches thick.
The majority of those people — neighborhood leaders, residents, city police officers and top officers from neighboring agencies — favor assistant police Chief Melanie Bevan, the only internal candidate among four finalists....
07/07/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Council members will have months to sift through the proposed budget Mayor Rick Kriseman submitted to them last week.
But many said that, at first glance, they don't have a lot to complain about.
"It looks to me like the mayor heard what people were saying," council member Karl Nurse said. "I think taking our money and reinvesting it in jobs and neighborhoods is well-spent. I'm pretty happy with the focus."...
07/04/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Jeff Schorr has witnessed the evolution of the city's homeless problem over the years from his Central Avenue gallery.
Things were bad five years ago, he said, with homeless people using downtown sidewalks to sleep, beg for money and use the restroom.
Things calmed after the city cracked down under the former mayor's tenure, but the issue is again at the forefront, partly because of reports from business owners like Schorr....
07/02/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — The fight between businessman Bill Edwards and the nonprofit St. Petersburg Baseball Commission over a popular downtown sports facility could be headed for a courtroom.
Edwards filed a lawsuit against the baseball commission on Wednesday over Al Lang Stadium, the home turf for Edwards' Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer franchise.
Edwards has spent months clashing with the baseball commission and the city over conditions at the downtown facility....
What's that saying? If at first you don't succeed...?
Well guys, I didn't immediately succeed when I grabbed the Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Stick earlier this week. So, I tried again. And again. And again.
Let's begin with my intentions. I'm traveling this week, and the good (great) news is that I've embraced the “pack light” mantra. A big part of that was trying to reduce the amount of liquids I'd be carrying on my carryon. That means being picky when it came to makeup. I don't feel like I've mastered powders yet, so I figured a solid foundation stick would be cool. ...
LARGO — A person was shot and injured during a domestic-related conflict Monday at the Caribbean Isle Mobile Home Park, authorities said.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office was called to the mobile home park, which is in an unincorporated area at 12100 Seminole Boulevard near Largo, about 7 p.m.
The injured person — deputies did not reveal an identity — was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not considered life threatening. Deputies were still conducting interviews at the park Monday night and no other details were released....