07/03/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Event organizer Sevell Brown dropped off a city sponsorship application earlier this year knowing it was missing a few details — namely, specifics on how to spend money for his Battle of the Bands event held annually in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Brown vowed then to return to City Hall with the required information.
That was six months ago. He hasn't been back since....
06/28/15 Public Safety
ST. PETERSBURG — About six months ago, a Police Department staffer won a raffle at a law enforcement conference. The prize? A brand-new body camera.
The freebie was hardly the first time a tech company hoped to entice the agency into making a large purchase.
Several times in the past year, vendors have contacted the St. Petersburg Police Department about body cameras, which are entwined in the national debate about race relations and police accountability....
06/23/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — The Mosley Motel has racked up dozens of headlines — and not always for the best reasons.
In the past year, the 34th Street N motel has been the backdrop for numerous drug deals and hundreds of police calls, according to city records.
The city seeks to fix that in a hearing today. City and motel officials will once again meet at City Hall to hash out whether the Mosley should be considered a public nuisance....
This morning was one of those rare occasion when I woke up fairly confident about what I was going to wear to work.
To be sure, I had a bit of help from the weather. It was actually a thunderous, only-in-Florida summer storm, -- and not one of my many alarms -- that startled me out of bed. I swiftly crossed skirts or dressed from my mental list, (Really, who wants to be bothered?)...
06/17/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — With a month to go before his proposed budget is due, Mayor Rick Kriseman has already outlined his biggest spending priorities.
At the top of his list: $3.58 million in Penny for Pinellas funds to replace Fire Station No. 7 at Fossil Park, according to a draft memo released Wednesday.
The news thrilled council member Bill Dudley, who recently said he was worried about mold and a roach infestation at the 54-year-old station at 6975 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N. ...
06/16/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman proved he did not need to be present in order to make news — at least when it comes to his budget.
Kriseman, appearing in a pre-recorded video shown Wednesday night at the final of three stops on a city budget listening tour, announced the city was upping the figure it would spend on employee raises next year.
Until now, officials had been saying they would give employees a 2 percent raise. Now, Kriseman said, staffers will get a 3 percent hike. The raises will cost $1.8 million, which city officials say likely will be covered by rising property values....
ST. PETERSBURG | A circuit judge declined to grant an injunction that would have halted the city's nuisance abatement proceedings against one of St. Petersburg's most well-known motels.
That means a June 24 city hearing about the Mosley Motel will take place as scheduled.
"We're going to be putting on a lot of people and witnesses for this," said Largo attorney Joseph Perlman, who represents the Mosley....
06/12/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Before becoming mayor, attorney Rick Kriseman represented a firefighter who claimed his city-issued helmet was defective and caused serious neck injuries.
Now, two years later, Kriseman is considering replacing the headgear for all St. Petersburg firefighters.
As he mulls next year's $221 million budget, Kriseman is thinking about ditching the 1044 Cairns model helmets that are at the center of five pending lawsuits filed by a group of active and retired firefighters. Kriseman's former boss, Jim Magazine, happens to be the attorney for the firefighters....
ST. PETERSBURG — It appears the city is once again set to do battle with one of its most infamous property owners.
Officials notified the Mosley Motel, which has for years been the target of criticism by elected officials, residents and police, that they intend to pursue a nuisance complaint at a hearing June 24.
The 34th Street motel has shot back with a lawsuit against the city, asking a judge to grant an injunction that would prevent the hearing from taking place....
06/01/15 Public Safety
TAMPA — Community members will get a chance to weigh in on the federal government's review of the Tampa Police Department's policies related to stopping and ticketing bicyclists, most of them black, authorities said Monday.
Officials from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services said they will meet next month with "community members and other stakeholders" as part of their overall look at the issue....
05/30/15 Public Safety
Freddie Crawford didn't always carry his gun when he patrolled the streets of St. Petersburg in the 1960s. • "I didn't need it," said Crawford, now 77. "Those people, they knew me. I knew them." • Crawford's biggest challenge as an officer wasn't the people, it was the racist and segregated system in which he worked. • At that time, black officers in St. Petersburg couldn't arrest whites, work in certain parts of town or move up the ranks. • Things got so bad that in 1965, a dozen of them sued the city for discrimination. They prevailed, and became known as the "Courageous 12." • Today, blacks serve at all levels in law enforcement. Black men lead two of Tampa Bay's biggest police agencies. • It has been 50 years since that landmark case, and the country is once again grappling with widespread unrest over race and justice....
05/22/15 Public Safety
TAMPA — A federal review of the Tampa Police Department's enforcement practices as it relates to bicycle laws and other traffic infractions is set to begin next week, officials said Friday. Investigators are expected to be on site at least two days, Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said, though it could be months before their work is complete. City officials requested the review following a Tampa Bay Times investigation that found that Tampa police issue more bike tickets than any other agency in Florida, and that eight out of 10 go to blacks in predominantly poor neighborhoods. In addition to data analysis, officials also plan to bring in various experts in criminology, police training and statistics to assess Tampa's situation....
ST. PETERSBURG | When officials set out to hear residents' thoughts on the 2016 budget earlier this month, they learned about concerns of gentrification.
At the second forum, held Wednesday night at the Enoch Davis rec center, the people had a different worry: city employees' wages.
In his draft budget now, Mayor Rick Kriseman is proposing 2 percent raises for staffers....
ST. PETERSBURG — The officers showed up at the ranch-style home near Northeast High School on Sunday evening knowing things could go bad.
Police files were full of warnings — about weapons, about past domestic incidents, about how officers should "use caution."
The first officer took one side of the taupe-colored house. Two others approached from a different direction. They were searching for Austin Goodner, an 18-year-old linked to a shooting earlier in the day....
Remember when we were kids and our job was to literally color within the lines? Ah, the days of crayons.
I'm convinced its that tinge of nostalgia, plus just ease of use, that has me in love these days with crayon-shaped beauty tools. Can you blame me?
Consider this. I'm not a makeup maven, but I want to look presentable, professional and not like a 12-year-old girl playing in her mom's bathroom....