02/09/16 Local Government
BROOKSVILLE — After receiving an 85-page report detailing the need for approximately $30 million in new construction to provide expanded office space for Hernando County government employees, the County Commission agreed Tuesday to study the idea further.
Commissioners voted 4-1 to advertise for engineers and architects who can craft a detailed plan for the additional space, which was recommended by a space needs committee formed last year and charged with determining how much new space various offices will need through 2025....
TAMPA — Trial courts in the Tampa Bay area have reached a consensus: Florida has no death penalty and won't until lawmakers rewrite the state's statute.
A day after Hillsborough prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty for a 30-year-old woman accused of murdering both her parents-in-law, a trial court judge's ruling in another capital case has foreclosed that possibility, at least for the time being....
Subject to a Hillsborough County School Board vote on Tuesday, Tinker K-8 will be the official school for middle school students living on the MacDill Air Force Base. The boundary map is here.
The district added grades 6 to 8 to the elementary school this year and made the slots available to students who used the choice plan. It was widely popular; 127 of the base's 134 middle school students opted for Tinker, according to the district's 40-day enrollment figures....
St. Petersburg police: Man robs taxi driver, leaves wallet in the back seat
A 22-year-old man accused of robbing a taxi driver at gunpoint left behind some valuable clues for police, according to an arrest report.
D'Andre Foster of St. Petersburg hired the taxi driver Jan. 1 and ordered him to stop at the intersection of Ninth Avenue N and 35th Street. He asked for change. As the driver pulled cash from his pocket, Foster pointed a hand gun at him and demanded money, a report says. They struggled for the gun, but Foster ran off....
02/09/16 Auto racing
ST. PETERSBURG — The past week has been a microcosm of the hectic but rewarding life of a world famous racing driver.
Defending IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Petersburg champion Juan Montoya arrived Tuesday in St. Petersburg for the track-building ceremony downtown after taking a red-eye flight from Phoenix (via Los Angeles), where Team Penske was part of Chevrolet's IndyCar testing on Monday....
ST. PETERSBURG — It was just gone, the delicate glass masterpiece likely slipped inside an overcoat or dropped into a handbag.
Dale Chihuly's Cobalt and Lavender Piccolo Venetian with Gilded Handles was discovered missing Monday from his collection on Beach Drive. The work, just 8 inches tall, is valued at more than $20,000....
SEMINOLE — A former tae kwon do instructor who was arrested Friday on charges of molesting two young girls at his workplace is now facing additional charges.
Andrew Jin Kim, a 23-year-old who was initially facing two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation after police said he touched a 6- and 7-year-old inappropriately, is facing an additional count of capital sexual battery, authorities said....
Diana Ross: One of the most iconic female singers of all time began her journey five decades ago as the leader singer of The Supremes. 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $58.75-$128.75. (727) 791-7400.
Florida Orchestra Coffee Concert: Viva Italia!: Under the direction of Stuart Malina, the orchestra presents Symphony No. 4 "Italian" (Mendelssohn), Fountains of Rome (Respighi), La Traviata Prelude to Act 1 (Verdi) and Cappriccio Italien (Tchaikovsky). 11 a.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $24-$42. (727) 892-3337....
The National Rifle Association's most influential lobbyist denounced a state water agency Tuesday, demanding that Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature abolish the Southwest Florida Water Management District for what she called violations of the Second Amendment.
Marion Hammer, whose Florida concealed weapons permit is License No. 0000001, is upset at the agency commonly known as Swiftmud because it is trying to make a Pinellas Park gun club clean up lead pollution caused by spent ammunition....
TAMPA — Hillsborough County officials said Tuesday they will start paying tipsters $1,000 for information about an illegal gun that leads to an arrest.
The gun bounty program — part of a new partnership between the county's law enforcement agencies and Crime Stoppers Tampa Bay — is the first of its kind in Hillsborough. It was spurred by a deadly 2015, one of the area's bloodiest years in recent history....
TAMPA — For at least the foreseeable future, the UCF-USF football rivalry is headed back to a Saturday.
The 2016 Knights-Bulls matchup — set for Nov. 26 at Raymond James Stadium — caps the Bulls' American Athletic Conference schedule released Tuesday morning. The past three games between the rivals have been staged on Black Friday (2013, '14) and Thanksgiving night ('15)....
ST. PETERSBURG — Police have arrested a second teen who escaped from a Hillsborough County juvenile detention center last month.
Anthony Cook, who authorities say slipped out of Falkenburg Academy last month through a hole cut out of a chain link fence, was located Tuesday at about 10 a.m.
Police said officers responded to a call at 320 Northeast Blvd N. The unknown caller said that Cook was at the home. ...
Christ the King Catholic Church is making Christian history, giving believers a new reason to observe the Lenten season.
Perhaps even starting a revolution — at least that's the Rev. Len Plazewski's theory.
He'll know for certain Wednesday morning, when he debuts to his congregation his "Lenten Wheel of Sacrifice."
"This is going to spread like wildfire," Plazewski predicted....
TAMPA — A second person has died in the shooting at a crowded strip club over the weekend that has already left one dead and six others with gunshot wounds, according to Tampa police.
Christopher Houston, 20, is the second death linked to the shooting at Club Rayne, located at 8123 N. Nebraska Avenue. He died late Monday, police said....
News at noon: New Hampshire Primary; Missing Chihuly recovered; Manatees flood Crystal River; Local Valentine's date ideas02/09/16News
New Hampshire voters are braving the snow and cold to vote today for their choice for president in their "first in the nation" primary. Follow the latest from Times political editor Adam C. Smith and Washington bureau chief Alex Leary on the campaign trail in our live blog, and check in tonight for the results after polls close at 7 p.m....