TAMPA — Tony and Amy Abdallah had two problems with the UberEats driver who came to pick up an order at their Seminole Heights pizza place on Sunday.
For one, the man didn't have the proper bags to ensure their customer's pizza arrived hot. But there was something even more troublesome, said the owners of Crusty's Pizza on N Florida Avenue.
"He was visibly under the influence of something," Amy said. "I don't know what it was, but he wasn't sober."...
TAMPA — Warren Hope Dawson helped lead the effort to desegregate Hillsborough's public schools.
Now his name will grace one.
The Hillsborough School Board voted Tuesday to name the district's new elementary school in Riverview after Dawson, a Tampa attorney who specializes in civil rights and labor relations. Currently under construction and slated to open in August, the new school is located in the Triple Creek subdivision south of Big Bend Road and east of Balm Riverview Road....
01/17/17 Public Safety
TAMPA — Faced with a spike in serious traffic crashes statewide after nearly two decades of decline, the Florida Highway Patrol is about to embark on an unprecedented campaign to make the state's roads safer.
The effort has a familiar name: Arrive Alive, a crash-reduction effort that began in 1970 and was absorbed by other programs in the 1990s. But the latest incarnation is a data-driven approach that aims to identify the most dangerous roadways in the state and saturate them with troopers, sheriff's deputies and police officers....
Hillsborough state attorney dropping charges against volunteers arrested for feeding homeless in Tampa park01/17/17Crime
TAMPA — Jimmy Dunson knew he was taking a chance when he arrived at Lykes Gaslight Square Park on Tuesday morning to feed the homeless.
Just 10 days earlier, the same act in the same park landed Dunson and six others in handcuffs. But this time Tampa police didn't stop Dunson and his group, the Tampa chapter of Food Not Bombs.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren released a letter Tuesday dismissing the city's trespassing charges against the group members arrested Jan. 7 in the city-owned park. The group was told it was violating a city ordinance that requires a permit and insurance to distribute food....
GIBSONTON — As Tyler Wilkinson steered his gold Maxima south on Intersate 75 at speeds of nearly 130 mph, the 18-year-old Lithia man was carrying three passengers, a quarter pound of marijuana and liquor in the car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
About 12:30 a.m., Wilkinson passed an unmarked patrol trooper. The Maxima's headlights were dark.
The trooper prepared to make a traffic stop, but Wilkinson took the exit ramp to Gibsonton Road and lost control, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, an FHP spokesman. The Maxima veered onto the shoulder and rolled several times, striking several trees and a utility pole....
01/16/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — For Billi Griffin, the day to celebrate a civil rights leader is personal.
The 80-year-old Tampa resident remembers being called racial slurs growing up and, later, while working in Washington, D.C. In the 1960s, she marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma and in Washington, D.C., standing near the reflecting pool as he delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech.
On Monday, Griffin slipped some oversized gold and green beads around her neck and climbed on to the Tampa Housing Authority's parade float, one of about 120 entries in the annual King parade that rolled north from Cuscaden Park in the V.M. Ybor neighborhood. Hundreds of spectators lined the parade route along 15th Street to take in the marching bands and dancing troupes. Children's necks disappeared behind piles of beads but they still clamored for more of the plastic baubles and candy. ...
TAMPA — One voted for him. Two did not. But Donald Trump's Twitter use worries them all.
"I think that him using Twitter is a modern way of communicating with the public. However, there's no filter, so maybe he should have somebody else running his Twitter posts," said Bryan Donathan, 33, of Lutz, an independent voter who supported Trump despite reservations.
Donathan was among a few Tampa-area voters the Times interviewed as Trump prepares to take the White House with a trail of provocative tweets in tow....
01/12/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — Some were born and raised on a South Korean dog farm, spending their lives in rusty cages. Others were people's pets, snatched by thieves and sold to the farm's owner.
All were destined to be hanged or electrocuted, then slaughtered to become "gaegogi" — Korean for dog meat, to be eaten by humans.
Then, a reprieve. The aging woman who owned the farm in Wonju, South Korea wanted to get out of the business. Now, 14 dogs saved from the farm are bound for Tampa, where they will be put up for adoption by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay....
TAMPA — Police shot a burglary suspect who threw a "flaming accelerant" on an officer and police dog inside a home Thursday morning, a police spokesman said.
The shooting happened shortly before 11 a.m. when Tampa officers responded to a burglary call at 1022 E 25th Ave., said spokesman Steve Hegarty. The officers noted that a window on the side of the house was broken. They also recognized a car parked outside the home belonged to a man with a lengthy criminal record who was wanted on outstanding warrants. ...
01/12/17 Public Safety
TAMPA — The arrests of seven volunteers feeding people in a Tampa park last week is the latest flareup in a battle that has simmered for at least a dozen years.
Now the conflict appears to be coming to a head. On one side is Tampa Food Not Bombs, an activist group that sees defying local ordinances as a form of civil disobedience. On the other are city officials like Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who says the park is the wrong place to feed the needy. ...
01/10/17 Public Safety
TAMPA — Glen Edwards made his way along folding tables laden with muffins, hash browns, even pizza despite the early hour.
Edwards, 45 and homeless, grabbed a pastry and wondered where the police were. Three days earlier, as fans packed downtown ahead of the College Football Championship game, seven members of the group Tampa Food Not Bombs were arrested and charged with operating in the city-owned park without a permit. ...
TAMPA — One night last October, Max Holloway lost control of his Dodge Charger, veered off the road and crashed into a house.
The 26-year-old former standout football player for Jefferson High School died from his injuries. The crash was widely reported, in large part due to Holloway's football success and the notoriety of his father, who spent eight seasons in the NFL.
Now, a lawsuit filed by Holloway's parents, Brian Holloway and Bette McKenzie, is placing blame on a Lutz bar and grill their son frequented. He was there so often, according to the lawsuit, that employees at Panini's knew he was addicted to alcohol but served him anyway....
BRANDON — Dontae Hill had two loves: music and family.
The 25-year-old Armwood High School graduate, known as Big Don, took great pride in his rapping skills, recording his own songs and posting videos on YouTube. And he doted on his 1-year-old son, "Little Don," while looking forward to another child who is on the way....
RUSKIN — Natasha Wood cooked chicken for a New's Year Eve family dinner, wondering why her 13-year-old son hadn't arrived.
Cameron Fuller had ridden his new Christmas present, a black BMX bicycle, to a recreation center about a mile and a half from his family's home on SW Ninth Avenue. He should have been home, Wood thought.
Then came a knock on the door. The friend Cameron was riding with stood on the doorstep with his parents....
01/02/17 Human Interest
As the sun beat down on the Raymond James Stadium parking lot, beads of sweat glistened on Hawkeye Elvis' brow. His custom-made black-and-gold jumpsuit and towering black pompadour wig don't breathe.
Also known as Greg Suckow, the 47-year-old real estate lawyer from Minneapolis had hoped his team would make it to the big show. He grew up watching the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and now is a season ticket holder who dons the outfit and beads in Hawkeye colors for the team's games....