TAMPA — Yes, that's my gun, and I forgot it was there.
That's probably the last thing a traveler at Tampa International Airport wants to say while rushing to make a flight, but it's happening more and more often at the airport.
Last year, Transportation Security Administration officers discovered 49 guns on passengers or in their carry-on luggage at the Tampa airport, an average of nearly one a week. That tied an apparent record set in 2014....
02/04/16 Human Interest
TAMPA — The worldwide "tribal gathering" of a controversial antifeminist group has been cancelled, but a protest of the group and its values will go on.
Tampa tattoo artist Jon Larson was horrified this week when he heard Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park was listed as one of the 165 international locations for the "International Return of Kings Meetup Day" to be held at 8 p.m. Saturday. The event was organized by Daryush "Roosh V" Valizadeh, a blogger whose views critics have called misogynistic or even prorape....
02/03/16 Public Safety
A blogger whose anti-feminist views have drawn worldwide scorn has canceled an international meetup event Saturday that included a location in Curtis Hixon Park.
Daryush "Roosh V" Valizadeh, whose views critics have called misogynistic or even pro-rape, announced the cancellation of the "International Return of Kings Meetup Day" on his blog returnofkings.com Wednesday evening. By then, critics around the world were decrying the event and mobilizing to stage protests....
TAMPA — She's been called a cruel hoarder, unfit to care for the animals she was supposed to be saving. Others figured she meant well, but got overwhelmed.
Ten months after animal control officials swarmed Veronica Faulseit's St. Petersburg bungalow and seized several dozen animals, she is fighting to restore her reputation and revive her nonprofit animal rescue operation....
TAMPA — Ana Flores sat on the end of her sofa Friday, staring out the rear sliding door of her townhouse. It was quiet except for the dull sound of traffic roaring by on Gunn Highway just a few yards beyond the backyard privacy fence.
Nearly every day after school, Flores' granddaughter Emily Lopez would visit with friends and then take a bus to the intersection of Gunn and Nixon Road. From there, it's a short walk to the townhouse in the Bellefield neighborhood, where Lopez lived with her uncle and grandmother....
01/27/16 Public Safety
Lt. Ken Newman of Tampa Fire Rescue was working the Gasparilla Children's Parade last weekend when he got the call.
A young girl watching the parade along Bayshore Boulevard had fallen down and needed help. She was on the water side of the parade route, and reaching her would be a tricky endeavor for paramedics who have to navigate the crowd and cross the rolling procession. But Newman was astride one of the department's new specially equipped bicycles designed to help paramedics access patients in crowded, tight spaces....
TAMPA — The driver of a flatbed truck that slammed into a Hillsborough sheriff's motorcycle deputy and six other vehicles on Gibsonton Drive last month was under the influence of a "chemical substance" at the time of crash, the Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.
Kenneth R. Cooper, 26, of Tampa was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of DUI with property damage, 12 counts of DUI with injury and property damage, and two counts of violating probation, the Sheriff's Office said....
01/26/16 Local Government
TAMPA — The seafaring scalawags had some nerve.
The pirates of the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla showed up Tuesday firing cannons in the streets of Tampa. Then, they docked their rolling pirate ship at the curb, stormed into Lykes Gaslight Park and hurled insults as they awaited an audience with Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
They wanted the keys to the city.
"A lot of voters gathered around," said one of the scalawags, nodding at the crowd. "I'd think he should come any time now."...
TAMPA — Police were investigating a shooting in east Tampa on Tuesday.
Officers responded to The Blue Store, 3617 E. Chelsea St., about 9:30 a.m. and found 29-year-old Leroy Carlyle suffering from a gun shot wound, Tampa Police said.
Detectives believe the shooter was in a silver Nissan. There was another group of men gathered nearby and investigators suspect someone in that group may have been in the intended target, police said....
TAMPA — Sometimes authorities seek out drunk drivers. Other times, drunk drivers come to them.
Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies were arresting an alleged drunk driver Sunday when another car sideswiped a deputy's patrol car, the Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies said they stopped a BMW at the corner of Dale Mabry Highway and North Village Drive about 10:30 p.m. The deputies believed the driver, 36-year-old Michael Probst of Tampa, was driving while impaired. A Breathalyzer test showed he had blood-alcohol levels of 0.114 and 0.134, deputies said. That is about twice the level, 0.08, at which state law presumes a driver is impaired. Probst was arrested on a charge of DUI....
GIBSONTON — Deputies were searching Friday for a man who acted suspiciously with female real estate agents working alone at model homes in southern Hillsborough County.
In the first incident on Jan. 11, a man entered a model home in the Ayersworth Glen subdivision in Riverview about 6 p.m. and spoke to the agent about purchasing a home, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The man invaded her personal space, pulled her close during a handshake and complimented her. At one point, he leaned over a desk and rubbed his groin area on her hands as she was showing him maps, deputies said. ...
Do you scoff at the notion of staying cooped up indoors when the mercury drops below 70 degrees?
Do you chuckle when cold-weather wusses whine about wind chill factors? If so, we've put together a list of outdoor activities to enjoy when the inevitable cold fronts arrive. Say, Saturday.
By the way, if your idea of braving the cold is walking to the car and back, check out our list of things that will get you out of the house but keep you out of the elements. ...
01/21/16 Human Interest
TAMPA — A beloved retired Tampa police detective battling cancer is back home after friends and colleagues rallied to help cover the cost of his trip from Puerto Rico.
Jose Feliciano, 61, flew to Tampa on Wednesday on a flight provided by Jet ICU, an air ambulance service based in Brooksville. Diagnosed with gastric cancer, the 26-year veteran was stuck in a Puerto Rican hospital in deplorable conditions and had grown weak enough to need a medical flight to get home to Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. But insurance wouldn't cover the trip....
TAMPA — Jose Vasquez watched the fire raging through his condo building Thursday morning and hoped the flames wouldn't come his way.
"I didn't think the fire would be running that fast or that way," recalled Vasquez, 49. "I told my son, pray hard that that don't happen, and it happened."
The fire broke out about 2 a.m. Thursday at the eight-unit building in Westchester Manor condominium complex at 9029 Central Ave. Tampa Fire Rescue crews arrived to find flames shooting from the roof of the older, two-story building. It took more than 30 firefighters about an hour to get the fire under control, a department spokesman said....
For many of us Floridians, this week's cold snap is a bracing reminder of why we live here: The bursts of arctic air are usually mercifully short (and, of course, a lot less painful than what our northern brethren endure.
If your blood is thin and your skin prone to chapping and cracking, you're probably the type to stay indoors when the weather gets downright cold. But hibernating for too long can bring out the stir crazy in the best of us. ...