Problems continue for Allegiant as airline reports third emergency landing in a month at St. Pete-Clearwater07/04/15Airlines
For the third time in a month, an Allegiant Air flight has been forced to make an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.
But this time, the airline confirmed, passengers didn't know.
Allegiant Flight 977 left Asheville, N.C., on Friday, bound for Punta Gorda, but was forced to divert to St. Pete-Clearwater because of bad weather, the airline said.
But before the MD-83 aircraft landed, pilots declared an emergency after an "indicator light" pointed to a possible "maintenance issue" on the aircraft, Allegiant said Saturday....
TAMPA — Three years ago, Department of Veterans Affairs manager Joe D. Battle got the unenviable job of turning around the Jackson, Miss., VA hospital, a facility critics called a dysfunctional mess.
The hospital didn't have enough doctors, and two patient deaths were blamed on inadequate staffing. A radiologist was accused of failing to properly read thousands of images. Veterans were assigned to "ghost clinics" without seeing doctors....
06/27/15 Human Interest
They wore the colors of the rainbow in shirts and hair and body paint at an event that many recognized as so much more than just a parade and good party.
Thousands of Tampa Bay residents and other Floridians gathered Saturday for the annual St. Pete LGBT Pride Parade and block party along Central Avenue, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was a right guaranteed by the Constitution....
At the height of its travel season, Allegiant Air finds itself with a challenging public relations problem.
Recent headlines described two emergency landings at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in June; a series of flight cancellations there and at other airports that left hundreds of passengers temporarily stranded; and a labor dispute with a pilots union alleging Allegiant puts profits above safety....
A Florida wasp provided the latest challenge to Allegiant Air in a difficult month for the airline, crawling into an aircraft sensor Thursday and forcing a flight departing St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to make an unscheduled landing.
Allegiant spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler said Flight 894 with 159 passengers took off at 7:30 a.m. headed to Niagara Falls, N.Y., but diverted to Orlando Sanford International Airport not long after takeoff because of problems with the sensor....
Allegiant Air's troubles continued Tuesday when it canceled a flight out of St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport due to an unspecified "maintenance issue," the airline confirmed.
The Las Vegas-headquartered airline has now canceled about 14 flights arriving or departing at the airport since the emergency landing of one of its aircraft on June 17 due to a pressurization problem. That was the second Allegiant emergency landing at the airport this month....
TAMPA — With dead rats falling from the kitchen ceiling at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center, Sen. Marco Rubio Monday urged the hospital's interim director to resolve pest control issues.
Rubio said he was "alarmed" by a recent Tampa Bay Times report that revealed how three dead rats fell through the ceiling of the hospital's kitchen last week during work to install new fire sprinklers. Internal hospital emails from the facility's infection chief also said the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital has a cockroach infestation....
TAMPA — The dead rats falling from the kitchen ceiling of one of the nation's busiest veterans hospitals show the facility's pest control efforts are working.
That is what officials at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center said Monday in the wake of a Tampa Bay Times report that revealed the hospital is battling a severe infestation of rats and cockroaches.
Haley spokeswoman Karen Collins provided some detail about the hospital's "vermin control" efforts that include rat traps placed on ceiling tiles in a kitchen that prepares food for hospitalized veterans and a canteen kitchen that serves veterans, staff and visitors....
TAMPA — It's not the sort of email the infection control director of a veterans hospital wants to find in their inbox — a message with photos of dead rats found in a hospital kitchen.
Workers at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center reported "3 large dead rats that fell through the kitchen ceiling" at the hospital during renovation work Wednesday night, according to emails obtained by the Tampa Bay Times....
Florida regulators Thursday voted to allow Florida Power & Light to invest up to $500 million annually in the potentially risky natural gas business in what critics call a rich and precedent-setting giveaway to the utility.
The investments would not be financed by FPL's shareholders but by its 4.77 million customers, according to the proposal.
The unanimous decision by the Florida Public Service Commission does not directly impact Tampa Bay residents because the Palm Beach County-based utility does not have customers in the area. But it is nonetheless watched closely by other utilities, including Duke Energy, that may consider similar investments....
CLEARWATER — An Allegiant Air flight made an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport on Wednesday after pressurization problems, the second time this month an Allegiant aircraft has been forced to return to the airport.
Flight 866 had been heading to Pittsburgh before landing in Clearwater at 5:07 p.m., just under an hour after taking off, according to the airline....
What happens when two cable TV companies ranked as having superior customer service are taken over by firms whose record of keeping consumers smiling is inferior and, according to some, wretchedly so?
If you currently get your Internet or cable from Bright House Networks or Verizon FIOS, you may soon find out.
Charter Communications announced last month it plans a merger with Bright House and Time Warner Cable, a combination Charter's chief boasted will lead to improved service. Earlier this year, Frontier Communications said it was buying the regional Internet and cable TV assets of Verizon FIOS, including Verizon's Florida business....
TAMPA — The smartphone, some say, may soon make the bank drive-up teller window as old fashioned as your great-grandparents' Model T.
So starting Monday, Bank of America is closing drive-up teller windows at select branches in the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida.
The bank says the move is a response to customers who are doing more of their banking with their smartphones....
ST. PETERSBURG — It was the glitch that kept on giving.
That's how Choice Hotels International, one of the world's largest hotel chains, portrays a flaw in its online reservations system in a lawsuit accusing a St. Petersburg man of fraudulently redeeming gift cards worth $48,500 in a rewards program for loyal customers.
Robert Chat, 38, discovered the Choice Hotels booking system didn't erase his rewards points when he canceled a reservation, the suit said. So Chat began making, and quickly canceling, hundreds of reservations from October to January, then redeeming gift cards earned as a "reward," Choice Hotel alleges. Chat denies wrongdoing....
05/31/15 Public Safety
PLANT CITY — A 5-year-old severely autistic Polk County boy wandered away from his father at a farmers market Sunday and drowned in a nearby pond, authorities said.
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said the boy, Michael Bolden, probably drowned shortly after arriving at the Plant City Farm & Flea Market at 708 W Sam Allen Road about 9 a.m. with his father and a family friend.
The father searched for his son for 45 minutes to an hour before calling 911 about 10 a.m., the Sheriff's Office said. The boy's body was found about 3 p.m. by divers....