TAMPA — The wrong-way driver who crashed on Interstate 275, killing him and four other people in another vehicle, had a blood-alcohol level more than twice legal limit, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday.
Daniel Lee Morris, 28, of Tampa, had a 0.20 blood-alcohol level when he died in the Feb. 9 crash. The legal limit is 0.08. Morris' blood also contained cannabis, a by-product of marijuana....
Leaders of the federal agency researching the health effects of Camp Lejeune's polluted water are refusing to say if they will launch a sweeping study that could reveal elevated cancer rates among veterans of the Marine Corps base.
They say technical hurdles may prevent such a study.
"It's a complex kind of approach," Dr. Vikas Kapil, chief medical officer of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, or ATSDR, told the Tampa Bay Times recently. "And it certainly isn't an easy thing to do. It cannot be done quickly."...
TAMPA — They don't have a football team. Haircuts on campus tend to be shorter than at most universities. It takes a top-secret clearance to get into some classes.
And students might be asked to talk about how to disrupt terrorist financial networks using lethal methods.
This is higher education — commando style.
U.S. Special Operations Command broke ground Thursday on a $34 million building for its Joint Special Operations University near SOCom's headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base. The 90,000-square-foot facility will provide a permanent home for a school that has been housed in an old credit union building just outside MacDill's main gate for about three years....
Oba Chandler was executed in 2011 for the killings of a mother and her two daughters with investigators certain he had killed other women.
The facts of the triple murder portrayed a killer who enjoyed his work. In 1989, Chandler dumped the bodies of the Ohio women into Tampa Bay after binding their limbs and tying concrete blocks to their necks.
"He didn't cover their eyes because he liked tormenting them and seeing the fear in their eyes," said retired St. Petersburg Detective Cindy "Cindra" Leedy....
Federal health officials said Thursday that a new study showing veterans exposed to Camp Lejeune's polluted drinking water died of cancer more often than those at a base with clean water is a significant step toward understanding how contamination may have sickened people.
"We think the study makes an important contribution to the body of evidence in relationship to exposures (to pollution) and health effects," said Dr. Vikas Kapil, chief medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But Kapil cautioned the study is not proof of a definitive link between contaminated water and cancers....
Marines and Navy personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., during years when its drinking water was highly polluted with toxic chemicals died of cancer far more frequently than those who lived at a base without fouled water, a federal study said Wednesday.
The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's long-awaited mortality study provides persuasive evidence polluted water sickened people who lived at the North Carolina base, say members of a panel advising ATSDR....
TAMPA — The first rule in talking to Paula Broadwell is not uttering the name Jill Kelley.
Paula Broadwell is in Tampa this week for the first time since the military scandal that made her name fodder for late-night comedians. She is attending a conference on modern warfare at the University of South Florida and moderated a panel discussion Wednesday on counterinsurgency.
Broadwell's affair with former U.S. Central Command chief and CIA director David Petraeus ended his career after anonymous emails she sent to Kelley and her husband in 2012 were reported to the FBI because the couple thought them menacing. ...
They came Monday night carrying balloons Alejandra Carmona would have loved. Family and friends gathered around the 4-year-old's grandmother, who clutched to her chest a photo of Alejandra in a Tinker Bell shirt — smiling, as always.
Relatives prayed just feet from the burnt-out mobile home where the girl died late Friday. Then they released the balloons. Some called out the girl's name. This was goodbye....
TAMPA — John Stroncheck says he's having difficulty finding work in the defense industry for doing the one thing he has come to believe is seldom forgiven in government service:
Blowing the whistle on illegal activity.
"I'm thinking of becoming a truck driver," he joked.
Six months after Stroncheck, a civilian employee at MacDill Air Force Base, went public in a Tampa Bay Times story about what he believed was illegal intelligence gathering at U.S. Special Operations Command, he is unemployed, facing bankruptcy and trying to put his career back on track....
TAMPA — The emergency dispatchers were helpless as the white Ford Expedition barrelled down Interstate 275 southbound on the wrong side of the highway. Dispatchers tried tracking the vehicle using cameras, perhaps sensing an unfolding tragedy.
"It's hard to look at," a Florida Highway Patrol dispatcher told a counterpart at Tampa police just after 2 a.m. Sunday. "I don't want to look at it. But there's so much traffic. I don't know how he got around them."...
Dozens of men and women gathered on the shoulder of Interstate 275 shortly before sunset Sunday with flowers, candles and a wreath.
Less than 24 hours earlier, a fiery crash involving a wrong-way driver killed four University of South Florida fraternity brothers near the site. The collision also killed the driver of the wayward SUV that plowed into them in a crest of the highway shortly after 2 a.m. on a tragic Sunday along Hillsborough County roadways....
TAMPA — MacDill Air Force Base's longtime budgetary patron, Rep. C.W. Bill Young, is gone. The U.S. war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan will wind down this year. The military is downsizing.
Tampa Bay area leaders, having fended off two serious threats to close MacDill in the past 20 years, might be forgiven a sense of insecurity as the nation moves toward a military belt-tightening....
TAMPA — A major at MacDill Air Force Base was going to be in Washington, D.C., for training at the Pentagon's National Defense University and wanted to make a new friend.
So Air Force Reserve transportation officer David Mario Riley answered an online Craigslist ad from a man who was looking for someone with a sexual interest in children.
Riley wrote an email in December: "Hi, I saw your ad … while looking for other pervs in the area … I will be visiting DC from jan 27-feb 7, but will be alone … and would like to get together with other pervs and explore taboo."...
PINELLAS PARK — The Florida National Guard will build a new, $5.7 million facility in Pinellas Park to house its 22-person Civil Support Team, which is now in temporary leased quarters at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.
The 16,200-square-foot facility will be on a site at the C.W. Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center on Grand Avenue.
The Guard was told the money has been set aside for construction in the Department of Defense budget. But a start date on construction is not yet known, according to the Guard....
BRADENTON — They came together in fellowship Sunday to pray and take communion in a retirement village like so many in Florida. Golf carts passed on sedate streets with signs that playfully warned, "Caution. Seniors at play."
As residents of the Sugar Creek Country Club left their clubhouse after a church service ended at 11 a.m., knots of people lingered in the parking lot to talk, laugh and share gossip....