Bay area lets its hair down at 101st Gasparilla: 'I think it's the Mardi Gras of Florida — Tampa style'01/30/16 Human Interest
The skies smiled and the pirates pranced the way swashbucklers do. Screams tested eardrums. Bedlam tested order.
Adults who are levelheaded every other day of the year threw plastic beads at one another and their inhibitions to the wind.
And the authorities stood by and let the city explode. And why not?
It's Gasparilla, Tampa Bay's annual excuse to let its collective hair down....
Allegiant Air leadership told financial analysts late Wednesday that the airline is working to alleviate "operational challenges" that include the need to increase the reliability of part of its fleet.
In a conference call with analysts after the Las Vegas-based airline released its fourth-quarter financial results, Allegiant's chief operating officer Jude Bricker said the airline's operational issues are an offshoot of its rapid growth....
An investment group with a stake in Allegiant Air is urging the company to form a board of director's safety committee in the wake of emergency landings and questions about the company's maintenance operations.
Dieter Waizenegger, executive director of CtW Investment Group, told Allegiant a committee "that focuses exclusively on safety would appear long overdue" given the age of the airline's aircraft fleet and media reports suggesting maintenance problems at the Las Vegas airline....
More than a week before Allegiant Air's chief operating officer abruptly resigned, John Goglia questioned the airline's response to five emergency landings during the last week of 2015.
All five were flights departing Florida.
Goglia, a widely respected aviation accident investigator, said an identical series of incidents would warrant quick discipline against those overseeing maintenance at other airlines. Allegiant had done nothing publicly....
Allegiant Air Flight 815 had just departed North Carolina on Dec. 3 with 94 passengers bound for St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport when an alarming gray haze began to fill the cockpit and passenger cabin.
Pilots declared an emergency, telling the tower to notify fire rescue crews "to roll the trucks." The haze dissipated on landing at Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and the problem was traced to a malfunctioning air-conditioning system....
It's described as something like a trucking version of a palace coup.
Officials at a St. Petersburg trucking company accuse a woman they say was their employee of secretly incorporating a rival business while she still worked for them. They say she then took to an undisclosed location four of the firm's trailers used to haul freight before grabbing the keys for the company's remaining six trucks and trailers....
TAMPA — Forget the image of a hippie making biodiesel from used cooking oil in his garage to fuel a VW van with Grateful Dead stickers on the bumper. The renewable energy fuel, advocates say, is becoming big business.
But the biodiesel industry remains something of an enigma to most Americans despite its production of an estimated 2 billion gallons of fuel in 2015, a figure that is expected to jump by 300 million gallons by the end of the year. Biodiesel is typically blended with regular diesel in the same way as another renewable fuel, ethanol....
The chief operating officer of Allegiant Air unexpectedly resigned his post at the Las Vegas-based airline effective immediately, Allegiant announced late Friday.
Steven E. Harfst, 52, a former Navy fighter pilot with nearly three decades of experience in the aviation industry, had worked at Allegiant for a little more than a year and had been the most prominent executive at the airline behind its CEO, Maurice Gallagher Jr....
OCALA — Veteran aircraft mechanic Greg Marino worked at Allegiant Air for just two weeks before he quit because of what he said are the airline's dangerous maintenance practices.
Marino said mechanics at the airline's facility in Sanford often lapsed into bad maintenance habits. He said they failed to follow proper procedure in diagnosing aircraft problems and routinely misused a Federal Aviation Administration program that allowed planes, under some conditions, to fly with inoperative components or systems....
Allegiant Air closed out 2015 with five emergency landings on flights departing Florida in just one week, capping a difficult year from a public relations standpoint for the airline.
One of the five was a Dec. 26 flight that departed St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport bound for Missouri that declared an emergency for an undisclosed "maintenance issue."
The other four flights departed Sanford, northeast of Orlando, from Dec. 24 to Dec. 31 and suffered a variety of mechanical issues....
Tampa Bay residents are almost evenly split on the question of expanding casino gambling in the region, but a large majority favor allowing fantasy sports websites to continue operating, a new Tampa Bay Times/10News WTSP poll shows.
The results suggest that those who were polled do not view daily fantasy sports websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings as traditional gambling in the manner of casino slot machines and poker tables....
TAMPA — With more than 1.3 million alligators calling Florida home, perhaps it is inevitable that a gator will occasionally compete with commuters for a good parking space.
Case in point in a federal lawsuit: a photo of a gator confidently swimming in the flooded parking lot of a Tampa business park.
This is litigation, Florida-style.
Photos allegedly showing the swimming gator are exhibits in a federal lawsuit filed Dec. 21 against the owner of a business park near Westchase in Tampa by a tenant who said flooding prevented workers from safely getting to work. ...
Even on his week off, Chad Suder is fielding calls.
His Tampa landscaping company, Lawn Sculptures, is taking a winter break, but the waning weeks of 2015 brought a hot spell, making for unruly lawns and, for Suder, extra business.
Instead of December's usual doldrums, the calls for new quotes and extra visits have kept rolling in. His revenue from normal landscaping work has been up nearly 20 percent the last two months, he said. ...
TAMPA — The makers of the Light Portal meditation chamber have made some robust claims about the benefit of using a device that plays music and shines colored lights on users who lie inside.
It rejuvenates business executives, allowing them to perform better in the corporate world. It allows the user to clear away bad memories in much the same way as a psychotherapist. One claim boasts that four sessions in the chamber took a woman's thoughts off of killing her family....
TAMPA — The company Christmas party at SynDaver Labs took an unexpected turn last week when the firm's nearly 100 employees got a surprise stocking stuffer — $1.5 million in company stock.
The Tampa-headquartered company, which makes "synthetic humans" for trauma and surgical training, made the announcement at the party Friday and said non-management workers would be eligible for the gift of stock, SynDaver said in a news release Tuesday....