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GTE cable franchise likely to be approved

Published Sep. 16, 2005

(ran East, South editions)

The cable monopoly in St. Petersburg is coming to an end. City Council members on Thursday will likely approve a franchise agreement for GTE to enter the local cable TV business.

The approval is not expected to bring the city much extra franchise revenue _ it already receives about $1.2-million a year from Time Warner _ but it will provide city customers with a choice in cable service.

The proposed 10-year franchise agreement with GTE Media Ventures is virtually the same as Time Warner's deal with St. Petersburg. It will offer no public access, but two education and one government access channel. Construction of the new cable system will take about 42 months to complete.

Neighborhood leader

to request more police

ST. PETERSBURG _ Sevell Brown, president of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference and of the 31st Street Neighborhood Association, is scheduled to make a plea for more police presence along 34th Street S between Fifth and 26th avenues Thursday, along with nearly a dozen other neighborhood representatives.

Brown had planned to address the council two weeks ago, but he postponed the appearance so more people could request time on the council agenda. He is expected to be joined by the parents of murder victims, by business representatives and residents.

Police statistics indicate crime has actually declined in that neighborhood in recent years.