A Cannella Elementary fifth-grader was arrested Thursday morning after bragging to other children that he'd brought a knife to the Carrollwood-area school, officials said. The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office charged the 10-year-old with possession of a weapon on school grounds after he admitted to placing a 6-inch knife in another student's backpack, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. The knife was in a sheath, schools spokesman Steve Hegarty said. The 10-year-old was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
MOSI kills plans for slave ship: After weeks of controversy, the Museum of Science and Industry backed off plans to use artifacts from a former slave ship in a pirate exhibit.
MOSI president Wit Ostrenko also said he won't try to bring the Whydah exhibit to Tampa later.
The decision came after some prominent black residents widely circulated an e-mail that called the exhibit disrespectful to African-Americans and said MOSI should cancel its plans.
The Whydah was overtaken by pirates days before it sank in 1717 off Cape Cod. Built in 1715, the ship's primary role was transporting slaves.
FOR PEACE, MORE POLICE AT UNIVERSITY-AREA APARTMENT COMPLEX: Gunshots, car thieves and drug deals have been routine in and around Carlisle Lakes apartments, near the University of South Florida.
But in the past two months, it has seemed less restless. A new security company is patrolling, and sheriff's deputies are trying to get troublesome tenants evicted.
Still, residents fear that the extra policing is taking their complex from one extreme to another, from a hotbed of crime to a police state.
Deputies attribute more than 1,000 calls for service between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1 to Carlisle Lakes. "We're literally there two or three times a day," said sheriff's Deputy Jason Napoli.
The complex's managers say the number of calls is much lower.
Since September, deputies have targeted it and three nearby complexes in an effort to reduce crime. They're helping apartment managers pinpoint which tenants are being arrested, in order to evict them.
On Aug. 31, Critical Intervention Services took over private security at Carlisle Lakes. Most of its officers' time is spent making sure that people on the property actually live there, in hopes of reducing drug deals and fights.
Not all the tenants like it.
"A lot of people have very short tempers around here, and they're going to get tired of getting told what to do," said Noel Ellis, 17.
COUNTY MAY CUT TAXES MORE: Hoping to provide property tax relief that people will actually notice, Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Jim Norman is proposing a statutory cap on how much his government increases spending each year.
Norman is proposing to tie the increase in how much property tax money the county government spends to increases in inflation and population growth, rather than letting it jump as property values spike, as it has in recent years.
The budget that commissioners approved in September included a nearly 16 percent increase in spending on government programs paid for by property taxes. Had Norman's proposal been in place, the increase would have been closer to 8 percent, which would have enabled commissioners to sharply lower tax rates.
"I think we need to be a leader in cutting the spending," Norman said.
The cap would only apply to property taxes, about a third of the money Hillsborough County government spends.
While saying he supports tax cuts, Commissioner Ken Hagan added, "I think we need to be intellectually honest in that there is no amount of tax relief we can provide that is going to satisfy the majority of the county."