Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive


The grand jury investigating Pinellas County's June 29 purchase of Property Appraiser Jim Smith's private land on Brooker Creek reconvenes at 9 a.m. today. Those expected to appear before the grand jury include County Commissioners Calvin Harris and Bob Stewart, as well as County Attorney Susan Churuti and Smith, who has been property appraiser for 20 years. Last week, the County Commission suspended Churuti with pay while the grand jury does its work. The grand jury could finish taking testimony today, but is not expected to make any findings until later this month.

Reduced sentence isn't for 'Queen'

Courtney Lloyd, 19, also known as the "Queen of Auto Theft" in St. Petersburg, is not eligible to be sentenced as a youthful offender, a judge ruled Tuesday. Judge J. Thomas McGrady told Lloyd that she was "not willing to keep your end of the bargain" when courts tried to work with her by giving her lighter sentences. Lloyd faces up to 20 years in prison in connection with three charges of grand theft auto, a charge of auto burglary and resisting arrest without violence. Her next court date is in September. Prosecutor Doug Ellis said he was pleased.

Sales tax break ends on Monday

Take advantage of the back-to-school tax holiday yet? The break, which ends Monday, applies to clothing and footwear ($50 or less), books ($50 or less) and school supplies ($10 or less). This eighth annual event is expected to save Florida shoppers about $39.3-million.


Hans Sigvardsson asked a judge for leniency and said he wanted to remain in the country but did not say he regretted his actions. A story Tuesday was incorrect on that point.