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

  1. Archive



Judge E.J. Salcines, who shaped the legal careers of countless local judges and lawyers as one of Tampa's most popular politicians, will retire from the appellate bench this summer.

July 18 marks his 70th birthday, when Florida law mandates a judge retire.

"I wish I didn't have to, but the calendar says I must," Salcines said Wednesday.

He served 10 years on the 2nd District Court of Appeal, a Gov. Lawton Chiles appointment that resuscitated Salcines' political career after a federal corruption investigation ended his tenure as Hillsborough's top prosecutor in the mid 1980s.

Weeki wachee

Three cars hit woman trying to cross U.S. 19

A Weeki Wachee woman was struck by three cars and killed while trying to cross U.S. 19 on Tuesday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Maureen L. Keel, 69, 5003 Plumosa St., was standing on the median about 7 p.m. when she started to cross U.S. 19 near William Street, according to the FHP. Keel stepped onto the highway and was struck by the left side of a northbound 1993 Jeep.

The impact sent Keel into the outside lanes. She was struck again by a Cadillac El Dorado and a Nissan Maxima.

wesley chapel

New malls ready for road work, new stores

March looks to be a big month for mall developments in central Pasco:

- The long-awaited eastward extension of State Road 56 is due to begin next month, according to a top executive of the developer backing the $130-million Shops at Wiregrass. The Wiregrass mall depends on that extension to proceed.

- The Grove at Wesley Chapel is getting ready to open five new stores in March, and a 16-screen multiplex is scheduled in May.

Plant city

Passenger who died in wreck identified

Authorities have identified the passenger who died in a fatal car crash Tuesday night as Jose Arriaga-Garcia, 28, of Dover.

Arriaga-Garcia was riding in a car driven by Mara Ruiz, 20, of Plant City, according to Plant City police reports.

Ruiz was driving south on James L. Redman Parkway when she ran a red light at Trapnell Road and struck a car heading east, reports state.

That car carried driver William Barlow, 43, of Plant City and Barlow's teenage son, whose name was not released. Ruiz and Barlow were taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center and treated for their injuries.


Hillsborough shells out for waste-energy plant

Hillsborough County commissioners Wednesday voted to set aside another $13.6-million to cover cost overruns on the expansion of their waste-to-energy project in eastern Hillsborough.

The price of the project, by Covanta Hillsborough Inc., has climbed about 35 percent to $138.7-million.

Also, the commission unanimously approved a resolution in support of renaming Legends Field, the county-owned spring training facility, after longtime New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The Tampa City Council is expected to consider a similar resolution today. The Yankees control the naming rights.