Former Middleton High School teacher Christina Butler, charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student a year ago, pleaded guilty Thursday to all charges against her. Butler, 34, was offered no plea negotiations, and her sentencing was postponed until Dec. 10. Her charges - contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor - carry total penalties of more than 30 years in prison. Prosecutor Anthony Duran said the state would ask for substantial jail time. According to affidavits, Butler engaged in sexual activity with one of her students, then 16, at least twice. He had borderline mental retardation.
Storm player injured in crash
Tampa Bay Storm receiver Lawrence Samuels was seriously injured in a car accident on State Road 52 Thursday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Samuels' 2007 Chevy sport utility vehicle ran into a tree on SR 52 after being involved in a four-car collision, troopers said. His 2-year-old child was with him but was not injured. He was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center. None of the other drivers had serious injuries, according the trooper's release.
Palin to drop by on Sunday
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is expected to campaign in Tampa on Sunday, as well as in Central Florida. Republican Sen. John McCain's running mate, who has drawn large crowds, recently visited Clearwater.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Biden visit will end Democrat drought
Vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was making plans for a rally Monday at Sims Park, local officials said, setting the stage for the first major appearance by a Democratic contender since Jimmy Carter noshed on peanut butter ice cream at Southgate Plaza three decades ago. After that, no major Democrat made a significant campaign stop, but Republicans have.
Man, 79, dies when hit by train
A 79-year-old man died Wednesday when his Ford slipped into the path of a 32-car train loaded with produce. Robert Stephens pulled in front of the CSX train at a dirt road southeast of Dade City. Though the Highway Patrol said some witnesses said Stephens waited to pull onto the tracks until the train was near, his family doesn't believe the death was suicide.
Cool weather finally is near
Get ready for some wet weather this weekend, which will be followed by the first good cool blast of the fall. A low-pressure system will keep our skies cloudy through most of the weekend, bringing thunderstorms and cooler temperatures. There is a 70 percent chance of rain today, followed by a 40 percent chance Saturday, Bay News 9 meteorologists report. Highs will be in the low 80s on both days. By Sunday, cooler and drier air will move in.