Police arrested a 56-year-old man they said was caught on camera setting a fire near a neighborhood bar in Kenwood, damaging part of the business. Patrick J. Akers, of St. Petersburg, faces a charge of first-degree arson. Authorities said he set a small brush fire outside Georgie's Alibi, 3100 Third Ave. N. When firefighters responded to the blaze at about 9 p.m. Oct. 14, the fire appeared to be accidental, police spokesman Mike Puetz said. Nine windows at the business were cracked because of the heat. But a couple of days later, a manager reviewed security footage and saw a person setting the fire. The manager recognized the man as having been at the bar that night dancing. Akers was arrested Tuesday. Records show he was released from the Pinellas County Jail after posting $50,000 bail.
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Team selected for redevelopment
The Tampa Housing Authority on Wednesday chose a private sector team led by a St. Louis-based developer to help plan the demolition and redevelopment of the North Boulevard Homes and Mary Bethune public housing complexes in West Tampa. Housing authority commissioners also voted to pay the team, headed by the firm McCormack Baron Salazar, up to $350,000 to develop a master plan for 140 acres west of the Hillsborough River. The vote to hire McCormack Baron, which specializes in developing mixed-income urban neighborhoods, was unanimous.
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Police: Man kills self after election
A Key West resident who police say was distraught over the presidential election results and worried about his business has apparently killed himself. Police say they found Henry Hamilton's body in his bedroom last Thursday, along with a living will with handwritten words "Do not revive! (expletive) Obama!" Two empty prescription pill bottles were in the dining room. Hamilton's partner Michael Cossey told Key West police he last saw Hamilton when they watched the election results together. According to the police report, Hamilton was upset and said, "If Barack gets re-elected, I'm not going to be around." Cossey says Hamilton was anxious about his tanning business. Authorities do not suspect foul play.
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Arson investigator charged in theft
Deputies arrested Joy Anne Stuiso, 37, an arson investigator for the Florida Fire Marshal Division, 8600 Hidden River Parkway in Tampa. She is accused of stealing nearly $7,100 from an arson investigators association. Stuiso also served as a treasurer for the International Association of Arson Investigators between March 2011 and May of this year and kept financial records for the association's Florida chapter at her Land O'Lakes home, a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report states. In that time, reports state, she used one of the association's debit cards to take $7,100. Investigators found evidence in a hotel invoice and a receipt for a Western Union Speed Pay used to make a car payment, reports state. Stuiso was booked in the Land O'Lakes jail and was released the same afternoon on $500 bail.