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Weekend rewind: Publix shopper shoots himself in store; Strong winds rip through Tampa Bay; and more

Catching you up on the biggest stories you may have missed over the weekend.
Nobody else was injured in the incident, deputies said. [Times files]
Published May 6

Deputies: Publix shopper accidentally shoots himself while inside Land O’ Lakes store

Publix, where shooting is a pleasure? Not quite — but that didn’t stop a shopper at the Land O’ Lakes Publix on Collier Parkway from accidentally shooting himself with his weapon while inside the store on Sunday. According to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the victim — identified only as a white male — was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries to his lower extremity.

In Clearwater, a tree blew down in the 1100 block of Norwood Avenue as severe thunderstorms came through the Tampa Bay area Sunday afternoon. [Photo courtesy of Clearwater Police Department]

Thunderstorms, strong winds rip through Tampa Bay area as thousands lose power

Severe thunderstorms and raging winds passed through the Tampa Bay area Sunday afternoon, causing thousands to lose power. The worst of the power outages happened in Hillsborough County. An early afternoon update from a Tampa Electric Co. outage map showed that as many as 28,000 Florida clients lost power Sunday, most of them in Hillsborough. By about 4:30 p.m., that number had fallen to a still-substantial 22,000. So, why did this seemingly random storm hit Tampa Bay? Read here.

A charter plane carrying 143 people and traveling from Cuba to north Florida sits in a river at the end of a runway, Saturday, May 4, 2019 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Boeing 737 arriving at Naval Air Station Jacksonville from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with 136 passengers and seven aircrew slid off the runway Friday night into the St. Johns River, a NAS Jacksonville news release said. [Associated Press]

Florida man aboard Jacksonville flight said passengers were told a delay was due to a mechanical problem

The Tampa Bay Times had an exclusive interview with a passenger on the Jacksonville flight that skidded off a Jacksonville runway and into a river Friday night. Darwing Silva, of Miami, said the flight was delayed initially, he was told, due to an issue with the air conditioning. Later, Silva said the landing was like countless others he’d been on, except the plane never stopped. Read the full story here. Though no humans died in the incident, there were no pet survivors, according to the NTSB.

Left to Right: Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, House Speaker Jose Oliva, and Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez all share a laugh during Sine Die at the Capitol on Saturday. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Here’s how Florida Republican lawmakers got their way in 2019

A more active governor, a more conservative Supreme Court and transactional new leaders in the House and Senate led to a wave of successes for Republicans in the 2019 legislative session, which ended Saturday. In a half day of overtime, lawmakers quickly approved a $91.1 billion budget with record spending on the environment and more spending on public schools. But this session, it wasn’t about the budget. It was about Florida’s hard right turn. Read how Republican lawmakers were so successful here.

TAILYR IRVINE | Times Dale Massad appears in court for a motion hearing on his bond status March 14, 2019 at West Pasco Judicial Center in New Port Richey. Massad is charged with attempted murder after after authorities said he shot at a Pasco County SWAT team. Additional charges of criminal attempt, solicitation or conspiracy and using a two-way communication device as part of a crime were brought against Massad on Wednesday.

Drugs, guns and politics collided in the small town of Port Richey. Two mayors went to jail.

Alas, our lead print story for Sunday’s Tampa Bay Times. In what was a very only-in-Florida investigation, Times writers took a deep dive into how a once “laser surgeon,” who once had a kid die in his care and who ran deep with dope fiends, became mayor of Port Richey ... before then having a shootout with cops at his home. Readers on Sunday spent an average of three-and-a-half minutes reading the piece. I recommend you do the same.


  1. Authorities say Rocky Ali Beamon strangled and stabbed 27-year-old Nicholas Anderson in January 2017 when they shared a cell at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton. Florida Department of Corrections
    Rocky Ali Beamon previously had been sentenced to life in prison for a 2005 murder in Hillsborough County.
  2. The Bookstore at the  Oxford Exchange during its First Friday event on 09/06/13. TIMES (2013)  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Plus other Instagram-worthy spots around Tampa Bay.
  3. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    The FDLE is investigating the incident, during which deputies fired their weapons in an attempt to stop the driver.
  4. The David A. Straz Jr Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa was one of several buildings named for the philanthropist and banker. [DENNIS JOYCE   |   Times] DENNIS JOYCE  |  Tampa Bay Times (2018)
    The David A. Straz Jr Foundation donated more than $33 million to dozens of organizations in nearly 20 years
  5. A sinkhole opened up beneath a phosphogypsum stack at Mosaic's Mulberry plant in 2016, draining 215 million gallons of waste into the aquifer below. Neither the company nor the state Department of Environmental Protection notified the public until a television report revealed what happened. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times (2016)]
    Problem at Bartow plant began in October, but public was given no notice.
  6. In this Thursday, Aug. 1, file photo, Amanda Kondrat'yev, the woman accused of throwing a sports drink at U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz in June outside a town hall meeting, arrives at Winston Arnow Federal Court House in Pensacola, Fla. Kondrat'yev has been sentenced to 15 days in federal custody for throwing the sports drink at Gaetz. TONY GIBERSON  |  AP
    Amanda Kondrat’yev pleaded guilty to assault in August and had faced up to a year in jail.
  7. Dr. Carlyle Luer and his wife Jane  with an orchid in Ecuador, one of the many countries where they searched for the flowers. Luer, co-founder of Marie Selby Botanitcal Gardens in Sarasota, died Nov. 9 at age 97. Photo courtesy of Selby Gardens. Courtesy of Selby Gardens
    Dr. Carlyle Luer gave up a medical practice to pursue his orchid obsession.
  8. Broward County firefighters spent about four hours early on Saturday, battling fires aboard two luxury yachts that caused nearly $20 million in damage. (Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue/TNS) HANDOUT  |  TNS
    When firefighters arrived, the boats were completely engulfed and smoke could be seen for miles.
  9. An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that two-thirds of Medicare Part D beneficiaries, or about 9 million people who don’t receive low-income subsidies, will see their monthly premium increase for next year if they stay in their current plan. To sort through your options, visit the Times' Medicare guide at or contact Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, a state program commonly known as SHINE. Contact them at 1-800-963-5337 or MICHELE MILLER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    About 9 million people with Medicare Part D plans will see higher premiums if they don’t make a change before Dec. 7, a new study says.
  10. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    A fourth person killed in the crash was the wrong-way driver.