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News at noon: All Children's Hospital hires new interim president; plans for downtown St. Pete condo project scrapped; and more

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on
Check for the latest breaking news and developments
Published Feb. 8

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on

All Children's Hospital hires new interim president

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital has named a new interim president. Tom Kmetz, who retired last year as head of women's and children's services at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, will take over on Feb. 18. Johns Hopkins plans to hold a national search for a permanent replacement. The change in leadership follows a Tampa Bay Times investigation that found a sharp rise in deaths and complications in the hospital's heart surgery department. At least eight hospital employees warned supervisors about problems with the program's surgeries, the newspaper reported in November. But the hospital's leaders waited more than a year to take aggressive action to curtail the harm.

Plans for downtown St. Pete condo project scrapped

Plans for a 13-unit condo project in downtown St. Petersburg have been scrapped and the property on Fifth Street S is on the market for $1.3 million. Blue Night Owl LLC paid $850,000 last year for the property, now the site of a house built in 1910 and converted to apartments. Developer Julie Kessel planned a mid-rise project, named 357 on Fifth , with condos priced from $500,000 to $1.35 million. She decided to pursue other opportunities, Realtor Nick Janovsky said, adding that the site near the new Avanti and Beacon apartment complexes would be prime for a larger project than what Kessel planned.

Citation says Spring Hill driver had faulty brakes when she crashed into Beef O' Brady's

State troopers have issued a citation to the woman behind the wheel of a car that plowed through the front of a Beef O' Brady's on Tuesday and injured her and five customers. Barbara Markowski, 65, of Spring Hill received an improper and unsafe equipment citation after troopers determined the brakes on her 2007 Saturn sedan were malfunctioning. The crash happened about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday at the Barclay Crossing Shopping Center at Spring Hill Drive and Barclay Avenue. The Saturn was travelling east on Spring Hill Drive when Markowski lost control. She went over the median and westbound lanes, onto the shoulder and through a flower bed. She side-wiped a truck, struck a parked car and then rammed through the front of the plaza's Beef O' Brady's location, striking customers inside and outside.

The old Steve Spurrier is back in business

Stephen Orr Spurrier, 73, is back where he belongs, feeling frisky again, as if it was Florida-Florida State week, only he coaches the fledgling Orlando Apollos of the just as fledgling Alliance of American Football (AAF). Orlando makes its debut Saturday night when it hosts the Atlanta Legends at Spectrum Stadium, UCF's Bounce House. The irrepressible Spur Dog has a hop in his step, even on a bad knee and coming off back surgery just three months ago, Martin Fennelly writes. Spurrier doesn't need money, though Orlando is reportedly paying him $500,000 for this season, his kind of ball season, no recruiting, no drafts, no nothing."Five months," Spurrier said. "It's perfect for me."

British actor Albert Finney dies at 82

British actor Albert Finney, the Academy Award-nominated star of films from Erin Brokovich and Big Fish to Tom Jones and Skyfall, has died at the age of 82. Finney's family said Friday that he "passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side." Finney was a rare star who managed to avoid the Hollywood limelight for more than five decades after bursting to international fame in 1963 in the title role of Tom Jones. Although Finney rarely discussed his personal life, he told the Manchester Evening News in 2012 that he had been treated for kidney cancer for five years, undergoing surgery and chemotherapy.

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  1. Jose Vasquez, Jr., 22, of Tampa was charged with manslaughter on Monday after a man he fought outside the Brandon Crossroads bowling alley on Nov. 10, 2019 died from his injuries, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    The man Jose Vasquez, Jr. fought outside of Brandon Crossroads hit his head twice on the pavement and died on Saturday, deputies said.
  2. 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.
  3. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Charges are pending, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  4. Maxwell Guss, 34, of Bradenton was arrested on Monday afternoon on two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Conduct by a person over 18. Sarasota Police Department
    Maxwell Guss has been on administrative leave from Brookside Middle School, where he was a business teacher.
  5. Travelers make their way to baggage claim at Orlando International Airport in August. Officials expect 1.75 million passengers to pass through the airport during the Thanksgiving holiday season.
    Officials at Orlando International Airport on Monday said they expect traffic to increase 6% from 2018.
  6. Fresno Police Chief Andrew Hall addresses the media as community leaders and personnel stand behind him about a shooting at a house party which involved multiple fatalities and injuries in Fresno, Calif., Monday. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian) GARY KAZANJIAN  |  AP
    Police were investigating whether the shooting was connected to a recent “disturbance” involving some of the people at the party.
  7. In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington. Vindman is set to deliver public testimony about President Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival. Democrats and Republicans are expected to press contrasting narratives about the 20-year Army veteran’s decision to come forward to allege abuse of power by his commander-in-chief. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP
    Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams say they had concerns as Trump spoke on July 25 with the newly elected Ukraine president.
  8. This two photo combination image taken from video released June 21, 2017, by the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, shows kidnapped teachers Australian Timothy Weekes, top, and American Kevin King, who were both abducted by the insurgents in Afghanistan in August 2016. Three ranking Taliban prisoners released by the Kabul government have been flown to Qatar for an expected swap for the American and the Australian hostage held by the insurgents since their abduction in 2016, Taliban officials said Tuesday. (EL-EMARA Taliban via AP, File) AP
    The hostages were released in southern Zabul province, ending their more than three years in captivity.
  9. Teacher Kate Newell watches seventh graders Aaron Roxberry and Jacob Iovino practice the slope-intercept formula in one of her weekly visits to their Bayonet Point Middle algebra class, which Newell usually teaches remotely. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. The Secret Garden, overlooking a lively canal, provides scenic, airy dining at Silver Dolphin Restaurant & Country Store. Owner Yann Milcendeau, who designed and planted the space, says a restaurant needs "something different" to succeed. BETH N. GRAY  |  Special to the Times
    The Silver Dolphin & Country Store joins ZigZag Scallop, which opened four years ago.