05/23/17 Public Safety
In the aftermath of the Monday night explosion that killed at least 22 people — including children — moments after a pop concert ended in England, local venues assured the public that security will remain tight for the Tampa Bay area's upcoming big-ticket shows.
"First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this horrible tragedy at the Manchester Arena," said Raymond James Stadium officials in a statement issued Tuesday....
ST. PETERSBURG — Police on Saturday arrested a 26-year-old man wanted in the killing of a father of six.
St. Petersburg police said they took Denzel Tarver into custody without incident at 10:30 a.m. He was arrested on charges of second-degree murder in the May 15 slaying of Timothy K. Davis Jr.
Officers issued a warrant for his arrest Tuesday.
Police said Tarver shot Davis at 11th Avenue S and 23rd Street and then ran. Police and paramedics arrived quickly, but efforts to resuscitate Davis failed. ...
05/20/17 Public Safety
NEW PORT RICHEY — Felicia Nevins and her husband have been trying to conceive a child for three years now. They decided to try artificial insemination — something she had yet to tell her own family about.
But now, she said, everyone knows — thanks to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
"I didn't want any of this," she said.
The Sheriff's Office wrote on its official Facebook about a recent mishap she had while trying to store sperm in a thermos with dry ice. By forgetting to remove a rubber O-ring, the container could have exploded....
Folks who smelled smoke while leaving their homes in the immediate Tampa Bay area on Thursday shouldn't have been alarmed. There was no wildfire in their backyard.
There is a fire, but it's close to 100 miles away, if you're coming from St. Petersburg.
The smoky smell has traveled from a 6,000-acre wildfire in the Avon Park Air Force Bombing Range, an area straddling the Highlands-Polk County lines. ...
A South Carolina teen dies after caffeine overload, leaving others to wonder: How much caffeine is too much?05/16/17Health
The story of South Carolina's Davis Cripe seems, at first, almost unbelievable:
Authorities said the healthy 16-year-old died in a high school classroom after drinking a large amount of caffeine in a short amount of time.
While the teen died under rare circumstances, Dr. Fadi Matar, a Tampa cardiologist, said adults and teens still need to be aware of the dangerous risks that come with caffeine-packed drinks and "booster" shots....
Remember that man who threatened a Muslim family on a Texas beach? There's a Florida connection (w/video)05/16/17Crime
Alexander Downing pounded his chest on the video. It showed him screaming in the faces of a Muslim family trying to enjoy a family reunion on a Texas beach.
"You will never, ever stop me, my Christianity from rising above your sharia law," Downing, drink in hand, told the family on May 2, according to South Padre Island police.
Downing's curse-filled tirade was filmed by the Muslim family and the video went viral last week. He was arrested on a charge of public intoxication. His mug shot, in which he appeared to be crying, quickly spread across the Internet....
A 15-year-old student is seriously injured after a pickup truck ran over her foot while walking near Palm Harbor University High School early Tuesday morning, according to law enforcement.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Alexus Waytowich was walking south in the parking lot of the high school approaching Delaware Avenue. Troopers say she tried to cross the street by walking behind a stopped school bus, stepping into the eastbound lane....
2017 Hurricane Season: Pet owners must come up with a plan for their animals before the storm strikes05/16/17Hurricanes
When it's storming outside, your cats and dogs will (likely) be hiding under the bed instead of preparing themselves for an evacuation.
It's not their job to get ready for a hurricane. It's your job to get them ready.
"Your pets are your responsibility just as much as the other members of your family," said Dr. Sonja Olson, a senior clinician for BluePearl Veterinarian Partners, "and part of that responsibility is to be prepared."...
TAMPA — Florida Highway Patrol found and arrested the man they say got so upset after a fender bender on Interstate 4 he shattered another man's window.
Troopers said Eric Joseph Starowicz, 26, got out of his Jeep and said he "should kill" the other driver "right then and there" on Friday.
Just before noon, Starowicz was driving his vehicle west on the I-4 entrance ramp from 21st Street, east of the I-275 interchange, behind a white van....
NEW PORT RICHEY — The Pasco County Sheriff's Office interviewed the 18-year-old man deputies wanted to question about an incident in which a 9-year-old girl said two men chased her after school on Tuesday.
Sheriff Chris Nocco held a press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday asking for the public's help to locate Drew Bretnall, 18, who deputies wanted to question about the girl's account....
05/10/17 The Feed
A University of South Florida professor had a moment in the limelight Tuesday when he was called up on stage during the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Tuesday, Fallon told his crowd, was "National Teacher Day." He asked if there were any teachers in the room, and soon about a dozen audience members were walking down toward the stage. At the end of the pack was Rick Kelso, a beloved instructor in USF's marketing department....
Before he fled to Tampa, police say he sexually assaulted a girl in Delaware then threw her in a pond05/09/17Crime
TAMPA — Daniel Santucci Jr. took a trip to Florida after becoming the most wanted man in Delaware.
Police in New Castle County were piecing together evidence they said pointed to Santucci, 23, as the man behind one of the area's most heinous crimes. Detectives say the Deleware man kidnapped a 4-year-old girl from her home in the Village of Plum Run.
He lured the girl to his car, police said, and then he sexually assaulted her. And then, said the county's Chief of Police Vaughn Bond, Santucci threw her in a pond and left her there to die....
TALLAHASSEE — University of South Florida leaders thought this was the year that they would finally claim their prize.
Bills before the Legislature since January had cleared the way for USF Tampa to achieve a years-long goal — being named one of Florida's "pre-eminent" universities — with all the prestige and millions in extra state dollars that come with it. The school was set to join the ranks of only the University of Florida and Florida State University with the state's highest seal of approval....
ST. PETERSBURG — Jamie O'Berry's favorite book as a child was The Secret Garden. As an adult living in a small blue house with a big back yard, she has a secret garden of her own.
Inside reside about 3,000 succulents and cacti.
There are succulents growing inside plastic dinosaurs and unicorns. Succulents hanging from a line that stretches the length of the yard. Succulents in teacups, in wine corks. There are ones in a glass Dutch shoe, a porcelain cat, a lantern, and a tiny dolphin....
05/03/17 Public Safety
The Coast Guard suspended a 45-hour search on Wednesday afternoon for a Tampa Bay sailor whose boat ran aground in North Carolina earlier this week.
Richard Tomlinson, 82, took his boat out about three weeks ago to head to Maine and visit his daughter in Chesapeake Bay, said his Pinellas Park neighbor and friend, Steve Hodges.
"Some might say he was reckless," Hodges said, "but knowing his skill level, he wasn't reckless. He just lives on a higher plane than most of us."...