TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Friday, Sep 04, 2015

Keith Morelli

Tribune Staff

Atlas V rocket’s plume lights up Web, social media

- Some drivers pulled over to catch the visual phenomenon. Others raised their cell phones to snap and post pictures online, making the spectacle the latest short-interest-span darling of social media.

Burglar bars trap woman, grandchildren in fatal Tampa house fire

- Firefighters don’t know when the family awoke to a house full of smoke and fire, but they know they frantically tried to escape. Reshard Ashley, 8, Emjay Jackson, 3, and Sheryl James, 61, died in the blaze, and Romel...

Erika’s fizzle provides needed respite after soggy Tampa summer

- More than 16 inches of rain fell in August, more than double the norm for the month and less than 2 inches shy of the record set in 1949. It could have been worse; the heavy rains predicted for the last day of the month n...

Audubon’s purchase of 2-acre Tampa Bay island is for the birds

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TAMPA — The treetop homes on Terra Ceia Bay all have grand views of sunsets while the residents there feast on seafood and rear their young.

Heavy rains keeping mosquito control crews busy

- All of the Tampa area's recent rain has left flooded streets, ponds in yards and stagnant water in flower pots, bird baths and clogged rain gutters. The result: plumes of hungry mosquitoes and that chilling whine near your ...

Lazydays strikes deal with Bucs for ultimate in tailgating

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Big and colorful, with aerodynamic designs and interiors like a lavish suite at the Waldorf, a procession of recreational vehicles will roll into designated spaces outside the Tampa B...

Erika weakens; continues westward push, with Florida threat still unclear

- Regardless of what happens to the storm, the Tampa area can expect to get lots of rain early next week, which the flood-weary region doesn’t need. For now, forecasters are waiting to see how it reacts to wind shear a...

UT study: Housing the homeless saves taxpayers money

- Providing homes for 17 chronically homeless people in Hillsborough County saved taxpayers nearly half a million dollars over a year and a half, according to a University of Tampa cost-benefit analysis.

Woman charged in parents’ slayings denied bail

- A 21-year-old college student who is charged with shooting her mother and step-father to death was denied bail Tuesday during her first appearance before a Hillsborough County judge.

Voices in head told FSU student to kill parents, affidavit says

- The screaming voices inside Nicole Gene Nachtman’s head began while she was in Tallahassee getting ready to start the fall semester at Florida State University, urging her to kill her mother in Carrollwood, according...

Shower power: Storms don’t dump rain equally

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Street flooding, evacuations and sandbag distribution centers set up around the Tampa area because of the relentless rain over the past four weeks gives the impression the ent...

65-year sentences rejected for teen Bloomingdale library rapist

- An appeals court has thrown out the harshest parts of the sentences against Kendrick Morris, 24, convicted of sexually battering a day care worker and raping an 18-year-old student more than eight years ago.

Flood-weary residents keep eye on Hurricane Danny as height of storm season approaches

- Though Hurricane Danny’s track is highly uncertain - meteorologists stress it might not hit anywhere in the United States - Danny’s presence is a reminder that West-Central Florida is ill-prepared to deal with...

Tampa Bay’s seagrass beds to take big hit from rain-fueled algae blooms

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TAMPA — Besides the standing water in yards and homes and the cars left half submerged in the streets, the

Dog with no nose getting love, treatment in Pasco

- What happened to Khalessi, the year-old pit bull taken in by a St. Petersburg rescue group and getting treatment at a Hudson veterinary hospital, is anybody’s guess.

Beetles slowing spread of air potato in Hillsborough

- A voracious little red beetle that was unleashed in the wilds of Hillsborough County two years ago is being hailed as a savior, a triumphant biological warrior that has crippled the tendrils and pocked the leaves of the inv...

As Pope talks annulment, local Catholics wait

- There are signs the Catholic church might be modifying its approach to those who have divorced.

3 St. Pete sisters die in crash returning from church meeting

- Three St. Petersburg sisters, heading home from a church conference, were among five people killed Sunday night when a pickup hit a car on a rain-soaked stretch of State Road 70 east of Arcadia.

Beulah Baptist celebrating 150 years in Tampa

- Beulah Baptist Institutional Church has long played a unique role in worship and in the fight for civil rights for Tampa’s African-American community, in part because its history dates so far back — to the time ...

Buckhorn pushes back as council advances police review board

- Tampa City Council is moving forward with a plan to establish a citizens review board for its police department, directing the chief to present a recommendation in 30 days and the legal staff to investigate what powers a b...

Tampa moves ahead on quarter-billion dollar storm water fix

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TAMPA — The Tampa City Council voted unanimously Thursday to go with the big fix and present a plan that will cost more than a quarter of a billion dollars to help ease flooding of the kind that put Tampa in the n...

MPO approves plan for express toll lanes on area interstates

- The Metropolitan Planning Organization moves forward on the $3 billion plan for I-275 and I-4, which includes rebuilding the northbound lanes of the Howard Frankland Bridge. The board included concessions to ease concerns o...

Some roads open again after widespread flooding in Bay area

- Downpours caused flooding that closed several roads throughout the Tampa Bay area today. A mandatory evacuation order was issued for an area of Pasco County, and 40 people were evacuated from an RV park in Palm Harbor.

Epic rains should soon be moving on

- Since July 24, the region has accumulated about 17 inches of rain, according to The Weather Channel’s website, more than the combined averages for July and August.

Siblings' reunion with long-lost brother was 65 years in the making

- The separation ends this weekend for Sharon Horton and Mike Tussey when they meet Rik Kurtz, formerly Stephen Tussey, who has lived in New Tampa more than two decades unaware he had a brother and sister.

Laurel Street Bridge to undergo $3.2 million repair job

- The Tampa City Council unanimously voted Thursday to proceed with the $3.2 million repair of the Laurel Street Bridge, which spans the Hillsborough River on the northern fringe of downtown.

Tampa council chairman wants citizens review board for Tampa police

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TAMPA — A move to establish a citizens review board to watch over Tampa police is gaining momentum, largely in reaction to reports of police officers around the nation brutalizing the public and a Department of Ju...

Juvenile detention riot reignites old debate: Rehabilitate or discipline?

- Questions over a riot at a state juvenile detention facility in Polk County two years ago have turned into a debate over whether the state is too lenient on young criminals.

Region's saturated soil strains to drain away heavy rains

- Most of the rain in the Tampa area is captured by a mix of sand and limestone porous enough to handle sporadic storms. But after several days of heavy rain, the drainage comes to a standstill.

Dontae Morris admitted murder during phone call, friend testifies

- Dontae Morris called a friend and explained in detail how he stalked, shot and killed Derek Anderson on the front step of his mother’s apartment, the friend testified Friday.

Lakeland man sentenced to life in murder of popular drag queen

- Deandre Tolliver was sentenced to life in prison in the 2013 death of Anthony Jerome Lee, better known as drag queen South Beach Wanda.

New cricket fields in Seffner get Hillsborough in the game

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So new are the cricket fields at Evans Park in Seffner that they are not yet listed on the county’s website that mentions the basketball and hockey courts, football, socc...

Florida, Tampa Bay area have become magnets for refugees

- Florida leads the nation in the number of refugees moving into the United States, more than double the number settling in second-place California.

The story behind the man who danced and danced along Florida Ave.

- Michael McKinney’s moves entranced bored drivers traveling along Tampa's North Florida Avenue for years. He died June 15, leaving this stretch of road a little less colorful.

Judge rules against attorneys in DUI setup case

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A Pinellas judge found Tuesday that three lawyers in a prominent law firm “deliberately and maliciously” orchestrated the drunken driving arrest of an opposing a...