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Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015

Mike Salinero

Tribune Staff

Chamber CEO: Group still supports Go Hillsborough transportation process

- Bob Rohrlack, of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has not backed off its support for the program. He said a recent news report that the group was backing away in light of recent controversy was incorr...

Hillsborough regulators offer olive branch in Uber spat

- The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission has halted all legal action against ride-hailing company Uber in hopes of brokering a compromise with the company and its allies.

Hagan critical of Bucs’ tactics in RJS renovation deal

- Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan blasted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday for “changing the parameters’’ of a stalled agreement plan for renovations at Raymond James Stadium.

Activist: Sheriff’s office not impartial enough to investigate Go Hillsborough questions

- A conservative activist who sits on the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority is questioning whether the Sheriff’s Office is qualified or independent enough to investigate the county’s Go Hillsborough transport...

PR firms eager to pitch possible transportation tax


TAMPA — Soon after Hillsborough County leaders indicated they might seek a sales tax increase for transportation projects, several prominent private consulting firms started jockeying for work on a potential campa...

Critics keep pressure on ‘Go Hillsborough’ transportation initiative

- As Hillsborough County leaders struggle to revive their faltering “Go Hillsborough” transportation initiative, critics of the project continue to hammer away at the county’s selection of an engineering ...

More chances to comment on Hillsborough transportation


TAMPA — Hillsborough County residents have just under three weeks left to make their opinions heard about the county’s transportation future.

GOP leaders reject transportation tax plan before it’s created


  Even before Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill asked the sheriff’s office to investigate the Go Hillsborough transportation initiative, local Republican leaders had taken a stand against the project.<...

Murman proposes rules on lobbying Hillsborough commission


TAMPA — Hillsborough County Commission Chair Sandy Murman said Wednesday she will introduce an ordinance that will more fully inform residents about who is trying to influence their public officials.

County asks sheriff’s office to investigate Go Hillsborough contract

- Administrator Mike Merrill, seeking to put aside ethical questions surrounding the transportation initiative, has asked Sheriff David Gee to investigate whether the county did anything wrong in its hiring of an engineering ...

Gridlocked: Is traffic congestion in Tampa Bay area really that bad?

- Hillsborough's transportation initiative quotes a report that says the region has the 11th worst congestion in the country, but another study disagrees. Either way, a county engineer says improvements are needed before pop...

Hillsborough County approves $4.8 billion budget; tax rate stays the same


TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners adopted a $4.8 billion budget Thursday night that includes money for new parks and community centers, increased road maintenance and additional conservation land purchases...

Hillsborough will audit hiring of transportation plan engineer

- Fearing that complaints of political cronyism would derail a years-long transportation initiative, Hillsborough County commissioners voted Wednesday to re-examine their $1.3 million contract with an engineering firm they hi...

Hillsborough votes to support Uber, Lyft legislation, with regulations


Hillsborough County commissioners voted unanimously to support state legislation that would allow ride-share companies to operate legally but with regulations the companies have so far rejected.

Republicans question which Norman voters will remember


Jim Norman, running in a Hillsborough County Commission race that some local Republicans wish he’d skipped, is still the odds-on favorite to win the GOP primary, political observers say.

Hillsborough restoring money to land-buying program


TAMPA — Hillsborough County’s conservation lands program, which was practically bankrupt, is getting an infusion of money thanks to better-than-expected property tax revenues.

Hillsborough regulators halt citations for Uber, Lyft drivers

- Just as important as the Public Transportation Commission’s move to end citations was a vote to seek state legislation that would allow the ride-share companies to operate legally. The draft bill would impose several...

Hillsborough panel may ask state to set Uber, Lyft rules

- The long-standing battle between Hillsborough County’s Public Transportation Commission and ride-share companies Uber and Lyft could be settled in Tallahassee.

Breakwaters off Apollo Beach Nature Park create new wildlife habitats


After some fits and starts, the Apollo Beach Nature Park restoration project is accomplishing its objective: restoring plant and animal habitat.

Brandon Elks Lodge likes its grass blue for Labor Day picnic


Hundreds of people of all ages decided to beat the heat and escape the rain Monday at the Brandon Elks Lodge’s second annual Bluegrass Festival & Community Labor Day Picnic.

USF AD urges players to make ‘smart decisions’ after former lineman’s death

- After the stabbing death of former defensive lineman Elkino Watson early Sunday morning, University of South Florida football coach Willie Taggart has made Ybor City “off limits’’ for his players.

Name-calling post draws scorn for aviation authority member, GOP activist

- In a Facebook post, Sam Rashid called a Tampa businesswoman a “taxpayer subsidized slut,” and suggested she had “intimately close relationships” with three elected officials — two at the county...

Hillsborough commissioners lift auditor from clerk’s office


TAMPA — Five months after Hillsborough County’s last internal auditor left, commissioners filled the job with someone commissioners had borrowed from the clerk of court’s office.

Jim Norman will seek Hillsborough commission seat again


Acknowledging past mistakes and promising never to mislead the public again, Jim Norman said Monday he will attempt to regain a seat on the Hillsborough County Commission — a job he held for 18 years.

Rains made Lutz lake a brown, murky mess


For three days, muddy water washed over a stretch of Van Dyke Road, turning nearby Lake Crenshaw into a chocolate-colored pond.

John Germany, backer of library and USF, dead at 92

- John F. Germany, a leading community benefactor, retired judge and a founding partner of the Holland and Knight law firm, died Wednesday morning, senior partners at the firm said.

More political twists with Hillsborough’s auditor post


TAMPA — Hillsborough County’s internal auditor position was approved by voters to increase efficiency in county government and save taxpayers’ dollars.

Public can weigh in on Hillsborough transportation improvement plans


Hillsborough County government continues its Go Hillsborough public meetings this week, gathering public comments on proposed transportation improvement projects.

Tampa has five Fortune 500 headquarters in its sights


TAMPA — For all its recent economic success, the Tampa area still lags behind other U.S. metro areas that are home to major corporate headquarters.

Victor Crist has plan he says would make Uber and Lyft legal


TAMPA — The chairman of Hillsborough County’s Public Transportation Commission says he has a plan to break the group’s impasse with ride-share companies Uber and Lyft.

Hillsborough to use sheriff’s office to run misdemeanor probation services


The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will begin overseeing misdemeanor probation in October with a promise to reduce costs, improve communication and help lower-level offenders straighten out their lives.

Full-cent transportation tax back on table in Hillsborough

- County leaders are taking a fresh look at asking voters to approve a full penny-per-dollar sales tax increase instead of a half-cent to finance transportation projects.

Hillsborough continues to assess damage amid more flood concerns


Hillsborough County emergency management teams have documented $1.2 million worth of flooding damage to private businesses and homes, but that wasn’t enough to get federal assistance for the victims.

Money found to restart swim lessons through Head Start


TAMPA — Florida, the nation’s third most-populous state, ranks No. 1 on one of the sadder lists of statistics — the rate of accidental drowning among kids 4 and under.

Uber drivers picket amid Hillsborough stalemate

- About 20 or so Uber drivers demonstrated Wednesday in downtown Tampa, demanding that Hillsborough County officials let the ride share company operate in the open.

Hillsborough improving drainage, but not to handle this flood

- More than a week after the worst local flooding in 100 years, many Hillsborough County roads and neighborhoods remain underwater as county workers struggled to provide relief.