Port Richey Drive-By Shooting Injures Baby

The baby girl was taken to a hospital. PORT RICHEY – Pasco sheriff’s deputies are investigating a drive-by shooting that More »

Sandbags Available in Gulfport

The sandbags will be available until 6 p.m. or bad weather starts. GULFPORT -The city of Gulfport is making sandbags More »

Alzheimer’s Patient Found Floating in Pond, Pasco Sheriff Says

He was found shortly after he was reporting missing, Pasco deputies said. WESLEY CHAPEL – Pasco Sheriff’s deputies are investigating More »

Services Set for Msgr. Laurence E. Higgins

Monsignor Laurence E. Higgins, founder and pastor of the St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa, passed away Wednesday (Aug. 24). TAMPA More »

Suspect Shoots at Pasco Sheriff’s Deputies

No one was injured and the man was charged with attempting to murder a law enforcement officer, the Pasco Sheriff’s More »

Hillsborough Firefighters Called to Animal Hospital

The four cats and three dogs are safe. RIVERVIEW – Firefighters were called to the Big Ben Animal Hospital this More »

Driver Dies When Car Hits House in Spring Hill

The car became airborne before it hit the house, the Florida Highway Patrol said. HERNANDO COUNTY – A Spring Hill More »

Two Die in Pasco Crash

A car’s driver turned into the path of an oncoming Mack truck. PASCO COUNTY – Two women died Thursday (Aug. More »

Man on Mobility Scooter Dies from Pasco Crash

The man was crossing a street at the time of the crash, the Florida Highway Patrol said. PASCO COUNTY – More »

Monsignor Laurence E. Higgins, Founder of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Dies

Monsignor Laurence E. Higgins, founder and pastor of the St. Lawrence parish in Tampa for 49 years, passed away this More »

Celebrate Friday in St. Pete with Food Trucks

Rally around the food trucks at the port of St. Petersburg. ST. PETERSBURG – Rally around Town: Port St. Pete More »

Pinellas Offers Tips to Help Prevent Zika

Pinellas County and the Health Department say they are working together to combat the disease. PINELLAS COUNTY – In light More »

Non-Travel-Related Zika Case Confirmed in Pinellas, Governor Says

A pregnant woman who wants a free Zika test or a Zika prevention kit should contact the Florida Department of More »

Have Coffee with Seminole’s Mayor

Have coffee with the mayor Thursday (Aug. 25). SEMINOLE – Mayor Leslie Waters has scheduled a casual coffee klatsch for More »

Obama Recognizes Pinellas Teacher as One of Best

The Forest Lakes Elementary School teacher was one of only 213 in the U.S. to receive a presidential honor. PINELLAS More »

Port Richey Drive-By Shooting Injures Baby

Crime Scene Tape | Police | Investigation

The baby girl was taken to a hospital.

PORT RICHEY – Pasco sheriff’s deputies are investigating a drive-by shooting that injured a one-year-old baby.

Details are sketchy but the Pasco Sheriff’s Office said it received the call at 11:26 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 28) that multiple shots had been fired at a home in the 7300 block of Westcott Drive.

One of the rounds entered the front bedroom where the baby girl was sleeping and hit her in the wrist. The baby was taken to a local hospital. The injury is not believed to be life threatening.

For information about the Pasco sheriff, go to pascosheriff.com.

Pasco Sheriff | Drive-By Shooting | Port Richey | Baby Hurt | TB Reporter

#PascoSheriff #DriveByShooting #PortRichey #BabyHurt #TBReporter

Sandbags Available in Gulfport

Sand Bags | Flooding | Sandbags

The sandbags will be available until 6 p.m. or bad weather starts.

GULFPORT -The city of Gulfport is making sandbags available this morning (Aug. 29) to allow residents to prepare for Tropical Depression 9.

Pinellas County is expected to experience 5 inches to 7 inches of rain through Friday morning. City of Gulfport public works crews are preparing for any weather related impacts.

Sandbags will be available at Gulfport City Hall, 2401 53rd St. S, from 8 a.m. through 6 p.m. or until inclement weather begins. There is 10-bag limit and proof of residency may be required.

Stay tuned to the weather at pinellascounty.org. For the latest Gulfport updates, go to mygulfport.us, or facebook.com/mygulfport, or GTV640.

Gulfport | Sandbags | Tropical Depression 9 | Tropical Weather | TB Reporter

#Gulfport #Sandbags #TropicalDepression9 #TropicalWeather #TBReporter

Alzheimer’s Patient Found Floating in Pond, Pasco Sheriff Says

Crime Scene | Dead Body | Chalk Outline

He was found shortly after he was reporting missing, Pasco deputies said.

WESLEY CHAPEL – Pasco Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the apparent drowning death of a man suffering from Alzheimer’s whose body was found floating in a Wesley Chapel pond this morning (Aug. 29).

The body of Herman WIlliam Wolter, 87, was found in a pond near the home of his caretaker. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office received the call that he was missing at about 3:17 a.m. Deputies said they found his body in the pond a short time later.

Mr. Wolter recently moved here from Georgia. His caretaker said that he was complaining of wanting to go home. Foul play is not suspected, deputies said.

For information about the Pasco sheriff, go to pascosheriff.com.

Pasco Sheriff | Wesley Chapel | Alzheimer’s | Herman William Wolter | Drowning | TB Reporter

#PascoSheriff #WesleyChapel #Alzheimers #HermanWilliamWolter #Drowning #TBReporter

The Sassy Sandpiper: Ar-CAT- ecture

Wilson | Sassy Sandpiper | Columnist

By M.R. Wilson, TB Reporter

When you offer accommodations to a cat, other accommodations follow.

They steal your heart. They rob your bed. Next, they subtly—or not so subtly—make you remodel your house.

Cats.

First were the scratching posts, which were largely ignored. Woodwork around doors was more appealing. Perhaps it was the way layers of antique paint curled under their claws with every stretch. Old chunks of carpet nailed to the flayed areas saved the woodwork but made the place look like Dogpatch, U.S.A.

But what do cats care? Carpet serves them well, as it shreds nicely and is tasty to eat. They surely laugh, hearing me shriek and swear as I clean up barfed carpet.

Home Depot Wish List: materials to replace woodwork all over the house.

Home contents must be cat-proofed. I’m certain this is just as challenging—if not more so—than child-proofing, as human toddlers do not typically jump seven feet to the top of a bookcase.

I am fond of keepsakes, and every horizontal surface in my home was fair game for adornment. Once the kittens became cats, I had to de-clutter, which in my case, meant hiding things elsewhere rather than parting with anything permanently. I am not a hoarder, but family treasures must be kept. Nothing allowed on the piano. Nothing atop the refrigerator. No coffee table books, as one about fish with a lovely woven cover was shredded within hours.

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | Cats

Cats require their humans to buy them furniture. Three cat condos grace my home. Cats may also require new construction projects; perhaps an outdoor Kitty Kabana for their litter boxes, with a cat door passage from the dining room. Does it appear they would enjoy a contraption affixed to a bookcase near another contraption above a door to allow slinking from one room to another?

Build it and they will slink!

What once was linen storage space in the top tier of an open closet must be cleared of its blankets and sheets to become a Cat Loft.

Only minimal items survive on a chest of drawers. Any undesirables are pawed to the floor or kicked carelessly out of the way in a chase with littermates or in the sublime act of getting comfy.

My desk was once a place of happy chaos. Writing things everywhere. Books. Cherished mementos. All relocated, first by the felines to the floor, where they were more conveniently played with, then by yours truly to preserve them.

I’ve even rearranged my kitchen.

Forget ceramic trivets and hand-woven pot holders on the microwave oven. Utensils and spices handily near the stove have been moved to the farthest realms of counters, near the walls. I hold my breath. I remember when a large ginger jar, a gift from my late brother, crashed to the floor. A milk glass banana holder, in the family for generations, met a similar fate.

Only love tolerates such innocent destruction, holds no grudges, but asks simply, “What can I do to make the place better suited for cats?”

Photo of Killian courtesy of M.R. Wilson.

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | Cats | Pets | Animals | Cat Furniture | TB Reporter

#SassySandpiper #MRWilson #Cats #Pets #Animals #CatFurniture #TBReporter

UPDATE: Tarpon Springs Police Charge Man Suspected in Motel Murder

Fredrick A. Bentley | Tarpon Springs Police | TB Reporter

Police said they found the man in Clearwater.

TARPON SPRINGS – Police said they have arrested the man they believe killed another during an argument early Saturday (Aug. 27) at the Sunbay Motel.

Fredrick Alvin Bentley, 39, who was living at the Sunbay, 57 W Tarpon Ave., has been charged with murder. Tarpon Springs police said Bentley has prior convictions in 2001 for resisting arrest with violence and armed robbery. He was released from the Department of Corrections’ custody in 2003.

Police said they were called to the Sunbay about 4:34 a.m. Saturday (Aug. 27) about a shooting. When officers arrived, they found the victim, Tarenzo Ladarius Smith, 27, in the parking lot. He had been living at the motel. He was pronounced dead by Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue.

Officers said they believe that Bentley, who was living in another room at the motel, and Mr. Smith had an argument. They said Bentley had apparently gone to get a firearm and had shot Mr. Smith, at close range, when he returned with the weapon. Bentley fled on foot, police said. Police searched the area with a K9 but did not find Bentley.

Police said Sunday (Aug. 28) that they found the gun in the motel room. Bentley was found in Clearwater walking in the roadway in the 1000 block of Magnolia Drive, officers said.

For information about the Tarpon Springs police, go to tspd.us.

Tarpon Springs Police | Crime | Murder | Arrests| Sunbay Motel | TB Reporter

#TarponSpringsPolice #Crime #Murder #Arrests #SunbayMotel #TBReporter

Get Your Tickets for Lauryn Hill

Mahaffey | Events Near Me | Happenings Near Me

Tickets for her Dec. 6 concert at the Mahaffey go on sale Monday (Aug. 29).

ST. PETERSBURG – Multi-platinum singer, songwriter and hip hop icon Ms. Lauryn Hill brings her acclaimed tour the MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! to The Mahaffey at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6.

Hill’s 1998 debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, sold 8 million copies and won Grammys for Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

The A Diaspora Calling! concert series will bring aspects of the inaugural festival – held earlier this year at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn – to the road. Each show will include special guest performances, by artists from throughout the African diaspora.

“The MLH Caravan allows me to continue the theme of unity and celebration of the many facets of cultural and artistic beauty throughout the African diaspora while on tour this summer and fall,” Hill said. “In these days of tension, tumult and transition, an exchange of this kind can yield direction, expression, understanding and empowerment as well as connection, self Love and appreciation that hopefully overflows into our respective communities.”

Tickets, $61.50, $71.50, $81.50, $96.50, $111.50 and $141.50, go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday (Aug. 29). Tickets may be purchased online at themahaffey.com, charged by phone at (727) 893-7832 or in person at the Mahaffey Theater Box Office. The Mahaffey Box Office is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday or at least 90 minutes prior to any ticketed event. There are no added charges ever on tickets purchased directly from the Mahaffey Theater.

Lauryn Hill | MLH Caravan | A Diaspora Calling | Mahaffey | Things to Do | TB Reporter

#LaurynHill #MLHCaravan #ADiasporaCalling #Mahaffey #ThingstoDo #TBReporter

Tarpon Springs Police Seek Suspect in Motel Murder

Fredrick A. Bentley | Tarpon Springs Police | TB Reporter

Tarpon Springs police are asking the public’s help in finding the suspect.

TARPON SPRINGS – Police here are searching for a man they say killed another this morning (Aug. 27) at the Sunbay Motel.

Tarpon Springs police officials say they are searching for Fredrick Alvin Bentley, 39, who was living at the Sunbay, 57 W Tarpon Ave. Officers said Bentley has prior convictions in 2001 for resisting arrest with violence and armed robbery. He was released from the Department of Corrections’ custody in 2003.

Police said they were called to the Sunbay about 4:34 this morning (Aug. 27) about a shooting. When officers arrived, they found the victim, Tarenzo Ladarius Smith, 27, in the parking lot. He had been living at the motel. He was pronounced dead by Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue.

Officers said they believe that Bentley, who was living in another room at the motel, and Mr. Smith had an argument. They said Bentley had apparently gone to get a firearm and had shot Mr. Smith, at close range, when he returned with the weapon. Bentley fled on foot, police said. Police searched the area with a K9 but did not find Bentley.

Police said they want to arrest Bentley and charge him with murder. They do not know if he is armed. Police are asking anyone with information on Bentley’s location to call the Tarpon Springs Police Department at (727) 938-2849.

For information about the Tarpon Springs police, go to tspd.us.

Tarpon Springs Police | Crime | Murder | Murder Suspect | TB Reporter

#TarponSpringsPolice #Crime #Murder #MurderSuspect #TBReporter

Pinellas Sheriff Investigates Deputy-Involved Crash

Police Lights | Cop Lights | Sheiff Lights

The deputy was not injured. The other driver received non-life-threatening injuries.

PINELLAS COUNTY – Investigators from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are looking into a deputy-involved crash that happened this morning (Aug. 27).

Harry A. Wilson, 65, of Largo, was taken to Northside Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Pinellas Deputy Alan Clark was not injured. Clark has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since November 1997.

Clark was driving his 2008 Ford Crown Victoria marked cruiser north on the U.S. 19 frontage road in Largo about 3 a.m. Wilson was driving north in a 2002 Toyota Camry on 66th Street approaching the frontage road intersection. As both vehicles entered the intersection, investigators said Clark failed to maintain his lane and sideswiped the passenger side of the Toyota with his cruiser sending the Toyota off the roadway onto the grass shoulder where the vehicle came to a complete stop. Neither alcohol nor drug impairment was a factor.

For information about the Pinellas County sheriff, go to pcsoweb.com.

Pinellas County Sheriff | Deputy-Involved Crash | Largo | TB Reporter

#PinellasCountySheriff #DeputyInvolvedCrash #Largo #TBReporter

Services Set for Msgr. Laurence E. Higgins

Msgr. Laurence Higgins | Obituary | TB Reporter

Monsignor Laurence E. Higgins, founder and pastor of the St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa, passed away Wednesday (Aug. 24).

TAMPA – Arrangements have been set for the visitation and funeral of Monsignor Laurence E. Higgins.

Msgr. Higgins, 87, died early Wednesday (Aug. 24) at his rectory home. He was the founder of the St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa and a well-known presence at civic and athletic events.

Visitation will be held from noon to 9 p.m. Monday (Aug. 29) and Tuesday (Aug. 30) at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 5225 N Himes Ave. in Tampa. Recitation of the rosary is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday and Evening Prayer at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at the church, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday (Aug. 31) with graveside services to follow at Garden of Memories Cemetery, 4207 E Lake Ave., Tampa. All will be open to the public.

msgr laurance higgins | St. Lawrence Catholic Church | ObituaryAs one of the best known and respected spiritual and civic leaders in the Tampa Bay area for decades, attendance at the funeral is expected to be significant. Seating will be available in the Church, the adjacent piazza, and in Higgins Hall. Parking on St. Lawrence grounds will be restricted to credentialed media, the handicapped, and those continuing on to the graveside ceremony. Parking for those attending the funeral only and overflow will be available at nearby Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave., with shuttle service provided.

In recent months, Msgr. Higgins had made it known that, in lieu of flowers, he hoped that those interested would make contributions to one of the organizations so important to him, including St. Peter Claver School, Cristo Rey Tampa High School, Abe Brown Ministries, or the Gold Shield Foundation.

For more about Msgr. Higgins, go to monsignorlaurencehiggins.org.

Photos courtesy of St. Lawrence Catholic Church and monsignorlaurencehiggins.org.

Laurence Higgins | Funeral Mass | St. Lawrence Catholic Church | TB Reporter

#LaurenceHiggins #FuneralMass #StLawrenceCatholicChurch #TBReporter

 

Hands Off the Sea Turtles, FWC Says

Sea Turtles | FWC | Sea Turtle Hatchlings

“Hands off!” is the best policy when encountering sea turtle hatchlings.

TAMPA BAY – Sea turtle hatchlings are digging out of their nests and clambering toward the ocean in September and October, the last months of Florida’s sea turtle nesting season.

Just remember, “Hands off!” is the best policy for beachgoers encountering sea turtle hatchings. the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says.

Well-meaning efforts to rescue a sea turtle hatchling by helping it leave a nest or picking it up and placing it in the ocean are not good ideas, according to FWC biologists. Worse yet are instances where hatchlings are being handled by people who think it’s OK to get that close, often because they want to take a photo.

“Some Florida beachgoers are unaware that sea turtle hatchings should be watched from a distance and left undisturbed,” said Dr. Robbin Trindell, who leads the FWC’s sea turtle management program. “Even well-meaning attempts to rescue sea turtle hatchlings can do more harm than good. And digging into a sea turtle nest, entering a posted area, or picking up a sea turtle hatchling to take a photo also are against the law.”

Hatchlings must overcome many obstacles to survive. Digging out of their nests may take a few days. Once out, they are vulnerable to predators. And any misdirection on their path to the sea – from artificial lighting to items left on the beach, holes in the sand or people approaching or handling them – may leave them exhausted, lost or dehydrated on the beach in the morning sun.

“So please remember to keep your hands off sea turtle hatchlings and tell others to do the same,” Trindell said. “The best way to help hatchings is to turn off any artificial lighting on the beach at night or at least keep it shielded. If you see hatchlings, watch from a distance and never shoot flash photos.”

Bright lights on houses, motels, condominiums and businesses along the beach can disorient nesting adult females, but are particularly harmful to turtle hatchlings. The hatchlings will head for the bright lights, thinking they are the sparkling sea. They can end up walking landward and are more likely to become prey for animals like coyotes.

Sea Turtles | FWC | Sea Turtle Hatchlings   Sea Turtles | FWC | Sea Turtle Hatchlings   Sea Turtles | FWC | Sea Turtle Hatchlings   Sea Turtles | FWC | Sea Turtle Hatchlings

People are asked to call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline, 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC or #FWC on a cellphone, to report hatchlings that are stranded, wandering in a road or parking lot, heading away from the water, or are dead.

For more on sea turtle nesting and hatchlings, go to myfwc.com.

Photos courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Sea Turtles | Florida Fish and Wildlife | FWC | TB Reporter

#SeaTurtles #FloridaFishandWildlife #FWC #TBReporter

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