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Plant City Boy, 12, Dies in Traffic Crash

Police Lights | Florida | TB Reporter

The other two people in the car, including a 4 year old, were seriously injured.

POLK COUNTY – A 12-year-old boy died and the other two people in the car in which he was riding were seriously injured in a traffic crash this morning (Dec. 12) in Polk County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Miguel Resendiz, 12, died at the scene. Maricela Resendiz, 29, was taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital, and Angel Resendiz, 4, was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, with serious injuries. All were from Plant City.

The other driver, Carlos Colchado, 38, of Fort Meade, received minor injuries but was not taken to a hospital.

The crash happened about 7:59 a.m. at the intersection of State Road 60 and Bailey Road. Maricela Resendiz was driving a 2007 BMW 328XI east on SR 60. Colchado was driving a 1996 semi tractor-trailer west on SR 60.

Troopers said the BMW turned left onto Bailey and, violating the semi’s right of way, traveled into the path of the truck. The semi hit the BMW.

For information about the Florida Highway Patrol, go to

Florida Highway Patrol | Traffic Crash | Fatal Crash | Miguel Resendiz | Tampabay News

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Qualifying Opens for Madeira Beach Commission

Election Results | Pinellas Elections | Local News

Two seas are up for grabs on the Madeira Beach City Commission in the March 13 election.

MADEIRA BEACH – Qualifying opens at noon Wednesday (Dec. 13) for two seats on the Madeira Beach City Commission.

Qualifying for the two seats – currently held by Terry Lister and Nancy Hodges. – closes at noon Jan. 12. Candidates must be older than 18 and have been a resident of Madeira Beach for at least two years before applying to run. They must have lived in the district from which they are running for at least six months before applying.

Madeira Beach is a commission-manager form of government in which a five-member commission consisting of a mayor and four commissioners set policies policies and make decisions to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the city while a manager oversees the daily activities of the city.

The commission meets the fourth Tuesday of each month for a workshop, which is held in the auditorium at City Hall, 300 Municipal Drive. They also hold a regular meeting on the second Tuesday of the month. The meetings are televised live on Spectrum cable TV Channel 615 as well as streamed live over the Internet.

Commission members serve two-year terms and are paid $7,500 a year. The election is March 13.

For information about Madeira Beach and the election, go to

Madeira Beach | Election | Election Qualifying | Politics | Tampabay News

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Chris Latvala Holds Town Hall Meeting

Chris Latvala | Florida House of Representatives | Politics

He will discuss his legislative priorities and hear from constituents.

CLEARWATER – State Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, has scheduled a pre-session town hall meeting for tonight (Dec. 12).

The meeting is designed to give Latvala a chance to discuss his legislative priorities for the 2019 session of the Florida Legislature, which begins in January. It will also give constituents a chance to talk with Latvala about their concerns.

The town hall is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Clearwater campus of St. Petersburg College, 2465 Drew St., in ES 104.

Latvala represents House District 67, which includes Clearwater and a portion of Largo.

For information about the town hall or to register, go to

Chris Latvala | Florida Legislature | Town Hall Meeting | House District 67 | Events | Politics | Tampabay News

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Gulfport Celebrates Hanukkah with Menorah Lighting Ceremony

Manorah | Hanukkah | Religion

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day celebration of two miracles.

GULFPORT – Congregation Beth Sholom of Gulfport will recognize Hanukkah, the Jewish faith’s eight-day celebration also known as the Festival of Lights, with a ceremonial lighting of the Menorah at Beach and Gulfport boulevards inside Clymer Park at 6 p.m. tonight (Dec. 12).

Hanukkah 2017 begins this evening and ends in the evening of Dec. 20. Also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah (or Chanukah) celebrates two miracles: a great Jewish military victory and a miraculous supply of oil for the Temple.

The Hanukkah menorah holds nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and an additional candle, the shammash, that’s used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night, two on the second night, until all eight candles are lit on the eighth night. Hanukkah is a time to celebrate with family and friends, to eat holiday treats, to give gifts (especially to children) and to play the dreidel game.

Immediately following the event, refreshments will be served at the synagogue located at 1844 54th St. S.  Congregation Beth Sholom of Gulfport, Florida sets a foundation for a strong inclusive Jewish community and is a Jewish synagogue that adheres to traditional conservative norms. Continuously operating in Gulfport since 1957, for information call (727) 321-3380 or go to

Hanukkah | Menorah | Congregation Beth Sholom Gulfport | Gulfport | Holiday | Religion | Tampabay News

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Tampa Teen Accused in Home Invasion

Leo W. Butler | Tampa Police | Arrests

Tampa police said they are still looking for other suspects.

TAMPA – Police have charged a Tampa teen in connection with a Nov. 26 home invasion.

Leo W. Butler, 19, of Tampa, was charged with robbery. Police are searching for other suspects, the Tampa Police Department said.

The 77-year-old man who was robbed had returned from shopping when he was approached outside his garage in the 400 block of S Willow Avenue. Two other men waited in a car nearby.

The two suspects in the driveway robbed the man at gunpoint, officers said, then forced him into his house where they ransacked his home and stole other items, including a firearm.

For information about the Tampa police, go to

Tampa Police | Crime | Home Invasion | Robbery | Arrests | Tampabay News

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Two Teens Charged after Gun Found Near Lakewood High School

Police Lights | Florida | TB Reporter

The two boys are facing felony charges.

ST. PETERSBURG – Two Lakewood High School students were arrested Monday (Dec. 11) after a gun was found in a backpack, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.

Kervin Reyes, 16, and Anthony Comeau, also 16, were each charged with possession of a weapon on school campus and aggravated assault.

Police said that, about 9:37 a.m., several students told the school resource officer about a Snapchat video showing a teen on campus with a gun.

The school was placed on lockdown and officers began investigating. Officers discovered that a group of students had left campus. During the search off-campus, officers located a gun inside a backpack.

For information about the St. Petersburg Police Department, go to

St Petesburg Police | Lakewood High School | Crime | Gun School | Arrests | Tampabay News

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Tampa Firefighters Battle Blaze at Townhome Complex

Brooshire Townhome Fire | Tampa Fire Rescue | Public Safety

No one was injured. A cat was treated and is recovering.

TAMPA – Firefighters are investigating the cause of a fire that broke out Monday (Dec. 11) at Brookshire Townhomes.

No humans were injured. A cat was treated with a pet mask and is recovering.

Tampa Fire Rescue was called to the complex, 1910 W Sligh Ave., about 3:30 p.m. when numerous 911 callers reported heavy smoke and flames coming from a two-story multi unit structure.

Arriving crews began dousing the flames from the north side of the building facing Sligh Avenue while another crew worked from the interior on the south side of the building. The fire ws under control by 4:10 p.m.

Firefighters were able to complete a primary and secondary search of all eight units to make sure no one was hurt.

Investigators are on scene to determine the origin and cause of the fire.

For information about Tampa Fire Rescue, go to

Photo is a screen grab from video taken at the scene by Tampa Fire Rescue.,

Tampa Fire Rescue | Brookshire Townhomes | Fire | Tampabay News

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Ray Elected in Gulfport; Liedtke Draws Opponent

Paul Ray | Bruce Plesser | Dan Liedtke

Paul Ray had no opposition for the Ward 3 seat on the Gulfport City Council.

GULFPORT – At the close of qualifying today (Dec. 11), Paul Ray won the Ward 3 seat on the Gulfport City Council when no other candidate signed up to run for the office.

The story was different for the Ward 1 seat. Incumbent Dan Liedtke will face lawyer Bruce Plesser in the March 13 election.

Ray will take the seat currently held by Yolanda Roman, who is not running for reelection. Ray is a first-time office holder who has served on the board of the Gulfport Merchants Association assisting in coordinating event, worked as coordinator for the Dine Out for Life Event, and thrown fundraisers to help fill the shelves at the Gulfport Senior Center’s Food Pantry.

Gulfport has a council-manager form of government in which a five-member council, made up of a mayor and four council members, set policy and pass a budget while a professional city manager oversees the daily activities of the city. Council meetings are generally held the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Council members are paid $10,800 a year.

For information about Gulfport, go to

Photo shows, from left, Paul Ray, Bruce Plesser and Dan Liedtke.

Gulfport | Politics | Election | Paul Ray | Bruce Plesser | Dan Liedtke | Tampabay News

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Full Slate Running for Office in Indian Rocks Beach

Election | Qualifying | Voting

Voters will have a chance to choose among candidates for mayor and two commission seats.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Voters in this beach community will go to the polls March 13 to choose a mayor and two commission members.

When qualifying closed at noon today (Dec. 11), two candidates had signed up to run for mayor and three had put their names in the hat for the two available seats on the Indian Rocks Beach City Commission.

Vice Mayor Joanne “Cookie” Kennedy is running for mayor. Her opponent is Donald House, Jr.

Edward Hoofnagle is running for reelection to the commission. The other two candidates are Jude Bond and Nick Palomba.

Indian Rocks Beach is a commission-manager form of government. A five-member commission consisting of a mayor and four commissioners set policy and pass a budget while a professional city manager oversees the daily activities of the city. The commission also hires the city manager, city attorney and city clerk as well as appoints citizens to serve on various county and city boards and commissions. Members of the city commission also represent Indian Rocks Beach on local, regional and state boards.

Commission members serve two-year terms. The election is March 13.

For information about Indian Rocks Beach, go to

Indian Rocks Beach | Election | Politics | Florida News | Tampabay News

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