If you have been looking for some of the best apartments for rent in Tampa Florida, moving into it can be a really exciting endeavor which begins with finding the best one. There are some tips that should be taken into account for making it easier to find an apartment. Read more
Miami, Florida. Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
It just got a lot easier to tote a gun to the beach in one Florida county — and harder to bounce there.
On September 5, local officials in the Florida Panhandle county of Okaloosa lifted a ban on the carrying of guns at beaches, parks, and recreation areas. The same ordinance that allowed guns in those spaces also banned trampolines and bounce houses.
It’s the second gun restriction the Okaloosa Board of Commissioners has nixed this year. In February, the board struck down a law prohibiting public employees from carrying guns on the job.
The move appears to have attracted scant media attention, and only came to our notice via a letter to the editor of the Northwest Florida Daily News. The author, a resident of the town of Shalimar, fretted over where exactly beachgoers in the tourist-friendly town are expected to conceal their guns — “in a man’s Spandex or a woman’s bikini?” — and wondered why “flying trampolinists” are more dangerous than firearms.
The reader correctly pointed out that Florida law restricts cities and towns from regulating guns, putting such rulemaking firmly in the purview of the state Legislature and courts.
In 2011, the pre-emption statute was augmented to allow people to sue individual cities for crafting gun laws stricter than the state standard, and to collect damages and legal fees from the municipalities — and their elected officials — if those municipalities lost. In 2014, two gun groups sued the city of Tallahassee over laws that banned the firing of guns in public parks. In February, an appellate court ruled that it couldn’t compel the city to repeal its gun ordinances.
Read the original article on The Trace. Copyright 2017. Follow The Trace on Twitter.
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Real Hurricane, Fake News About Shooting at IrmaI Killed a Student at a College Party. I Wish I Wasn’t Carrying My Gun That Night.My Job Is to Tell the Public When People Are Shot in Baltimore. This Time, It Was My Little Brother.A Missouri Student Imagines Life on an Armed CampusWe’re Just Starting to Comprehend How Social Media Breeds Shootings
When most people come to Florida for a vacation, they will go to Orlando or perhaps to the Keys. Although those options are well worth the trip, you should not ignore what Tampa and the west coast has to offer. In fact, once you taste Tampa for yourself, you might just consider it to be the perfect vacation.
One thing that you will love about the area is the easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. There is nothing better when we are on vacation than to take advantage of the water. It doesn’t matter if you are doing some sport fishing or if you just want to lay in the sand, make sure you do it while you are in Tampa.
What do you think about when you think of a Florida theme park? Most people will think about Disney, and that is sure a lot of fun. The fact of the matter is, however, you have your own theme park right in Tampa. It is Bush Gardens, a theme park that is themed after Africa. You can enjoy the animals and the rides, all while doing something truly unique. Of course, if you want to go see the local mouse, Disney is just up the road.
Many people save up all year to come to Tampa and enjoy what the area has to offer. The fact of the matter is, however, you really don’t need to come on vacation to take advantage of it. Many people who live in the Tampa area also enjoy what the city makes available and they take advantage of it on a regular basis. Perhaps you might want to do the same. If you aren’t yet using Tampa to the full, do some exploring. You will not regret it.
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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A baseball was found in a collectors case just outside of WFLA News Channel 8. Now, we’re trying to track down the owner.
Shane Samuelson was outside of the WFLA News Channel 8 station by the Hillsborough river when he saw something peculiar sitting on a tree stump across the water from the Sheraton hotel.
Samuelson walked over to the stump around 8:30 Thursday morning, he discovered a baseball perfectly kept in a plastic collectors baseball case.
After further inspection, Samuelson found the baseball had little doodles on it and assumed it may actually be a youth baseball.
“Someone must really care about this baseball for it to be in a case like this,” Samuelson said.
We need your help to find the owner of this baseball who is probably missing it terribly. Please share this story with your friends around the Tampa Bay area to get this prized possession back home.
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The Astros’ Marwin Gonzalez stretching before a game with the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. The series was moved from Houston because of Hurricane Harvey.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — More than a thousand miles from home, the Houston Astros arrived here to play a baseball game Tuesday night in a largely empty stadium against their in-state rivals, but it was hard for many to think of their circumstances.
For the most part, their heads were turned to their phones or the clubhouse televisions, and their minds were back home in Houston, where the city and surrounding areas were struggling with the overwhelming impact of Hurricane Harvey.
“I’m still thinking of friend’s stories when they’re rescuing babies and kids, and people in trees and people swimming across streets that they normally walk across,” Astros Manager A. J. Hinch said. “We’re talking about a baseball game. We have the easy job.”
There was a lot for the Astros — and, for sure, some members of the opposing team, the Texas Rangers — to wrap their heads around as they went back to the business of baseball with the start of a three-game series that was moved here Monday by Major League Baseball.
Some Astros players have family members who are stranded in the Houston area — and pitcher Francisco Liriano’s house has sustained extensive flooding damage — and few have been unaffected by the devastation that has been wrought by torrential rain.
When the Astros left Houston last Thursday for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, they packed just for the weekend, assuming that even though a storm was coming, they would be able to return home once the series in California ended on Sunday.
But with Houston’s two major airports closed because of flooding, the Astros were diverted to Dallas, where they learned on Monday that their series with the Rangers — scheduled to be played at Minute Maid Park in Houston — would be played here instead.
“It’s going to be kind of weird,” Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel said. “Never in a million years would I have thought that we’d be playing outside of Minute Maid Park, where we have a retractable roof for that very reason, which means that the flooding has been almost biblical.”
There is uncertainty about when the Astros will return home. Hinch said the team should learn Wednesday whether the Astros’ series against the Mets, scheduled to begin Friday in Houston, will also be held at Tropicana Field. He said the team cannot consider returning home until the rain in Houston stops.
The Astros, as the home team here, chose the visitors’ clubhouse because it was most familiar to them. The only uniforms they had with them were their gray road pants and their alternate blue jerseys, which they wear for batting practice on the road and at home.
But those inconveniences were considered just that as the Astros remained focused on some of the images from recent days: an older woman knitting in a wheelchair with water up to her chest, an exhausted police officer wading his way toward stranded people, airport runways underwater.
Hinch said friends of his had bought a boat and were rescuing people from trees near a golf course in his neighborhood.
“They’re friends, trying to do something good,” Hinch said. “To be honest with you, I wish I was one of those people. I wish I could help somebody right now.”
Rangers Manager Jeff Banister, who grew up in LaMarque, Tex., just south of Houston, said that he hoped that the teams — who have developed a fierce rivalry in recent years — would use the games here to play for people who have been affected by the flooding.
“When you get right down to it, what we do, we’re privileged to be able to do this, and when real life punches you in the mouth, you take notice and this becomes a distraction for that,” Banister said.
He added, “I hope our guys have enough respect that the effort is where it needs to be and appropriate, because I would hate for us to think that this is, ‘well, we’ll just go through another day,’ because those people aren’t just having another day.”
TAMPA — Officials trying to lure the Tampa Bay Rays across the water are aggressively working to secure a site for a ballpark in the Channel District-Ybor City area, and hope to make an announcement soon.
Hillsborough County and its lawyers have had dozens of conversations this year with the Rays, its financing team at Goldman Sachs and Populous, the architect for the new ballpark, according to legal records. They’ve discussed financing options, reviewed sites and compared economic development proposals.
More recently, they have spoken with land owners about assembling a package of parcels that can fit a ballpark, Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan confirmed recently. And they’re looking to the Atlanta Braves for ideas on how to pay for it.
At the same time, direct talks with the Rays front office have slowed during the dog days of the baseball season and a hotly contested St. Petersburg mayoral race. Lawyers for the county spoke with the Rays front office 24 times between February and March, but only eight times in the three months after, according to invoices from Foley and Lardner, the law firm the county hired to spearhead the site search and negotiations.
And there is lingering frustration the team has not demonstrated enough urgency in its search for a new ballpark.
"The team has been arguing for a new home for eight-plus years," Hagan said. "It doesn’t need to take years to create the partnership required for a new ballpark, but it does take leadership at the ownership level to get us across the finish line."
As recently as late July, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said the team was waiting for Tampa and Hillsborough County to present a viable option and challenged them to "completely weigh in."
"When they do then we’ll be able to make a decision in a pretty quick time," he said.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Stu Sternberg: Top choices for Rays new stadium are unavailable
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Sternberg: Rays ready to make ‘quick’ decision once they get stadium options
Such dueling sentiments echo a rift first unveiled earlier this year. During spring training, Sternberg acknowledged that the team’s top fives sites for a ballpark were not available. Three were in Tampa, including the Heights, a 43-acre mixed-use project taking shape in downtown Tampa along a bend in the Hillsborough River.
At the time, Hagan shot back that the team was too slow to act and let those sites get away.
Since then, whether by choice or necessity, Hillsborough officials have tried to identify a site behind the scenes while the Rays have stayed relatively quiet. Monthly invoices show frequent contact with lawyers contracted by Foley and Lardner, a firm with extensive experience in stadium projects for which they earn a monthly $4,500 retainer and $325 an hour.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Quest to lure Rays to Tampa heating up in Hillsborough, legal bills show
The officials are narrowing in on the Channel District-Ybor City area and have approached landowners about an option agreement that would secure the rights to those parcels if the Rays chose to move.
There are still moving pieces, Hagan cautioned, but "that fits perfectly in our belief that the ballpark needs to be in an urban environment. It also aligns with many of the Ray’s guiding principles for their next ballpark."
"Our outside counsel has repeatedly said the next step is to get site control," Hagan said. "Once we have site control we can go public and hope to have that earnest dialogue on the location and get the community feedback on the possibilities that exist there."
The area south and east of a roundabout off Nuccio Parkway not far from the gates of Ybor City "has received a lot of attention," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, "and I think it’s appropriate." He wouldn’t say it was the leading site, adding there were "other potential parcels," but said it’s walkability to downtown, space for parking and access to the TECO streetcar line are an advantage.
"Far better," Buckhorn said, than the area in Ybor east of the revamped 22nd Street, another rumored site.
An investor group led by BluePearl Veterinary Services CEO Darryl Shaw has bought quite a few sizable parcels off Nuccio Parkway and the surrounding area in recent years, with the largest flurry of activity coming in the past 18 months. TECO and a couple of investment firms out of New York own some land there as well.
Shaw did not respond to a request for comment. Asked in April whether he spoke with the Rays brass about a particular parcel, the former gasification plant called Gas Worx, Shaw said, "they don’t believe a ballpark can fit on that site."
But Buckhorn pointed out it could become a parking lot or support development.
Hagan said he also regularly meets with S. Kay Andrews, the publisher of the Florida Sentinel Bulletin and the leader of the nonprofit that owns the Tampa Park Apartments. The housing complex, just west of Shaw’s land near Ybor, is often mentioned as a potential future home for the Rays.
The Tampa Bay Times recently reportedly that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development put the owners of Tampa Park Apartments on notice that they could lose their Section 8 rent subsidies after a substandard inspection.
The Rays have not publicly weighed in on potential Tampa locations for a ballpark, though Sternberg said in July that team leaders "have sites in mind." County Attorney Chip Fletcher said, "We’ve gotten some mixed messages on what the Rays think about our site options."
Hagan could not give a timeline on when the county might announce a potential site.
He anticipates, however, that the Rays don’t want to be accused of influencing the St. Petersburg mayoral race and therefore won’t weigh in on where they’re going until it’s over. The team is also in the middle of a competitive baseball season and negotiations over the rights to a new television contract.
If incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, former mayor Rick Baker or the other candidates don’t get 50 percent of the vote in the Aug. 29 election, it will go to a runoff in November.
In his conversations with the Rays, Hagan said he was told they don’t believe the election will affect an agreement reached with Kriseman to allow the team three years to consider a new home in Hillsborough County.
The county may not wait until the Rays are ready to announce a site, Hagan said.
One area of near certainty is how the county would like to pay for a ballpark. Officials are hoping to mimic the pact between the Atlanta Braves and Cobb County, Ga., that led to the new SunTrust Park.
Cobb County borrowed $397 million to finance the stadium and the team contributed $230 million.
The public-private partnership relied on the potential growth in taxes collected on development and entertainment around the stadium. The new ballpark is just a piece of a massive development and entertainment district around the new Braves home for fans and a growing community.
Hagan and county Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Wise visited with the Braves front office in April.
"It really is the model for future ballparks and the important thing is the paradigm for stadium financing continues to include increased team participation," Hagan said. "The days of 100 percent taxpayer funded stadiums are long gone."
Sternberg and the Rays have not recently said whether they want a stake in development around the ballpark. The concept is certainly en vogue among owners looking to capitalize on entertainment expenses before and after games, as well as the growth from people who want to live, work and play near a stadium, especially in urban cores. You don’t have to look far for an example: It’s exactly what Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is building around Amalie Arena.
"The only way that people who live here pay is by attending a game or going to bars and restaurants around the stadium or have a home or business in that district," County Administrator Mike Merrill said. "But it’s all hopefully generating even more revenue, and is an asset that’s bringing more for the community, not less."
Times staff writer Richard Danielson contributed to this report. Contact Steve Contorno at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3433. Follow @scontorno.
The Chicago Bearsclaimed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo off waivers on Sunday.
To clear roster space for Auguayo, the Bears placed veteran wide receiver Rueben Randle on injured reserve.
Aguayo was waived by the Buccaneers on Saturday after his rocky start to the preseason. Aguayo missed an extra point in the second quarter of a 23-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday night. He was then brought out late in the fourth quarter for a 47-yard field goal attempt, which went wide right. He made one field goal, a 20-yard kick on the Bucs’ opening possession.
Aguayo’s release came just one year after the Bucs traded into the second round of the 2016 draft to select him, which made him the highest-drafted kicker since Mike Nugent in 2005.
Aguayo is expected to compete with Bears kicker Connor Barth — who, incidentally, was released by Tampa Bay in May 2016 after the team drafted Aguayo.
Barth went 18-of-23 on field goal attempts and 31-for-31 on extra points for the Bears in 2016.
If Aguayo is able to win the Bears’ kicking job he’ll quickly have a chance to face his former team. The Bears are scheduled to visit the Buccaneers in Week 2.
Both Andrei Vasilevskiy and Peter Budaj are getting custom new masks, courtesy of Dave Gunnarsson and Sylabrush, for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have become famous for cool-looking and innovative goalie mask designs. Between Nikolai Khabibulin’s ‘Bulin Wall, Ben Bishop’s Tron mask, and even Mike Smith’s SAW mask, the Bolts have a tradition of unique and interesting designs.
Last season, Andrei Vasilevsiy was one of the two goalies in the entire NHL to debut a color changing mask. The color-change effect, courtesy of Sylabrush’s Subzero paint, is activated by the cold, and when cold, a new design will be revealed.
Once again, Vasilevskiy’s mask will feature the color-change effect. The Sylabrush team designed Vasilevskiy’s last mask, and as it was a hit with Tampa Bay Lightning fans and across the league, there weren’t a lot of changes were made.
The feature of the mask is still the large lightning-fused lion on top (a literal Thundercat), and his number, 88, on the chin. The block letter BOLTS and palm trees on both sides are also making a return this year. The biggest difference between this year’s mask and last year’s design is the addition of more silver and more Subzero color-changing paint.
Vasilevskiy’s new design will feature three different locations that will change their design, including the Bolt’s a 25th-anniversary logo.
Here’s the full color change effect in action:
Tampa Bay Lightning backup Peter Budaj also got a new mask, this one courtesy of Dave Gunnarsson at DaveArt.
Early on in his career, Budaj got the nickname of Ned Flanders, after the character from the long running cartoon, The Simpsons. That nickname has since stuck, and has now followed him to Tampa.
While the appearance might not be as major as the Thor Flanders featured on his last mask, Flanders is still present in Budaj’s new design. This time, he is made of a lightning outline and is on his chin.
The main feature of this new mask, however, is the Lightning’s 25th-anniversary logo.
Needless to say, both Lightning goaltenders will be looking (and hopefully playing) like all-stars this season.
The best feature of both new masks is how representative they are of the individual goaltenders and team alike. A lot of personalization and detail went into the making of both masks. The artists at both DaveArt and Sylabrush knocked their projects out of the park. The only thing better than seeing the new masks now will be seeing the new masks on the ice this season.
One of the best places in the world is Florida, which is known for Walt Disney World. However, there are many other reasons to visit the state besides Disney. Here are a few reasons why you should take a trip to Florida.
1. The Beaches- Florida has the best beaches in the world. Head over to the Gulf Coast if you want to take a dip in crystal blue warm water. There are many beaches in Florida, including plenty of family-friendly ones. If you are a fan of water, sun and relaxing, then you’ll love the beaches in the Sunshine State.
2. Golf- If you love golfing, then there’s no better place to do it than Florida. There are over 1,000 golf courses located throughout the state, so it doesn’t matter how picky of a golfer you are or how much of a challenge you want, there is a course for you. Let’s not forget to mention that the PGA Tour is headquartered there.
3. Miami- There is no other city on the planet that is like Miami, which is home to the finest restaurants, nightclubs, beaches, nightlife and shopping scene. There’s no shortage of tourist attractions in Miami and you can easily spend a week there and still not have time to explore the city. If you are a fan of big city living, beaches and having a great time, then consider staying a few nights in Miami or feel free to take a week or two vacation there.
Florida is a place you must visit at least once in your life. As you can see, there are numerous things you can do there, and the ones mentioned above are only a few. If you want to experience what all of Florida has to offer, then book a trip there as soon as possible.
Honda said on Thursday that a Takata airbag inflator ruptured in a car crash last week in Florida, in what could be the 19th death worldwide linked to faulty airbags recalled as part of the largest automotive safety campaign in history.
Honda said the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord was killed in Holiday, Fla., after the inflator burst. An official cause of death has not been announced. Last week, authorities in Australia said the death of a Sydney man earlier this month was likely the result of a faulty Takata airbag inflator. He was killed by shrapnel in his neck.
At least 18 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide are now tied to the defect that led Takata Corp to file for bankruptcy protection last month. Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.
The Florida crash involved a 34-year-old woman who died in a head-on collision July 19 near St. Petersburg when a 19-year-old driving a 1999 Pontiac Firebird turned into her path, according to local media reports.
The inflator in 2002 Accords has been recalled since 2011, and Honda said it had mailed 21 recall notices over several years to registered owners of this particular car. Ten notices had been sent to the current registered owner, but the repairs were never completed, Honda said.
“This is more evidence that the recall is failing and not enough is being done to find the affected vehicles and fix them,” U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said in a statement.
The 2002 Accord was among a group of more than 300,000 unrepaired recalled Honda vehicles equipped with inflators deemed to have a substantial risk of rupturing.
Last year, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged owners to stop driving the “unsafe” cars until they were fixed. The agency said 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles had as much as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous airbag inflator rupture in a crash.
Of the deaths linked to Takata inflators, 17 have involved Honda vehicles since May 2009, including five in Malaysia using a different type Takata inflator. One death occurred in a Ford vehicle in South Carolina in December 2015.
Scott Caudill, chief operating officer of TK Holdings, Takata’s U.S. unit, said in a court affidavit last month that Takata had recalled, or expected to recall, by 2019 about 125 million vehicles worldwide, including more than 60 million in the United States.
Reporting by David Shepardson.