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RNC Protestors Expected to Arrive in Waves

Aug 24, 2012
Eric Mennel

As many as 5,000 protestors are expected to descend on Tampa for the convention next week. The Coalition to March on the RNC held a press conference on Friday to talk about their planned march for Monday. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Among the places getting a facelift in advance of the Republican National Convention is one location that most hope doesn't get a lot of use--Hillsborough County's Orient Road Jail.

Anyone arrested during the Convention will be taken to the facility, where they'll be booked and undergo preliminary court procedures.

Garbage Men on Waste Watch for RNC

Aug 24, 2012

With the Republican National Convention coming to Tampa, local law enforcement is calling for all hands on deck to help with security. They’ve even enlisted the help… of the city’s garbage men.

Waste Management's green garbage trucks are now part of a program called  “Waste Watch.”

The concept is simple: drivers trained by local police and a former FBI official look out for security threats during the convention.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

Representatives from local, state and federal law enforcement met with the media Thursday at an undisclosed Tampa Bay area site where the Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC) is located.

Over the next week, representatives from around 60 groups with ties to the Republican National Convention, ranging from law enforcement to Amtrak to TECO to the Federal Communications Commission, will work together in the MACC. They'll be monitoring everything from traffic to protests to the weather.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

While the inside of the St. Pete Times Forum is filled with convention-goers, thousands of people are expected to be outside, trying to get their viewpoints heard. Violent riots have broken out at several recent conventions, so how are Tampa police preparing?

These are the sounds that keep Tampa police officials up at night:

Tampa Police confiscated bricks and pipes found on a rooftop of a building at the corner of Florida Avenue and Tyler Street. It's not far from a secure zone being set up for the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says the discovery of the items - including graffiti of a Guy Fawkes mask - similar to those favored by anarchists - is not alarming.

"Finding those items for us was not a surprise," Castor said during an afternoon press conference.  "This is historically how these things proceed before a large political event such as the RNC."

Watch: Police Descend on Occupy Tampa Camp

Aug 21, 2012
Occupy Tampa

Red and blue lights filled the streets surrounding Occupy Tampa's encampment at Voice of Freedom Park last Friday night, as the Tampa Police Department made its presence known.  Officers in body armor patrolled the streets and squad cars stopped passing vehicles for random searches.  Occupy activists recorded it all and held a press conference on Monday, claiming that the TPD had overstepped its bounds and infringed on their rights.  

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Tampa Police rolled out their newest tactics today to help keep the peace at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Interim Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri won his first election last night, trouncing former Sheriff Everett Rice. It put an end to a campaign that had turned personal between the two lawmen.

It was Gualtieri's maiden trip to the polls - he was appointed by former Sheriff Jim Coats after he resigned. And that didn't sit too well with Rice, who claimed during the campaign that Gualtieri had never earned his stripes. But the voters apparently didn't agree.

Courtesy CBS Tampa

Two eerily similar deadly pile-up's, years apart, are raising questions about how law enforcement responds to extreme fog and smoke - and why their procedures haven't been updated.   

Thick smoke and fog blanketed the road the morning 11 were killed in a deadly pile-up on I-75 near Gainesville earlier this year.   

tampagurdwara.com

The suspected shooter in the slayings of six Sikh worshippers was a 40-year-old white supremacist. But Sikhs in Florida say their religion is based on the opposite of hate.

Sikhism was founded more than 400 years ago in south Asia . It’s founded on the ideas of equality – including between men and women – service to others – and peace.

Or as the leader of the Tampa Gurdwara, Mihan Singh, told Fox 13:

The FBI is conducting what it calls an aggressive manhunt for fugitive Aubrey Lee Price. 

He is a white male, 5-foot-7, with green eyes and light brown hair. 

He is believed to be somewhere in Central Florida.  FBI Spokesperson Dave Couvetier says he was last seen getting on a ferry boat from Key West bound for Fort Myers.    

"He has been charged with devising a scheme of defrauding the bank where he was the director, of about $21 million," he says. "And that's affected obviously not only the financial institution but the stockholders and clients." 

This Is Not A Photo of Trayvon Martin

Jul 31, 2012
PolitiFact Florida Photo

There's a photo being circulated in a chain email that shows Trayvon Martin was a lot more 'gangsta' than we've been led to believe.

He's much older and has tattoos on his face.

There's one problem.

The photo is not of Trayvon Martin, the teenager shot and killed in February by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

PolitiFact Florida checked out the photo and found that it is really a publicity shot of the rapper "Game."

Steve Newborn / WUSF

It's been buried in the news by the presidential race and the Republican National Convention, but the primaries are only two weeks away. One of those races has turned personal. The two Republican candidates for Pinellas County Sheriff clearly don't care for each other.

There's apparently no love lost between Everett Rice and Bob Gualtieri. The two verbally jabbed at each other during much of a recent debate at a Clearwater church.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

It's called Freedom Park, and for the past several months the West Tampa square has been the home of Occupy Tampa. But a group of local business people aren't happy with that, and today Tampa City Council members agreed to take a look at whether they're running afoul of city codes.

A handful of tents now occupy the space along Main Street that is owned by Joe Redner, the strip club magnate. But that hasn't gone over too well with some West Tampa business owners and residents. They signed a petition asking the city to relocate Occupy Tampa.

A judge in Florida this morning set bail at $1 million for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

screen grab / baynews9.com

More than a year after the shootout that left two St. Petersburg police officers and his brother dead, boxer Jeff Lacy is speaking out in a new interview with Bay News 9.

Back in May, we told you that Miami Police suspected that a man who was shot dead while he bit off another man's face was high on "bath salts."

A Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's report released today, however, disproves that theory. According to the AP, the only drug found in Rudy Eugene's system was marijuana.

UCR Today

If you're on twitter or have access to any other form of media, you are no doubt hearing all sorts of drips and drabs about today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.

But plain English explanations of just what the decision are hard to come by. We found this on the SCOTUS blog.

 

From Amy Howe, of SCOTUS blog:

She became known as the girlfriend of Dontae Morris -- the man accused of gunning down Tampa Police Officers Dave Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab in June 2010. 

Now, Cortnee Brantley will go to trial on federal charges that she knew Morris was a felon in possession of a gun and did not report it.

Police say Brantley was driving the car when the shooting took place. Curtis and Kocab conducted what appeared to be a routine traffic stop, which ended with the two officers dying by the side of the road.

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