Tampa Bay Times

Law enforcement officials are continuing a search near the USF Tampa campus and New Tampa area for a suspect in a series of home invasions and violent incidents Thursday night. 

The suspect was reportedly tracked down to the woods north of 42nd Street and south of Amberly Drive in Tampa. Law enforcement said deep water in the woods is making the search difficult, but their dogs can track suspects through the water.

"The thing about the water is you've gotta come out somewhere," Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Major J.R. Burton told the Tampa Bay Times.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials say the incidents began around 11 p.m. when a man forced his way into an apartment at Cambridge Woods Apartments near 42nd Street north of East Fletcher Avenue. He reportedly bound four men and sexually assaulted four women inside the apartment. He told the victims not to call the police for half an hour, which they reportedly did out of fear.

University of South Florida

It would seem like an unlikely location for bed bugs, but the University of South Florida's Business Administration building has been hit by the critters. USF student newspaper, The Oracle, reported that a student was bitten in a first floor classroom early last week.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

For the first time in its almost forty year history, undergraduate freshmen will be attending University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

Until last year, USFSM was an 'upper-division transfer university,' offering two-year baccalaureate degrees, as well as master's degrees. In 2012, the school began accepting sophomores, and this year, the campus is welcoming its inaugural batch of freshmen.

Keppler Speakers (Warren); Greater Talent Network (Quince & Matlin)

Fans of author/artist Frank Warren, The Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince and actress/activist Marlee Matlin will be happy to know that they're the speakers for the fall semester of USF's University Lecture Series.

The student-run organization announced the lineup late last week.

Yoselis Ramos

The automated message that blares through the library speakers continuously, 15 minutes to closing, starts going off Thursday night.

"The library is now closed. Please make your way to the first floor main entrance exit. Thank you."

Students starts to gather their things and head for the exit.

This is the first semester since 2010 that University of South Florida students hear this in the middle of the week. The library used to be open 24 hours five days a week. Now it closes at midnight.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Students returned to campus this week at the University of South Florida and among them are an estimated 1,700 student veterans transitioning from active duty military to full-time college student.

At a welcome back barbecue on the Tampa campus, student veteran Victor Benoit collected a free shirt from the Student Veterans Association (SVA). He is a former Army military police soldier and a USF criminology major.

Yoselis Ramos

The Library at the USF Tampa campus has become known to students as "Club Lib" because of the late night hours.  Senior biomedical science/political science major Katharine Orr explains the library as the "hub" of campus. "Everyone is here all the time so it is like a club," she said.

Since the 2009-2010 school year, the campus library has been open 24 hours five days a week. But students starting classes today are facing shortened hours at "Club Lib" as the library is closing at midnight those days.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Last year's federal Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunity, and Revived Economies (RESTORE) Act made hundreds of millions of dollars in funds available for projects related to the Gulf region's recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Now the University of South Florida is making a concentrated effort to bolster its reputation - and its funding coffers - by planning new research efforts on the effects of the disaster.

Almost 80 researchers, faculty and administrators from over a dozen USF colleges and divisions attended an oceanography summit Friday at the Marshall Student Center.

The 'usual suspects' were there from the Colleges of Marine Science and Engineering, as well as the Florida Institute of Oceanography. But what made this event unique was that representatives also came from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, even the Library.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was on the University of South Florida Tampa campus Thursday afternoon to hand out $7.8 million in grants to help Floridians with the Affordable Care Act. 

The money will be given to eight organizations around the state to hire staff to help consumers enroll in a health insurance plan. Starting Jan. 1, almost all Americans will be required to buy health insurance under the ACA.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Like birthdays, every graduation ceremony is special for the people celebrating. But today's commencement ceremonies at USF will be extra special, as they're the university's 100th commencement convocation.

About 1,500 students from across the USF system will receive their degrees in a pair of ceremonies taking place at the USF Sun Dome.

Graduates of all colleges from USF St. Petersburg and the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business on the Tampa campus will be honored at 9 a.m.

USF Communications & Marketing

Students at the University of South Florida will no longer have the option of paying their tuition with a Visa card. 

The Tampa Bay Times reports that, starting next Thursday, Aug. 15, USF won't be able to accept the card for tuition because the school will be charging a 2.5 percent processing fee on all tuition payments made on plastic.  And that doesn't meet Visa's requirements. 

USF Patel College of Global Sustainability

The University of South Florida is one of only 22 colleges to receive the highest score possible in The Princeton Review's "2014 Green Rating Honor Roll."

The Princeton Review, which is known primarily for its college prep programs and its ratings of colleges' educational performance, rated 832 schools based on data concerning their sustainability-related practices, policies and academic offerings.

Schools received scores between 60 and 99, with USF among 22 colleges getting that top mark and making the "Honor Roll."

Credit Michael Spooneybarger / Reuters/Landov

9:00 p.m. Update w/quotes from USF & other FL government officials

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other top state officials are being asked to grant a request from researchers to exhume human remains at the former Dozier School for Boys.

Yoselis Ramos

The University of South Florida has sent a five-page, strongly-worded letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, asking him to reconsider his decision not to allow the school to exhume bodies at a former state reform school, the Dozier School for Boys.

Detzner denied the request because human bodies are not objects to be dug up for research.
The university's general counsel pointed out in a letter sent Monday that USF does not want to dig up the bodies for research, they just want to return the remains to their families.

Officials with the Hillsborough County Health Department confirmed that a University of South Florida student has tuberculosis, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Amie Blodgett / USF News

Local businessman and philanthropist Olin Mott has died at the age of 92.

Mott, who dropped out of school after sixth grade to sell peanuts to help support his family during the Great Depression, created the Bay area tire store chain that bears his name after serving in World War II. 

Mott had been wounded during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and received a Purple Heart. He later served in Army-Navy Intelligence and was the last survivor of his 80-man unit.

Mott also co-founded Joshua House, a shelter for abused or abandoned children, and was instrumental in securing the location of USF's Tampa campus as well as in bringing football to the university.

USF Communications & Marketing

While Governor Rick Scott vetoed a three percent tuition increase for the state's public universities, the University of South Florida is the latest school getting around that by using inflation to raise tuition for the coming school year.


Tuition at the University of South Florida isn't going to increase in the coming school year, thanks to a veto from Gov. Scott. However, some students will end up paying a little bit more, as the Board of Trustees voted Thursday to raise fees by 10 percent for nonresident undergraduate students.

USF Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies

Imagine entering USF’s Tampa campus, walking around the 15-hundred acres, touring the various buildings, like the Marshall Student Center or the Library - and doing it all from the comfort of your own home, whether you’re in Temple Terrace or in Tokyo!

Researchers at the USF Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies (AIST) are hoping to make such a ‘virtual campus’ a reality and they’re using three-dimensional laser imaging to do so. This week's University Beat looks at the work, which isn't limited to simply mapping the university campus.

USF Communications & Marketing

While USF's Board of Trustees has identified 17 degree programs it suggests the university system should drop, the news may not actually be that bad, as 15 of them are from the now-defunct USF Polytechnic in Lakeland.