Hillsborough County

Bucking a growing trend elsewhere in the south, Hillsborough County officials decided Wednesday not to move a Confederate memorial from in front of a courthouse administrative building in downtown Tampa.

No more than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to open in unincorporated parts of Hillsborough County under new rules passed by commissioners on Wednesday.

Hillsborough commissioners will consider placing a cap on the number of medical marijuana dispensaries that can open in unincorporated parts of the county.

Hillsborough PTC Comes To A Dead End

May 11, 2017
from Creative Commons

A bill to dissolve the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission passed the Florida Legislature and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Rick Scott. 

The PTC has faced criticism for trying to regulate ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. If Scott signs the bill, the agency will be officially dissolved Dec. 31.

Hillsborough County commissioners want to use affordable housing funds to help four families stuck paying mortgages on homes in one neighborhood left worthless by the presence of toxic Chinese drywall.

Courtesy of Visit Tampa Bay

Never mind the hurricanes and the Zika that have come to Florida. Santiago Corrada, the CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, says it's been a banner year for tourism in Hillsborough County.

The close of the fiscal year, September 30th, showed record-breaking numbers and he's waiting to see how the calendar year ends.  Corrada says if the tourism agency hits the mark it expects to then, which is $600 million in taxable hotel revenue, it will mean yet another record and a special designation.

Google Maps

Authorities say firefighters found an adult and a child dead inside a burning mobile home near Tampa.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews were called to the home around 11 p.m. Wednesday.


The bus driver involved in last week's school bus crash in Hillsborough County was cited for careless driving after it was discovered he was speeding at the time of the incident.

Lenoir Sainfimin, 54, was driving with the county for only a week before the crash occurred last Thursday.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins said the district will purchase 200 new school buses.

Concerns about the safety of the buses are high because the county is home to one of the oldest fleets in the state.

Authorities say a Florida mom home with her two children has been shot multiple times after answering her front door.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials say 37-year-old Angela Morales heard several knocks at the door shortly after midnight Saturday while home with her husband and 9-year-old twins. That's when authorities say a man opened fire, hitting Morales multiple times.

She was hospitalized in critical condition.

Sometime after the sun came up Wednesday, a woman walking her dog past a fenced-off area in a sleepy suburban neighborhood near Tampa heard a loud rumble. She quickly dialed 911.

Road Closures Due to Flooding in Hillsborough County

Aug 3, 2015
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, due to the heavy rains Monday morning, the following roads have been closed as of 2 PM:

Group Moves Forward with Sales Tax Increase Plan

Jul 17, 2015
People board a HART bus.

Three mayors from Hillsborough County cities are joining forces with several county commissioners and the chairman of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) to discuss a possible sales tax increase. Part of a plan called the GO Hillsborough initiative would increase the county sales tax by a half cent, with a majority of that money going towards road maintenance and improvements. 

Local Community Celebrates 150 Years

Jun 24, 2015

Just south of Plant City is a place with a history of agriculture and adversity. Bealsville was settled by 12 freed slaves and their families following the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. This week, residents of the small, unincorporated Hillsborough County community will celebrate Bealsville's 150th anniversary.  

Runoff Candidates Hope for More Voter Turnout

Mar 23, 2015
Maniscalco's campaign Facebook Page

Tampa's City Council District 6 runoff elections are Tuesday.

District 6 covers the areas of West Tampa, Seminole Heights and parts of South Tampa.

Guido Maniscalco is going up against his District 6 runoff opponent, Jackie Toledo.

Toledo won 46 percent of the votes in the primary election but failed to win the seat outright. With low voter turnout expected for the runoff election, Maniscalco said he hopes more people make the effort to get out and vote.

M. S. Butler

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn weighed in on the firing of Hillsborough County School Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia on Wednesday.

Following Gov. Rick Scott's press conference about his education plan, Mayor Buckhorn spoke with reporters and questioned the School Board's  4-3 decision on Tuesday to let Elia go and buy out the remainder of her contract.

When a hurricane is approaching, everyone needs to have a plan in place. When you have medical needs, that preparation becomes even more critical.

Dr. Theo Sai is the chief medical officer for senior products for Humana in Central Florida.  He's also lived through several hurricanes.  

“I remember the worst one for me was in the Bahamas, where I was on the first floor and it was a pretty bad hurricane, and Nassau typically floods a lot,” Said said.

When he offers advice on preparing for hurricanes, it comes from his own experience.

Today, the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department of Hillsborough County celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program, also known as ELAPP.

The land preservation program was created in 1987 when voters approved a quarter-cent tax on every $1,000 of taxable land value. The property tax has a sunset provision every ten years. And Hillsborough County voters have re-approved the ad volorem tax twice by considerable margins.

Tampa Tribune

Ian Hallett served as director of Hillsborough County's Animal Services for only 18 months, but in that short time, he drew enough criticism that he's now lost that position. Hallett has been replaced on a temporary basis by Code Enforcement Director Dexter Barge.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is opening a new facility in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The pharmaceutical giant says it will employ around 600 employees at an average annual wage of more than $60,000.

Hillsborough County is one of five Florida counties affected by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling this morning on the Voting Rights Act. While the court didn't strike down the law's provision that requires federal monitoring of elections in certain states and counties, including Hillsborough, the justices said lawmakers will have to update the formula that put those regions on the list.

M2Gen, a private company near H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute that received a local incentive package of $30 million as well as $15 million in state money, has not met its commitment of providing 108 jobs and spinning off other biotech firms, the Tampa Tribune reports. The much-hyped M2Gen built a massive database of cancer tissue but has had trouble figuring how to make money from it.

Hillsborough County is relocating more than a thousand county employees during the Republican National Convention.  You'll still be able to get permits or pay tickets - it just won't be at the usual downtown Tampa locations.

An estimated 65,000 people are making their way into Tampa during the convention, and that means many county employees will be making their way out.  

Courtesy of Purdue University

If you don't already hate Tropical Storm Debby, just wait. 

All the standing water from Debby will soon spawn pesky, disease-carrying mosquitoes,according to Steve Huard, Public Information Officer with Hillsborough County Health Department.

"So the community really needs to kind of get ready and think about the risks associated with all the mosquitoes that will be out and about and make sure they have their mosquito repellent with DEET in it and just be ready for the next onslaught," Huard said. 

He says the mosquitoes should be here in a couple of days. 

More than twice as many people have been diagnosed with whooping cough in Hillsborough County so far this year than in all of last year, according to the county health department.

Health officials say the outbreak started with several large families becoming infected and spreading it to the community. 

Whooping cough, or pertussis, gets its name from the whooping sound made when a person affected by the illness, coughs.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

More than two dozen cases of whooping cough have cropped up in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough County Health officials say an entire family came down with pertussis also known as whooping cough and individuals who came into contact with that family helped to spread it around.