The president of St. Petersburg College is calling on Gov. Rick Scott to veto a proposed budget cut that slashes community college funding in a time of declining enrollment and tuition revenue.
State lawmakers cut funding for the Florida College System’s 28 community colleges by $25 million. SPC stands to lose $1.8 million.
The could mean fewer class offerings for students and fewer support services like tutoring and career advising, SPC said in a news release. It could mean students take longer to graduate....
ST. PETERSBURG — It’s not unusual for colleges to end programs or discontinue majors that suffer from low enrollment.
Eckerd College’s Program for Experienced Learners met that unfortunate fate after the number of new students dropped to just 20 in fall 2016, despite efforts to boost enrollment....
TAMPA — The man waved a gun and told them they couldn't leave.
He ranted to those inside the Green Planet Smoke Shop in north Tampa on Friday evening that he had killed two people and wanted to end up on cable news.
When police arrived and took the man into custody for his erratic behavior, Devon Arthurs, 18, repeated his assertion of homicide. He led officers to his apartment, just a quarter mile from the smoke shop inside the Hamptons at Tampa Palms subdivision, where they found two dead males. Both appeared to have died from gunshots, police said. It was unclear if they lived at the home with Arthurs....
TAMPA — May's unrelenting heat wave has shattered another record temperature at Tampa International Airport, this time hitting 97 degrees on a day when the previous record was 93.
The airport also tied a temperature record the day before, with a high of 98 on Wednesday. The previous record had been set in 1975.
"Ninety-eight degrees for May, that's crazy," said 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Bobby Deskins. "That's one degree from the warmest we've ever measured at Tampa International Airport — ever."...
TAMPA — Sometimes, as Kareem Elgendi stared down a tough SAT question, a tendril of anxiety wound its way into his head.
If I don't get the score I need, will I be able to pay for college?
He had lugged home SAT books his sophomore year at Blake High School, already practicing, hoping to win Florida's Bright Futures scholarship.
With a score of 1290, he would qualify for Bright Futures' top tier, securing about $3,090 a year — a big dent in the $6,000 tuition and fees that Florida's public universities charge on average. He took the SAT once, twice, three times, with mounting fear....
Florida is hot.
This may sound obvious, but it's never been more true. Well, at least for the past 122 years.
Florida recorded its hottest average temperatures for the first four months of the year since 1895, according to a climate report by the National Centers for Environmental Information....
05/15/17 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — The first time John O'Hearn took a job at the then-St. Petersburg Times, it didn't go so well.
"He started as a punk teenager," said his daughter, Shannon O'Hearn Downing. "He even got fired when he was young because he went to the beach instead of showing up for work."
The second time, he quickly left to finish his bachelor's degree.
The third time, the job stuck — for more than three decades. The punk teen put on a suit and tie and rose through the ranks of the Times' business side, eventually becoming its general manager and executive vice president....
ST. PETERSBURG — A 34-year-old father of six was shot and killed Monday evening in St. Petersburg's Jordan Park neighborhood, police said.
Timothy K. Davis Jr. was pronounced dead after responding officers attempted CPR in the minutes after the 6:30 p.m. shooting. His body remained in the street within the public housing complex near 11th Avenue S and 23rd Street late Monday while police collected evidence....
Longtime Floridians know the drill. Each year, as the heat and humidity build, forecasters begin their warnings: Hurricane season is upon us, and you'd better take it seriously.
Sure, it was easy to tune out the advice when, year after year, storms skirted past Florida. The Tampa Bay area hasn't had a direct strike in almost a century.
Let the 2016 storm season serve as a warning: Destructive hurricanes lashed both Florida coasts. The bay area also endured flooding, especially in Pasco County....
As plans for a new 550-bed housing complex take shape, USF St. Petersburg hopes to increase its residential foothold downtown and evolve beyond its “commuter campus” image.
After hours of deliberation, a university committee settled on a proposal from EdR, favoring the developer’s design. At this point, all plans for the lot at Fifth Avenue S and Third Street S are pending trustees’ approval....
05/08/17 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — An outraged USF "Bull Nation" could not stop the Legislature from passing a bill Monday that makes it harder for the school to become the state's third "preeminent" university and reap many millions of new dollars each year.
In a one-day extra session, lawmakers voted to require 60 percent of a university's students to graduate in four years as a condition of preeminence....
ST. PETERSBURG — As St. Petersburg College trustees prepare to interview candidates for SPC president, the board has quickly grown from three to five members.
On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott re-appointed Bridgette Bello to the board of trustees, where she previously served from 2013 to 2015.
Bello, 46, of Seminole is the president and first female publisher of the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Her appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate....
ST. PETERSBURG — Now that the pool of potential St. Petersburg College presidents has been narrowed to five, the college’s board of trustees will bring each finalist to campus for interviews.
The board’s four members plan to make their final decision at a special meeting on June 9....
USFsp honors Pulitzer-winning alum
An alumnus of the journalism program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg was named a Pulitzer Prize winner in Investigative Reporting this month. Eric Eyre, who got his master's degree in mass communication at USFSP in 1998, won journalism's top award for his work chronicling the opioid drug crisis and overdose deaths in West Virginia. His report in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, where he is a statehouse reporter, found that drug wholesalers pumped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into the state in just six years, while more than 1,700 West Virginians overdosed and died. "It's really a testament to years of grinding it out as a beat reporter doing investigative projects on the side over the course of 25-plus years," Eyre said in a university news release. He thanked his USFSP professors for shaping his reporting. Department founder Mike Killenberg said Eyre's work has long been excellent. "When he applied to our program, I was very impressed by his interest in stories that impact ordinary people," Killenberg said. "I've been following his career, and I'm not surprised that he's reached the highest level of accomplishment for a journalist." Eyre, 51, is also a former St. Petersburg Times intern and an Ethics Fellow at the Poynter Institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times....
Analyst, writer Jeffrey Toobin to speak at USF
To shed light on the secret workings of the U.S. Supreme Court and discuss how the Trump administration could shape its future, legal expert and longtime New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin will deliver a free, public lecture on April 27, hosted by the University of South Florida. Toobin, also the senior legal analyst for CNN, has covered some of the biggest legal battles in the modern era, including the nominations of four justices and the trials of Michael Jackson and George Zimmerman. A best-selling author and former assistant U.S. attorney, he will bring a deep knowledge of the field to his talk at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Join him at 7:30 p.m. in Ferguson Hall. No tickets necessary. ...