PM Tampa Bay And Florida Headlines



The nearly day-long search for an armed fugitive ends peacefully. Citizens called 911 when they saw 30 year old Brandon Goggins emerge from a swamp off State Road 52 in the Shady Hills area of Pasco County. Goggins had vowed not to be taken alive but gave up when deputies arrived.

Hillsborough Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Garrett, arrested this morning for leaving the scene of a wrong way crash. Cops say Garrett was driving south in the northbound lanes of I-75 at the Hillsborough-Manatee line when he hit an oncoming truck. They say he abandoned his SUV and hid in a nearby ditch. No word if alcohol was involved.

Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Kreg Costa, facing 29 child sex-related charges including trying to lure a 16 year old girl for sex. Costa is suspended with pay while the investigation goes on.

Downtown Sarasota merchants, again trying to shoo away the homeless from their storefronts. They are urging customers to donate to local shelters instead of giving money directly to panhandlers. Posters and leaflets at all Main Street stores say money given to beggars just goes to drugs that could kill them.

Back to square one in the quest to ease Hillsborough County traffic congestion. Commissioners voted against putting a half cent sales tax question on the November ballot. It’s the third time commission has killed a plan to let voters decide on a tax hike for transportation improvements.

A 17 year old Oklahoma boy remains in critical condition after the hole he dug in the sand on Panama City Beach collapsed on him. Bay County Sheriff’s deputies passing by saw the teen’s feet sticking out of the sand and dug him out.

Florida standardized test results are out. As expected, the Florida Standards Assessment is tougher than the old FCAT. For example, only 50 percent of 10th graders passed the language test this year while 55 percent did under FCAT. And only 55 percent passed the algebra exam this year compared to 66 percent under the last FCAT.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rallies in Tampa tomorrow. On stage with him will be Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who just had several ethics complaints filed against her for ending a fraud investigation into Trump University after receiving a 25 thousand dollar donation from him.

It took 40 years and half a dozen mayors, but Tampa’s Riverwalk is finally complete. You can now walk 3 miles from Water Works Park in Tampa Heights to Channelside Bay Plaza. The 33 million dollar Riverwalk was first propsed by Mayor Bill Poe in 1975.

Orlando’s tallest and longest theme park roller coaster is now open. SeaWorld’s 200 foot tall Mako hits 73 miles an hour in some spots. Mako is SeaWorld’s fifth roller coaster.