PM Tampa Bay And Florida Headlines


Florida is apparently a national economic powerhouse now. The state’s gross domestic product, that’s the total of goods and service produced, was up 3.1 percent in the sunshine state last year over 2014. That ranks Florida 7th best in the nation. Experts say record tourism is largely to thank, but the Zika Virus and the Orlando nightclub massacre could hurt Florida’s GDP this year.

Hillsborough firefighters Clint Walker and Robert Ramirez, suing St. Petersburg police after being arrested, assaulted, and tasered by officers after being wrongly accused of a crime at the Del Mar bar downtown. Walker and Ramirez want criminal charges against the officers too.

Pinellas County lawmen have had it with kids who keep breaking the law. A new program has deputies stepping up visits to the homes of juvenile offenders on probation for felonies, to make sure they are there when they are supposed to be. Also, those 175 most habitual offenders must now wear ankle bracelets.

Investigators are reducing the size of the crime scene around Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, where last weekend’s terror attack left 49 people shot to death and 53 more wounded. Meantime, a family assistance center is open through Sunday at Camping World Stadium. It’s a one stop shop for victims’ relatives for everything from lodging, to spiritual help, to funeral services, to legal aid.

The search goes on for a Nebraska 2 year old snatched by an alligator at a beach inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando. But now, it’s a recovery mission instead of a rescue. Meantime, all beaches at Disney’s 26 resorts are closed. The gator got the boy as he waded in one foot of water. There are signs that say no swimming.

Two communications satellites are on their way to orbit after this morning’s successful Space X launch at Cape Canaveral. What was not a success was the retrieval of the Falcon 9 rocket used to boost those satellites into space. It was supposed to land on a ship in the Atlantic but was lost.