PM Tampa Bay And Florida Headlines


The Florida Supreme Court says that the state’s largest utility can’t make customers pay for the costs associated with a natural gas drilling project in another state. The court ruled 6-1 on Thursday that state regulators were wrong to permit Florida Power & Light to charge customers for its investments in an Oklahoma natural gas drilling project that relies on fracking. FP&L has said the investment would help it stabilize fuel prices and save its customers money in the long haul. But Justice Ricky Polston, who wrote the opinion, said it was “overreach” by the Public Service Commission to give a green light to FP&L’s plans because state law limits what costs can be passed on to customers.  Justice Charles Canady was the lone dissent on the ruling.

A Ruskin electrician is in jail for attacking a customer in her own home. Cops say 49 year old Adam Millan pulled a knife on the woman and tried to rape her. But he dropped the knife and ended up severely beating her instead. Two people passing by outside heard the woman’s screams and stopped the attack.

The Tampa man who severely beat his 93 year old grandmother is captured. 54 year old James Mitchell was arrested today after his grandmother’s SUV was found abandoned in a local parking lot. Police say Mitchell is a known drug user.

Ocoee Police Officer Chris Bonner, ticketed after he blew through a red light at 90 miles an hour and slammed into a car that had the green light while he was chasing carjackers in his patrol car. Bonner and the other driver suffered broken bones. The driver he hit plans to sue.

Frontier Communications blames Verizon for service outages that affected thousands in Florida and two other states. Frontier says it got corrupt data when it took over Verizon, and their techs didn’t know how to fix it. Thousands of Florida Verizon customers complained to the state last month when they lost phone, internet, and TV service.

St. Petersburg-based Raymond James Financial will pay a record 17 million dollar fine for failing to look for criminal activity in its clients’ investment accounts. It’s not the first time RJ Financial has been fined for looking the other way. Banks and brokers are required to help fight money laundering by tax cheats, drug dealers, foreign governments, and terrorists.

The morning crash of a flatbed truck near the I-75 I-275 apex in Lutz kills the driver and injures a passenger. Dead is 43 year old Paul Braga. 21 year old Sonia Braga suffered minor injuries. Investigators are looking into why the driver lost control.

An Amtrak train hits and kills a person who was walking on tracks in Putnam County. No word why he or she didn’t hear the train coming. The train engineer tried to stop, but couldn’t.

We now know where Florida’s population is growing the most. The U.S. Census Bureau says Parkland, Cooper City, and Doral in south Florida; St. Cloud, Ocoee, and Winter Garden in central Florida; and Fort Myers and Bonita Springs in southwest Florida are where most people from other states are ending up.

Late game goals help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals last night. The Penguins now lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Friday at Amalie Arena.