Friday, November 24, 2017


Tony Marrero

Tony Marrero

Tony Marrero covers breaking news and general assignment stories in Hillsborough County. A Baltimore native, he joined the Times in 2009.

Three people died when a wrong-way driver slammed head-on into another car Thanksgiving night on Interstate 75 just south of Gibsonton Drive. [Florida Highway Patrol]

Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

GIBSONTON — Last month, LaShay Waiters got down on one knee and proposed to Yvette Alexandre in front of a room packed with family and friends. She said yes.About two weeks ago, it was Alexandre’s turn to surprise him: She was pregnant. It...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Chief Anthony Holloway said he applied for the Tampa job because he might not have been kept on had Rick Baker been elected mayor of St. Petersburg. Rick Kriseman won, though, and Holloway said he's happy in his job. [Times file, 2014]

60 candidates, including St. Petersburg’s Holloway, sought Tampa police chief job

TAMPA — When Mayor Bob Buckhorn decided to conduct a national search for Tampa’s next police chief, he had a hunch the post would attract some of the nation’s top law enforcement talent.Buckhorn ultimately decided to halt the search earlier...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bob and Vivian Fiallo plan to host Thanksgiving at their home, unwilling to let the recent Seminole Heights killings drive them away. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Mountains beckon, but family sticks with beleaguered Seminole Heights for Thanksgiving this year

TAMPA — Before the killings began, Bob and Vivian Fiallo envisioned having Thanksgiving at their North Carolina mountain getaway.Most years, the couple spends the holiday at their tidy, brick-faced home on North Olney Avenue, in the heart of...
Published: 11/22/17
Roy Halladay posted this tweet on Oct. 13 after purchasing the ICON A5 he was flying at the time of his death. [From Twitter]

Training in sport plane comes under scrutiny following death of pitcher Halladay

TAMPA — Spirits were soaring last year when an airplane manufacturer named ICON opened its new flight center at Peter O. Knight Airport. At a grand opening on a clear November day, guests gawked at the company’s new A5 airplane and company...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17
Hundreds of students at Hillsborough high schools walk out to protest teacher wage freezes

Hundreds of students at Hillsborough high schools walk out to protest teacher wage freezes

TAMPA — A protest over teacher pay that began with some 15 students early this week mushroomed into much larger movement Wednesday as hundreds of Hillsborough County high school students from eight campuses briefly walked out of their...
Updated one month ago
Brian Dugan said he was surprised when Mayor Bob Buckhorn offered him the job of Tampa police chief. A national search to find applicants for the position was underway but has been called off. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

Mayor Buckhorn names Brian Dugan as Tampa’s new chief of police

TAMPA — Calling it a "battlefield promotion," Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Tuesday took the "interim" from Police Chief Brian Dugan’s title.Buckhorn called the 50-year-old department veteran and asked him a simple question."I said, ‘Are you...
Updated one month ago
About 15 Strawberry Crest High School students walked out of first period on Tuesday and gathered at the school's entrance to protest the Hillsborough School District's decision to deny teachers a scheduled pay raise.
 [TONY MARRERO/Times staff]

Strawberry Crest High students walk out of class to show support for teacher pay raises

DOVER — They came from advanced placement history and physics, math and English, chemistry and culinary arts. Facing certain punishment, about 15 students at Strawberry Crest High School walked out of first period classes on Tuesday to protest...
Updated one month ago
The memorial for fallen troopers at the Florida Highway Patrol's Troop C headquarters in Tampa was recently restored. The most recent name. No. 46, was engraved in June. Master Sgt. William Trampas Bishop was struck by a car while investigating a crash in Alachua County. [Florida Highway Patrol]

Restoration project gives new luster to Florida Highway Patrol memorial in Tampa

TAMPA — It was a call that Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins didn’t want to have to make.For months, Gaskins had overseen the restoration of a monument to fallen Patrol members that stands outside the Troop C headquarters on North...
Updated one month ago
Veronica Yvonne Johnson, 32, of Tampa was arrested Sunday and charged with kidnapping. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

Pair arrested after kidnapping homeless woman and demanding ransom from family, deputies say

TAMPA — A Tampa woman and a Brandon man were arrested Sunday after they kidnapped a homeless woman and demanded $1,500 from her family, authorities said.Veronica Yvonne Johnson, 32, and Shaun Lamont Forbes, 35, took 45-year-old Tammy Adams from...
Updated one month ago
Dabbs Postma, 44, of Tampa was arrested Friday after he admitted to producing child pornography and sexually assaulting a child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

Tampa man charged with producing, sending child pornography through Facebook

TAMPA — A tip from Facebook led to the arrest of a Tampa man accused of recording himself having sex with a young girl and using the social media site to send pornographic photos and videos, authorities said.Dabbs Postma, 44, was arrested...
Updated one month ago