Times arts columnist resigns

By Times Staff
Published May 5, 2006

Gina Vivinetto, an arts columnist for tbt*/Tampa Bay Times , has resigned from the newspaper after acknowledging that she posted several contributions to a phony Web site that mocked Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms.

"Sadly, Gina's actions irreparably compromised her credibility as a journalist for our company," Times Executive Editor Neil Brown said.

Brown contacted Storms Thursday to inform her of the developments. Storms had not been aware of who made the specific postings that were found on a fake profile of Storms that appeared on Myspace.com. After Storms complained, the page was taken down.

Vivinetto had been with the Times since 1990, working as a copy clerk and then music critic. She joined the staff of tbt*, the Times' free tabloid newspaper, as an arts columnist in early 2005.

Kidnapping suspect arrested

ST. PETERSBURG - Police on Wednesday arrested Samsath Keo, the 25-year-old man who triggered an Amber Alert when he allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend in April.

After getting a tip, St. Petersburg police detectives working with the U.S. Marshal's Service and other federal officials arrested Keo at his family home at 3910 14th Ave. N. They found Keo hiding inside a laundry dryer. On April 15, Keo dragged his ex-girlfriend to his car by her hair, police said. He beat her with a gun while driving around and dropped her off in the parking lot of a drugstore near her home about 12 hours later.

Keo was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and armed kidnapping, among others.