SOCom exercise screams overhead

Published May 9, 2007


Those jets you might have seen streaking over the Tampa Bay area in recent days are part of a military exercise being sponsored by U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. It's part of a live-fire exercise involving Navy F-18 fighters, Air Force AWACS surveillance planes and Air Force F-16 fighters, among others.

While the jets are taking off from MacDill and occasionally shaking a few windows in Tampa, operations are being conducted at the Avon Park Air Ground Training Complex.

The aircraft taking part in the exercise, which began May 1 and ended on Tuesday, are based in California, Oklahoma, Vermont and Nevada.


Candidate withdraws from manager race

The City Council's first pick for a new city manager took himself out of contention Monday night after it was clear that at least two council members had questions about his employment history.

Now the council will negotiate with local applicant Jennene Norman-Vacha, who had received the second-highest vote count from council members last week.

Mitchell Bobowski, former general services director for the city of Seminole, was the council's first choice among three finalists.

But as council members considered a proposed contract Monday night, Mayor David Pugh expressed concern that all of Bobowski's work history had not been checked.


Funeral fund arranged for girl who drowned

A fund has been set up to pay funeral costs for the 10-year-old girl who drowned on Clearwater Beach Sunday night.

Donations can be made to "Kayria Pride's Funeral Expenses" at any bank branch of Washington Mutual.

Kayria likely was the victim of powerful currents that pulled her into deep water. Kayria, whom her relatives called "Niya, " went to the beach Sunday with two brothers and a cousin. Her mother, grandmother and two other family friends came with the children.


Job incentives draw two companies' eye

The governor has yet to sign off on $7.5-million in job incentives for Pasco County, and already two prospects have emerged for the money.

County Commissioner Michael Cox said Tuesday a large corporate office and a research-and-development business have been considering a location in Pasco.

Both companies, which he declined to name, are looking at the Suncoast Crossings business park at the Suncoast Parkway and State Road 54, where 1.2-million square feet of office space is possible.


Police chief loses a round in court

The city won its first round on Monday in the lawsuit filed against it by departing police Chief Ed Tincher.

In a Pinellas County courtroom, a judge rejected Tincher's effort to keep the city from following through with discipline against him for misconduct.

The small victory might have been the saving grace for city attorney David La Croix. A move by City Council member Richard Lewis to oust La Croix before the attorney's planned Sept. 30 departure failed on Monday night.

The council also settled its discipline case against former human resources director Ron Baker.