By Times staff writers
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 7, 2000
TAMPA -- The company that publishes Playboy sued a Tampa businesswoman in federal court Thursday, claiming her Web site was violating the magazine's trademarks and copyrights. Stacey Stevens, operator of Covergirl International, ran a Web site at www.playboysclub.com whose address was similar to the www.playboyclub.com address maintained by the magazine, the lawsuit states. It says Stevens' Web site displayed dozens of photographs protected by the magazine's copyright. Stevens denied she had violated any law. Stevens said she changed her Web address after learning of the magazine's objections and said she obtained releases from models.
TAMPA -- After 11 hours of deliberating, a jury found Nathan Gates guilty Thursday of second-degree murder for killing 28-year-old Donald Frier two years ago. Authorities said Frier had defended a younger boy who was being beaten outside a convenience store at Lake Avenue and State Road 574 in June 1998. Gates, 19, of Dover, and another man, Joshua Bailey, 20, waited for Frier to leave the store, then attacked him. Bailey was convicted of first-degree murder in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. Gates will be sentenced April 27.
NEW PORT RICHEY -- A day after a routine background check by the Times on Wednesday revealed a 1991 arrest for solicitation, New Port Richey mayoral candidate Ted Thomas said he intends to remain in the race. Thomas was accused of propositioning an undercover Tampa police officer. He pleaded no contest to the charge and served six months' probation in addition to paying a fine. "I just got such an outpouring of encouragement it was amazing," Thomas said.