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    Tampa Bay briefs

    By Times staff reports

    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published June 1, 2001

    Failed mayor candidate takes job at law firm

    TAMPA -- Kathleen Ford, a former St. Petersburg City Council member and mayoral candidate, has taken a job with a Tampa law firm.

    Ford, who lost to Rick Baker in March, has been hired by the personal injury law firm Ogden & Sullivan to work in its new office at Cleveland Street and Armenia Avenue, the former site of Jimmy Mac's restaurant.

    "Obviously, with my medical background, this is a good fit," said Ford, was a nurse. Ford, who served four years on the council, got her law degree from Houston's South Texas College of Law.

    Man sought in slaying found in Memphis, Tenn.

    TAMPA -- A man wanted for questioning in the death of a Riverview woman and the beating of her brother has been arrested on an unrelated warrant.

    Hillsborough sheriff's deputies said a federal task force captured 42-year-old William Kenneth Taylor, who has no known address, at 11 p.m. Tuesday at a motel in Memphis, Tenn.

    The nature of the warrant was not clear, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

    Investigators said Taylor was the last person to see Sandra Kushmer, 43, who was found dead Saturday in her mother's home in the Riverview area. Kushmer's mother also discovered her son, 40-year-old William Maddox, wounded.

    Maddox was in town visiting his family from California. Investigators think Maddox and his older sister, Kushmer, drove to Harry's Bar on U.S. 41 in Maddox's rental car Friday night.

    Detectives think Kushmer and Maddox left the bar with Taylor. A Hillsborough sheriff's investigator traveled to Memphis to question Taylor about the incident, Carter said.

    Officer loses fight to work south of Central Avenue

    ST. PETERSBURG -- A St. Petersburg police officer will not be not allowed to work in neighborhoods where racial disturbances erupted after he fatally shot a black teen 4 1/2 years ago.

    An arbitrator decided St. Petersburg's police chief has the authority to bar James Knight from working south of Central Avenue.

    Knight, a patrol officer in north St. Petersburg, is on the city's SWAT team but is barred from answering SWAT calls south of Central. He also is not assigned off-duty jobs in those neighborhoods.

    Police administrators say they keep Knight away from these areas to protect him and the community. Knight took his case to arbitration.

    At a February hearing, police Chief Goliath Davis III said he had an obligation to maintain peace and harmony in the city, and that it would be unsafe to let Knight to work in black neighborhoods in the wake of the 1996 disturbances.

    Knight shot and killed 18-year-old TyRon Lewis during a traffic stop, sparking two nights of violence. Knight was suspended for two months, but an arbitrator later rescinded the punishment.

    City picks weekend to adjust vision of its future

    ST. PETERSBURG -- A weekend of dreaming about what St. Petersburg could become begins tonight, and all the residents of the city are invited. The kickoff event for the Vision 2020 weekend will last from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Coliseum at 535 Fourth Avenue N.

    The weekend follows a series of educational lectures about the city and its history.

    "For many years we've recognized that the zoning ordinances and regulations are not going to get us to where we want to go," said urban design and historic preservation manager Bob Jeffrey.

    The regulations were based on expectations of population growth that never happened. Officials will use residents' ideas to suggest changes to the city's comprehensive plan and to its zoning ordinances.

    Small group sessions will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and an open house will follow Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday sessions will be at the University of South Florida activity center at Sixth Avenue S and Second Street.

    More information is at

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