News And Events

News & Notices

September 18, 2014 - 11:00am

Tampa Water Department Funds K-12 Classroom Grants

TAMPA, FL (September 18, 2014) – For the fifth consecutive year, the City of Tampa Water Department is making $5,000 available to Hillsborough County teachers who want to feature classroom project lessons that include water conservation and awareness.

 “Our children have a critical role in environmental stewardship”, said Brad Baird, Tampa Water Department Director. “We have a responsibility to prepare our children for the time when they will be managing our water resources to the benefit of our communities, our natural environment, and future generations.”

 The Classroom Grants funded by the Water Department range from $250 to $1,000 per project. The Hillsborough Education Foundation administers the funds, which are available to teachers in grades K-12 whose schools are served by both the Tampa Water Department and the Hillsborough Education Foundation.

 The online grant application period runs through October 17, 2014. Applications, eligible schools, and project criteria can be found on the Hillsborough Education website at Apply for a Classroom Grant | Hillsborough Education Foundation. Classroom grant information as well as other environmental education resources can be found on TampaGov.net at Conservation For Educators | City of Tampa.

 For more information, contact the Hillsborough Education Foundation at (813) 574-0273, or the Tampa Water Department at (813) 274-8121 option #5.

September 18, 2014 - 10:30am

Sexual Battery Suspect Arrested

WHEN: 9/17/2014, 11:30 p.m.

WHERE: Falkenburg Road Jail

SUSPECT: Johnny Robert Williams, 7/8/1984, B/M, 2926 North Tampa Street

CHARGES: Sexual Battery, Robbery and Dealing in Stolen Property

DETAILS: A citizen notified police when she found a wallet in her yard. The wallet belonged to Johnny Williams. A Tampa Police civilian Community Service Officer (CSO) was reviewing found property reports and discovered the report with Johnny Williams’ found wallet. Acting on a hunch, the CSO forwarded the information on the found wallet to detectives investigating the sexual battery and home invasion. Williams had warrants for his arrest on unrelated drug charges. Detectives located him and arrested him for those outstanding warrants while they continued their investigation into the sexual battery and home invasion. Last night, the suspect admitted to the sexual battery. The investigation into the other robbery continues.

Previous Release
Police Searching for a Man Suspected of Committing Robbery and Sexual Battery
Composite sketch is for the robbery suspect. Due to the similarity in the descriptions, we are working to determine if these two cases are related.

LOCATION: Area of I275 and Columbus Drive

1st Case:
WHEN: 9/7/2014 at 4:30 a.m.

WHERE: 2707 13th Street North, Apartment A, Tampa
SUSPECT: black male, 25-30, 5’8 – 5’11, 190lbs, average build, dark skin, short black hair, last seen wearing a baggie white T shirt, Baggie black athletic shorts

DETAILS: The suspect entered the residence through the unlocked front door with two of the victims inside. He pointed a gun and demanded money. Two additional victims entered the home and the suspect turned and pointed the gun to them. He took money and fled.

2nd Case
WHEN: 9/9/14, 7:52 a.m.
LOCATION: East Columbus Drive and I-275
VICTIM: white female in her 20s
SUSPECT: black male, 25-28, 5’8” – 5’11”, medium to dark skin, medium build, black bandana, dark shirt and jeans.
DETAILS: The armed suspect forced his way into the victim’s home, bound the victim’s hands and committed a sexual assault. The suspect fled the home and the victim was able to bang on her wall to get her neighbor’s attention. The neighbor called police.
Detectives are working on leads in the case, but anyone with information is asked to contact Tampa Police at 813-231-6130 or Crime Stoppers.

September 12, 2014 - 3:00pm

Woman Arrested for Child Neglect

SUSPECT: Ruby Lee Brown, 11/9/1947, B/F, 2310 East 11th Street, Tampa

CHARGES: Child neglect VICTIM: 7-year-old, B/M

DETAILS: Yesterday afternoon (9/11/14) Crime Stoppers received an anonymous tip with information about a child with burns at Tampa General Hospital. The caller indicated a crime had occurred. An officer was dispatched to the hospital and learned that on 9/6/14 the victim suffered serious burns after another child lit him on fire. The suspect, who was responsible for his care, did not take the child to the hospital. Five days after the burn, the child's school called to see why he had missed so many days. School employees responded to the residence and the child was taken to a hospital. DCF responded to the hospital and took custody of the victim, who will be hospitalized for an undetermined amount of time. The child has serious burns on his torso. The child was initially taken to another hospital yesterday and he was transferred to Tampa General in the afternoon.

September 12, 2014 - 1:15pm

Free, Fall Movies in the Park Begins October 4

The City of Tampa Parks & Recreation and Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc. (FOTR) have teamed together and are pleased to announce a series of free, family-fun films at Water Works Park this fall.     

What:              Screen on the Green presented by Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
Where:            Water Works Park, 1710 N. Highland Avenue
When:              Saturday, October 4, 11, 18 & 25, 2014
Start Times:   Movies start at 7:30 p.m., seating begins at 6 p.m.
Admission:     Free!

What's Playing?                                         

October 4:       "Muppets Most Wanted", PG
October 11      “Despicable Me2”, PG
October 18      “Avengers”, PG-13
October 25      “The Lego Movie”, PG

Come on out and join us in watching some good family entertainment on these cool fall nights in an open-air environment, overlooking the Hillsborough River. Cool down, cozy-up and sink in.  Admission is free!  The City of Tampa’s Teens Leading Change (TLC) will be selling popcorn, candy and drinks to raise funds for scholarships. Just Desserts Ice Cream truck and a food truck will also be on site each.

Like us on Facebook at Events in Downtown Tampa for weather updates and announcements.  For more information and Frequently Asked Questions, visit the Screen on the Green web page.

Screen on the Green is a community event produced by the City of Tampa Parks & Recreation Department and the Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc., presented Grow Financial Credit Union, and sponsored by The Tampa Tribune, Magic 94.9 FM, and News Channel 8.

September 9, 2014 - 10:15am

Master Concept Plan for Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park Unveiled - A public park where the community can come together

Today, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and members of the design team, led by Denver-based Civitas, Inc., presented the master concept plan Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in the West River area.

The new park design is a product of community planning sessions and conversations with more than 350 residents and area stakeholders interested in the park’s future. Together with the design team, the conceptual master plan represents their collective vision for the nearly-25 acre park.

“Riverfront Park is underutilized and undervalued given its size and potential in the heart of our urban core. We’re going to change that, and by building community and investing in this park, together, we are building new opportunities in West River area,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Since May, we’ve worked with the surrounding community and key stakeholders to engage, listen, and create a collaborative vision that will transform this park.”

In a series of public meetings and briefings, residents shared their desires and needs for greater safety and accessibility, public access to the Hillsborough River, fitness trails, picnic site, great lawn for activities and references to community history.

Based on that feedback, the new design creates a public space where the community can come together, that is welcome and accessible to everyone day or night, where history is celebrated, as well as a place for families to relax and have fun.

The new design features the following amenities:

  • Grading the 25 acres of park space to draw visitors and users down to the Hillsborough River improving sight lines, visibility and safety.
  • Approximately 2 acres of park space is gained by shifting Laurel St. North, allowing the existing multi-use field to become regulation size with added seating.
  • A 0.5 mile loop trail with outdoor fitness stations as well as a new, regulation-size multi-use field with seating, renovated tennis courts, new sand volleyball courts, and new basketball courts.
  • Large splash pad similar in size to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park’s Louvre Fountain. 
  • Play area with activity areas for children of different ages.
  • Upper lawn and performance pavilion to showcase the performing arts.
  • Large great lawn for special events and festivals.
  • History walk celebrating Phillips Field, Roberts City, and the surrounding neighborhood.
  • River center and plaza, which will feature approximately 6,750 sq. feet of community space for activities and programming as well as a public boat house for canoe, kayak, paddle board, dragon boats and crew boats below with 9,500 sq. feet of boat storage and rental space. 
  • Extension of the West River trail through the park, providing a continuous path from Bayshore Boulevard through Julian B. Lane Park to Columbus Drive. 
  • Improved public access to the Hillsborough River with a fishing area, paddle learning cove created by a floating boat dock, as well as public boat docks.
  • Maintaining a portion of the existing oak allee and nearly 60% of the existing tree canopy.
  • Additional parking to meet anticipated increased user demand for the park.

Civitas will move forward on the project, creating detailed design and engineering schematics. An exact cost estimate will not be determined until the schematics are complete.

Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park was identified in the InVision Tampa Center City Plan as well as the subsequent West River Master Plan as a public space with untapped potential.

To download renderings of the park design, please visit use this dropbox link.

September 8, 2014 - 2:30pm

Users' Poor 'Internet Hygiene' Leads to Security Breaches

Are there more Internet bad guys out there these days? Sure, but experts say that unwise user practices pose a bigger risk to data security.

The reason, according to security analysts, is a massive gap between the way consumers and employees perceive the Internet, and its actual use in today’s world. Most of us view the web as a useful communications medium, similar to the TV airwaves.

But if you talk to law-enforcement pros, you’ll get a darker take: They see the Internet as a
hostile environment, and one that thus far is nearly impossible to control.

As evidence, consider this: Prosecution rates for the FBI in cyberspace are less
than 2%, yet it's the No. 1 criminal priority for that agency.

Bad habits
Here’s a partial list of the poor-hygiene practices that lead to breaches. How many of these are you guilty of?

  • Failing to update software with the latest security patches.
  • Downloading unsafe software programs, such as screensavers and games, that are famous for harboring malware. Also, installing unsafe apps on smartphones and tablets.
  • Creating weak passwords, using those passwords across different accounts, writing them down, and sharing them with family members or coworkers.
  • Creating blogs with such tools as Wordpress or Joomla, then neglecting those blogs (which opens them up to savvy hackers).
  • Clicking on suspicious links and, in general, falling for phishing scams. Remember, today’s highly targeted spearphishing campaigns can be very persuasive, and are often designed to infiltrate a corporate network and steal sensitive data over a long period of time.

NewsBytes

Worst Breach Ever: 1.2 Billion Credentials Hacked
In recent months, a Russian cyber-gang has breached over 420,000 websites to pilfer more than 1.2 billion credentials, according to security analysts. It is reportedly the largest data breach known to date. The gang amassed over 4.5 billion records, 1.2 billion of which appear to be unique and tied to more than half a billion email addresses. The cyber-gang, dubbed CyberVor (“vor" is Russian for “thief”), used botnets to scan hundreds of thousands of websites for known vulnerabilities. Companies both large and small were targeted.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

51% of Consumers Share Passwords
You have to scratch your head sometimes at consumers’ behavior. In a recent study, while 52% of respondents said security was a top priority when choosing a mobile device, 51% admitted they are putting their personal data at risk by sharing usernames and passwords with friends, family, and colleagues. The survey of 2,000 consumers also questioned whether those passwords are strong enough to protect people’s applications and the data they hold. Half the respondents said they remember their passwords rather than writing them down or using password-management solutions. To experts, this indicates people are relying on easy-to-remember combinations and using the same password across multiple sites.

One Email from an ID Thief Wipes $300M from a Company’s Value
If you think warnings about the perils of the digital age are overblown, here’s a case to consider: recently, a single email wiped $300 million off the value of an Australian mining company. A self-styled “environmental activist” who was displeased by the company created an authentic looking email address, used identity fraud to impersonate the business’s press officer, and sent out a bogus press release that suggested the company faced severe financial difficulties. The result? In the next day’s trading on the Australian stock market, the publicly held company saw its valuation fall by an astonishing $300 million.

September 5, 2014 - 2:15pm

Tampa Police Searching for Armed Bank Robber

 

Video surveillance footage of the suspect during the robbery is available on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/xWUYs-q729o

 

DATE/TIME:            September 4, 2014 at 2:32 p.m.  

LOCATION:             Florida Capital Bank, 4404 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa

SUSPECT DESCRIPTION:           Black male, between 5’8”-5’10”, last seen wearing: a red Jordan Bulls jacket, black hat, black bandana, purple/black shorts and armed with a handgun.               

DETAILS:

Tampa Police detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying an armed suspect who robbed a Florida Capital Bank on September 4, 2014.  Shortly after 2:30 p.m., the suspect walked into the bank with a gun.  While demanding money, he fired the gun into the ceiling and ordered the employees on the ground.  He approached a teller and yelled at the employee to give him money from the cash drawer.  The teller was unable to open the drawer, forcing the suspect to leave the business without any money.  The suspect fled the area undetected and detectives are still working to identify and locate him at this time.

No one was injured during the robbery.

Anyone with information about this armed robbery is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS(8477) or text "CSTB plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).  Anonymous tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 in cash.

Janelle McGregor
TPD PIO

September 4, 2014 - 11:15am

Tampa Police Homicide Detectives Charge Suspect in Sugar Shack Murder

ARREST DATE/TIME:       September 4, 2014 at 7:34 a.m. 

ARREST LOCATION:         3730 Mistwood Drive, Tampa    

SUSPECT:             Calvin Lewis, DOB: 2/2/1964,  B/M, 3730 Mistwood Drive, Tampa         

VICTIM:                Rodrick Randale Alexander, 10/14/1981, B/M, Tampa

DETAILS:

Members of the Tampa Police Department's Fugitive Apprehension Unit coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force to arrest Calvin Lewis on a warrant for first-degree murder.  Police officers responded to the Sugar Shack, located at 5110 North 40th Street, at 1:38 a.m. on July 14 to investigate a shots fired' call outside of the club.  When officers arrived on scene they were notified that Rodrick Alexander was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he later died as a result of a gunshot wound. 

During the investigation, TPD homicide detectives determined that the shooting was related to a prior incident that occurred inside the club.  Detectives identified Lewis as a suspect in the Alexander's death and they obtained a warrant for his arrest on September 3rd.  The task force started conducting surveillance on Lewis' residence at 3730 Mistwood Drive immediately after the warrant was issued.  Lewis was located and taken into custody outside of the home. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for first-degree murder.

Janelle McGregor
TPD PIO

September 3, 2014 - 11:15am

This Month on CTTV's Spotlight Tampa

This month on Spotlight Tampa, kids are flocking to a cool new location along the Tampa Riverwalk – Waterworks Park.  The new design for the renovation of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park is getting rave reviews.  We learn about the Tampa Mayor's Alliance Awards Luncheon and one Tampa hero who has fought to overcome his own physical challenges while standing up for his fellow man.  We learn the five things you need to know about the new Epicurean Hotel. Busch Gardens visitors are taking the big plunge, dropping 365 feet at 60 miles per hour, on Falcon’s Fury.  The TECO Line Streetcar System and the Gasparilla Music Festival have partnered to launch Streetcar Live.  The Hillsborough County Extension office has the inside scoop on what fertilizers are good for your lawn and won’t lead to harmful chemicals ending up in our waterways. Brownfield Redevelopment Programs are transforming communities all around the country, including our own. IKEA has created 500 construction jobs and 400 new in-store jobs. The Tampa Museum of Art is currently showing two exciting exhibits: “Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult and Daily Life” and “My Generation: Young Chinese Artists.”  Thanks to dedicated staff and volunteers at Tampa Bay Watch, vital sea grasses are moving to a new home to help keep the Bay healthy.   The Tampa Water Department is engaged in an ambitious downtown pipeline project.  And Tampa’s historic Roy Jenkins Pool has been repaired and is once again a prime destination for our community.

Replays on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7am, Sundays at 4:30 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm, Saturdays at 8pm, and Monday through Friday at 10pm.

CTTV is Verizon FiOS Channel 15 and Bright House Networks Channel 615.

September 2, 2014 - 8:30am

Audit Report 14-01, Consultants' Competitive Negotiation Act and Capital Construction, Released

The Internal Audit Department released their audit report of the Consultants's Competitive Negotiation Act and Capital Construction

The Florida Legislature passed the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA) as a qualifications-based public procurement method for acquisition of professional architectural, engineering, landscape architectural, surveying, and mapping services. Professional services procured by the City of Tampa, under the CCNA, are the responsibility of the Contract Administration Department.

CAD is made up of three divisions: Planning & Design, Contracts Management, and Construction Management. Planning and Design is responsible for the administration of design and technical contracts and provides architectural design and drafting for capital building improvement projects. Contracts Management is responsible for the bid and award of design, technical, and construction projects. Construction Management provides for the management and inspection of construction contracts and ensures contract terms are met.