How Tampa is honoring Parkland, TECO’s new sheep, and other Tampa news of the day

Remembering Parkland

Students hold a vigil for Parkland shooting victims. Photo via Fabrice Florin on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Governor Ron Desantis ordered flags be raised at half-staff throughout the state on Thursday.

Students and adults across the bay area bowed their heads in a moment of silence at 10:17 a.m., the same time the shooting started last year. The shooting, which took the lives of 17 students and staff, and left 17 others injured, sparked many social movements throughout the country.

Student survivors have used social media and public protests to promote their “Never Again” message. The student activists have also taken their experience as an opportunity to urge politicians for more gun control laws.

The remembrances continued throughout the day in Florida. A vigil was held midday Thursday at Williams Park in Saint Petersburg. Tampa City Hall also held a vigil Thursday at 7 p.m. 

Armed Robbery suspect at large

Surveillance footage of armed robbery suspect. Photo via Pinellas Sherriff on Youtube.

Pinellas County deputies are searching for a suspect who held a gas station clerk at gunpoint last Friday.

The surveillance video, which was released late in the night on Wednesday, shows the suspect walking in a Kwik Stop gas station in Safety Harbor. He then rushes to the counter with a gun drawn and demanded the cashier empty the register. The cashier was unharmed, and the suspect quickly ran out of the store. He made off with only a few hundred dollars. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. If you have any information you can contact the sheriff’s office at (727) 582-6200. 

TECO’s new furry helpers

TECO’s new animal helpers. Photo via TECO’s Facebook.

TECO Energy has some new employees on the payroll… Sheep! Yes, sheep. You can even see a live feed of these new helpers on TECO’s Facebook page. The company is renting several flocks to manage plant growth around the company’s solar arrays.

On their Twitter, TECO says these solar panel structures are currently used to power over 50,000 homes, and they hope the number will rise to over 100,000 by the year 2021.

Teco officials say the sheep are a cost-saving alternative to traditional mowing, and they are better for the environment.

This particular breed has hair instead of wool so they’re better suited for warm weather. Teco plans to keep the sheep indefinitely.

Posies pop-up flower shop

Posies pop-up flower shop truck. Photo via Hikari Nitta of Florida focus.

Flowers are a staple of valentine’s day. A local pop-up shop is making sure you have the chance to get the right bouquet.

Posies Flower Truck sells flowers out of a vintage blue Volkswagen. This innovative small business gives customers an opportunity to create their own bouquets by selecting whatever flowers they would like. They use stems from all over the world, so you’re sure to find some unique flowers for your personal bundle.

The eye-catching mobile shop started out in Saint Petersburg but has since made its way to Tampa. On Thursday evening the truck was parked at the hall on Franklin Street in Tampa, and customers had the chance to pick up some last minute Valentine’s Day gifts with a very unique twist. 

  • Anchor: Luis Maldonado
  • Director: Hikari Nitta
  • Technical Director: Megan Ghillyer
  • Graphics: Cole Martinez
  • Audio: Aldo Puccini
  • Prompter: Steve Gerardy
  • Floor Manager: Patrick Bluck
  • Camera Operator: Julia Bourdon
  • Teaching Assistant: Tatyana Bazard
  • Graduate Assistant: Kelsey Baker
  • Faculty Advisor: Cathy Gugerty