Motorcyclist falls from overpass
A 51-year old Largo man fell to his death when he was ejected from his motorcycle and launched from an Interstate-275 overpass.
The Florida Highway Patrol identified Verlon John McDonald as the motorcyclist. McDonald was driving southbound on the interstate just before 3 a.m. when he lost control of the motorcycle. He was propelled onto the street below, Lois Avenue, after hitting the guardrail.
Troopers do not know why McDonald lost control and said that alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
Port Richey Mayor arrested
Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad was arrested after shooting at deputies, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 4:40 a.m., SWAT members attempted to serve a search warrant and were met with gunfire from inside the home. Massad fired two shots at deputies, who did not return fire.
Investigators had received a tip that Massad was practicing medicine, although his medical license was relinquished in 1992.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco described the mayor as a “known drug user” and “drug dealer” in the press conference.
According to Nocco, Massad faces multiple counts of attempted homicide against law enforcement agents and charges for practicing medicine without a license.
He had been previously arrested for domestic battery in August 2018.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s Twitter hacked
This morning Mayor @BobBuckhorn's Twitter account was hacked. @TampaPD began investigating the breach immediately. NO credible threats exist & the account was recovered. We will continue working with law enforcement to identify the hacker & hold them accountable.
— City of Tampa (@CityofTampa) February 21, 2019
Tampa police are investigating a series of threats made after Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s Twitter account was hacked.
The hacker posted an array offensive tweets, including a bomb threat against Tampa International Airport. The airport responded in a tweet that the threats were not credible.
Airport Police are aware of hackers who made threats against the airport via the Tampa mayor’s twitter account. Police do not believe the threats are credible but are taking appropriate action to ensure the safety of TPA. Operations for passengers are normal at this time.
— Tampa Intl Airport ✈️ (@FlyTPA) February 21, 2019
Other tweets attacked the City of Tampa staff and the Tampa VA office.
The posts have since been removed from the mayor’s account. Law enforcement and the mayor’s office are working together to investigate the attack.
DeSantis proposes importation of Canadian prescription drugs
Today, I announced my commitment to create a new prescription drug importation program that will offer access to FDA-approved prescription drugs that have been imported from Canada. This new program will allow these drugs to be sold to Floridians at a much lower cost.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 20, 2019
Governor Ron DeSantis proposed importing Canadian prescription drugs into Florida in order to lower drug costs.
The program, according to DeSantis, would cut health care costs in the state. DeSantis said that he received approval from the Trump administration and that a provision in the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act allows for the program’s development.
In 2018, Vermont became the first state in the U.S. to create a prescription-drug importation law.
Commissioners move forward with Bay-to-Bay Boulevard improvements
Hillsborough County Commissioners voted Tuesday to move forward with a plan to repave Bay-to-Bay Boulevard.
In a study conducted on the road’s condition, multiple recommendations were made, including reducing the four lanes to three lanes to allow for the addition of bicycle lanes on both sides.
The area has seen at least 17 crashes in the last year.
The parents group “Sidewalk Stompers” has put pressure on commissioners to make the road safer for students walking to school.
City officials have approved the repaving project but have not come to a conclusion on how many lanes it should be.
While no definite plans have been made, city officials said they are working on adding features to the area that will improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. Contractors may be in the area as early as next week, with the repaving process beginning after that.
Anchor: Aldo Puccini
Producer: Lou Maldonado
Director: Megan Ghillyer
Technical Director: Hikari Nitta
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Audio: Ingrid Gerard
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Faculty Advisor: Cathy Gugerty