Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

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Gareth Kelly

Gareth Kelly has 23 articles published.

Tampa strip club manager claims he was fired over owner’s racism

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In 2013, Michael Steven Schiele was working as general manager at a Tampa strip club owned by Southeast Showclubs LLC. During that time, Schiele, a 33-year-old Tampa resident and self-proclaimed disc jockey and comedian, alleges Southeast’s owner, Michael Tomkovich, 51, engaged in consistently racist behavior toward staff. Schiele claims Tomkovich instructed him to actively “thin the herd” of black employees, forcing him to apply different rules to black dancers than their white counterparts. Schiele refused. In another example, after Schiele…

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Former Red Rose Inn owner profits big, owes big on questionable vehicle transfers

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Louis Spiro made millions last month on the sale of Plant City’s iconic Red Rose Inn Hotel, netting him the kind of cash with which he can afford pretty much anything he wants. So why should the 63-year-old Pinellas Park resident allegedly owe over questionable vehicle transfers — for a relatively minuscule amount? In August 2015, Alex Lyon & Son Sales Managers loaned Automotive Fleet Enterprises $50,000 toward purchases of five Volvo trucks. The purchases by the Pinellas Park company were…

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Baby declared dead ‘self-resuscitates,’ parents accuse Bayfront of negligence

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In April 2012, 28-year-old Desiree Little went into labor at Bayfront Hospital. Complications forced Little to receive an emergency C-section for the birth of her son, T.J. Drake, named after Terrence Drake, the 27 -year-old father. The parents, both St. Petersburg residents, were not married, nor were they in a relationship. After numerous resuscitation attempts, doctors allegedly declared baby T.J. dead, just 10 minutes old and weighed seven pounds three ounces. Twelve minutes later, doctors heard a “gasp,” according to…

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Tampa’s Bisk Education takes on U.S. News & World Report over ‘ranking list’ agreements

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In 1971, Nathan Bisk founded Bisk Education, the Tampa-based organization that partners with universities and other higher learning programs and businesses providing them with the resources to help train and educate employees. In 2008, current President Michael Bisk, son of its founder, entered into an agreement with the well-known website U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News is best known for its ‘ranking lists’ detailing the best colleges, graduate schools, hospitals and doctors. The agreement was for Bisk to build…

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St. Pete slow to dredge dock-clogging silt, with water too shallow for boats

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Maryann Lynch is famous for naming her properties after Monopoly board properties. Now she is feeling high and dry. The 55-year-old St. Petersburg property tycoon resides in a 2,764 square foot waterfront home complete with a boat dock. However, silt from a city owned drainage installation flowing into the bay has rendered her dock all but useless. As a result, Lynch alleges it has become too shallow to launch her boat. Previously, she would simply lower the craft, fire it…

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City, county point fingers as sewage creates smelly problem for Tampa resident

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Sewage can be a real issue in St. Petersburg, as Tropical Storm Colin recently illustrated. A blocked pipe, where things get backed up, and people get messy. On the other side of Tampa Bay, this very same problem is making life difficult – and no doubt smelly – for one Tampa resident. Janice Albury, 53, owns and operates See Saw Junction, a Hillsborough County day care center located at 8720 N. 40th Street in Tampa. On four separate occasions between…

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Last-minute legal shuffling torpedoes Tarpon Springs land deal

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County agreed last year to sell several parcels of land in Tarpon Springs to a group called the Tarpon Land Trust. The patch of land is just west of the 64-unit Mango Circle Apartments, managed by the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority. The deal, worth $150,000, was to include an additional parcel (Lot 16, Block C) to be first obtained by Habitat, and then added with the original parcel before closing the deal. The bundle would…

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