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Phoebe Jonchuck

February trial date set for John Jonchuck, accused of throwing daughter off St. Pete bridge

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Pinellas County court set a trial date for John Jonchuck, arrested in 2015 for throwing his 5-year-old daughter off a St. Petersburg bridge. The Tampa Bay Times reported Monday that the trial will begin early February. In a pretrial hearing Monday, Jonchuck’s three public defenders listened as Pinellas County Circuit Judge Chris Helinger announced the proceedings would begin Feb. 5, 2018, roughly three years after Jonchuck inexplicably threw Phoebe Jonchuck off the Dick Misener Bridge, according to the Times.…

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Range of DCF oversight issues, bills to be debated by Florida lawmakers this Session

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

As legislators in Tallahassee prepare themselves to convene their 60-day Session Tuesday, expect an assortment of proposed bills to be hashed out over the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Hot-button subjects with bipartisan support in the Senate and House include improvements in mental health and substance abuse treatment programs, working toward identifying and reducing human trafficking, better child protection and a funding shift from the federal level, according to several officials who spoke with FloridaPolitics.com ahead of Session. The…

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Judge: Dad who dropped girl off bridge ready to stand trial

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Florida man accused of throwing his young daughter to her death off a Tampa Bay area bridge has been found competent to stand trial. Pinellas County Judge Joseph Bulone issued the ruling Friday. In January, state mental health doctors determined 27-year-old Jon Jonchuck was ready to stand trial. He was deemed incompetent in February 2015, the month after prosecutors say he dropped 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck into Tampa Bay. Prosecutors say they’re hoping for a fall trial. The Tampa Bay…

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Back from vacation with a special message to our readers

in Peter by

Walt Disney World is billed as “The Happiest Place on Earth” and any regular reader of this blog or any friend on Facebook knows how much I believe that. In fact, I believe that title extends to any place where Uncle Walt’s magic can be found, including the majestic Disney cruise ships. My family and I returned Saturday from aboard the Disney Fantasy and it was nothing less than what the ship’s name suggests — a genuine fantasy of happiness and joy. And yet,…

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DCF workers feeling “overwhelmed” and “defeated,” new report says

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

An internal review by the Department of Children and Families depicts a still dysfunctional agency, with workers feeling “unsupported,” “overwhelmed,” and “defeated.” The 133-page report, commissioned by DCF Secretary Mike Carroll, was released Thursday afternoon to FloridaPolitics.com in response to a public records request. It has been referred to informally in DCF circles as the “Sanford Report” after its lead author, retired lawyer Peggy Sanford.  “Secretary Carroll established a work group to ensure the best practices are in place to protect every child we serve,”…

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Top St. Pete headlines in 2015: No. 8 – Phoebe Jonchuck

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As 2015 winds down we took a look back at the year’s news in St. Pete and came up with a list of the top 10 most memorable happenings. Whether the news evoked outrage in a community, excitement or even heartbreak, these are the top headlines of 2015. No. 8 – Phoebe Jonchuck Barely a week into 2015, the city was shaken by one of its most tragic and emotional headlines. A 5-year-old girl was thrown from the Dick Misener…

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St. Pete City Council awards Eckerd College for its role in finding Phoebe Jonchuck’s tiny body

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council awarded the Eckerd College Search and Rescue team during its meeting Thursday for its involvement in recovering the body of 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck. The little girl was tragically thrown from the Dick Misener Bridge of the Sunshine Skyway early in the morning of January 8. Her father stopped at the top of the bridge and threw her over before an officer could approach his car for a traffic stop. The St. Pete Police Department immediately contacted…

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