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WEEKI WACHEE — A wildfire broke out in a wooded area of northwest Hernando County midday Monday, fire officials said.
The blaze grew to 36 acres near the Seville subdivision, prompting a large response by Hernando County Fire Rescue and the Florida Forest Service, before crews contained it. In all, two fire engines, three brush units, one water tanker, three tractors and a reconnaissance airplane were required.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also contributed equipment.
It was unclear what started the fire. No homes or businesses were ever in danger, fire rescue officials said.

Source: Tampa Bay News | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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You can now get to all your favorite spots in downtown St. Petersburg for free.

City launched free ride service in downtown St. Petersburg
Service is made possible through local sponsorships
To request a ride call (727) 512-4765

The ride service Florida Free Rides, which started in Clearwater five years ago, launched in downtown St. Petersburg this weekend.
The vehicles are all bright colored vans sponsored by local businesses. They run every day from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. and will drop you off anywhere in the downtown area for free, though travelers are encouraged to tip the driver.
All of the drivers are trained concierges.
“When you get in our vehicles our drivers are able to talk to you, give you suggestions of where to go, what to do,” David Kitzmiller, the St. Petersburg operations manager for Florida Free Rides, said. “Even some locals don’t know, there’s a great spot just down the block to go hang out at.”
St. Petersburg residents were pleasantly surprised to hear about the new service.

RELATED: STORIES ABOUT COMMUNITY

“It was neat,” Kathryn Tecler said. “A free ride is a pretty cool thing to have in downtown St. Pete. It was a nice surprise, too. I think it will be really useful.”
All the vans are registered and insured with the State of Florida and the City of St. Petersburg. All drivers are fingerprinted and are background checked by St. Petersburg Police.
To request a ride you can flag down an available van or call (727) 512-4765. Interested sponsors can contact David Kizmiller at (727) 755-3283.
Source: Bay News 9 | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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A father and his two children were killed in a fiery crash in Hillsborough County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The mother, who was also in the car, is listed in fair condition.

Father and two young children died early Sunday


Names: Ronald L. Green, II, 31, and Sariyah, 9, and Ronald L. Green III, 5


Mother Tiffany Lasha Young, 26, is listed in fair condition

The crash occurred at 2:26 a.m. on Interstate 75 at the Woodberry overpass in the Brandon area.
Witnesses told troopers that a vehicle traveling northbound on I-75 was speeding. The driver, identified as Ronald L. Green, II, 31, of Bartow, lost control and hit a guard rail, troopers said. The vehicle also hit a concrete wall and overturned, landing on the road below the overpass.
Green and Tiffany Lasha Young, 26, were ejected from the vehicle as hit Woodberry Road, according to troopers.
The vehicle then caught on fire.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue were called to the scene.  Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, but found Sariyah Green, 9, and Ronald L. Green, III, 5, dead inside the vehicle.
The 31-year-old Green died at the scene. Young was taken to Tampa General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The family had lived in Bartow. Neighbors describe them as loving, loyal and respectful.
“Everything they did was together, the two kids, they loved each other, they loved each other, it’s a tragedy,” neighbor Tyrone Cooper said.
Sunday afternoon, doctors said Young’s condition had improved to fair.
“It really saddened my heart because the mother is going to be without her children,” neighbor Lucinda Pressley said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Troopers say alcohol may be a factor, and that Green was traveling at a high speed.
Source: Bay News 9 | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies arrested a woman Thursday who was wanted in West Virginia in connection to a five-year-old investigation into her missing toddler.
Lena Lunsford, 34, had a warrant for her arrest on a charge of child abuse causing the death for her daughter, Aliayah Lunsford, who went missing in 2011. Lunsford was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County jail Thursday, and is awaiting a hearing to determine when she’ll be extradited to West Virginia, said Sgt. Spencer Gross.
Aliayah Lunsford was three when she was reported missing in September 2011 in Lewis County, West Virginia, according to the Exponent Telegram in Clarksville, West Virginia.
News of the toddler’s disappearance sparked a search throughout the state, the paper reported.
Lunsford was arrested about a month after Aliayah’s disappearance and pleaded guilty to federal charges of food stamp fraud. She was sentenced to eight months in prison plus a year of supervised release in 2012. She and her husband also lost custody of their six other children in 2012, the paper reported.
Lunsford had a St. Petersburg address according to an arrest report. No information was provided about how long she had been living in St. Petersburg.
Contact Times staff writer LaVendrick Smith at lsmith@tampabay.com. Follow @LaVendrickS

Source: Tampa Bay News | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has found an African-American man can’t sue Airbnb over alleged bias by one of the website’s hosts, because suits are banned by an arbitration agreement.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper ruled on Tuesday that plaintiff Gregory Selden is bound by the mandatory arbitration clause in the online user agreement, the New York Times reports.
Selden had signed up with Airbnb and created a user profile that included his photo. When he sought a rental from a host in Philadelphia, he was told the place was not available.
“Smelling a rat,” Cooper wrote in his opinion (PDF), “Selden created a second account under a pseudonym, with a photograph of a white person in the user profile, and contacted the same host about the same accommodation. This time, Selden claims, the host was only too happy to rent the residence.”
Selden’s suit against Airbnb claimed the company is liable under federal civil rights laws for discrimination by the hosts who use its service. Airbnb contested liability and pointed to the arbitration clause, which bans civil lawsuits and class actions.
Selden claimed he didn’t have adequate notice of the mandatory arbitration clause, the clause doesn’t apply to discrimination suits, and the clause is unconscionable. Cooper rejected those arguments.
“No matter one’s opinion of the widespread and controversial practice of requiring consumers to relinquish their fundamental right to a jury trial—and to forego class actions—as a condition of simply participating in today’s digital economy, the applicable law is clear,” Cooper wrote. “Mutual arbitration provisions in electronic contracts—so long as their existence is made reasonably known to consumers—are enforceable, in commercial disputes and discrimination cases alike.
“While that result might seem inequitable to some, this court is not the proper forum for policy objections to mandatory arbitration clauses in online adhesion contracts. Such objections should be taken up with the appropriate regulators or with Congress.”
Selden’s lawyer told the Times he plans to appeal.
Airbnb announced changes after Selden filed the lawsuit. It now asks its hosts to pledge not to discriminate and it encourages instant bookings that don’t involve host approval of the guest.

Source: ABA Journal | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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A lawyer in Kendall, Florida, was undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound after he was shot at his law office on Wednesday morning.
The lawyer, Larry Harshman, has a real-estate practice, the Miami Herald reports. The newspaper reports that Harshman was shot in the abdomen, while Local 10 reports he was shot multiple times. NBC Miami also has a story.
The suspect, identified as Fadel Jabado, is also suspected in the shooting deaths of two other people, identified in some media reports as Jabado’s wife and son. Police found the bodies in Jabado’s home while searching for Jabado.
Police appeared to be in a standoff with a man on Wednesday afternoon who was standing outside his vehicle, but it was unclear if the man was Jabado,News 10 reported. The suspect was later taken into custody, the TV station reported in an update on Wednesday evening.
Jabado had hired Harshman for the short sale of the home he owned with his wife in 2013, according to the Miami Herald.
Updated at 4:40 p.m. to indicate a suspect was taken into custody.

Source: ABA Journal | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Sunday morning when he lost control of his black Kawasaki and crashed on Bayshore Boulevard.
His female passenger was taken into surgery and remains in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital.
Neither the driver nor passenger has been identified by law enforcement as of Sunday evening.
According to the Tampa Police Department, the motorcycle was traveling southbound on Bayshore at around 2:30 a.m. when it hit the curb on the right shoulder near the corner of Willow Avenue.
Both the driver and passenger were ejected from the motorcycle, which came to rest near Bayshore and Watrous Avenue.
The driver was pronounced dead at Tampa General Hospital a little after 3 a.m.
Why the motorcycle lost control is not yet known.
The investigation is ongoing.

Source: Tampa Bay News | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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A 3-year-old child injured Sunday when a television toppled over remains at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

Child injured as TV topples over 
Accident happened at Home on Homewood Lane in Hudson 
Child flown to All Children’s Hospital
Preventing TV/Furniture Tip Over deaths and injuries

According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened Sunday afternoon at a home on Homewood Lane in Hudson.
Officials have not released the child’s condition or any information on the accident.
However, the accident was serious enough for the child to be flown from Hudson to St. Petersburg.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,000 children were treated in emergency rooms between 2011 and 2013 for injuries involving televisions and furniture.
Source: Bay News 9 | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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The family of two teenagers killed in a crash on Friday said their faith is helping them get through their time of sorrow.

Jorge, Melanie Lara killed in crash Friday on their way to school
Silvio Lara, teens’ father, said crash “was in God’s plan”
To help the Lara family with funeral expenses, visit:  https://www.gofundme.com/lara-family-2wgsc7m4

Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Jorge Lara was driving to school with his sister Melanie when a pickup truck hit them. They believe Jorge didn’t see the truck as he attempted to cross US Highway 27, close to their home on the outskirts of Frostproof.
Silvio Lara, the father of the teens, said the family is Seventh-Day Adventist. Although he and his wife are in pain, he has faith the crash was in God’s plan.
“We think this is something divine, something of God,” said Lara in Spanish. “It is painful, but we know God is in control and he is in charge of everything and we see God working in this moment and in our lives.”
Lara and his wife are from Mexico but he said Melanie and Jorge were born in the United States, and they loved both countries. He said they were good kids and lived good lives in the time they were here.
RELATED: Neighbor calls teen siblings killed in Frostproof crash ‘good kids’
He described Jorge as playful, but also very helpful. While Jorge hadn’t revealed to the couple what he wanted to do with his life besides work and study to help them with the bills, he said Melanie had it all planned out.
“She was sweet, caring,” said Lara. “She wanted to be a doctor, a pediatrician because she loved children.”
Lara was grateful his son joined him working this summer. He said Jorge drove him to work everyday and he thought he was a good driver, which makes it difficult for him to understand why the crash happened.
The morning of the crash, Lara said he was in the shower when his wife received a text that there was a crash on their street. He said his wife called their son, and he didn’t answer. His wife’s intuition told them it was their children.
He said they both went outside, saw the crash and couldn’t believe it.
“I was startled, I was nervous, I screamed,” said Lara.
Lara expressed gratitude to the school psychologists, who helped the couple’s youngest daughter cope with what happened. He said she is being strong for both of them.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for both funerals. To make a donation, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/lara-family-2wgsc7m4. Source: Bay News 9 | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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 A woman was killed and a deputy injured Saturday morning in a hit-and-run crash on State Road 60 in Polk County, according to the sheriff’s office

Polk Deputy stopped to help a woman who had crashed
Both were standing in the grassy median when another vehicle hit them
The woman was killed; the deputy has a broken pelvis

Jessica Enchautegui-Otero, 33, of Tampa, died at the scene.
The crash occurred on SR 60 in Lake Wales. Investigators believe it happened between 12:38 a .m. and 12:45 a.m. — that’s the timeframe for when Deputy Adam Pennell, 25, made his last call to dispatch and when paramedics arrived.
“When EMS arrived they found deputy Pennell and Jessica unconscious with multiple injuries. It was quite obvious from the very beginning they had been struck by a vehicle,” said Carrie Horstman, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
According to investigators, Deputy Pennell, was heading westbound near Tiger Lake Road and Sam Keen Road, when he saw a woman standing in the median.
Pennell stopped his patrol car in the inside lane of SR 60 and activated his emergency lights.
After talking with the woman, Enchautegui-Otero, he learned she had struck a tree. Enchautegui-Otero reportedly told Pennell that she walked near the roadway to flag for help. She had injuries, deputies said, and her vehicle was against a tree.
As Pennell called EMS to the scene to treat Enchautegui-Otero, an unknown vehicle entered the median and hit both of them before fleeing the scene. Enchautegui-Otero was taken to Lake Wales Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Pennell suffered a broken pelvis and was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center with serious injuries.
“He’s got multiple broken bones that will require surgery. That will happen sometime later this week. He’s stable but in very serious condition,” Horstman said.
His wife, Christin Pennell, released a statement through the sheriff’s office Saturday morning:
“Our prayers are with the family of Jessica Enchautegui-Otero,” she said, “and we remain hopeful that with the public’s help we will find the person responsible for killing her and severely injuring Adam. We appreciate everyone’s support while Adam faces upcoming surgery for his injuries, and we ask for your privacy and your prayers. More than anything we hope the suspect is found. Please join us in keeping Jessica’s family and loved ones in your prayers during this extremely difficult time.”
Christin is also a deputy at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The pair were married in March 2016.
“They’re very much in love,” said Hortsman.T”hey were just married. They have their whole lives ahead of them. Hopefully he’ll be able to recover and continue his career.”
The eastbound and westbound lanes of SR 60 between Sam Keen Road and Tiger Lake Road were closed while deputies investigated the crash.

SR 60 has since reopened.
At this time, PCSO says it doesn’t have any information about the suspect’s vehicle, except it will have front-end damage.
“We are confident that with the community’s help, we will identify and arrest the coward who ran over a deputy and a young woman and left them both for dead, and then fled the scene,” Sheriff Grady Judd wrote in a statement. “We will work day and night until this case is solved. And to the coward who did this – we advise you to turn yourself in, sooner rather than later.”
Horstman said the whoever hit them is facing some serious charges.
“ We already know that they were violating the law by running off the roadway, driving recklessly. That’s vehicular manslaughter at the very least. Leaving the scene of a crash with death, that’s a felony.”
If anyone has information about this crash, they are urged to contact the PCSO at (863) 298-6200 or Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (0344).
Jessica Enchautegui-Otero’s family has set up a GoFundMe page in her memory. To donate funds to help with her funeral expenses, visit: gofundme.com/in-memory-of-queen-jessica?ssid=786874229&pos=2. Source: Bay News 9 | Martinez Law Tampa | Tampa Personal Injury | Tampa Estate Planning | Tampa Family Law
This blog may include general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Contact Martinez Law Tampa for advice on specific legal issues problems.
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