Loading...

Follow ABC Action News on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Lightning star defenseman Victor Hedman is offering up his autograph for anyone helping out Metropolitan Ministries or the Humane Society Tampa Bay.

To receive an autograph, fans are asked to bring one of the following to the Florida Blue Center at 201 N. West Shore Blvd. in Tampa on Wednesday afternoon:

  • New, unwrapped sporting good or sports equipment
  • An unwrapped gift appropriate for a teenager
  • Pet food, treats or other enrichment items

The sports items and gifts will be donated to Metropolitan Ministries to be used in the charity's Toy Drive. The pet items will be given to the Humane Society Tampa Bay.

The autograph signing will occur from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., but Bolts fans lining up early at the Florida Blue Center can participate in the Human Society's pet adoption event. The shelter will have animals on hand for anyone looking to adopt a new furry friend for the holidays.

Metropolitan Ministries has an immediate need for gifts for tweens and teens. Click here for a complete list of items urgently needed and donation locations.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS, Fla. — A local clothes closet in Seminole Heights is asking for donations this holiday season.

The House of David Help Center says there are in need of new or gently used clothes, shoes and blankets.

Donations can be dropped off 707 E. Plymouth St in Tampa.

If you're unable to drop off your donations you can call 813-443-5303 for local pickup.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

TAMPA, Fla. — Volunteers are setting up for the “I Believe in Miracles” banquet for the homeless. Paulette Rolle-Alesnik puts together the event every year. 

The less fortunate are invited to Sunday’s event for a free hot meal, haircuts, makeovers and a concert. 

“I just think we're all royalty and I think at least one day a year every single person deserve the right to get dressed up, to get loved on, for someone to tell you 'you’re valuable' You're not a statistic, you're not a number,'" says Rolle-Alesnik. 

The event is this Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the University Area Community Center at 14013 N. 22nd Street in Tampa. 

Organizers say in the past few years they’ve also seen more kids coming to the event so they need donations of kids toys. 

They also need blankets and any types of perfumes or lotions for women. 

You can drop off donations any time between now and Sunday at the University Area Community Center. 

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
ABC Action News by Lauren Rozyla, Jillian Ramos - 7M ago

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Family members of a Dunedin man are searching for answers in the hit-and-run crash that killed him nearly four months ago.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Tampa Road and St Petersburg Drive in Oldsmar on August 29, 2018, at 10:24 p.m.

According to investigators, a man was driving his 2010 Toyota Four Runner, westbound in the curb lane of Tampa Road approaching St Petersburg Drive, with a green traffic light.

Investigators say pedestrian Eric Feinstein, 64, was walking, crossing the intersection of Tampa Road and St Petersburg Drive when the Toyota Four Runner hit him in the intersection, near the right curb lane of Tampa Road and St. Petersburg Drive. Deputies say they still don't know if Feinstein was in a crosswalk.

Deputies say the driver told them he did not see Feinstein and was unable to avoid the collision.

Investigators say after Feinstein was struck by the Toyota Four Runner, Feinstein was immediately hit again by another vehicle who continued traveling west on Tampa Road. 

Deputies are investigating who the driver of the second vehicle is. No description of the second vehicle is available at this time.  

It is also unknown if the impact from the Toyota Four Runner caused the fatal injury to Feinstein.

Paramedics immediately responded to the scene and pronounced Feinstein dead.

Investigators said they do not believe speed or impairment were factors in the first crash.

Deputies are attempting to locate and identify the driver of the second vehicle who struck Feinstein, but as of now, have no answers as of December.

Now, Feinstein’s family is asking the public to please come forward if they have any additional information about the crash, think they may have seen something driving by that night or may know who the second driver is.

"It's been frustrating and it's been a devastating loss for the family,” said Erica Castro, Feinstein’s daughter. “But even for my kids, they still ask if the person has been found. and to not be able to give them those answers is tough."

Feinstein was an avid walker and biker who lived in Pinellas County for several years, family members said.

Currently, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating six open and unsolved hit-and-run cases.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

TAMPA, Fla. — Delwyn Collins is a kitchen worker at Tampa General Hospital for most of the year. But he takes on another role during the holidays.

Collins dons a festive hat and plays Santa Claus for hundreds of children who could use a smile. The 60-year-old has done this for for 29 years.

“I get a thrill out of it, because it’s really all about the kids,” says Collins, who wears a jacket saying #1 Santa for Foster Angels of Hillsborough County.

Collins is the main merry-maker in charge of making sure local foster kids have a gift waiting for them on Christmas morning. And he does it despite being legally blind.

“These are kids who deserve a chance to see the true meaning of Christmas,” Collins says.

Each year, Delwyn hangs “angel” cards on a tree in the hospital's cafeteria. Every card has the name of a foster child and a toy they would love for Christmas.

Hospital staff then chooses a child to help with gifts. Delwyn collects the gifts, wraps them and stores them.

All of the gifts will be presented Thursday around a giant Christmas tree in the hospital courtyard. The gifts will then be delivered to almost 500 of Delwyn’s special angels.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

RUSKIN, Fla. — The state has banned a Tampa Bay area assisted living facility from admitting any more residents after state investigators found “a serious danger” at the residential home, including incidents of sexual assault and violent behavior by residents against other residents.

The report by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration found Inspired Living at Sun City Center didn’t do enough to stop those incidents. The facility specializes in caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The state has ordered a moratorium on any new admissions at Inspired Living at Sun City Center as of Dec. 5. In its findings, the agency said, “The Respondent’s deficient conduct is widespread and permeates the Facility thus placing in jeopardy the health, safety and welfare of all residents and potential future residents.” 

Additionally, the emergency order states, “With one exception, there is no indication that the family members or responsible parties of the residents subjected to behaviors or assaults were notified of the events. The residents of this Facility suffer from cognitive limitations which inhibit or prohibit the residents from reporting injury, abuse, neglect or discomfort.”

Patty Wood’s husband, Gregg, is one of 49 residents currently living at Inspired Living at Sun City Center. 

"It's very emotional for me,” a tearful Wood told I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern. “I was his caregiver prior to placing him in the facility. I go to get him ready for bed and tuck him in at night. I kiss him and he smiles and he goes to sleep smiling.” 

She said she worries about Gregg Wood, a Vietnam veteran diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

“Alzheimer’s is a miserable disease,” she said. “I said, ‘I will take care of you.’ And so when the memory care specializes in the attention that they need, and then they don’t get it, you feel like you’ve failed as their spouse.”

Wood said she became concerned about her husband’s safety in October – three months into his stay at the facility. 

"I also witnessed falls. I've witnessed certain of the residents that were aggressive to the other residents,” said Patty Wood.

The state’s investigation found documented cases of residents sexually assaulting and punching other residents, and exposing their genitals to other residents.  

"I didn't feel like he was safe,” said Wood about her initial concerns in October.  

The I-Team found this is not the first time concerns have been raised about this facility. A lawsuit filed in May alleges negligence and poor care. 

According to the court records, a resident deemed a fall risk fell while taking a shower without supervision and died the next day. 

The state also fined the facility $500 in June for missing the deadline to provide reports on all serious incidents, including injuries and deaths. 

The Agency for Health Care Administration has put the facility on notice that they are monitoring Inspired Living at Sun City Center.

In an emailed statement to ABC Action News, Validus Senior Living, the parent company of the facility said:

On December 5, 2018, Inspired Living at Sun City Center was placed on a Moratorium for new resident admissions. 
 
We are proactively working with all parties involved as we follow the regulated standard procedures placed on us by the State. We are currently reviewing with the State the rigorous policies we already have in place that address admissions and long-term patient care for patients, such as ours, with memory loss issues and dementia-related diagnoses.       
 
We are committed to providing full transparency after all internal and external investigations have been completed and the State clarifies what corrective action is necessary if any to ensure the highest level of senior care to which we are committed, and we fully anticipate this matter will be resolved within the week.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Jackson, a professional dog groomer, and his husband Craig, who already have two rescue dogs, adopted Buddy from the Pet Resource Center in August.

But four days after bringing him home, Jackson said Buddy mauled a friend's dog.

That dog – named Gracie – escaped with a large gash that required a dozen stitches. But when Jackson returned Buddy to the county animal shelter, he discovered the dog had been returned by three previous owners in recent months.

Jackson insists he was never warned, saying “they said absolutely nothing about it.”

ABC Action News obtained Buddy's records from the county, which show he was adopted and returned three times for aggression towards wildlife and other dogs and in two cases, he knocked a person to the ground.

Lori Letzring who runs the county’s Pet Resource Center said her staffer said he read the notes on Buddy’s history to Jackson before the adoption, but Jackson denies that happened.

After we started asking questions the Pet Resource Center tweaked their adoption contract. Now adopters must initial to confirm they’ve been given information about the dog’s medical and behavior history.

Jackson says he’s glad to hear of the changes. The Pet Resource Center says only 4 percent of their adoptions end in a return. In Buddy’s case the agency said it had no choice, but to euthanize the dog over his behavior issues.

The Pet Resource Center says it is over capacity right now. For more information, click here.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

RUSKIN, Fla. — The state has banned a Tampa Bay area assisted living facility from admitting any more residents after state investigators found “a serious danger” at the residential home, including incidents of sexual assault and violent behavior by residents against other residents.

The report by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration found Inspired Living at Sun City Center didn’t do enough to stop those incidents. The facility specializes in caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The state has ordered a moratorium on any new admissions at Inspired Living at Sun City Center as of Dec. 5. In its findings, the agency said, “The Respondent’s deficient conduct is widespread and permeates the Facility thus placing in jeopardy the health, safety and welfare of all residents and potential future residents.” 

Additionally, the emergency order states, “With one exception, there is no indication that the family members or responsible parties of the residents subjected to behaviors or assaults were notified of the events. The residents of this Facility suffer from cognitive limitations which inhibit or prohibit the residents from reporting injury, abuse, neglect or discomfort.”

Patty Wood’s husband, Gregg, is one of 49 residents currently living at Inspired Living at Sun City Center. 

"It's very emotional for me,” a tearful Wood told I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern. “I was his caregiver prior to placing him in the facility. I go to get him ready for bed and tuck him in at night. I kiss him and he smiles and he goes to sleep smiling.” 

She said she worries about Gregg Wood, a Vietnam veteran diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

“Alzheimer’s is a miserable disease,” she said. “I said, ‘I will take care of you.’ And so when the memory care specializes in the attention that they need, and then they don’t get it, you feel like you’ve failed as their spouse.”

Wood said she became concerned about her husband’s safety in October – three months into his stay at the facility. 

"I also witnessed falls. I've witnessed certain of the residents that were aggressive to the other residents,” said Patty Wood.

The state’s investigation found documented cases of residents sexually assaulting and punching other residents, and exposing their genitals to other residents.  

"I didn't feel like he was safe,” said Wood about her initial concerns in October.  

The I-Team found this is not the first time concerns have been raised about this facility. A lawsuit filed in May alleges negligence and poor care. 

According to the court records, a resident deemed a fall risk fell while taking a shower without supervision and died the next day. 

The state also fined the facility $500 in June for missing the deadline to provide reports on all serious incidents, including injuries and deaths. 

The Agency for Health Care Administration has put the facility on notice that they are monitoring Inspired Living at Sun City Center.

In an emailed statement to ABC Action News, Validus Senior Living, the parent company of the facility said:

On December 5, 2018, Inspired Living at Sun City Center was placed on a Moratorium for new resident admissions. 
 
We are proactively working with all parties involved as we follow the regulated standard procedures placed on us by the State. We are currently reviewing with the State the rigorous policies we already have in place that address admissions and long-term patient care for patients, such as ours, with memory loss issues and dementia-related diagnoses.       
 
We are committed to providing full transparency after all internal and external investigations have been completed and the State clarifies what corrective action is necessary if any to ensure the highest level of senior care to which we are committed, and we fully anticipate this matter will be resolved within the week.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Crews are currently filming a new kids movie in Clearwater starring yet another lovable dolphin. Bernie the Dolphin was just released Friday, but crews are already filming the sequel. 

Yet, movie directors tell ABC Action News that Florida lags behind when it comes to the silver screen.

Pinellas Film Commissioner Tony Armer says Dolphin's Tale, Bernie the Dolphin and other children's movies are among a few movies being filmed here in Tampa Bay. Many other large-scale productions are set in nearby Georgia and Louisiana where film incentives and tax breaks are much higher. 

“Movie producers tell me they really want to shoot in Florida, the story is set in Florida but they can’t shoot here because it doesn’t make financial sense for the production,” Armer explained.

Florida is the only Southeastern state without any film incentives, making it tricky for companies like Digital Caviar, a production company based in Ybor City, to entice Hollywood producers. 

“When you’re comparing yourself to a state that offers 35, 40, 45% tax incentives, we have to get creative,” explained Michael Brown.

Florida leaders suspended film incentives a few years ago, after nearly $265 million in film credits was drained almost immediately. Some of that money went to very small scale productions because it was given on a first come-first served basis without much regard for the number of jobs created or the economic impact. Even a few commercials and video game productions were able to qualify for the tax credits. 

Armer says the state is missing out on thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. He's now working to convince lawmakers to bring the incentives back…this time with more discretion. 

“We’re not getting those billions of dollars here in Florida,” he said.

Film industry leaders hope 2019 is Florida’s year to roll out the red carpet. 

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

HOLIDAY, Fla. — Israel Perez was making his morning coffee Tuesday when a van came crashing into his Pasco home.

“When I looked at my wall inside coming in, I said 'my God!'” Perez said.

Tony Barbaro owns the van, but It was his stepson driving.

“We are happy because your son is ok," Perez said to Barbaro next to the wreck.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating what caused the crash and the driver was hospitalized.

Despite all the damage, he avoided hitting anything head on.

Israel is a preacher and often sits by his window in the morning.

He and his wife say a higher power played a role in this.

“All the materialistic things can be replaced. I just thank God that everybody is ok," said Miriem Perez.

Friendship can come from the most unusual circumstances.

“Rough when you become friends the wrong way. But sometimes friends are meant to meet each other," said Tony Barbaro.

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview