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Professor blasts Scott for task force jobs suggestions

Tampa, Florida -- Jobs come up each time Governor-elect Rick Scott meets with groups, as he did with Hillsborough legislators on Tuesday. 

While Scott wanted to talk about jobs, he didn't want to deal with the fact he is being blasted by Princeton Professor Alan Krueger. Krueger says the governor's transition team misused and misinterpreted his research when it said unemployed people are not trying hard enough to find jobs.

See Also: Scott urged to tighten unemployment benefits rules

We asked Scott if he feels that people can find jobs if they look harder. He said he hadn't seen the report and can't comment, except to say Florida has a high unemployment rate and it must do better to find jobs. He says that's what his plan is.

Wilcox one of 12 finalists for Rudy Award

Wilcox one of 12 finalists for Rudy Award

Bend, Ore. -- Armwood running back Kyle Wilcox is an inspiration. Now his story has him in the running for a $10,000 college scholarship.

Kyle was named one of 12 finalists for the High School Rudy award. It is given to a high school football player who best exemplifies four C's: character, courage, contribution, and commitment.

Kyle was recently reunited with his older brother, Justin, who became Kyle's legal guardian. This after Kyle spent three years in a foster home.

To see Kyle's full story that aired Christmas Day, click here.

Despite difficult times, Kyle has earned a 6.1 GPA while helping Armwood reach the 4A sate championship game.  Now he's getting consideration from schools like Princeton and Northwestern.

Unborn child will be named for murdered father

Tampa, Florida  - The funeral service for the missing Tampa man who was found murdered was held Tuesday morning at Grace Family Church on Van Dyke Road in Lutz.  The service is called a Celebration of Life.

Emilio Martinez disappeared Dec. 15 when he went out to pick up up Chinese food for his pregnant wife.  He was never seen or heard from again.  His body was found eight days later in a field off Orient Road.

The family says his wife, Kacee, is pregnant with a boy, and plans to name him Emilio Jr.  The Martinez family plans to set up a trust fund to pay for the baby's college education.

Near week-long delays out of TIA

Near week-long delays out of TIA

Tampa, Florida-- A blizzard across the northeast coupled with the busy post Christmas travel rush are leaving some passengers stranded in Tampa for days.

The Daponte family arrived back from a Carnival cruise on Sunday only to find out their flight back to Providence, Rhode Island got canceled.

"I'm just tired and I just want to go home. It's been a long three days I tell you," said Joe Daponte, who was traveling with his wife and several other family members.

While some are making the most of their unexpected time in Tampa, others are upset over the cost of booking extra hotel days.

"This is money we weren't expecting to spend," said Francine Achbar, who is trying to fly back to Boston.

Some passengers rushed to rebook canceled flights over the phone.

East Tampa house fire caused by power strip

East Tampa house fire caused by power strip

Tampa, FL -- A woman watches her house go up in flames after she is unable to use her fire extinguisher.

Melonease Cobb, 54, was watching TV late Monday night when she said the lights flickered and she heard a popping sound near the TV. Moments later, smoke filled the living room and when Cobb tried to use her fire extinguisher she couldn't get the pin out.

Tampa Bay Fire Rescue responded at 9:20 p.m. along with fire stations from east Tampa, Jackson Heights, Belmont Heights, Ybor City and downtown. The fire did extensive damage to the living room but the estimated 26 responders that arrived at the scene were able to save most of the house.

Cobb had to stay with relatives in the area due to smoke and water damage throughout the rest of the house. The fire is being blamed on a power strip that had some kind of electrical failure.

Landfill sinkhole area slightly larger, county says

Landfill sinkhole area slightly larger, county says

Lithia, Florida -- The size of the sinkhole area at the Southeast County Landfill has increased slightly, Hillsborough County reported today.

"Another surface crack has appeared on the north side of the opening, slightly increasing the width of the affected area," the county reported. "The affected area, including the cracks, is 110 feet across."

The opening of the sinkhole - 80 feet across -- has not changed, despite rain showers that moved across the site over the weekend. Berms and pipes have diverted storm water away from the sinkhole, and the potential for waste water to enter the hole is now considered minimal.

Groundwater testing will continue this week.

The sinkhole was discovered Dec. 15. At the time, it was a depression about 50 feet across and 4-5 feet deep. A hole soon formed and expanded, On Dec. 21, the hole was 80 feet across and about 60 feet deep.

 

Northeast blizzard causing TIA cancellations

Northeast blizzard causing TIA cancellations

Tampa, Florida - Lines at Tampa International are as deep as the snow in the northeast. Going to New York City or Newark? No way.

"I'm stranded here," says Valerie Kohrmann, who is trying to fly into Newark.

Dozens of flights going to and from New York City, Boston and Philadelphia have been cancelled and flights to other cities delayed. Travelers are whiling alway the hours anyway they can.

The Pettis family is playing cards and they're hoping an evening flight to Rochester will still be in the cards for them. The flight hasn't been cancelled - yet.

"We're not 100 percent, because we keep hearing how bad things are in New York, but we've got our fingers crossed," says Peggy Pettis with a laugh as she deals the cards.