Our network

Transportation

Panhandling becoming an epidemic in Tampa

Panhandling becoming an epidemic in Tampa

Tampa,  Florida --  Most of us see them every day on our street corners. This week, Tampa's city council refused to take action to deal with the panhandling issue. It is a growing concern for both city and county officials.

"Every one of us could face what they face and I think all of us have a responsibility to make things better, to make life better for people who are in need," Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe said.

Panhandlers can be found on just about every major intersection in Tampa. John Paul, 63, has been out of work for over six months and says he's just trying to get by the best way he can.

"I don't really want to do this. I'm doing it now because work is hard to find and sometimes you need just a little boost," Paul said.

Panhandling has caught the attention of local law enforcement concerned about public safety.

Florida gets final chunk of money for high speed rail

Florida gets final chunk of money for high speed rail

Tampa, Florida -- Governor-elect Rick Scott could still say no to the high speed rail line linking Tampa and Orlando, but the latest announcement from Washington would make that a politically tougher move.

That's because the $2.6 billion bullet train line is now entirely funded.

Calling it an "early Christmas present," U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said Thursday that Florida will receive some $342 million in federal money to help build the high-speed rail system.

What's the saying? One state's trash -- is another state's treasure? The new governors of Ohio and Wisconsin made the promise to turn away high speed rail money in their states.

So Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation took away their $1.2 billion in bullet train bucks and divvied the cash up between other states.