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NEWS AT NOON: OUR GUIDE TO TODAY’S LATEST


As Trump is learning, it's not so easy to reject the president's paycheck

The government owes Donald Trump. Right about now, the 45th president is due to receive his first paycheck, part of a $400,000 annual salary delivered in monthly installments. But the …

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St. Petersburg art community divided over Pier project

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Plan your weekend Feb. 24-26: Gasparilla Distance Classic, Mardi Gras pops, dinos at the zoo

Plan your weekend Feb. 24-26: Gasparilla Distance Classic, Mardi Gras pops, dinos at the zoo

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Watch the Oscars in style Sunday at Tampa Theatre's Hollywood Awards Night

Watch the Oscars in style Sunday at Tampa Theatre's Hollywood Awards Night

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Movie Planner: 'Get Out,' 'Rock Dog,' Oscars goodies galore

Movie Planner: 'Get Out,' 'Rock Dog,' Oscars goodies galore

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Navigating the Gasparilla Distance Classic: Road closures and what you need to know if you're going

Navigating the Gasparilla Distance Classic: Road closures and what you need to know if you're going

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  1. Charter schools vs. traditional schools: Legislature's debate resumes on taxes to pay for both

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida lawmakers will try to force school districts to share part of their local tax dollars with charter schools so that those privately managed schools can enjoy the same access to money for maintenance and construction projects as traditional public schools.

     Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, is opposed to any legislation that would allow school boards to raise taxes for more construction and maintenance projects. "Raising taxes is just one of those things that, I think, in the end hurts more than it helps," he told reporters Thursday.
  2. That six-seat electric car you see around downtown is officially a limo

    Transportation

    TAMPA — A "stretch golf cart" is one of the more irreverent descriptions of the six-seat electric cars that putter around downtown Tampa.

    One of the Downtowner cars is seen during the service's first night of operation in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2016. The free service has now been designated as a low-speed non-luxury limousine by the Public Transportation Commission meaning the Tampa Downtown Partnerhsip can start selling advertisements to raise revenue for the program.  [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]
  3. Records: Kriseman's chief of staff told employee to not talk negatively about transfer

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG –– After Mayor Rick Kriseman transferred his longtime personal secretary to the Fire Department, his chief of staff ordered the employee to not say anything negative that could hurt the mayor, records show.

  4. Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Judge Susan Barthle sits in the theater seat, No. 9, that Curtis Reeves sat in the day he shot and killed Chad Oulson in 2014 at the Cobb Grove 16 theaters in Wesley Chapel. Barthle viewed various movie previews under the same lighting conditions when the shooting took place. The photograph was taken before the previews began in brighter theater lighting conditions. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Judge, attorneys visit Pasco theater where man was killed in cell phone dispute

    Criminal

    WESLEY CHAPEL — One day three years ago, retired Tampa police captain Curtis Reeves sat in seat No. 9 of theater No. 10 of the Cobb Grove 16 cinemas. As previews rolled, he pulled out a gun and used it during an escalating confrontation over a cell phone.

    Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Judge Susan Barthle sits in the theater seat, No. 9, that Curtis Reeves sat in the day he shot and killed Chad Oulson in 2014 at the Cobb Grove 16 theaters in Wesley Chapel. Barthle viewed various movie previews under the same lighting conditions when the shooting took place. The photograph was taken before the previews began in brighter theater lighting conditions. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  6. As Trump is learning, it's not so easy to reject the president's paycheck

    National

    The government owes Donald Trump.

    Right about now, the 45th president is due to receive his first paycheck, part of a $400,000 annual salary delivered in monthly installments.

    President Donald Trump speaks Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]
  7. Rubio defends town hall stance, says people on both sides get 'rude and stupid'

    Blogs

    Activits didn't give up on Sen. Marco Rubio after seeing him yesterday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and challenging him to hold a town hall. Later that day came this exchange in which Rubio explains that "people get rude and stupid, on both sides."

  8. Freefall's 'Red Velvet' tells remarkable true story of Ira Aldridge, who changed theater

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jose Rufino earned a master's degree in theater without hearing of Ira Aldridge, the character he portrays in Red Velvet starting this weekend at Freefall Theatre.

    Jose Rufino plays Ira Aldridge, the first black professional actor to play Othello, in Freefall Theatre’s production of Red Velvet. 
Photo by Thee Photo Ninja
  9. Flight attendant offered impassioned defense of fired Allegiant Air pilot

    Airlines

    The wrongful termination lawsuit filed by an Allegiant Air pilot fired for making an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in 2015 has turned into a bitterly contested match as it marches toward a July 31 trial date in Nevada.

    The wrongful termination lawsuit filed by the Allegiant Air pilot fired for making an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in 2015 has turned into a bitterly contested match.
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times
]

  10. John Mayer coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

    Blogs

    It feels like John Mayer's been lost in the weeds for a while now, indulging in all kinds of musical muses (California jam-rock, singing for Dead and Company) while dealing with personal issues (controversial interviews, health scares that threatened his voice).

Rubio defends town hall stance, says people on both sides get 'rude and stupid'

Activits didn't give up on Sen. Marco Rubio after seeing him yesterday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and challenging him to hold a town hall. Later that day came this exchange in which Rubio explains that "people get rude and stupid, on both sides."...

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Colby Rasmus' beard was described as "puke" worthy by Deadspin.

Rays' Colby Rasmus says we may not have seen last of beard

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