Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Breaking News

News at noon: Cuba rejects new U.S. policy; sentencing today in St. Petersburg murder; two brewing tropical systems threaten to develop; a modern-day 'League of Their Own'

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

CUBA REJECTS NEW U.S. POLICY, SAYING PRESSURE WILL NOT WORK

Cuba's foreign minister has rejected President Donald Trump's new policy toward the island, saying "we will never negotiate under pressure or under threat" and refusing to return U.S. fugitives who have received asylum in Cuba. In a hard-edged response to the policy announced Friday, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said from Vienna Monday that Trump's restrictions on transactions with the Cuban military would not achieve their objective of weakening the government. He said they would instead create unity behind the communist leadership.

SENTENCING TODAY IN ST. PETERSBURG MURDER

Christopher Scott, convicted earlier this year of fatally shooting an 18-year-old Lakewood High student on his birthday, will be sentenced at 2 p.m. The victim's mother, who held her son as he died outside their house in St. Petersburg, is expected to give a statement in the courtroom. Scott was 17 at the time of the murder, so he will be sentenced under the state's new juvenile sentencing guidelines and faces a minimum of 40 years for the first-degree murder charge. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

TWO BREWING TROPICAL SYSTEMS THREATEN TO DEVELOP INTO TROPICAL STORMS

The first tropical systems of the season are churning out in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and each have at least an 80 percent chance of gaining tropical storm status, according to the National Hurricane Center.

EVEN DONALD TRUMP KNOWS RICK SCOTT IS RUNNING FOR SENATE

"Rick, are you running?" President Donald Trump looked across the stage in Miami at Gov. Rick Scott, who just smiled, unshakeable as usual. Scott hasn't announced he's running against Sen. Bill Nelson but it's obvious he will and the playful president called him out on Friday.

SHOOTINGS KILL OR INJURE AT LEAST 19 CHILDREN EVERY DAY

Shootings kill or injure at least 19 U.S. children each day, with boys, teenagers and blacks most at risk, according to a government study that paints a bleak portrait of persistent violence. The analysis of 2002-14 U.S. data is billed as the most comprehensive study on the topic.

YOUTUBE ANNOUNCES PLAN TO FIGHT ONLINE TERROR

YouTube has long struggled with the conundrum of how to police videos that advocate hateful ideologies but don't specifically encourage acts of violence. On Sunday, Google, which owns YouTube, announced new policies to help police such content in a blog post by Kent Walker, Google's general counsel and senior vice president, titled, "Four steps we're taking today to fight online terror."

MAN ARRESTED IN PARIS ATTACK ON POLICE VEHICLE

The French national gendarmerie service says the driver of a car that rammed a law enforcement vehicle on Monday has been arrested. The tweet Monday confirmed an attack had taken place on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees.

WANDERING BEAR PAYS VISIT TO FLORIDA DEPUTY

A typical service call resulted in quite the hairy visit for a Marion County deputy over the weekend. A video posted on the Marion County Sheriff's Office Facebook page on Sunday morning shows a bear meandering on a roadway near the Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area, just feet from the deputy.

JAPAN INVESTIGATES DELAY IN REPORTING FATAL U.S. NAVY SHIP COLLISION

Japan's coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported. The ACX Crystal collided with the USS Fitzgerald off Japan's coast, killing seven of the destroyer's crew of nearly 300.

1-YEAR-OLD HOSPITALIZED AFTER INGESTING XANAX

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man over the weekend after investigators said a 1-year-old child in his care ingested Xanax.

RUSSIA WARNS U.S. AFTER DOWNING OF SYRIAN JET

Warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition operating over Syrian government-controlled areas west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as potential targets, Russia's Defense Ministry said Monday, a day after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian air force jet.

DEPUTIES LOOKING FOR BURGLARY SUSPECT IN SPRING HILL

Hernando County sheriff's deputies are asking residents to remain on the lookout for a suspect in a pawn shop burglary who has not yet been located.

YOU'RE PROBABLY MISPRONOUNCING AMALIE ARENA

Before it goes any further with the massive concerts by legendary performers or the nationally televised sporting events, there's the simple matter of Amalie Arena's name and how to say it. Amalie, apparently, should rhyme with family, though some people have been saying it so it rhymes with homily. In the wake of big announcements like July's Paul McCartney concert and January's NHL All-Star Game, the arena decided enough was enough and distributed a news release with a "friendly reminder" on pronunciation.

GULFPORT'S HABANA CAFE A CUBAN STAPLE AFTER 20 YEARS

Habana Cafe in Gulfport celebrated 20 years in May, making it one of the elder statesmen in Gulfport, located about a mile from the city's burgeoning restaurant row. When it debuted, Cuban food had a stronghold in parts of Tampa, but not so much in Pinellas County. Visit these days and it looks like a room full of regulars, many placing orders for a go-to dish they've been devoted to for years.

A RECIPE FOR ENCHILADAS

To make her life easier when she returns from a visit to New York City, Times food editor Michelle Stark is making it a priority to cook meals now that she can eat later. So she turned to something that keeps well but still has the wholesome and comforting taste she will crave after a week of traveling: enchiladas.

MUMFORD AND SONS COMING TO TAMPA

In a year that's already seen a host of "they never come to Florida" bands get crossed off fans' bucket list, we're getting another huge one: Mumford and Sons. The enormously popular English rockers will make their Tampa debut in a concert on Sept. 20 at Amalie Arena. Hiss Golden Messenger will open the show. Tickets are go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday. Click here for details.

WHAT YOU MISSED IF YOU WEREN'T ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Weekends are great for unwinding, and maybe even unplugging for a little while. Here's what trended that you might have missed if you weren't on social media the last couple days.

TAMPA YANKEES AIM TO RAISE AWARENESS OF MODERN-DAY 'LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN'

More than 60 years ago, Sue Zipay took to the field as a member of the Rockford Peaches, a trailblazing women's baseball team in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. Now, Zipay and the Tampa Yankees want to give female baseball players another chance to show their abilities. The East Coast Yankees and New England Women Red Sox, two independent women's baseball teams, will play on June 24 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, followed by the Tampa Yankees-Dunedin Blue Jays game. Part of the proceeds from the game will go to the Women's Sports Museum, a nonprofit organization Zipay founded.

AFTER FOUR-HOME RUN GAME, SARASOTA GRAD COMES TO TROP

When the Rays face off with the Reds tonight, it won't just be the team's second interleague series of the year. For only the second time in his big-league career, Cincinnati second baseman Scooter Gennett — who made history two weeks ago by hitting four home runs in one game — will make the journey to the Trop.

RAYS DESIGNATE MICHAEL MARTINEZ FOR ASSIGNMENT

The Rays made the first of what will be several roster moves this week, designating infielder Michael Martinez for assignment this morning to make room on the roster for infielder Trevor Plouffe.

News at noon is a weekday feature from tampabay.com. Check in Monday through Friday for updates and information on the biggest stories of the day.

Comments
Times/Herald survey: Florida Legislature still divided on assault weapons ban. But compromise could be possible.

Times/Herald survey: Florida Legislature still divided on assault weapons ban. But compromise could be possible.

After the shock of the Parkland school shooting began to set in, and the nation began to comprehend the 17 murders committed Wednesday, there was a crescendo of noise from the Florida Legislature.First it was tweets of "thoughts and prayers." Then ca...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas will discuss hiring outside agency to turn around three failing schools

Pinellas will discuss hiring outside agency to turn around three failing schools

The Pinellas County school district had three options: it could've shut down its three lowest performing schools and reassign students, convert them into charter schools or contract with an external operator to turn them around.In November, the distr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Largo High group to host active shooter preparedness event

Largo High group to host active shooter preparedness event

The event was planned two months before a former student opened fire on a Broward County high school, killing 17 and injuring more.The Parent Teacher Student Association at Largo High will hold its first active shooter preparedness event to...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: The St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race returns to a difficult climate; meet Stormy Daniels; and commandos come to Palm Harbor.

The Daystarter: The St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race returns to a difficult climate; meet Stormy Daniels; and commandos come to Palm Harbor.

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• For the latest legislative coverage from Tallahassee, keep checking The Buzz, which is updated throughout the day by the reporters of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.• We...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Romano: Until the Parkland shooting, lawmakers ignored requests for school safety funds

Romano: Until the Parkland shooting, lawmakers ignored requests for school safety funds

His words and his pleas are similar to what we’ve heard from others in recent days.Kids deserve to feel safe when they walk into a classroom in Florida. More security is needed. More boots on the ground would be helpful. Mostly, more money must be de...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Today: Senate to put its own stamp on Florida education proposals

Today: Senate to put its own stamp on Florida education proposals

The massive education measure known as House Bill 7055 has received plenty of attention during the legislative session, with its emphasis on decertifying teachers’ unions and using state-backed scholarship programs to steer kids away from public scho...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

After national headlines and a public outcry over the deaths of 14 people at a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, nursing homes across the state are working to comply with new rules requiring them to have back-up power.But the process ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, calls relative after being reported missing

Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, calls relative after being reported missing

Seven months ago, Jalyssa Shannon’s older sister Janessa went missing, sparking a frantic search that ended with the discovery of the 13-year-old’s body in a Hillsborough County nature preserve and, later, the arrest of the girls’ father in her murde...
Updated: 7 hours ago
As Kevin Kiermaier blasts changes, Rays see empowered Kevin Cash as stabilizer

As Kevin Kiermaier blasts changes, Rays see empowered Kevin Cash as stabilizer

PORT CHARLOTTE — The list of those no longer with the team was going to be noteworthy no matter what Monday as the holdovers, newcomers and wannabes gathered for the first full-squad workout in Camp Dis-A-Ray.Then even before Rays manager Kevin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Brentson Buckner didn't need to bring his resume when he interviewed for the Bucs' job as defensive line coach. No references were needed, either.All the Bucs had to do was ask quarterback Jameis Winston whether the Arizona Cardinals defensive line w...
Updated: 7 hours ago