Wednesday, June 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.

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Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

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Updated: 1 hour ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Despite Trump’s move, Iimmigrant children will remain held in Florida

Despite Trump’s move, Iimmigrant children will remain held in Florida

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump may have signed an executive order retreating from his child separation policy, but the government has no immediate plan to reunite more than 2,300 children, including an unknown number in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cameron, a&#...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Eight passengers who were aboard a Southwest Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of its engines blew apart filed suit Wednesday against the airline, Boeing and the companies that manufactured the eng...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Tesla sued a former employee Wednesday, accusing the man of hacking the automaker’s computer systems and stealing company secrets, shedding light on what chief Elon Musk had suggested was the work of a secretive internal saboteur.But the employee, Ma...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

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LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 4 hours ago