Friday, November 17, 2017
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News at noon: Joe Biden slams Hillary Clinton; deputies arrest SUV owner in Pasco hit-and-run case; Armwood football coach resigns; Bucs sign veteran backup quarterback

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

JOE BIDEN SLAMS HILLARY CLINTON

Joe Biden has a reputation for saying what's on his mind, and on Thursday night, he reportedly didn't hold back at all about former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. "I never thought she was a great candidate. I thought I was a great candidate," Biden reportedly told an audience of hedge fund managers at the annual SALT conference in Las Vegas. "No man or woman should announce for the presidency unless they genuinely believe that for that moment in the nation's history they are the most qualified person to deal with the issues facing the country," Biden continued, according to TheStreet's Ronald Orol.

ANTHONY WEINER TO PLEAD GUILTY TO RESOLVE SEXTING INQUIRY

Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic congressman whose "sexting" scandals ended his political career and embroiled him in a tumultuous FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton before the election, is to appear in a federal courtroom in New York City on Friday to enter a guilty plea. The federal authorities have been investigating reports that, beginning in January 2016, Weiner, then 51, exchanged sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

PASCO DEPUTIES ARREST SUV OWNER IN HIT-AND-RUN, ACCUSE HER OF FILING FALSE STOLEN VEHICLE REPORT

The hit-and-run incident that left a 14-year-old injured earlier this week has taken a sudden turn: A 22-year-old woman was arrested Thursday night and accused of falsely reporting that the sport-utility vehicle involved in the incident was stolen.

THIRD GRADERS IMPROVE PASSING RATE ON FLORIDA STANDARDS ASSESSMENT READING TEST

Florida's third graders had a higher percentage passing the state language arts test this spring than last, the second consecutive increase on the annual exam that helps determine whether children move into fourth grade.

FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 4.5 PERCENT

Florida's unemployment fell from 4.8 percent in March to 4.5 percent in April, the latest sign that the state's economy is strengthening and the job market is tightening.

TRUMP BACKERS IN FLORIDA: PROTECT HAITIANS

Donald Trump supporters in Florida are urging him to extend a program allowing Haitians to stay in the U.S. "Our friends in the Haitian community need your help. We strongly urge you to instruct the Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to extend Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals living in the United States," reads a letter sent to the president.

CLEARWATER AUTO LENDER SEES SHARES DROP IN WAKE OF QUARTERLY LOSS, RISK REVIEW

Clearwater specialty auto lender Nicholas Financial saw its shares drop Friday morning to their lowest price since 2010 in the wake of a quarterly loss and an announced effort to tighten the company's risk assessment tools when making loans.

MOTORCYCLIST CRASHES INTO ALLIGATOR IN LITHIA, IS SERIOUSLY INJURED

A Wimauma motorcyclist was seriously injured early Friday morning after he crashed into an alligator in Lithia. Around 12:28 a.m., Calun Nelson, 27, was traveling westbound on State Road 674, west of Katie Stanaland Road, when he struck the 10-foot, 9-inch gator as it crossed into Nelson's path, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

ARMWOOD FOOTBALL COACH SEAN CALLAHAN RESIGNS

Armwood coach Sean Callahan, who turned the football program into a state powerhouse, has resigned. This fall was supposed to be Callahan's final season. He was in the DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Program), a lucrative package for teachers who have leave the profession within five years after signing up.

Callahan had to accelerate his departure and told the players after Thursday night's jamboree.

BUCS OPT FOR EXPERIENCE BEHIND WINSTON, SIGN FITZPATRICK

No longer content to enter training camp without an experienced backup for Jameis Winston, the Bucs have signed vagabond veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 34-year-old Fitzpatrick, who was a starter the past two seasons for the Jets, has played for six NFL teams in his career.

TRIPLE CROWN: WHY 'ALWAYS DREAMING' IS REASON TO KEEP DREAMING

Always Dreaming, which plodded through the mud and muck and slop two weeks ago to win the Kentucky Derby by nearly three lengths, has the pedigree to win the Triple Crown. He is the son of Bodemeister, which won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2012. When he breaks out of the gates at the Preakness Saturday, Always Dreaming will try to become the 15th horse since Affirmed to win the first two races of the Triple Crown. Don't be surprised if he does, Tom Jones writes.

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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