Friday, November 17, 2017
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News at noon: Trump will allow 'dreamers' to stay in U.S.; Rays owner: Tampa Bay can usher in new era of driverless technology; 6-foot boa constrictor taken from home; Lightning not done shopping for defensemen

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

TRUMP WILL ALLOW 'DREAMERS' TO STAY IN U.S., REVERSING CAMPAIGN PROMISE

President Trump has officially reversed his campaign pledge to deport the so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as small children. The Department of Homeland Security announced late Thursday night that it would continue the Obama-era program intended to protect those immigrants from deportation and provide them work permits so they can find legal employment.

CORCORAN: TALLAHASSEE LEGISLATORS REPRESENT PEOPLE BETTER THAN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Florida's legislators are more responsive to Floridians and less susceptible to special interest influence than local governments, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran asserted to a skeptical and occasionally hostile Tampa Bay residents this morning.

TRUMP AND RUBIO DEPART WASHINGTON AS PARTNERS ON CUBA

Even in this fast-moving and dramatic time in politics, the scene is remarkable: Sen. Marco Rubio and President Donald Trump, one-time fierce adversaries, will fly together to Miami today as partners in a harder shift on Cuba. Trump badly wants to move away from the escalating Russia probe and deliver on a campaign promise, to show his administration can get things done. Rubio played a key role shaping the new policy, an expression of his clout, and has a emotional stake as the son of Cuban American immigrants who now is responsible for partly rolling back one of President Obama's signature accomplishments.

FOR TAMPA'S CONFEDERATE MONUMENT, RACIST HISTORY CLOUDS CLAIMS OF HERITAGE

The eternal conflict of Confederate symbols is that one man's nod to heritage is another man's reminder of oppression. That conflict has come to Hillsborough County. Commissioner Les Miller has called for the removal of the 106-year-old Confederate monument that now stands outside the old county courthouse in downtown Tampa, an administrative building that holds traffic court and conducts marriages.

DEPUTIES: 6-FOOT BOA CONSTRICTOR TAKEN FROM RIVERVIEW HOME

Hillsborough County deputies are seeking the public's help in locating the suspects accused of breaking into a Riverview home earlier this week and stealing a boa constrictor along with multiple guns and cash.

FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS AGAIN TO HIT 4.3 PERCENT

Florida's unemployment rate is down for the third month in a row. The Sunshine State's unemployment rate hit 4.3 in May, down from 4.5 percent in April according to data released Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

ROMANO: RAYS OWNER SAYS TAMPA BAY CAN USHER IN NEW WORLD OF DRIVERLESS TECHNOLOGY

The world is about to change when it comes to how people travel from Point A to Point B. And one of the area's most high-profile business owners thinks this market is uniquely positioned to take advantage of what could be a transformative — and wildly lucrative — industry. Just imagine, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stu Sternberg suggests, the bay area becoming an incubator for the driverless car revolution.

NEXT BIG FIGHT IN ST. PETE'S MAYORAL RACE: THE SCIENCE AND POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

As the mayoral race heats up, so has the issue of climate change. Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman is using the global phenomenon to attack former mayor Rick Baker. Kriseman, a Democrat, signed a resolution with more than 300 other mayors to uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the accord on June 1. The Kriseman campaign then assailed Baker, a Republican, for his silence over Trump's stance and actions on climate change.

AMAZON TO BUY WHOLE FOODS MARKET IN DEAL VALUED AT $13.7 BILLION

Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market in deal valued at $13.7 billion. The organic grocer will continue to operate under its existing brand. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.

HILLSBOROUGH TRANSIT AGENCY SEEKS FEEDBACK ON BUS ROUTE CUTS

Hillsborough's transit authority is seeking feedback from bus riders as it looks at redesigning its system this fall and cutting nearly 20 percent of its routes. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority will hold the first of 18 public meetings on the new routes at 10 a.m. Monday at the Hillsborough Community College Southshore Campus. The month-long outreach process will culminate at a July 26 public hearing.

WHAT DOES A TOP LAND BROKER SAY ABOUT TAMPA BAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET?

Mark Eilers is managing director of land services for Colliers International in Tampa. For more than 20 years, he's been helping clients buy and sell land, either vacant parcels or developed land that awaits new uses. Whether it's finding a buyer for a former strawberry field or selling a waterfront tract on Tampa Bay, Eilers is in a prime position to gauge the types of development that are going strong, the ones that are not and the parts of the bay area that are attracting the most buyer interest. He recently spoke with the Tampa Bay Times.

FORMER TAMPA FBI AGENT DETAILS 'UNPRECEDENTED' COLD WAR SPY STING

As national attention focuses on Russian meddling in U.S. elections, a new book by a former FBI agent in Tampa highlights the potential lethality of foreign intelligence and the agency's role in disrupting black operations involving Americans who might live right next door.

ESPIONAGE COMES TO THE SUNSHINE STATE

American culture is fascinated with spies, and Florida has links to some of the most intricate espionage cases the country has seen. Here are a few high-profile cases from recent years.

FOR THE CLASS OF 2017, WORDS OF WISDOM

Times business columnist Robert Trigaux has done you a small favor of listening to a whole bunch of commencement remarks made this spring in college towns and university cities across the country. Amid too many calls to "follow your passion" and "be true to yourself" are more compelling remarks that might resonate with graduates both with or without a clue as to their next steps.

LIGHTNING NOT DONE SHOPPING FOR DEFENSEMEN

The Lightning made a big splash Thursday, addressing its biggest long-term need by acquiring potential top-pairing defenseman Mikhail Sergachev in the Jonathan Drouin trade to Montreal. There could even be some more action by Saturday's 2 p.m. roster freeze, which runs through Wednesday's expansion draft in Las Vegas. There are many established defensemen that be available this weekend, teams with protection list issues not wanting to lose them to expansion Vegas for nothing.

LORDE COMING TO AMALIE ARENA IN TAMPA

New Zealand phenomenon Lorde will play Amalie Arena on April 11, 2018, it was announced Friday. Tickets start at $35.75 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. June 23. Click here for details.

LEGO ARTIST LEFT A LAW CAREER TO TOY WITH ART

Nathan Sawaya left the world of corporate law at 31 to become a Lego artist. With admirers ranging from President Bill Clinton to Lady Gaga, Sawaya is a testament to following your dreams. His blockbuster tour of Lego sculptures arrives in Tampa for a free summer exhibition starting next week. And his parents, by the way, have always been supportive.

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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Possible wrong-way crash on Courtney Campbell Causeway late Friday

TAMPA — A multi-vehicle crash on the Courtney Campbell Causeway late Friday may have been caused by a driver traveling in the wrong direction, Tampa police said.The crash occurred in the eastbound lanes closer to the Tampa side of the causeway, near ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa police investigate drive-by shooting in Seminole Heights

Tampa police investigate drive-by shooting in Seminole Heights

TAMPA — Police took one person into custody late Friday after a drive-by shooting ended in Seminole Heights.The incident, which unfolded about 11 p.m., did not appear to be related to the spate of other recent shootings in Seminole Heights that have ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
FSU men roll in basketball; Florida beats USF in NCAA women’s soccer

FSU men roll in basketball; Florida beats USF in NCAA women’s soccer

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — Freshman reserve Mfiondu Kabengele scored 15, Terance Mann added 14 on 7-of-9 shooting and Florida State rolled to a 67-43 win over Fordham in the Jamaica Classic on Friday night. The Seminoles held the Rams to 23 percent shoot...
Updated: 4 hours ago
As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

WASHINGTON — "You can do anything," Donald Trump once boasted, speaking of groping and kissing unsuspecting women. Maybe he could, but not everyone can. The man who openly bragged about grabbing women’s private parts — but denied he really did so — w...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Standing on the white marble steps of Alabama’s Capitol, Kayla Moore surrounded herself with two dozen other women Friday to defend husband Roy Moore against accusations of sexual misconduct that are dividing Republicans, and women...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken personally apologized to the woman who has accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour, saying he remembers their encounter differently but is "ashamed that my actions ruined that ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

TAMPA — The Bucs will play Sunday against the Dolphins without Vernon Hargreaves, who has been their nickel defensive back the past two games.Hargreaves, the 2016 first-round pick out of Florida and a former Wharton High standout, has been ruled out ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Rays give Rocco Baldelli new title of major-league field coordinator

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays completed the new look of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli a newly created title — major-league field coordinator.Baldelli, who had been first-base coach the past three years, now will implement ideas and inform...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning

TAMPA — A local TV crew set up shop in front of Brayden Point’s locker stall the other day, waiting for the Lightning forward to be ready.Then, captain Steven Stamkos walked into the room for his scrum. It didn’t take long for the TV crew to change c...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA — Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations Friday in a statem...
Updated: 4 hours ago