Thursday, July 19, 2018
News Roundup

The Daystarter: Parents of accused Seminole Heights killer in court; what FSU fans can expect from Taggart; firefighter discrimination trial in jury’s hands; fog, then warm, then cold

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

10News WTSP

The latest 7-day forecast

• Today could bring rain as a cold front moves in from the north, according to 10Weather WTSP. Friday and Saturday will likely bring more rain as temperatures continue to drop, bottoming out on Sunday with highs in the low 60s.

• As you head out for your morning commute, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.

• A judge is set to decide today if the parents of Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, who faces four counts of murder in the Seminole Heights slayings, must answer investigators’ questions about their son. Follow Dan Sullivan at @TimesDan for live updates from the 10 a.m. hearing.

• The St. Petersburg City Council is set to meet at 8:30 a.m. to vote on whether to raise reclaimed water rates. As Charlie Frago reports, it looks like the council has the votes to approve some kind of rate hike. Follow him at @CharlieFrago for updates from today’s meeting.

• The case of a firefighter suing the City of Tampa for discrimination is now in the hands of a federal jury. The seven-person jury, comprised of four women and three men, started deliberating Tuesday after listened to 13 days of testimony about Tanja Vidovic’s experiences at Tampa Fire Rescue. They will reconvene at 9 a.m. Follow Caitlin Johnston at @cljohnst for more from the trial.

• Pointing a laser in the sky at an aircraft is dangerous — and illegal. This week, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said, its own pilots dealt with such an incident by landing their helicopter and finding the man accused of blinding them with a small laser. Read the tale of how they did it by TyLisa Johnson.

• New Florida State coach Willie Taggart established himself as one of the game’s rising stars through his ability to turn three programs around (Western Kentucky, USF and Oregon). Whether he succeeds at his fourth stop hinges on how he attacks a different kind of challenge: Revitalizing a powerhouse program that has started to grow stale. Matt Baker explains what FSU fans can expect from their new coach.

• Hillsborough County commissioners called out two prominent local business organizations Wednesday, citing a lack of diversity among their leadership. The Tampa Bay Partnership, a coalition of business leaders, needs more African-American representation, said Commissioner Les Miller, the board’s lone black member. The organization’s council of governors, he pointed out, has one black member out of 22. Steve Contorno has the details.

• While the last two weeks of the year — around Christmas and New Year’s — are by far the busiest at Florida’s attractions and theme parks, the weeks before bring a noticeable dip in crowds. And this year, parks have seen an astonishing rise in the wow factor, aimed at bringing the whole family, grandparents included, out to see lights, fireworks and kids having a blast. Check out our guide here on what you can find if you want a very merry Florida theme park Christmas.

• It’s time to plan your weekend! Our writers and critics have put out their top picks on our Weekend Planner page, including concerts by 98 Degrees and David Crosby, Broadway’s Book of Mormon, the Harlem Globetrotters and some indie markets for shopping.

Comments
Dive outing among friends turns deadly Wednesday evening in Weeki Wachee

Dive outing among friends turns deadly Wednesday evening in Weeki Wachee

WEEKI WACHEE — It was the first time Said Marjane and his friends had gone free diving near the Eagle’s Nest, in a pool of water in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area in Weeki Wachee better known as the entrance to a dangerous cave-diving si...
Updated: 23 minutes ago

Sponsored content: Find Your Outdoor Summer Oasis with Taylor Morrison

There’s no better way to soak up the Florida sun than with a gorgeous outdoor living space thoughtfully designed for your comfort and easy living. National homebuilder and developer, Taylor Morrison, offers a wide range of outdoor living spaces and o...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Winn-Dixie remodeled in Tampa opens as sixth made-over store this year

Winn-Dixie remodeled in Tampa opens as sixth made-over store this year

TAMPA — Winn-Dixie unveiled another remodeled store, the sixth in the area, after promising to remodel much of its chain following its emergence from bankruptcy this year.The made-over store at 805 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. has a host of ne...
Updated: 29 minutes ago

Car thefts continue in Pinellas, this time in Tarpon Springs

TARPON SPRINGS — Police officers arrested five people, including three kids, accused of stealing a Lexus from St. Petersburg and trying to break into cars 30 miles north in Tarpon Springs.According to Tarpon Springs police, officers about 1:30 a.m. s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Pinellas infant on life support after father stuffs balled-up baby wipe down his throat

Police: Pinellas infant on life support after father stuffs balled-up baby wipe down his throat

A 5-month-old boy is on life support after his father stuffed a balled-up baby wipe down his throat, Tarpon Springs police reported.The incident occurred Tuesday evening at an undisclosed address in Tarpon Springs. Police said the boy’s mother return...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Facebook says it will start removing posts that may lead to violence

Facebook says it will start removing posts that may lead to violence

Facebook will start removing misleading and inflammatory posts that may trigger violent attacks, as the social network said Wednesday, as it faces criticism over its response to sectarian conflict in countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka.Facebook s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rex Culpepper returns as Syracuse’s latest cancer conqueror

Rex Culpepper returns as Syracuse’s latest cancer conqueror

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Initially, Syracuse senior Eric Dungey thought it was a joke in poor taste. He had come to accept fellow quarterback Rex Culpepper as a prankster of sorts, but a crack about cancer? C'mon."I was like, 'You took this one t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Starbucks to open its first U.S. sign language store

Starbucks to open its first U.S. sign language store

WASHINGTON — Starbucks has more than 8,000 stores nationwide. One of them will soon be run entirely in American Sign Language.Starbucks’ first signing store in the United States will hire 20 to 25 deaf, hard of hearing and hearing partners with the r...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deep-fried wonders at Plant City Strawberry Festival to be featured on Cooking Channel

Deep-fried wonders at Plant City Strawberry Festival to be featured on Cooking Channel

The Cooking Channel series features host Noah Cappe as he marvels at the "gastronomic freak shows" found at the carnivals, state fairs and festivals around the U.S. and Canada. Crews from the show went to tiny Plant City in March to document its hug...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Quarterback rankings: The best seasons in Buccaneers history

Quarterback rankings: The best seasons in Buccaneers history

It was Dec. 20, 1981, the final Sunday of the NFL regular season, and the NFC Central title was on the line. The Buccaneers were in Detroit, where the Lions hadn’t lost all season.The Lions, who were favored by a touchdown, took a 7-3 lead in t...
Updated: 2 hours ago