Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

Afternoon update: Report finds no CentCom wrongdoing; Victor Crist not impressed with ferry advertising; teen charged in Tampa slaying; Rays announce game promotions

Officials at U.S. Central Command did not falsify intelligence about the battle against Islamic State, the Defense Department's Office of Inspector General has concluded in a 198-page unclassified report. Investigators also found that the command's intelligence unit, known as the J2, did not attempt to change reports to make them factually untrue or present any intelligence assessments they did not believe were accurate. While the report found no wrongdoing, inspectors did note that there was a 'widespread perception of distortion" about the CentCom intelligence products and a lack of trust in its intelligence leadership.

COMMISSIONER THROWS SHADE AT FERRY PILOT PROGRAM

Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist says that the ferry connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa is "wonderful," but ridership numbers are not impressive. The reason: There's not enough signage or advertising letting people know it's there to use.

TEEN CHARGED IN SLAYING OF HOLIDAY MAN IN CRAIGSLIST SALE

A 16-year-old faces murder and robbery charges and a second suspect is sought in the slaying of a Holiday who arranged with them through Craigslist to sell a dirt bike, police say. The victim, James Beck, 44, and his son traveled from their home with the bike in their truck bed and met with suspects in Tampa. It quickly became clear that the two suspects planned to rob Beck and his son, police said.

RAYS PROMO SCHEDULE INCLUDES KIERMAIER BOBBLEHEAD, ARCHER PILLOW

The Rays released their promotional schedule, which includes bobbleheads for Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Duffy and Blake Snell; figurines for Chris Archer and Evan Longoria, an Archer emoji pillow and a team-themed Hawaiian shirt. All giveaways for adults are on Saturdays, which seems to be a new strategy. There are giveaways for kids as usual on all home Sundays.

NATIONAL SIGNING DAY UPDATES

Whether you follow the Seminoles, Gators, Bulls or one of the many high schools around the Tampa Bay area, the Times is bringing you all the news from signing ceremonies, the first day high school seniors can officially commit to colleges. Our blog includes tweets, photos, videos, stories and more.

JEFF BRANDES FILES COMPETING MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL

State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, proposed new rules for medical marijuana in Florida, putting forward an idea that would compete with legislation already filed by another Senate Republican. Brandes' proposal completely upends the small medical cannabis program already functioning in the state in favor of more competition. His bill would allow businesses to be licensed as growers, distributors or processors who make pills and oils that can be sold to patients.

COOL AND CLEAR IN TAMPA AREA TONIGHT

A warming trend is taking hold in the Tampa Bay area, with clear skies and lows in the high 50s overnight. Wednesday morning will bring a mix of sun and clouds and a high near 75. For more weather information, go the Times' weather page.

TRAFFIC UPDATES TO GET HOME SAFELY

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

FENNELLY: NEW GATORS AD HAS LEARNED TO ADDRESS ISSUES

Scott Stricklin, three months into his job as Florida athletic director, made a swing through Tampa on Tuesday, ending with a Gator Boosters gathering. Stricklin said he has immense respect for his predecessor, Jeremy Foley, and consults with him when necessary and considers him a friend. But Stricklin has some of his own ideas. Here's one: change isn't always bad. Read Times columnist Martin Fennelly for more on Stricklin's visit.

OSCAR SHORTS RETURNING TO TAMPA THEATRE

Starting Feb. 10, the Tampa Theatre presents a rotation of Oscar-nominated shorts showcases: live action, animated and for the first time, documentary. It's a great way to catch up on a bunch of Oscar nominated films in a short, two-hour period.

5 THINGS TO DO UNDER $5 THIS WEEK

If you're looking for something to do, but don't want to spend too much, you've got some options, including a chance to see birds of prey (there's a bald eagle!) up close at the free Raptor Fest in St. Pete. Check out the full list of things to do under $5

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WHAT'S NEW ON HULU AND NETFLIX

There's a lot of new stuff to stream on Hulu this month, including The Collection, and 10 Cloverfield Lane. Check out our list of every new show and movie coming to Hulu for February. And in case you missed it, there's a whole new slate of options on Netflix starting today as well, including the acclaimed The People v. O.J. Simpson Check out the full Netflix list here.

Afternoon Update 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: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

It’s human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

TAMPA — Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriff’s deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 6 hours ago