Tuesday, September 25, 2018
News Roundup

Afternoon Update: Housing agency chief resigns; U.S. abstains on U.N. Israel vote; Jones on Jameis' head butt; warm holiday weekend ahead

Stephen Auger, executive director of Florida Housing Finance Corp., has resigned in the wake of an audit that rapped the agency for hosting expensive meals, including a $52,000 dinner, and awarding nearly $443,000 in employee bonuses while thousands of Floridian were waiting for help to save their homes.

U.S. REBUKES ISRAEL, ALLOWS U.N. CONDEMNATION OF SETTLEMENTS

The United States has given its biggest rebuke in recent history to longstanding ally Israel, allowing the U.N. Security Council to condemn its settlements and continuing construction in Palestinian territory as a 'flagrant violation' of international law. Instead of casting a veto to support Israel, as it almost always does on council resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. abstained.

JONES: WINSTON AND THE HEAD BUTT: IMMATURE OR TOM BRADY-ESQUE?

Have you watched Tom Brady? He yells at assistant coaches and he's called "fiery.'' He chews out a teammate for not running out a route and he's called "competitive.'' He barks at an official and we say he's "amped.'' So the 22-year-old Jameis Winston sticks up for a Bucs teammate who was being roughed up by head-butting an opponent — and he's "immature?'' Times columnist says cut Winston a little slack. It's not okay for him to go around picking up unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on a regular basis, but critics need to appreciate this is all part of his growing.

WEEKEND WEATHER: HAVE YOURSELF A WARM CHRISTMAS

The weather outside will be frightfully warm throughout the holiday weekend in Tampa Bay, as the area will near record-high temperatures on Christmas. A warming trend will bring lower humidity, but high temperatures in the 80s on Saturday and Sunday, forecasters say. Expect a high of 83 for Christmas, short of last year's record-setting 86 but still quite toasty for this time of year. For a complete report, check out the Times weather page.

LIBYAN PLANE HIJACKERS SURRENDER IN MALTA

An hours-long hostage drama at an airport on the Mediterranean island of Malta ended peacefully Friday with two hijackers who had threatened to blow up a Libyan passenger jet choosing instead to surrender to authorities. The surrender came after all of the passengers had been safely released.

WHY IT COULD COST $35 MILLION TO CANCEL THE PIER PROJECT

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has heard suggestions that $66 million earmarked for the Pier should be used elsewhere. If the city were to halt the project, he has declared, St. Petersburg would forfeit $35 million "to not have a Pier." The mayor said diverting funds — almost all of it borrowed — to spend on other projects, for other purposes, would be expensive, imprudent — and illegal. Is that, in fact, the case? Experts say yes. Paying for the Pier is no simple endeavor, and not paying for it could be even more complicated.

TRAFFIC UPDATES TO GET HOME SAFELY FOR THE HOLIDAY

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

REPORT RAPS FLORIDA'S RECORD ON FELONS VOTING RIGHTS

A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice takes Florida to task for its law denying voting rights to felons unless they successfully navigate an arduous and lengthy process to get those rights back.

LIVE NATIVITY SCENES ADD REALISM TO CHRISTMAS

From Tampa to Brandon to Plant City, neighborhood churches are bringing to life recreations of Jesus' birth, with roles played by members of the congregations. These live nativity scenes clearly create a fun activity for church members; more importantly, they serve as a call to Christianity. "Over the years we have converted many people who have joined and are active members of our church community," said Betty Cabrera, head deacon at Brandon Christian Church.

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.

Comments
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, with Faria on the hill

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, with Faria on the hill

UPDATE, 5:40:Cash said the goal for Faria is to "finish strong" in what's been "a trying year" and they want him to go into the off-season with some confidence, that his biggest issue is command-related. … C Michael Perez's season is over, Cash...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
Buccaneers AfterMath: Tampa Bay’s defense is raising red flags

Buccaneers AfterMath: Tampa Bay’s defense is raising red flags

You might have walked away from the game Monday night feeling pretty good about your Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sure, the first half was about as ugly as it gets. After the Steelers returned Ryan Fitzpatrick’s third interception for a touchdown late...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Chilling 911 call from shooting victim’s son lays out horrors of Pasco murder-suicide

Chilling 911 call from shooting victim’s son lays out horrors of Pasco murder-suicide

Shortly after midnight Monday, Pasco County 911 dispatchers received a chilling call."My mom is shot," said the wavering voice of a young man. "My mom was shot."Though not identified, deputies say 14-year-old Mark Price had run out of his house on 1...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
A doctor was sued for malpractice. He tried to fight it. It cost him nearly everything.

A doctor was sued for malpractice. He tried to fight it. It cost him nearly everything.

Scott Plantz remembers the exact date he received notice he was being sued for medical malpractice.His wife, Cynna, gave birth to their only child that day in 2009. They had spent five years and more than $100,000 on in vitro fertilizations to have H...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Commute times reach nearly half an hour, note backers of tax hike for transportation

Commute times reach nearly half an hour, note backers of tax hike for transportation

TAMPA — Something to ponder the next time you’re stuck on Dale Mabry Highway during rush hour: The average commute for people in Hillsborough County now pushes half an hour.U.S. Census Bureau data released this month shows a 28.3 minute average commu...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Markeis McGlockton’s autopsy shows he turned away from shooter

Markeis McGlockton’s autopsy shows he turned away from shooter

The autopsy for Markeis McGlockton, who was killed in a shooting that set off a debate about Florida’s stand your ground law, shows the bullet entered his body at an angle and tore through his heart and both lungs.The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Eduardo A. Encina joins the Times to cover the Bucs

Eduardo A. Encina joins the Times to cover the Bucs

ST. PETERSBURG — Eduardo A. Encina, an award-winning sportswriter with an extensive background covering Tampa Bay sports, is returning to the Times to cover the Bucs.Encina will join Rick Stroud, Thomas Bassinger and columnists Tom Jones and Ma...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump attacks second Kavanaugh accuser, saying she 'has nothing' and was 'totally inebriated'

Trump attacks second Kavanaugh accuser, saying she 'has nothing' and was 'totally inebriated'

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Tuesday attacked the second woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, dismissing her account because she was "totally inebriated and all messed up," and accused Democrats of pla...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa gunshot victim dies after he’s dropped off at hospital, police say

Tampa gunshot victim dies after he’s dropped off at hospital, police say

Times staffTAMPA — A man suffering from gunshot wounds died at a Tampa hospital after someone dropped him off there Tuesday afternoon, police said.Tampa police responded to a call about gunshots just after noon near the intersection of E Hillsborough...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rep. Charlie Crist urges federal consumer watchdog to investigate Marlin Financial

Rep. Charlie Crist urges federal consumer watchdog to investigate Marlin Financial

Another public official has set his sights on Marlin Financial. In a letter Tuesday, Rep. Charlie Crist urged the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate the online auto lender, saying he was "disturbed" by a recent Tampa ...
Updated: 1 hour ago