Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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 the state-run agency since 2005, said he was stepping down from his job in a letter dated Thursday. [Times files]

Stephen Auger, executive director of the state-run agency since 2005, said he was stepping down from his job in a letter dated Thursday. [Times files]

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.

Afternoon Update: Housing agency chief resigns; U.S. abstains on U.N. Israel vote; Jones on Jameis' head butt; warm holiday weekend ahead 12/23/16 [Last modified: Friday, December 23, 2016 4:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea

    National

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography

    Crime

    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea

    Politics

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.