Thursday, August 16, 2018
News Roundup

Afternoon Update: Joyful reunion for 10-year-old and Army uncle; Trump says thanks in Orlando tonight; Obama discusses Russian hacking; Jameis Winston can't wait for Sunday night

Looking for a some feel-good tears going into the holidays? Check out the reactions of 10-year-old Genesis Cruz, a student at Mort Elementary, as she opens the biggest gift box with the biggest surprise of her life at a school assembly. Inside was her uncle, U.S. Army Sgt. Ricardo Cruz in full uniform, home early from an eight-month deployment in Afghanistan. Guess who shed the most tears in the emotional reunion?

TRUMP RETURNS TO FLORIDA ON THANK-YOU TOUR

Donald Trump holds a thank you rally in Orlando tonight after winning the state as part of his 2016 presidential election. Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam C. Smith will cover the 7 p.m. event at the Orlando Amphitheater. Follow him on Twitter.

OBAMA URGES TRUMP TO TAKE FOREIGN ELECTION IMPACT SERIOUSLY

President Barack Obama, in his final news conference of the year, warned against turning Russian hacking in the United States into a "political football" and said he hoped Donald Trump will take foreign influence in American elections seriously once he takes office. Obama said he has confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin about the hacking, telling him to "cut it out and there would be serious consequences if he didn't." However, he offered no new details about the extent of any U.S. response.

IS JAMEIS WINSTON READY FOR HIS CLOSE-UP?

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston knows Sunday night's game at Dallas is the biggest he has played in the NFL. It's against America's Team with the best record in the league, before a national television audience and with the playoffs at sake. Winston refuses to try and make the moment even bigger. However, as Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht will tell you, the Bucs used the No. 1 overall pick on Winston for this type of mammoth game.

 

FORECAST: A WARM DECEMBER WEEKEND AHEAD

After a comfortable Friday night and an overnight low of 64, temperatures will continue to rise gradually through the weekend under bright sunshine, 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Ashley Batey says. Saturday's forecast high of 83 would tie the record high for St. Petersburg, set in 1933. Sunday will also flirt with a record high, with afternoon temps reaching 86.

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.

ST. PETERSBURG'S BIKE SHARE OFF TO ENCOURAGING START

Early results for St. Petersburg's fledging bike share program look promising. During November, the first full month of a soft launch of the Coast Bike Share Program, an average of 46 trips were taken per day. The 100 bikes, spread around 10 hubs, were used mostly by casual users, and the average length of a ride for someone who paid for a single trip was nearly 3 miles.

ALEPPO EVACUATION HALTED AS BOTH SIDES TRADE BLAME

Diplomats sought to salvage the evacuation of eastern Aleppo after it stalled amid recriminations by both sides in Syria's civil war, raising fears the cease-fire could collapse with thousands still desperate to escape the rebel enclave. The evacuation was suspended after a report of shooting at a crossing point into the enclave.

COULD TAMPA HOST ONE OF THE NHL'S MAJOR EVENTS?

It sounds like there might be some momentum for the Lightning and Tampa Bay to host one of the NHL's major events. (Tampa was last the site of one — the All-Star Game — in 1999.) However, a few representatives from the league visited last month as part of a multi-city scouting tour for potential sites for the draft, All-Star Game, Stadium Series and Winter Classic games. NHL executive vice president Steve Mayer says the league has made no decisions but hopes to announce plans soon for 2018 and beyond.

LET'S CATCH UP ON THE LATEST FESTIVUS NEWS

Our 12 Blogs of Christmas, featuring stocking stuffer-sized holiday stories about pop culture and beyond, takes a look at Festivus. You remember, Festivus — a holiday for the rest of us, featured in a 1997 Seinfeld episode. We hope you have your unadorned metal pole, have trained for the feats of strength and , have prepared you grievances.

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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One dead, several wounded when Pasco drug deal turns into gunfight

One dead, several wounded when Pasco drug deal turns into gunfight

HUDSON — A drug deal gone bad Wednesday night turned into a gunfight that left one dead, multiple people wounded and led to a car crashing into an apartment, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Multiple shooters were involved in the incide...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Offense finally shows up in 6-1 win over Yankees

Rays journal: Offense finally shows up in 6-1 win over Yankees

NEW YORK —  The Rays were looking for something to spark their once-again stagnant offense, and it came in somewhat unexpected ways in a 6-1 win over the Yankees on Wednesday.Rookie INF/OF Brandon Lowe, who didn't have a hit in his first 1...
Updated: 5 hours ago
As the Rays turn: Tommy Pham activated, Jake Faria demoted

As the Rays turn: Tommy Pham activated, Jake Faria demoted

OF Tommy Pham only needed seven innings in leftfield and four at-bats for short-season Class A Hudson Valley on Wednesday to determine his fractured right foot was healed and he will rejoin the Rays for Thursday's matinee at Yankee Stadium.Pham was i...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays core that finishes season will be one that starts 2019, Stuart Sternberg says

Rays core that finishes season will be one that starts 2019, Stuart Sternberg says

NEW YORK — No, the Rays won't sit tight the whole off­season without changing their roster. That's not their style. There's going to be a trade or two. They'll dump somebody whose salary exceeds his value. With only maybe $30 million or so...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from the Rays’ win over the Yankees

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from the Rays’ win over the Yankees

1. Welcome back, Kevin Kiermaier. For one night, anyway, the slumping centerfielder looked like the kind of game-changer the Rays expect, rapping a few hits, racing around the bases and roaming the outfield, making leaping catches and laser-like thro...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Couple looks to plant new South Tampa church at the Tampa Garden Club

Couple looks to plant new South Tampa church at the Tampa Garden Club

Pastors Chris and Erica Allen know many millennials feel disconnected from the Christian church. "For a lot of folks, church hasn’t seemed relevant to their lives," Erica Allen said. "That’s why we don’t expect people to come to us. We want to come t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Editorial: Journalists are friends of democracy, not the enemy

Editorial: Journalists are friends of democracy, not the enemy

It is real news that the Hillsborough County School District said this week it will accelerate testing for lead in drinking water and release the results after the Tampa Bay Times reported testing would take years and that until we asked families wer...
Updated: 8 hours ago
As Jonchuck nears trial, defense takes novel approach to gain any advantage

As Jonchuck nears trial, defense takes novel approach to gain any advantage

In the coming trial of a father accused of tossing his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge to her death — a crime for which he faces the death penalty — nothing is normal.That has certainly been true for the flurry of motions filed by defendant John Jon...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Remember Trevor Dooley? His stand your ground case returns to court for appeal on Tuesday

Remember Trevor Dooley? His stand your ground case returns to court for appeal on Tuesday

TAMPA — Remember the case of Trevor Dooley?He’s the Valrico man who fatally shot one of his neighbors back in 2010 during a fight over a skateboarder on a basketball court. He later unsuccessfully invoked Florida’s stand your ground self-defense law....
Updated: 10 hours ago
Keswick coach Phil Hayford back on the field after spring’s gruesome leg injury

Keswick coach Phil Hayford back on the field after spring’s gruesome leg injury

It's going to take more than a nasty leg injury to keep Keswick Christian coach Phil Hayford off the football field. Hayford, 70, was injured in April when he got too close to a player during a drill. The cleat from one of his players peeled off the ...
Updated: 10 hours ago