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Afternoon Update: Local condo owners fighting to keep homes; Russian diplomats booted from U.S.; Tampa children victims of lemonade stand heist

President Barack Obama blames the "highest level of the Russian government for hacks," as he speaks during a news conference on Dec. 16 in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. [Pablo Martinez Monsivais | Associated Press]

President Barack Obama blames the "highest level of the Russian government for hacks," as he speaks during a news conference on Dec. 16 in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. [Pablo Martinez Monsivais | Associated Press]

President Barack Obama has imposed sanctions on Russian officials and intelligence services in retaliation for Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts. The State Department also has kicked out 35 Russian diplomats from its embassy in Washington and consulate in San Francisco, giving them and their families 72 hours to leave the U.S. The diplomats were declared persona non grata for acting in a "manner inconsistent with their diplomatic status."

TAMPA CONDO OWNERS FIGHTING TO KEEP HOMES

Built in what could become one of Tampa Bay's most dynamic neighborhoods, The Slade At Channelside condominiums boast an eclectic mix of unit owners. But they are fighting what could be a losing battle to keep their homes. A St. Petersburg-based company, Slade Owner LLC, has acquired more than 85 percent of the units and wants to make The Slade rental only. It already is leasing out the units it owns and needs to acquire only a few more to achieve its goal.

YOUR AFTERNOON TRAFFIC AND WEATHER REPORT

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

TAMPA CHILDREN VICTIMS OF LEMONADE STAND HEIST

The lemonade stand heist began, deputies say, with an unhappy customer and a tossed cup. By the time it was over, two 9-year-old entrepreneurs were out $13.53 in profits and an iPod.

ST. PETE RESTAURANT WILL HELP WOMEN ESCAPE BAD DATES

 

We've all been on a bad date before. But in the age of Tinder and Bumble dating apps, a new restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg is taking it upon themselves to make sure guests feel safe when meeting new people. Iberian Rooster, a Portuguese fusion eatery that opened on Central Avenue in November, placed a framed sign in the women's restroom with instructions on ordering an "angel shot," which is a code to alert staff.

MAN FATALLY STRUCK BY CAR AFTER LEAVING RIVERVIEW REHAB FACILITY

An Illinois man was fatally struck by a car in Riverview early Thursday morning after deputies say he caused a disturbance at a treatment center before walking out and attempting to cross the road.

DUKE ENERGY OFF THE HOOK FOR $352 MILLION FOR CANCELED NUKE PLANT

This is one enormous bill that Duke Energy Florida customers won't have to cover. A federal judge in North Carolina ruled last week that the Florida utility does not owe the Westinghouse Electric Co. $352 million for disputed costs associated with the cancellation of the Levy County nuclear power plant.

A DECADE LATER, FLORIDA'S FIREWORKS INDUSTRY IS STUCK IN NEUTRAL

For a cutthroat industry built on big bangs, bright lights and the occasional lawsuit, local fireworks sellers have been quiet this year. The reason: a decade-old state law that essentially froze the industry by preventing new fireworks businesses from selling to consumers and restricting existing businesses from opening new locations or applying for new permits.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF: WASHINGTON HUSKIES PROS AT DEFLECTING DOUBTERS

Who are you guys and why are you here? That's the stink eye the Washington Huskies, party crashers, are getting these days. "So the country asks Washington, 'Who are you?' And not in a friendly, getting-to-know-you kind of way. More like an annoying, you're-lousing-everything-up sort of way," writes sports columnist Tom Jones.

TAMPA AND HAVANA AQUARIUMS TO FURTHER PARTNERSHIP IN 2017

The Florida Aquarium's joint research with the National Aquarium of Cuba on coral reef restoration ended on a scientific high in 2016. Heading into 2017, the Tampa- and Havana-based facilities look to build upon this relationship — the first ever between aquariums from the longtime enemy nations — by designing a coral greenhouse and building a coral nursery, both to be located in Cuba.

PLAN YOUR WEEKEND

Looking for New Year's Eve parties? Football festivities? Concerts, stand-up comedy or a snowy kids event at the aquarium? Our weekend planner has you covered with things to do.

GOOD READ: HOW 3-D GLASSES HELPED TAMPA LAND THE BIG GAME

Before Tampa could win the bidding war to host this year's College Football Playoff National Championship, the city had to lose one first. What was it about Tampa that ultimately secured next week's game? Here's what people close to the bid, both within the community and college football, had to say.

Afternoon Update: Local condo owners fighting to keep homes; Russian diplomats booted from U.S.; Tampa children victims of lemonade stand heist 12/29/16 [Last modified: Thursday, December 29, 2016 4:09pm]
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