Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Afternoon update: Pondering Bondi's potential role in Trump administration; MacDill airmen broke no rules; where to see 'snow' in Tampa Bay; would Gators fans miss McElwain?

For Attorney General Pam Bondi, the good news is that the next president of the United States may be calling with a big job offer in Washington. The bad news: The price of that job could be an arduous, intrusive and constitutionally vital step of a Senate confirmation hearing. Will it be the No. 2 job in the Justice Department? U.S. trade representative? Drug czar? All are great opportunities, but there's a catch — and it involves the infamous $25,000 check that Bondi got from Trump three years ago when New York, but not Florida, was busily investigating fraud complaints involving Trump University.

AIRMEN POSING WITH TRUMP BROKE NO RULES, MACDILL OFFICIALS SAY

Airmen from MacDill Air Force Base who posed for pictures with Donald Trump during a campaign visit to Tampa broke no rules, according to Air Force officials. Just days before the election, Trump was visiting Tampa and his campaign plane was on the runway at Tampa International Airport when he made an impromptu appearance with about two dozen uniformed airmen, most from the 927th Air Refueling Wing.

ISLAMIC STATE SAYS OHIO STATE ATTACKER WAS ITS 'SOLDIER'

[Kevin Stankiewicz | TheLantern.com via AP]

This August 2016 image provided by TheLantern.com shows Abdul Razak Ali Artan in Columbus, Ohio. Authorities identified Abdul Razak Ali Artan as the Somali-born Ohio State University student who plowed his car into a group of pedestrians on campus and then got out and began stabbing people with a knife Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, before he was shot to death by an officer.

The official news agency of the Islamic State labeled the Ohio State student who smashed his car into a crowd and then slashed at people with a butcher knife a "soldier" of the militant group, according to an organization that monitors extremists. This posting does not necessarily mean that Abdul Razak Ali Artan acted at the behest of the terror group, which often claims responsibility for attacks in which it had no actual involvement, said Rita Katz, executive director of the SITE Intelligence Group.

OBAMA'S SACRED DUTY: VISITING THE WOUNDED AT WALTER REED

For his 23rd and probably last time as president, Barack Obama is traveling by helicopter to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to spend another afternoon with the wounded from Afghanistan and Iraq. Read more about his previous visits and the military personnel who he has impacted.

TRUMP TAPS PRICE TO LEAD HHS, CHAO TO LEAD TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT

President-elect Donald Trump made two Cabinet selections on Tuesday, choosing fierce Obamacare critic Georgia Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and Elaine Chao, who served in the Cabinet of George W. Bush, to serve as the secretary of the Department of Transportation.

SENATOR PROPOSES PLAN TO STOP PROPERTY TAX HIKE ON NON-HOMESTEADED LAND

The Florida Legislature is taking the first steps toward preventing an historic property tax increase that would affect commercial properties, second homes and rental properties.

OHIO STATE-MICHIGAN STUCK IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY

[Jamie Sabau | Getty Images

J.T. Barrett of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes for a first down during overtime of the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.

As we break down the photos and footage of J.T. Barrett's first down — and eventual Ohio State win over Michigan — with Zapruder-like scrutiny, Tom Jones says this much is clearly in focus: the play has become the defining moment not only in the college football's most storied rivalry, but the most significant down in the most dramatic season in college football history. It literally could decide the national champion.

NINE PLACES TO SEE 'SNOW' IN TAMPA BAY

Don't worry Floridians, you don't have to give up your mild holiday weather to enjoy snow this year — as long as you're willing to squint your eyes a little bit. Here are 10 events in Tampa Bay where "snow" is in the forecast.

JONES: WOULD FLORIDA YAWN IF JIM MCELWAIN LEFT FOR OREGON?

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Rumors surfaced that Oregon might court Florida coach Jim McElwain.

A hot rumor making the rounds is the idea of Florida coach Jim McElwain leaving for Oregon, to return to the Pacific Northwest, close to where he went to college and started his coaching career at Eastern Washington. It's way too early to know if there is anything to these so-called "whispers'' that Oregon is flirting with McElwain, Tom Jones writes, but his guess is Gators fans wouldn't be all that broken up if McElwain actually left.

TONIGHT: COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS ANNOUNCED

Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson appear locks, but who will join them tonight when the next-to-last rankings are released to determine which teams will play for the national championship in Tampa? Michigan may still make a case despite losing to Ohio State — despite having two losses — while Washington fans have to think it's time that they nail down the final spot on the Road to Tampa. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

STRALMAN ABSENCE MAGNIFIED IN TRYING TIME AS LIGHTNING FACE COLUMBUS

The Lightning is still holding out hope defenseman Anton Stralman can play on this three-game road trip, which continues tonight at 7 against the Blue Jackets. Check out our live blog for updates throughout the game.

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Hernando schools superintendent ‘pink-slipped’ by public following firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary

Hernando schools superintendent ‘pink-slipped’ by public following firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary

BROOKSVILLE –– A room full of people wearing purple erupted in frustration before Hernando County school officials Tuesday night, scolding Superintendent Lori Romano for her recent firing of 47 teachers at Moton Elementary, which has been struggling ...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
Trinity teen killed in crash remembered as

Trinity teen killed in crash remembered as "positive" and "smiling"

TRINITY — Friends said they will remember Lillia Morris, who was killed Tuesday in a car crash, as always smiling.Morris, 17, was killed after a 2008 Chevrolet SUV ran a red light and slammed into her car at State Road 54 and Duck Slough Boulevard.Ka...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Springstead baseball isn’t easing into districts

Springstead baseball isn’t easing into districts

SPRING HILL — With the high school baseball regular season ending this week, some teams like to dial down their schedule in preparation for district play.Springstead is more than happy to be doing the opposite. With two games against HomeTeam t...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Pasco SRO under investigation after video shows takedown of student

Pasco SRO under investigation after video shows takedown of student

LAND O’ LAKES — An investigation continues after a video surfaced Tuesday that shows a Sunlake High School school resource officer wrestling a female student to the ground while taking her into custody, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office....
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Hernando school officials deny Chehuntamo charter school on second try

Hernando school officials deny Chehuntamo charter school on second try

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board on Tuesday denied the 2019 opening of Chehuntamo Advanced Performance High School, a charter school proposed by the same group that applied once before in 2017.The team behind the school, said to be for ...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Deputies search for armed carjacking suspect

Deputies search for armed carjacking suspect

TAMPA — Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching for an armed man who may be responsible for a string of Wednesday morning carjackings, including one that involved gunfire, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The man was last...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A bittersweet farewell for Rams baseball

A bittersweet farewell for Rams baseball

NEW PORT RICHEY — This week alone, Larry Beets has bid farewell to two longtime homes.He and wife Donna, who are transitioning to a villa at Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club, are completing the sale of the Hudson house they shared for nearly a hal...
Updated: 1 hour ago
UCF student from Hillsborough, one other accused of rape; fraternity suspended

UCF student from Hillsborough, one other accused of rape; fraternity suspended

ORLANDO — A University of Central Florida student from Hillsborough County and a fellow fraternity member face charges after they were accused of raping a woman at a party.That fraternity has since been placed on interim suspension.Orange County Sher...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Yelp search results reflect racist stereotype that Asian restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflect racist stereotype that Asian restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hernando School Board okays second district-wide survey to evaluate superintendent

Hernando School Board okays second district-wide survey to evaluate superintendent

BROOKSVILLE — A second district-wide survey to evaluate the performance of Superintendent Lori Romano soon will go out to about 3,000 Hernando County School District employees, giving them a chance to weigh in on the job she is doing.The instrument, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago