Monday, May 28, 2018
News Roundup

Afternoon update: Potential replacements if Pam Bondi joins Trump administration

Attorney General Pam Bondi's absence from Tuesday's one-day organizational session of the Legislature is fueling more speculation that she's a short-timer in Tallahassee. A member of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team, she's seen as a likely pick for a White House job. If she does leave, Steve Bousquet presents five potential replacements.

RUBIO PRAISES TRUMP'S SELECTION OF NIKKI HALEY AS UN AMBASSADOR

Sen. Marco Rubio has found another Trump appointment to praise — Gov. Nikki Haley as U.N. Ambassador. Like Rubio, she harshly criticized Trump during the primary and endorsed Rubio. But Trump still won South Carolina, putting him on a path to roll through Florida and end Rubio's hopes. "I've been impressed with Governor Nikki Haley's leadership of South Carolina and welcome her nomination to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations," Rubio said today in a statement.

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT HANDS DOWN NEW RULING IN FIGHT OVER DEATH PENALTY

The Florida Supreme Court threw out the death penalty of a man convicted of murdering a state prison guard with a knife, ruling that because the jury did not unanimously recommend a death sentence, he should get a new penalty phase. The ruling appeared to strike down the death penalty of every person on Florida's death row who was sent there following a jury vote that was not unanimous, said Orange-Osceola Public Defender Robert Wesley. The court's ruling was in the case of Richard Franklin, who was serving two life sentences for murder and robbery in March 2012 when he fatally stabbed 24-year-old Sgt. Ruben Thomas in the neck with a handmade knife.

LIVE NOW: HAPPY HOMECOMINGS AT TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

SAMANTHA PUTTERMAN | Times

There are lots of smile, hugs — and a few tears — as family and friends welcome their loved ones home for Thanksgiving. Christopher Spata (@SpataTimes) and Samantha Putterman (@SamPutterman) are there; check out their photos in our live blog.

WASTING NO TIME AS HOUSE SPEAKER, CORCORAN ATTACKS TEACHER'S UNION

In his first remarks earlier this week as the new Florida House speaker, Rep. Richard Corcoran lashed out at the state's largest teachers union, calling the organization "downright evil" for continuing to challenge a Legislature-approved tax credit scholarship program in court.

STEELMAKERS LIKE TAMPA'S GERDAU ARE HOPEFUL OF A RENAISSANCE UNDER A DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENCY

Steelmakers nationwide, over the din from their mills and processing plants, heard the promises from Donald Trump on the campaign trail. In Tampa, at the North American headquarters of one of the largest steelmaking operations in the country, Peter Campo was listening, too. And now that candidate Trump has become President-elect Trump, Campo is hopeful that a renaissance of his long-suffering industry might be at hand.

KILLER IN TEMPLE TERRACE SHOOTING SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN PRISON

Authorities say Johnny Gaston Alicea fatally shot 20-year-old Jillian Rae Boone and then shot himself in front of onlookers in the parking lot of a Temple Terrace bowling alley in August 2015. Alicea, now 47, survived and on Tuesday pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with a firearm. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Sabella then sentenced him to 30 years in state prison followed by 10 years of probation.

NERVOUS ABOUT THANKSGIVING DINNER? KEEP POLITIFACT'S 2016 GUIDE HANDY

Be honest with yourself: Politics is on the table this holiday season, like it or not. The best advice we have is to try keeping the conversation rooted in reality. Here's PolitiFact's guide to navigating politics this Thanksgiving.

STILL PLANNING YOUR THANKSGIVING MENU?

iStockphoto

If you're looking for a way to jazz up your standard corn dish, try one of these two recipes for something a little different.

If you're still not sure how to round out your Thanksgiving offerings (and brave enough to head to the store today for those last-minute ingredients), we have you covered. From some creative corn dishes to an easy sweet potato spoon bread, there is no shortage of ideas on our cooking page.

HEADING TO THE MOVIES ON THIS LONG WEEKEND?

Focus Features

Amy Adams as Susan Morrow in the film "Nocturnal Animals."

The long Thanksgiving weekend is generally a good time to catch up on your movie watching. Times movie critic Steve Persall says Dwayne Johnsonlifts otherwise placid Moana on his character's beefy shoulders, while Nocturnal Animals gives America a bad reputation. Check out our list of movies opening this weekend.

OTHER FUN THINGS TO DO WITH GUESTS

If movies aren't necessarily your thing, there are plenty of other things to do to pass the time. Check out our things to do database for a calendar of events.

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Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Austin Pruitt has started and worked out of the bullpen, in both short and long relief.But he did not expect to pick up his second career save Sunday by having to log 5⅔ innings, allowing only three hits whi...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Floodwaters surge in Maryland town

Floodwaters surge in Maryland town

Crews were engaged in multiple water rescues and buildings collapsed in historic Ellicott City on Sunday evening as floodwaters raged through its streets following torrential thunderstorms, Howard County, Maryland, officials said.Maryland Gov. Larry ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

So the team that just got back from a 10-day, 11-game road trip in three time zones is headed back out west for Memorial Day? The Rays travel to Oakland, Calif., Seattle and Washington, D.C. It's the first time they visited the West Coast on back-to-...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and an overbooked shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging them...
Updated: 7 hours ago
RFK’s son: There was 2nd shooter

RFK’s son: There was 2nd shooter

Los Angeles Times (TNS)As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy approaches, conspiracy theories still abound.The latest to back the theory of a second gunman is the senator’s son Robert F. Kennedy Jr.Sirhan B. Sirhan, a ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Visa woes have summer businesses hiring Puerto Ricans

Visa woes have summer businesses hiring Puerto Ricans

PHIPPSBURG, Maine — Frustrated by red tape and visa limits on foreign workers, tourism businesses from Maine to Missouri are turning to Puerto Ricans who are fleeing a shattered economy and devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Bob Smith, owner of S...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEYDriver surrenders after crash that kills bicyclistThe driver Florida Highway Patrol troopers say struck and killed a bicyclist then drove from the scene turned herself in Sunday afternoon.Shanna Marie Rampino surrendered a 2000 Toyota ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
A solemn display

A solemn display

Associated PressVisitors to Boston Commons in Boston last week pass 37,000 American flags planted to honor every Massachusetts resident killed in war dating to the Revolutionary War. The "flag garden" idea on Memorial Day started in Boston about a de...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Former President George H.W. Bush was hospitalized Sunday in Maine after he experienced low blood pressure and fatigue, a spokesman said. Just after 2 p.m., Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the 93-year-old Bush, said he was awak...
Published: 05/27/18
None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

TRINITY — No one was hurt Sunday morning after a fire broke out at a rehabilitation center.According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, Trinity Regional Rehab Center at 2144 Welbilt Blvd. is running on generator power after the blaze broke out about 10:30 ...
Published: 05/27/18