Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

Afternoon Update: FBI announces a new Clinton email probe; state officials reassure judge on voter verification

Your roundup of today's top stories.

FBI: NEW CLINTON EMAILS PROMPT FURTHER INVESTIGATION

The FBI informed Congress today that it is investigating whether there is classified information in new emails that have emerged in its probe of Hillary Clinton's private server. The FBI had said in July its investigation was finished. Today's disclosure raises the possibility of the FBI reopening the criminal investigation involving the Democratic presidential nominee just days before the presidential election, although it is not clear if that will happen.

STATE REASSURES FEDERAL JUDGE ON EFFORTS TO VERIFY ALL NEWLY-REGISTERED VOTERS

The federal judge who extended Florida's voter registration deadline won assurances from state officials today that they have done all they can to verify each new voter's application before mandatory statewide early voting begins Saturday. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker called a special hearing after discovering on a state web site that of 128,000 people who took advantage of a week-long extension, about 21,000 remained unverified on Friday afternoon. Those people would cast provisional ballots, which are typically rejected at a higher rate than other ballots, based on data from the 2012 presidential election in Florida. Maria Matthews, director of the Division of Elections, told the judge that the voters were unverified because they submitted incomplete forms and their identities couldn't be confirmed. "Every effort is being made that if we can get everyone registered, we will," she said.

Strategic Property Partners

Strategic Property Partners unveiled plans to redevelopment Channelside Bay Plaza to Port Tampa Bay on Tuesday. The plans involve require demolishing Channelside Bay Plaza and opening the space up to the waterfront. The Bay Plaza design is often said to "turn its back" on the water, not taking full advantage of the views.

THE TOP 10 TAMPA BAY REAL ESTATE PROJECTS WITH WOW! APPEAL

"From the frenzy of downtown projects in Tampa and St. Petersburg to Tampa International Airport and east Pasco, big-dollar and innovative developments are in high gear," writes Robert Trigaux. Alone, they signal confidence in the urban strongholds of Tampa Bay. Combined, they send a strong message that the economic vitality of the Tampa Bay region in the coming years has been noticed and recognized by savvy developers near and far. It bodes well for the region."

WIDESPREAD USE OF SENIOR JUDGES IN FORECLOSURE CASES QUESTIONED

The presiding judge in Courtroom 510 on the fifth floor of the George Edgecomb Courthouse retired eight years ago. Yet on a recent Wednesday morning, The Honorable Sandra Taylor — a black robe draping her shoulders — was busy working her $350-a-day part-time job. Unlike most of the other judges in the 13th Judicial Circuit, Taylor was never elected to the bench in Hillsborough County, nor was she appointed by the governor. In fact, she doesn't even live here. Taylor, 67, is a senior judge. Retired judges like her are called in to hear cases in the absence of a regular judge. In essence, they are the substitute teachers of the state court system.

SCOUTING REPORT: ARE THE RAIDERS, FALCONS, TEXANS AND BILLS CONTENDERS? OR PRETENDERS?

It's almost Halloween — time to sort out the NFL contenders and pretenders. It's like dumping your pillowcase of candy on the kitchen table and separating the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups from the Necco Wafers. As always, the Patriots are really, really good and the Browns are really, really Browns, even Brownsier than usual. Through seven weeks, the Vikings, Seahawks and Broncos are all firmly in the "contenders" category while the 49ers, Bears, Panthers and Jets are researching hotel rooms in Philadelphia ahead of April's draft. Everyone else warrants more consideration. Let's look at a handful of teams, starting with the Bucs' opponent Sunday.

Associated Press (2014)

University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley walks on the sidelines during the second half of the 2014 Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville.

UF'S JEREMY FOLEY ON RETIREMENT, GROWING THICK SKIN AND 'THE LAST TIME I'LL HAVE GOOD SEATS'

University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley is currently 1-2 at hiring football coaches (though Urban Meyer was a big win). The ballots haven't been tabulated on Jim McElwain, but early returns are good. More so if Florida knocks off Georgia on Saturday. It will be Foley's 41st consecutive Florida-Georgia game since he arrived in Gainesville, his final one as UF athletic director. He recently sat in his office and chatted with our columnist Martin Fennelly about past and present, about orange and blue.

DESPITE OBAMACARE RATE HIKES, ADVOCATES SAY MANY PLANS IN FLORIDA WILL BE AFFORDABLE IN 2017

Open enrollment for individual health insurance starts Tuesday — and local shoppers are already bracing for rate hikes. Florida won't be immune from the increases that made national headlines this week. Premiums for plans offered on and off the Affordable Care Act exchanges will rise by an average of 19 percent statewide, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Still, advocates insist the plans will be economical. A study released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found 84 percent of Florida consumers will be able to purchase a plan with monthly premiums of $100 or less.

UTILITIES CONTRIBUTE TO PAC FRIENDLY TO JOLLY

David Jolly has been trailing badly in the money race against Charlie Crist in the 13th Congressional District. The Republican incumbent hasn't gotten any significant outside help while Crist has been aided with substantial ad buys from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and environmental groups. But Florida utilities have spent some money in support of Jolly recently. Florida Power and Light contributed $250,000 on Oct. 6 and Duke Energy gave $100,000 on Oct. 13 to People for Pinellas, a PAC supporting Jolly.

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.

Comments
Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Two people drowned and another suffered life-threatening injuries in the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.Investigators said all three cases appear to be accidents, but the incidents stand as a reminder that summer, with vacation ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

SEMINOLE — She was 22 when deputies said a man forced her at knifepoint into the woods off Seminole Boulevard and sexually battered her in February 1987.The case went cold, but now the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested the man it ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

TAMPA — Iceland isn't what it used to be. Literally. The Nordic island country is shrinking, what with global warming. Iceland's glaciers are getting smaller. If you took all that ice and laid it end to end, well, you clearly have nothing bette...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian on Sunday night and then drove off.The incident took place at 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh Avenue.No details a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg teen, seven months pregnant, dies in Pasco crash

St. Petersburg teen, seven months pregnant, dies in Pasco crash

HUDSON — A 16-year-old St. Petersburg teen who was seven months pregnant was fatally injured in a crash Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident took place at 9:11 p.m. on Little Road south of Hudson Avenue. The teen, Emily ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Mazzaro’s gets ready to reopen

Mazzaro’s gets ready to reopen

day after an electrical fire broke out in its dry goods warehouse Friday night.Dominic Horwath, a grocery manager at Mazzaro’s on 22nd Ave. N, said staffers spent Monday and the weekend moving things into other warehouses.The damage from the fire at ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

WashingtonPentagon suspends August drills with South KoreaThe Pentagon on Monday formally suspended a major military exercise planned for August with South Korea, a much-anticipated move stemming from President Donald Trump’s nuclear summit with Nort...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete heroin dealer delays sentencing by firing another lawyer

St. Pete heroin dealer delays sentencing by firing another lawyer

TAMPA — William Harold Wright was supposed to learn his punishment Monday for bringing massive shipments of heroin to the streets of St. Petersburg.Instead, the convicted drug dealer once again ditched his attorney and declared his innocence, cutting...
Updated: 3 hours ago