Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

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

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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.

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Safety Harbor family, under attack from its pit bull, stabs the dog to death

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Take steps against holiday fraud with private WiFi, fraud alerts

Take steps against holiday fraud with private WiFi, fraud alerts

The holiday shopping season bring hosts of discounts and deals, but it also brings something less cheery — fraud. According to a forecast by ACI Worldwide, a payment processing company, retailers are expected to see a 30 percent jump in fraud this ye...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida’s iconic offshore Stiltsville survived another hurricane season

Florida’s iconic offshore Stiltsville survived another hurricane season

MIAMI — Stiltsville, a stubborn relic of Miami’s less-glitzy past as a sun-soaked outpost, has survived Hurricane Irma’s brutal winds and waves, much to the surprise of the landmark’s caretakers and fans. Perched at the edge of sea grass flats where ...
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Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

GAINESVILLE — If misery loves company, at least the Gators and Seminoles have each other.That’s about the only positive in the least appealing Florida-Florida State showdown in decades. Both enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at 4-6 — the first time each...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

GIBSONTON — Last month, LaShay Waiters got down on one knee and proposed to Yvette Alexandre in front of a room packed with family and friends. She said yes.About two weeks ago, it was Alexandre’s turn to surprise him: She was pregnant. It wasn’t pla...
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Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

PITTSBURGH — Miami’s perfect season is over. The Hurricanes can only hope their shot at a spot in the College Football Playoff isn’t gone too. Freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Pittsburgh stunned the s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hillsborough Democrats have everything going for them except history

Hillsborough Democrats have everything going for them except history

TAMPA — For 15 years, Republicans have held a majority of seats on the Hillsborough County Commission.It’s the longest stretch one party has controlled the board since a corruption scandal expanded the body to seven members in 1985.But all five Repub...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Eye on Julio Jones, new stadium

Cannon Fodder podcast: Eye on Julio Jones, new stadium

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman is back for one more Bucs-Falcons preview podcast, looking at Julio Jones’ rank among the all-time Bucs’ opponents, the new stadium in Atlanta, our story on game balls and much more. Listen below: ...
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Fourth Street’s mom and pop motels are a dying breed

Fourth Street’s mom and pop motels are a dying breed

ST. PETERSBURG — Billboards as far north as Tennessee beckoned tourists by the thousands to St. Petersburg’s Fourth Street calling it "the longest motel street in the world" in the 1940s and ’50s. There were 95 motels between the Gandy Bridge and Cen...
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