Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

Afternoon Update: Tampa man pardoned by Obama; Florida bill would curb juvenile arrests; Bucs' McCoy gets jolly for Christmas

TAMPA MAN PARDONED BY OBAMA

About eight years ago, Christopher Muratore sat down to fill out paperwork in hopes of receiving a presidential pardon. In 2001, the former staffer for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court was convicted with two other men in a scam that bilked the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars. A pardon would clear his record so he could serve as a guardian for his profoundly autistic daughter Kasey. This week, his phone rang. A staffer was calling from the federal Office of the Pardon Attorney to inform him that his pardon would be announced by the White House.

OBAMA IS EXPECTED TO BAR DRILLING IN SWATHS OF ATLANTIC, ARCTIC

President Barack Obama is expected to order wide swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans placed permanently off-limits for oil drilling, the Associated Press reports, citing people briefed on the administration's plan said

FLORIDA BILL WOULD MANDATE CIVIL CITATIONS, NOT ARRESTS, FOR JUVENILES

A new bill filed Tuesday in the Florida Senate seeks to help low-level juvenile offenders avoid a criminal record that could follow them into adulthood and set them back for life. The bill would require law enforcement officers to issue civil citations instead of arresting juveniles for 11 misdemeanors, ranging from alcohol and marijuana possession to riots, battery and disorderly conduct

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.

CHARLIE KAIJO | Times

Gerald McCoy plays Santa Claus.

BUCS' GERALD MCCOY SPREADS HOLIDAY CHEER

In the dining room at One Buc Place, there was a blizzard of wrapping paper flying everywhere, present unwrapping that, once it began, beat any Bucs player's 40 time. Watching the children was Santa, who paid for everything. Santa stood 6 feet 4 and weighed 300 pounds. It was Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

WINSTON ON PLAYOFFS: 'I DON'T TRUST THE PERCENTAGES'

Quarterback Jameis Winston knows there are all kinds of scenarios, calculations and probabilities of the Bucs reaching the post-season. But he's focused on division – as in beating NFC South rivals New Orleans and Carolina, and says he's thinking about "what we need to do to find a way to get in here."

TANNER RICHARD PUMPED TO — FINALLY — MAKE NHL DEBUT

This time, no flight issues were going to stop Tanner Richard from making his much anticipated NHL debut. Richard, 23, is expected to be in the lineup tonight against the Red Wings to play his first game. He led the post-morning skate stretch, getting stick taps from Lightning teammates.

ONE ST. PETE OFFICIAL FIRED, ANOTHER BROUGHT BACK AFTER INVESTIGATION

At the height of public outcry over the city's sewage crisis in September, Mayor Rick Kriseman placed two high-ranking officials on unpaid leave. On Tuesday, after an independent investigation found no deliberate attempt to keep the mayor or City Council in the dark about potential sewage problems, Kriseman announced in a statement that he has fired Water Resources Director Steve Leavitt.

FORMER PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION MEMBER WILL BE THE NEXT BOSS OF FLORIDA'S PARKS

Last week, with no explanation, the longtime boss of the award-winning Florida state parks system was abruptly demoted. Donald Forgione was reassigned to running one single park instead of all 170. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday announced that his replacement will be Lisa Edgar, a former Public Service Commission member who was once accused of favoring utilities over customers.

Make the most of your holiday season and have a warm and inspiring time, like everyone in a Hallmark Channel movie.

HOW TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS LIKE YOU'RE IN A HALLMARK MOVIE

Hallmark Heroine has already purchased Santa swag at 30 to 50 percent off, because it was on the shelves since May. She has been to at least three holiday parties, and feels like a pumpkin roll filled with wine. Proverbially, she is Baroness Elsa Schraeder, severe and a bit misunderstood. But Hallmark Heroine endures a few more days, ever believing she will finally decode the true meaning of Christmas. And if she can, so can you.

NEED A GOOD READ?

On Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th streets, in the heart of Manhattan, in a skyscraper that once drew Gucci shoppers but now struggles with demand for $30 Make America Great Again hats, the Trump show goes on. Amid the glass, gold and marble of the city's new landmark — Trump Tower — supporters, detractors and curious tourists crowd around to get a look.

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Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

OMAHA, Neb. — JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night....
Updated: 2 hours ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

The NFL will suspend Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston three games without pay to start the regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The suspension could be increased if he fails to meet certain undisclosed requirements expect...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

TAMPA — The news of Jameis Winston's suspension to start this season likely means the Bucs will have veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick stepping in at quarterback for the first three games of the regular season.Fitzpatrick took over as the starter for th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

More than a year ago, Kevin Knox stepped across the stage at the Straz Center to receive his high school diploma.On Thursday, the former Tampa Catholic star was on basketball's biggest stage as he fulfilled his lifelong goal of making the NBA.Knox wa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

NHL schedules all balance out at the end, but the Lightning will open 2018-19 with five straight home games and end the season with its last four on the road.The Lightning released its schedule Thursday evening for the upcoming season, with all sorts...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

The Lightning doesn't have a first-round pick in this weekend's draft, but that's not to say the weekend couldn't be busy for general manager Steve Yzerman and his front office.The Lightning sent its top draft pick to the Rangers in February as part ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Trade him. Waive him. Cut him.Whatever.Just get rid of him.Jameis Winston should never play another game for the Tampa Bay Bucs.Plain and simple, he's a bad guy and the Bucs should have nothing more to do with him.He already will miss the first three...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and intellectual provocateur, dies at 68

Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and intellectual provocateur, dies at 68

Charles Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist and intellectual provocateur who championed the muscular foreign policy of neoconservatism that helped lay the ideological groundwork for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, died...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

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ST. PETERSBURG – Rookie 1B Jake Bauers has impressed at the plate and in the field since his June 7 promotion.Also, with his hustling on the bases."I knew he played hard; everybody said that at every level,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I di...
Updated: 5 hours ago