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
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.
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.