Monday, November 20, 2017
News Roundup

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

RECOMMENDED READING


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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Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs’ season

Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs’ season

ST. PETERSBURG — It isn’t easy avoiding The Jameis Winston mess.But it’s worth a try. If only to see some thin shafts of light.It’s worth considering that the 2017 Bucs, their death certificate already signed, have shown signs of life. Okay, near lif...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
‘He’s going to come back and finish me off,’ Adam Matos victim told her boss

‘He’s going to come back and finish me off,’ Adam Matos victim told her boss

NEW PORT RICHEY — His family described him as a loving, kind-hearted father. His neighbors regarded him as quiet and respectful. His friends recalled him as "happy go lucky," a "laid-back, fun guy."Thirteen witnesses told of a softer side of Adam Mat...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Tampa Electric, contractor fined $43,000 in gas leak

Tampa Electric, contractor fined $43,000 in gas leak

APOLLO BEACH — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Tampa Electric $18,108 and gave the company two "serious" citations for its response to a gas leak at the Big Bend Power Station in May, the agency announced late Friday.T...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Forecast: Florida retailers expect strong holiday shopping sales

Forecast: Florida retailers expect strong holiday shopping sales

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, and this year is expected to be particularly kind to retailers.The Florida Retail Federation’s holiday shopping forecast predicts that a combination of high consumer confidence, strong tourism numbers and a littl...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Dr. Delay: Pinellas traffic officials to tweak signals near Largo Mall

Dr. Delay: Pinellas traffic officials to tweak signals near Largo Mall

The Largo Mall entrance stoplight on Ulmerton Road just east of Seminole Boulevard has been causing traffic delays on eastbound Ulmerton at Seminole Boulevard. It appears that the light at the Largo Mall entrance is being triggered on-demand by folks...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Up for sale? Activist investor grabs stake in Tampa’s Bloomin’ Brands

Up for sale? Activist investor grabs stake in Tampa’s Bloomin’ Brands

TAMPA — If you tread water too long in the same spot, someone might start asking why you’re not trying to swim somewhere.Tampa’s Bloomin’ Brands — parent company of such prominent restaurant chains as Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Charity supporting 9/11 victims’ families is model for many

Edie Lutnick initially was relieved to receive a call from her brother Gary who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald finance firm in One World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001."I said ‘Thank God you aren’t there,’ and he said, ‘Edie, I am he...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Florida should restore online access to nursing home inspections

Editorial: Florida should restore online access to nursing home inspections

In a state with the nation’s highest portion of residents over 65 years old and more than 80,000 nursing home beds, public records about those facilities should be as accessible as possible. Yet once again, Florida is turning back the clock to the da...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How did UCF go from 0-12 to unbeaten? Coaching and chemistry

How did UCF go from 0-12 to unbeaten? Coaching and chemistry

ORLANDO — The marvel of Space Mountain dissipated decades ago. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall at Universal, while a nifty defiance of gravity, has its ups and downs. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? Please. To many locals, Orlando’s most dizzying experience — ...
Updated: 2 hours ago