Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

Afternoon Update: Bondi named to Trump's transition team; crisp, dry weekend in forecast; USF's Genshaft calls for 'civility'; three-war veteran honored

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was named today as a member of President-elect Donald Trump's top transition team, joining a group of political insiders and newcomers. Bondi will be on the Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee, which includes several lawmakers, Trump's children, Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon. The overall effort will be led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who takes over the top job from Chris Christie, who will serve as vice chairman.

FORECAST: A PLEASANT NIGHT AND A CRISP, DRY WEEKEND

It will be mostly clear tonight, with lows dropping into the low 60s and high 50s around Tampa Bay. Then get ready for a comfortable weekend. Low humidity will keep the air dry and contribute to the crisp feeling, with temperatures slowly climbing back up on Sunday. For more forecast details, check out the Times' weather page.

GENSHAFT CALLS FOR 'CIVILITY' AFTER ELECTION-RELATED THREATS

USF is one of many universities dealing with the fallout of a contentious, bitter election from which Donald Trump emerged president-elect. Some students have celebrated while others have mourned, and campus police are investigating reports of racist threats. More than two dozen students have sought solace in the USF Office of Multicultural Affairs, and president Judy Genshaft has sent a university-wide email expressing her hope for healing, civility and respect for diversity.

HOWARD ALTMAN | Times

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Geoffrey Parker served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

ON VETERANS DAY, MEET A MAN WHO FOUGHT IN THREE WARS

Thousands of veterans were honored at ceremonies across the Tampa Bay area today, but few of them can top 92-year-old Geoffrey Parker, at least as far as the numbers of conflicts goes. (And he wasn't even born in the United States.) Parker, a patient at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, was a guest of honor at the facility's ninth annual Veterans Day parade. It was among several Veterans remembrances in a region with more than 300,000 veterans, one of the nation's highest populations of those who served.

TRAFFIC UPDATES TO GET HOME SAFELY

As you head out for your evening commute and throughout the weekend, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.

FENNELLY: UNFORTUNATELY, HATE KEEPS MOVING THE CHAINS

We just had the most hateful presidential race in our lifetimes, writes Times sports columnist Martin Fennelly. There are people cheering our next president. There are people stacking furniture against doors, thinking this man is coming for them. None of these emotions are make-believe, especially the hate. And Bucs tackle Demar Dotson just felt some of it.

[SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times}

Malik Davis, Jesuit's all-time leading rusher, leads the Tigers against Gibbs tonight, one of several playoff games on the schedule.

KEEP UP WITH THE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS

Prep football playoffs kick into high gear tonight. Find scores, updates, photos, video and more as the Times reports from games throughout Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando beginning at 7 tonight on our live blog.

BOOKMARK THIS: TIMES FESTIVAL OF READING ON SATURDAY

More than 45 authors will be giving talks and signing books at the annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on Saturday at USF St. Petersburg. Among them will be Tampa resident and bestselling author Michael Connelly, whose detective Harry Bosch is the title character of the Amazon TV series. Also, essayist and author Joyce Maynard, political thriller novelist Brad Meltzer and famed sportswriter Frank Deford.

Comments
The government admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories.

The government admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories.

For decades, Americans were told that Area 51 didn’t really exist and that the U.S. government had no official interest in aliens or UFOs. Statements to the contrary, official-sounding people cautioned, were probably the musings of crackpots in tinfo...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Another reason to buy a home in Tampa Bay--- downpayments are lower here

Another reason to buy a home in Tampa Bay--- downpayments are lower here

Times Staff WriterHomebuyers in the Tampa Bay area don’t have to shell out as much on downpayments as buyers in many other places. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the median downpayment for a bay area home in the quarter ended in September was $1...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Multiple fatalities as Amtrak train derails south of Seattle

Multiple fatalities as Amtrak train derails south of Seattle

TACOMA, Wash. — An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle on Monday, spilling train cars onto a busy interstate and authorities reported "multiple fatalities."The train derailed about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle before 8 a.m.Amtrak says...
Updated: 1 hour ago
ESPN chief Skipper resigns, cites substance abuse problem

ESPN chief Skipper resigns, cites substance abuse problem

NEW YORK — John Skipper, president of the sprawling ESPN sports network, said Monday that he is resigning to treat a substance abuse problem.Skipper’s sudden announcement will force the Walt Disney Co.-owned network to search for new leadership at a ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Monday night football preview, Bucs vs. Falcons

Cannon Fodder podcast: Monday night football preview, Bucs vs. Falcons

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman has a final preview of tonight’s Bucs-Falcons game — Matt Ryan’s history with the Bucs, how Tampa Bay will handle its absences on defense and a few Ring of Honor hypotheticals as well … Listen below: ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: The hole in DJJ’s beefed-up screening process; can Gruden coach Bucs again?; and more

Top 5 at noon: The hole in DJJ’s beefed-up screening process; can Gruden coach Bucs again?; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.ALTHOUGH FLORIDA JUVENILE JUSTICE SAID IT WOULD WEED OUT BAD HIRES, SOMEHOW THIS GUY SLIPPED THROUGHWhile the beefed-up screening governs how the Department of Juvenine Justice hires officers...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Riverview father accused in daughter’s murder tells judge he wants to drop his attorney

Riverview father accused in daughter’s murder tells judge he wants to drop his attorney

TAMPA — Nahshon Shannon wants to drop his attorney.Shannon, accused of murdering his 13-year-old daughter, argued in court Monday morning that Assistant Public Defender Jennifer Spradley should be removed from his case.His main complaint was that Spr...
Updated: 2 hours ago
American Social tries to draw a young Tampa crowd with New York prices

American Social tries to draw a young Tampa crowd with New York prices

TAMPAPaul Greenberg and Rick Mijares believe something. They believe that millennials are nostalgic for a time they didn’t live through. American Social, the long-anticipated waterside restaurant adjacent to Jackson’s on Harbour Island, reads like a ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: Woman killed in Clearwater drive-by shooting while daughter, 10, in back seat

Police: Woman killed in Clearwater drive-by shooting while daughter, 10, in back seat

CLEARWATER — A Palm Harbor woman was killed in a drive-by shooting while riding with her husband and 10-year-old daughter in a Nissan Sentra late Sunday, police said.Elizabeth Rosado, 30, was in the front passenger seat of the sedan, which was headed...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida gas prices back to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels

Florida gas prices back to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels

Just in time for one of the busiest travel periods of the year, gas prices across Florida are back down to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels. Tampa Bay gas hit $2.30 per gallon today, while state prices averaged $2.37 per gallon, according to AAA, The Auto...
Updated: 4 hours ago