Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Obama urges vote on judicial picks

Washington

Obama urges vote on judicial picks

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on the Senate to swiftly confirm three new nominees to the influential and understaffed U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Obama staged a rare formal ceremony in the Rose Garden to nominate the three to the appeals court. Visibly exasperated after years of delays on votes on many of his earlier nominations, Obama upbraided Senate Republicans for blocking past nominees and warned them to stop playing "games." Obama nominated two female lawyers, Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard, and an African American federal judge, Robert Wilkins, to serve on the federal court, which is powerful because it rules on a variety of domestic policies.

First lady confronts protester at event

Michelle Obama experienced a rare face-to-face encounter with a protester late Tuesday — approaching the activist and threatening to leave a fundraiser if the person did not stop interrupting her speech. Obama was addressing a Democratic Party fundraiser in a private home in the Kalorama neighborhood of northwest Washington when Ellen Sturtz, 56, a lesbian activist, interrupted her remarks to demand that President Barack Obama sign an antidiscrimination executive order. A pool report from a reporter in the room quoted Obama as saying: "Listen to me or you can take the mike, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice." The audience responded by asking her to remain, according to the report, which quoted a woman nearby telling Sturtz, "You need to go."

Elsewhere

Fort Hood, Texas: During his first full day in court defending himself, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people, told a judge on Tuesday that he believed he was defending the lives of the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan from U.S. military personnel when he went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in 2009. If convicted, he faces a possible death sentence.

Los Angeles: An internal review by the Los Angeles Police Department concluded that rogue ex-Officer Christopher Dorner was justifiably fired, a lawyer who reviewed the findings told the Associated Press on Tuesday. Authorities said Dorner killed four people, including two law enforcement officers, during a weeklong rampage in February.

Times wires

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Tampa judge denies ‘stand your ground’ claim in Lyfe Coleman murder case

Tampa judge denies ‘stand your ground’ claim in Lyfe Coleman murder case

TAMPA — A judge has declined to grant immunity to Reginald Bowman, the man who admitted last month that he fatally shot 18-year-old Lyfe Coleman and invoked the state’s "stand your ground" law to argue it was self-defense.At a brief hearing Tuesday, ...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

ST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown. The new projects, all by out-of-state developers and more moderately priced than those downtown, will...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

TAMPA — Hillsborough County officials fired a Fire Rescue medic Tuesday after an internal investigation concluded he had "unwavering loyalty" to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club — the state’s dominant biker gang. Clinton Neal Walker, 33, of Bradenton, is ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

When it comes to regulating insurance, Florida is slowly improving. The Sunshine State raised its grade from a C in 2016 to a B in 2017 on the "R Street 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card." It ranked No. 15 among all states.The annual report, writ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

US travel industry launches plan to reverse tourism decline

Associated PressNEW YORK — Travel industry representatives sounded an alarm Tuesday over declines in international tourism to the U.S. and announced plans to reverse the trend. Organizers of the new Visit U.S. Coalition portrayed the decline as long-...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Man shot, runs for help to Bahama Breeze with suspects following

TAMPA — Attackers shot a Tampa man Monday night as he sat in his car then chased him as he fled to a nearby restaurant to get help, Tampa police said.The victim was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.The incident occurre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

A substitute teacher at a Plant City elementary school berated a class of fourth graders — and then the school principal. Another compared a student to a stripper. Others were caught napping, hitting children, making sexual remarks, giving students b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on Tuesday appealed a judge’s ruling temporarily blocking its decision to end protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and announced plans to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review even before an ap...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How to protect your Florida plants during a freeze

How to protect your Florida plants during a freeze

With forecasts predicting freezing temperatures for much of the Tampa Bay area, you may want to protect sensitive plants.The National Weather Service says a freeze watch is in effect from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning for Hillsborough, P...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Pete officer suspended for month after pushing concert guard

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer was suspended for a month after he pushed a security guard at a summer concert in Tampa while looking for his lost girlfriend and e-cigarette, according to St. Petersburg police.It could have been worse: Chief Tony H...
Updated: 1 hour ago