Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Port Authority chief resigns in wake of bridge scandal, Christie says

RECOMMENDED READING


Trenton, N.J.

port chairman resigns amid lane closings scandal

Gov. Chris Christie on Friday announced the resignation of the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — the highest-ranking public official to resign during the scandal over lane closings at the George Washington Bridge — as he embarked on an aggressive campaign to re-establish himself on the national stage. David Samson had been under fire for his role in the closings since January, when emails showed he was more concerned about political ramifications for Christie than drivers stuck in traffic. Christie used the departure to try to signal a new era at the Port Authority and for himself.

Washington

GOP Rep. Mike Rogers quitting for radio show

Rep. Mike Rogers, the brash-talking Republican security hawk who has criticized the Obama administration yet commanded uncommon bipartisan support as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday he was retiring from Congress next year. The 50-year-old from Michigan made the surprising announcement in a radio interview, saying he would leave when his seventh term expires to launch his own radio show. His departure comes despite a sharp climb in his national profile, as he considered a Senate run and his name was floated as a possible candidate for FBI director.

Detroit

U.S. recognizes Mich. same-sex marriages

Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday extended federal recognition to the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples that took place in Michigan before a federal appeals court put those unions on hold. Holder's action will enable the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits to the Michigan couples who married Saturday, which means they can file federal taxes jointly, get Social Security benefits for spouses and request legal immigration status for partners, among other benefits. Previously, Holder did the same thing in Utah.

New York

Security boss out at 1 World Trade Center

A spokesman for the company that manages 1 World Trade Center says the building's head of security has resigned. The Durst Organization's Jordan Barowitz says David Velazquez resigned Friday. His departure comes days after the arrests of three skydiving enthusiasts who in September parachuted off the building. It comes about two weeks after officials say a New Jersey teenager sneaked onto the site, climbed to the top of the 1,776-foot tower and took pictures. Barowitz says Durst took over security of the tower in January. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey controls the site and is responsible for security around the perimeter.

Houston

Texas high court halts drug source disclosure

Texas' new supplier of execution drugs will remain a secret, at least for now. The state Supreme Court on Friday temporarily blocked a ruling that prison officials must disclose the information to attorneys for two death row inmates. Earlier Friday, an appeals court upheld a district judge's ruling from a day earlier that prison officials should disclose the source of a new batch of pentobarbital to the attorneys of the inmates scheduled to be executed with the drug next month. The high court's order allows officials to withhold the supplier's name while justices consider the issue.

Elsewhere

MontANA: U.S. transportation officials rebuked the oil industry Friday for not giving up information regulators say they need to gauge the danger of moving crude by rail.

Belgium: Former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway will lead NATO starting Oct. 1, the alliance announced Friday.

South KoreA: South Korea on Friday repatriated the remains of 437 Chinese soldiers killed during the Korean War six decades ago, a gesture symbolic of warming ties between the nations.

South Africa: The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius was adjourned unexpectedly Friday after a judicial assessor became ill, the judge said. It will resume April 7.

Times wires

Comments
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 1 hour ago
President Trump presents his report card, passes with flying colors

President Trump presents his report card, passes with flying colors

PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump has a Thanksgiving Day message for the nation: Look at all I’ve done. Trump is telling followers in an early-morning holiday tweet that, "your Country is starting to do really well." He says: Jobs are "coming back,...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Lutz pedestrian dies in accident on U.S. 41

LUTZ — A man is dead after deputies said he walked into the path of a car on U.S. Route 41 Wednesday night.Charles Miller, 69 of Lutz, was walking east across the highway at 7:34 p.m., according to Florida Highway Patrol.Daniel Johnson, 35 and also o...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police: Family hit on Dale Mabry Highway in stable condition

TAMPA — The mother and two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were all in stable condition by Thanksgiving morning, said Tampa police. Investigators said the family is not originally from the Ta...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tarpon Springs seeking to honor sponger George Billiris

Tarpon Springs seeking to honor sponger George Billiris

TARPON SPRINGS — The city is considering a way to honor the legacy of the late longtime sponge merchant George Billiris at a city building. "We know how he promoted Tarpon Springs," Commissioner David Banther said at a recent City Commission meeting....
Published: 11/23/17
New Weeki Wachee basketball coach transitions from years on college sidelines

New Weeki Wachee basketball coach transitions from years on college sidelines

WEEKI WACHEE — Mark Lee was looking for an accomplished coach to take over Weeki Wachee High’s boys basketball team. Not only did he find what he was searching for, but he may have gone above and beyond with the hiring of Rick Scruggs.The 30-year vet...
Published: 11/23/17
Bar review: Fashion and adult beverages at Bartique in St. Petersburg

Bar review: Fashion and adult beverages at Bartique in St. Petersburg

Like many people, I treat holiday shopping as a terrifying last-minute ordeal — a scramble to fill out gift lists with a number of items that, despite a complete lack of planning, will somehow seem thoughtful.You know what would make this whole thing...
Published: 11/23/17
Florida 10-year-old is one of 21 kids suing federal government over climate change

Florida 10-year-old is one of 21 kids suing federal government over climate change

At age 10, Levi Draheim hates math and loves reading Harry Potter books. He plays the violin but dislikes practicing. What he really enjoys is paddling a kayak or going swimming. It helps that he lives just a five-minute walk from the beach in the to...
Updated: 1 hour ago