Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Weather service names new chief

Weather service names new chief

After weathering more than its share of budget storms, the National Weather Service is turning to one of the nation's premier storm experts to become its new leader. Louis W. Uccellini will become the weather service's director, effective Sunday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, its parent agency, announced Thursday. The appointment was welcomed by members of the forecasters' union, the National Weather Service Employees Organization, who have had a sometimes fractious relationship with the bosses. "I think everybody is pretty excited," said union president Dan Sobien. Uccellini, 63, a Long Island native, has had a long career with the weather service. After getting his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin and doing a stint at NASA, Uccellini joined the agency in 1989.

Mars rover drills test hole in rock

The Curiosity rover has drilled a test hole in a Martian rock in preparation for the real thing. Images released Thursday by NASA showed a ring of powder that was generated by the drill at the end of the rover's robotic arm. The hole measured less than an inch deep. Scientists planned to analyze the latest activity — dubbed a "mini drill test" — before commanding Curiosity to drill deeper. One of its major tasks is to drill into a rock and transfer the ground-up powder to its onboard laboratories for analysis — a first on Mars.

Reid's hometown is up for sale

The tiny Nevada town that's home to one of the most powerful men in Congress is up for sale. The main properties in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's hometown of Searchlight, Nev., went on the market this week for just under $5 million. The 88-year-old woman who owns the Searchlight Nugget casino, a motel and a former brothel, says she's ready to retire to Montana. Broker Fred Marik says the town about an hour south of Las Vegas draws tourists on their way to Lake Mojave.

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