Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Wharton High principal wrong to cut off salutatorian's speech

Principals endure unenviable challenges every day, but Wharton High School principal Bradley Woods erred when he cut off the microphone of salutatorian Harold Shaw and abruptly ended his speech last week.

Shaw denies the school district's claim that he deviated from his approved draft. But even if he did, greater latitude needed to be given.

While I understand the effort to maintain pomp and circumstance, the ceremony serves as an opportunity for the students to showcase the education they've received, including lessons about being responsible adults. You can't give them the keys to the car and then try to take the wheel back just because they veer in a different direction.

As long as the speech didn't completely undermine the ceremony, let it go. Teach them well and let them lead the way. ...

Seen on a bumper sticker: I Would Not Have To Manage My Anger If I Didn't Have to Deal With Your Stupidity. ...

They didn't serve food at the Riverwalk groundbreaking last week, but they did have a chef.

Ulele executive chef Eric Lackey came out in his chef's jacket and spoke with enthusiasm about the native cuisine the restaurant will serve when it opens on the river in early 2014.

I offered a suggestion: a dish named for Fortune Taylor, the freed slave and namesake of Fortune Street near the river. Madame Fortune's Collard Greens sound awfully good. ...

Kudos to Covelli Family Panera Bread and the Children's Cancer Center, which will award 14 students with scholarships worth $65,000 this week. ...

Not sure if I would choose the lump sum or annual payouts, but I wish I had the choice.

That's all I'm saying.

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Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  — The Russians finally have a gold medal at the  Olympics, thanks to a 15-year-old who beat the fellow teen who inspired her to become a figure skater.Alina Zagitova won one of the Games' spotlight events Frida...
Updated: 2 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 22

Thursday’s scoreboardSoftballBoca Ciega 4, Pinellas Park 2Admiral Farragut 7, Northside Christian 1Boys tennisOsceola 7, Dixie Hollins 0Clearwater Central Cath. 4, Jesuit 3Girls tennisOsceola 7, Dixie Hollins 0Boys basketballClass 3A, region semifina...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Eight days after mass shooter Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward’s top cop on Thursday revealed a stunning series of failures by the sheriff’s department.A school campus cop heard the gunfire, rushed ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
A case for wild flamingos calling Florida their home

A case for wild flamingos calling Florida their home

In 2015, Conchy the flamingo showed up at Florida’s Naval Air Station Key West, and he wouldn’t leave. Normally, managers on the grounds lethally remove feathered troublemakers — it can be very dangerous with birds flying around million-dollar fighte...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Associated PressSTARKE — An inmate convicted of raping and killing a college student decades ago screamed and yelled "murderers!" three times, thrashing on a gurney as he was being put to death Thursday. The governor’s office said Eric Scott Branch, ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor and the police chief came to Northeast High on Thursday to warn students about the dangers of circulating rumors of school safety threats on social media.While they were there, one of those unfounded rumors popped up on Fac...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Administrator Haley Loeun fired from CareerSource jobs centers

Administrator Haley Loeun fired from CareerSource jobs centers

Haley Loeun, a top aide to the embattled leader of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards, was fired Thursday from her $130,000-a-year position as business services director.Loeun came under criticism after the Tampa Bay Times reported that employ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

TAMPA — Across Interstate 4 from Ybor City’s nightlife, another part of the historic neighborhood has an odor less nostalgic — and much less pleasant — than cigar smoke and roasting coffee beans.V.M. Ybor, named after the Spaniard who founded the cit...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Mattis expected to back allowing transgender troops to stay in the military

Mattis expected to back allowing transgender troops to stay in the military

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to propose to President Donald Trump that transgender members of the U.S. military be allowed to continue serving despite the president’s call last summer for a ban on all transgender service, acc...
Updated: 9 hours ago