Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Rebuilding Together repairs St. Petersburg family's home and outlook

Today, life is a little better for George Burton, his wife, Aletha Hodges, and their children — 8-year-old Aleeann and 6-year-old Moses — thanks to Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay.

The couple bought a small home near Campbell Park in St. Petersburg, but both lost their factory jobs. Burton then suffered a back injury working a construction job and awaits surgery. On Saturday, a Rebuilding Together team added an air conditioning unit and made other much-needed upgrades.

The family awakes today with greater hope. When groups like this step up, they not only fix homes, they fix hearts. …

Gov. Rick Scott favored President Barack Obama's Medicaid expansion but the state House stands in opposition.

The governor opposed any college tuition hike, but the Legislature voted for a 3 percent increase.

Now I wonder: Will the governor stand strong and seek greater compromise, or will he capitulate out of fear of drawing a GOP opponent in his re-election bid? Will he lead, or be led?

Seen on a window sticker: I'm Goofy. What's Your Excuse? …

Food Network's chef Robert Irvine leads a terrific charitable effort when he hosts a "cooking experience" at the Hilton Clearwater on May 14. Proceeds benefit the Haven of RCS, which provides support for victims of domestic abuse. For tickets, go to rcspinellas.org/rcspossible. …

Kudos to the Florida A&M law school. Its students' first-time pass rate (82.6 percent) for the February Florida Bar Exam exceeded the state average (80.2) and bested five other state schools. Criticism for the school's inauspicious start needs to be balanced with praise for its current success.

That's all I'm saying.

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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: 9 minutes ago

Updated: 1 hour 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: 1 hour 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: 2 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: 2 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: 2 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: 3 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: 4 hours ago
Sen. Marco Rubio faces tough audience at riveting CNN forum on gun violence

Sen. Marco Rubio faces tough audience at riveting CNN forum on gun violence

After an emotionally draining day that captured national attention — the massive rally in Tallahassee and a small, tearful gathering of survivors at the White House — CNN’s Wednesday night town hall on the Parkland shooting could have easily been ove...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens indicted on felony invasion of privacy charge

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens indicted on felony invasion of privacy charge

A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge related to the Republican’s affair with a woman in 2015. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced the indictment Thursday. She launched an ...
Updated: 4 hours ago