Saturday, July 21, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: A guide to Inauguration Day as Trump become's 45th U.S. president

Here's what's new this morning.

Donald Trump will take the oath of office outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday to become the 45th president of the United States at 11:30 a.m. Expect plenty of pomp and a good deal of protest, too, as hundreds of thousands of people descend on Washington to mark the occasion. Here is a guide to the festivities, demonstrations and much more.

PINELLAS COUNTY CONSTRUCTION LICENSING BOARD PLAYS FAST AND LOOSE WITH DISCIPLINARY PROCESS

The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board doesn't report to anyone, not to the local county commission like every other similar board in the state, and not even to the Florida Legislature which created it. The lack of oversight contributes to a fast and loose approach to how it handles complaints against contractors, a Tampa Bay Times investigation has found.

DIVERSE GASPARILLA PARADE HAS TRANSCENDED INSULT OF RACISM

The Gasparilla Parade of Pirates, Tampa's signature good-time event, brings back memories of disappointment and insult for Fred Hearns. A clarinet player with the Middleton High School Marching Band in 1965, Hearns was thrilled to learn his would be the first all-black band to march in the annual parade. But the excitement was short-lived. The band that followed, all white, stood and let Middleton march five blocks before finally stepping out.

FROM CREEPY MASKS TO THE CLOSING CIRCUS, IT'S A HARD TIME TO BE A CLOWN

[Courtesy of Ringling Bros.]

Clown Alley of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

When the clowns found out the circus was closing, they turned their red noses to each other for support. It had been a hard year already. Their centuries-old art form had been reduced to a punchline for creepy clown sightings. And now, corporate managers from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had delivered the worst news, that the show would close forever in May.

EPILOGUE: CHARLIE FANT, LONGTIME TREASURE ISLAND FIRE CHIEF

When he was a teenager, fire sirens were music to Charlie Fant's ears. Fant's boyhood experiences turned into a 41-year career. He and best friend Tom Dusil joined Treasure Island's volunteer fire department the day after they turned 18. Fant became a firefighter and a paramedic and then fire chief in 1982, becoming the youngest chief in Florida. There he stayed until retiring in 2012. Fant, 64, died Sunday from cancer.

SUPPORT POLITIFACT: JOIN THE TRUTH SQUAD

It's been almost 10 years since the Tampa Bay Times launched our unique fact-checking website PolitiFact. Today we have more than 13,000 fact-checks in our online database, all aimed at helping people sort out the truth in a complex world. Today, we're asking you, our readers, for a new kind of support. We're launching a project that we hope will be a steady source of long-term funding for PolitiFact: a membership program called the Truth Squad.

SEA LEVEL RISE COULD HAVE WATER LAPPING AT TAMPA'S EDGES IN 2040, STUDY SAYS

ANDRES LEIVA | Times (2016)

Rain from Tropical Storm Hermine and high tides flooded streets around Tampa last September. A new analysis projects that sea level in Tampa Bay could rise 5 to 19 inches by 2040. That is prompting local officials to look at plans to anticipate and cope with the changes.

Rising sea levels could swell Tampa Bay 5 to 19 inches over the next quarter-century, sending more water to lap at the edges of the city of Tampa. That's one conclusion of a new analysis from the Hillsborough City-County Planning Commission, which looked at how potential sea-level rise could affect Tampa and its most flood-prone areas through the year 2040.

U.S. SIGNS AGREEMENTS OPENING GULF TO CUBA DRILLING, PARTNERING ON CLEANUPS

In its final days in the White House, the Obama administration made it easier for the Cuban government to drill for oil in Gulf waters just beyond the country's maritime border with the United States. It's the result of a treaty signed Wednesday that defines who controls a 7,700-square-mile area that begins just over 200 miles off the coast of Tampa Bay and Florida, long known as the Eastern Gap.

TAMPA WOMEN PREPARE TO PROTEST TRUMP PRESIDENCY AT WOMEN'S MARCH ON WASHINGTON

On Saturday, one day after Trump's inauguration, Tampa lawyer Jennifer Zumarraga will join an expected 200,000 to 500,000 people in Washington, D.C. who will "do something" that could make history. Born on a modest Facebook page just hours after the election results, the Women's March on Washington has become a national movement in protest of Trump's election. Approximately 370 cities around the world will hold marches of their own, including St. Petersburg, which is expecting anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 participants.

DUKE ENERGY AGREES TO $600,000 ANTITRUST SETTLEMENT OVER POLK PLANT

Duke Energy has agreed to pay a $600,000 fine to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department accusing it of breaking antitrust law in the purchase of an independent power plant in Polk County. Duke Energy admitted no wrongdoing in a case in which it was accused of filing for Federal Trade Commission review of the acquisition four months later than it should have. The FTC is mandated to protect consumers from deals that impinge competition.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND: 'BEACHES' REMAKE ON LIFETIME, 'FRONTIER' ON NETFLIX

[Netflix]

Jason Momoa as Declan Harp in 'Frontier.'

Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) stars in Frontier as Declan Harp, a part-Irish part-Native American outlaw who fights, bludgeons and schemes his way through the Canadian fur trade in the 18th century, in Game of Furs: Frontier. That's one of the highlights this weekend.

BERKELEY PREP SHOWCASES NATIONAL BASKETBALL TALENT IN WEEKEND TOURNAMENT

The National Hoopfest series makes its way to Tampa this weekend. The tournament, held at Berkeley Prep, is one of the top 15 boys basketball tournaments in the country, according to USA Today.

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Open office plans are as bad as you thought

Open office plans are as bad as you thought

A cubicle-free workplace without private offices is supposed to force employees to collaborate. To have them talk more face-to-face. To get them off instant messenger and spontaneously brainstroming about new ideas.But a recent study by two researche...
Published: 07/21/18
Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest Rays player is also nearly the oldest.With All-Star C Wilson Ramos on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Tampa Bay turned to veteran Adam Moore, 34, as the new backup catcher behind Jesus Sucre. Only reliever...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

ST. PETERSBURG — New York Yankees god and former Tampa resident Derek Jeter, who was once going to save the Rays (or so we thought), was at Tropicana Field on Friday night. The Captain had the gall to show up as Miami Marlins chief executive of...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Dolphins owner: Actually, we haven’t decided whether to levy anthem penalties

Dolphins owner: Actually, we haven’t decided whether to levy anthem penalties

Times wiresThe NFL can't seem to get away from the divisive national anthem issue.The latest developments this week assure that, despite the league's wishes, the debate about how to handle players who kneel during the anthem to protest police violenc...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

ST. PETERSBURG –The Rays rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, but their rally came up short as the Marlins held on for a 6-5 win at Tropicana Field.Tampa Bay's bullpen gave up five runs in the seventh, and that was too...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier left Friday's game in the fifth inning when an injury to his right foot that has bothered him since April flared up with the worst pain he's encountered this season.Kiermaier called the injury a "severe bone bruise" an...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Greg Auman’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Marlins game

Greg Auman’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Marlins game

Nathan Eovaldi bounced back nicely following an eight-out, eight-run outing last week vs. the Twins. He lasted six innings, gave up one run and struck out eight. Take away the Twins game and Eovaldi has allowed three earned runs in his past four star...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Shooting outside McDonald’s in South Tampa leaves man in critical condition

Shooting outside McDonald’s in South Tampa leaves man in critical condition

TAMPA — Tampa police are investigating a shooting that occurred Friday night at a McDonald’s restaurant at 3515 S Dale Mabry Highway.Police responded around 7:30 p.m. after a man was shot around a dark grey Dodge Charger in the back corner of the res...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Pasco sheriff: Woman faked kidnapping attempt on her daughter to frame former business partner

Pasco sheriff: Woman faked kidnapping attempt on her daughter to frame former business partner

HOLIDAY — The mother of a 12-year-old girl was arrested Thursday after authorities said she faked a kidnapping attempt on her daughter in an effort to frame a former business partner.After the mother was taken into custody, detectives said she tried ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Sheriff’s Office warns of IRS phone scams in Pinellas County

Sheriff’s Office warns of IRS phone scams in Pinellas County

Beware of callers saying they’re with the IRS and demanding payments, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office warned Friday.According to a news release from the agency, scammers have been phoning residents across the county this week and trying to trick...
Updated: 9 hours ago