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Morning watch: FAA breakdowns help fuel Allegiant's failures

Here's what's new around the bay area this morning.

WHEN ALLEGIANT AIR'S PLANES STARTED FAILING MORE AND MORE, THE FAA COULD HAVE CRACKED DOWN. IT DIDN'T.

On Allegiant Air's worst night last year, mechanical breakdowns forced the airline's planes to make one unexpected landing after another. One flight had to land in Mesa, Ariz., after the captain's instrument panel started smoking. Another returned to Las Vegas when the tail compartment overheated. Another circled back to Mesa because one of its power generators started failing. Another diverted to Idaho Falls when a fuel pump malfunctioned. The Federal Aviation Administration collected records on all of the incidents. But it didn't order a single corrective action. Read the full report: Breakdown of oversight

OBAMA VOWS RETALIATION FOR SUSPECTED RUSSIAN HACKING

President Barack Obama is promising that the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its suspected meddling in America's election process, an accusation the Kremlin has vehemently denied. "Some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be," he told NPR News Thursday. "But Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it." A news conference scheduled for 2:15 p.m.

GOV. SCOTT APPOINTS CONSERVATIVE APPELLATE JUDGE ALAN LAWSON TO FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

[Mary Ellen Klas | Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau]

Gov. Rick Scott appointed C. Alan Lawson to be Florida's next justice of the Supreme Court on Friday, choosing a conservative appellate judge to leave the governor's mark on a moderate court that has been responsible for some of sharpest defeats of his political career.

Gov. Rick Scott appointed C. Alan Lawson to be Florida's next justice of the Supreme Court on Friday, choosing a conservative appellate judge to leave the governor's mark on a moderate court that has been responsible for some of sharpest defeats of his political career. Lawson, who currently serves as the chief judge on the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, fills the seat on the seven-member court that is being vacated by Justice James E.C. Perry, a liberal jurist who is retiring at the end of the month because he has reached the mandatory retirement age. Perry was the fourth African-American jurist to serve on Florida's high court. Lawson is white.

CARLTON: WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS MORE THAN A LOT OF BUBBA

So after all these years — the scandals, the sex tape, that poor slaughtered pig and the overall uncomfortable feeling this could be how the rest of the world sees us — big, bad, embattled Bubba is gone, at least for the moment, Sue Carlton writes. Maybe the reasons the station parted ways are financial. Maybe it's competition. But if somebody finally did get tired of his particular schtick, what could possibly have been the tipping point given all that's happened?

CLEARWATER WOMAN MURDERED WHILE MOTHER SLEPT IN THE NEXT ROOM, WARRANT SAYS

The arrest warrant details the chilling scenario: A mother, woken by a loud noise from her daughter's bedroom. Her daughter, unresponsive on the floor with her boyfriend nearby. A mother's dash to call 911 and return to find the boyfriend had disappeared. Read more about the death of Saniye Salahutdin, 22.

MARCH COLUMN: STATE REP. GRANT GETS DEMOTION BUT HE'S OK WITH IT

The list of state House committee assignments and chairmanships just released by Speaker Richard Corcoran represents an unusually high level of influence for the Tampa Bay area, says Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa, even though the after-effects of a two-year-old court case robbed Grant himself of any leadership post.

BEST OF 2016: GREATEST GEEK MOMENTS OF THE YEAR

[Marvel]

Cover image from Marvel's Black Panther: World of Wakanda, written by Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey.

Look around at how lucky we are to be nerds right now. In a world filled with division and uncertainty for the future, nothing brings us together quite like adorable talking baby trees, fierce women slaying the superhero game and a hip-hop musical about the 10 dollar Founding Father. Here are just some of the best, wonderfully nerdy things that happened this year.

WHAT TO WATCH AND LISTEN TO THIS WEEKEND: 'THE OA' ON NETFLIX, HOMECOMING PODCAST

The trailer for the mysterious The OA dropped just days before the 8-episode series premiere Friday. Like its secret summer show Stranger Things, The OA looks to dabble in sci-fi, mystery and a little bit of horror. Check out what else we recommend as must-see viewing.

An Allegiant Air MD-80 sits on the tarmac after being serviced at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Tuesday. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]

An Allegiant Air MD-80 sits on the tarmac after being serviced at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Tuesday. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]

Morning watch: FAA breakdowns help fuel Allegiant's failures 12/16/16 [Last modified: Friday, December 16, 2016 8:50am]
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  1. Hillary Clinton said her 'skin crawled' when Donald Trump stood behind her on debate stage

    National

    In her most detailed public comments about what happened during the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said her "skin crawled" as Donald Trump loomed behind her on the stage in St. Louis last October.

    Hillary Clinton speaks as Donald Trump listens during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 9, 2016. In her upcoming book, Clinton says "It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled." [Pool photo by Rick T. Wilking via AP]
  2. After 17 years, Pasco-Hernando State College attorney steps away

    College

    The longtime attorney for Pasco-Hernando State College has resigned for what he says are "purely personal reasons."

    Steve Schroeder, the general council for Pasco-Hernando State College, resigned last week. His last day will be Sept. 8.
  3. Apple Scales Back Its Ambitions for a Self-Driving Car

    Autos

    SAN FRANCISCO — As new employees were brought into Apple's secret effort to create a self-driving car a few years ago, managers told them that they were working on the company's next big thing: A product that would take on Detroit and disrupt the automobile industry.

     In this Monday, April 10, 2017 file photo, Luminar CEO Austin Russell monitors a 3D lidar map on a demonstration drive in San Francisco. Russell, now 22, was barely old enough to drive when he set out to create a safer navigation system for robot-controlled cars. His ambitions are about to be tested five years after he co-founded Luminar Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup trying to steer the rapidly expanding self-driving car industry in a new direction. Apple says it will scale back its amitions to build a self-driving car.  [AP Photo/Ben Margot]
  4. Studies: Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes

    Autos

    WASHINGTON — Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released Wednesday.

    A side mirror warning signal is shown in a Ford Taurus at an automobile testing area in Oxon Hill, Md., in 2012. Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. [Associated Press]
  5. Pet Vet: Why a cat's color can make it more susceptible to skin cancer

    Pets

    Snowball is a fluffy female cat 10 years of age. Can you guess what color she might be? I ask the question because it is relevant to what might be causing her problem.

    White fluffy cat  [Dreamstime | TNS]