Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: Firefighters get body armor; Trump threatens Berkeley; artifact found in attic; pigeons as art

Here's what's new this morning.

NEWEST GEAR FOR MEDICAL RESPONDERS? BODY ARMOR

It isn't the bunker gear they wear to dash into fires or the uniform to respond to medical emergencies. It's bullet-resistant vests and helmets more commonly associated with police and the military. Pinellas County spent about $720,000 on the new equipment in a move officials say allows firefighters and paramedics to respond sooner and closer to the scene of a shooting.

TRUMP THREATENS BERKELEY FUNDING OVER PROTESTS

President Donald Trump raised the threat of pulling federal funds from the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday after the institution canceled a talk by provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor for Breitbart, and put the campus on lockdown after intense protests against the planned speech.

GOV. RICK SCOTT AWARDS USF, MOFFITT GRANT FUNDS TO FIGHT ZIKA

The University of South Florida received nearly $2.5 million for Zika research on Wednesday as Gov. Rick Scott announced grants to 10 universities and research institutions in Florida to speed up development of a vaccine.

THANKS TO LOCAL MAN, A PIECE OF HISTORY RETURNED

[Cologne Cathedral]

Ray White considered as junk the military memorabilia his father-in-law dribbled out over the years to White's wife, Mary Anne. White dismissed the lot, didn't want to hear about any of it. After Mary Anne's death two years ago, White cleared out their attic in preparation for a move and found a treasured piece of German history that had languished for 71 years.

FLORIDA LAWMAKERS ALSO WANT TO PUNISH 'SANCTUARY CITIES'

As President Donald Trump's administration cracks down on so-called "sanctuary" cities for undocumented immigrants, State Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, and Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha, are drafting legislation that aims to do the same in Florida this year.

ROMANO: OH GOODIE, SILLY SEASON IS BEGINNING IN TALLAHASSEE

On the day the governor released his budget wish list, the House speaker announced he was going after Tallahassee's cockroaches and the Senate president had to remind everyone of a constitutional amendment that lawmakers have ignored for two years. This is typical of the days and weeks before Florida's legislative session.

FLORIDA MAKES A LATE DASH, SPLASH TO VAULT INTO SIGNING DAY PROMINENCE

From the state capital to the Swamp to the Selmon Center, the national signing day objectives and outcomes varied. For Charlie Strong, the day was about salvaging. For Jimbo Fisher, it was about solidifying. And for Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain, it was about stunning. Perhaps even stupefying. A solid Gators class got a bit more prosperous — or dubious, depending on one's perspective — in the 11th hour Wednesday.

ART EXHIBIT AT USF CONNECTS PEOPLE AND PIGEONS

[University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum]

Visiting "Duke Riley: Flights of Fancy" is like discovering pieces of evidence from a crime scene. In this colorful exhibition at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, the crime is a gutsy smuggling operation over water and across borders. The perpetrators are shameless pigeons, those longtime desecrators of public property like city streets and park benches.

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Hundreds mourn Durant High athlete killed at Brandon gas station

Hundreds mourn Durant High athlete killed at Brandon gas station

PLANT CITY — Many remembered Durant High School football player Grover Wills, 18, for his talent on the field, but almost as many remembered his penchant for bursting into dance and song. After practice or on team trips, Wills would mesmerize those a...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Child, 19 months, hospitalized after being found in New Port Richey pond

Child, 19 months, hospitalized after being found in New Port Richey pond

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 19-month-old child was transported to a local hospital Thursday after being found unattended in a pond, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said they were dispatched to a pond behind a home in the 4700 block of...
Updated: 27 minutes ago

Column: No-win fishery bills would undermine businesses and innovation

The federal government delivered good news for anglers this week. Under newly approved two-year pilot programs, Florida and the other Gulf Coast states will manage red snapper fishing for private anglers. This means states can test ways to improve ac...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested midday Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on multiple prostitution charges.Nicholson was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of operat...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

CLEARWATER — A longtime IBM executive is becoming the new leader of Tampa Bay’s largest public company. Tech Data announced Richard "Rich" Hume as its new CEO effective June 6. Hume joined Tech Data two years ago and is currently the chief operating ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg Police on Thursday closed two assisted living facilities, citing "deplorable conditions," including no running water. The facilities are run by Tampa Bay Behavioral Health, located at 3434 Second Ave. S and 3418 Second Ave. S, accordin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275 in St. Petersburg

FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275 in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A distracted driver from Pinellas Park walked away unscathed after his car plunged 50 feet off Interstate 275.Thomas Highhouse, 61, of Pinellas Park, was driving his 2016 Chevy Camero along Interstate 275 around 11:10 a.m. when he lo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

For the first time since its season commenced, the USF baseball team enters a weekend as the Bulls' feature sports attraction.Basketball ended last month, and spring football ended last Saturday, meaning would-be baseball fans no longer have reason t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Column: Some facts and figures you might not know about civil rights restoration in Florida

After U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled Florida’s process for restoring felons’ civil rights was unconstitutional in early February, he allowed me to file a friend of the court brief to assist the court as it considered possible solutions. The br...
Updated: 2 hours ago