Sunday, September 23, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: Florida professors working to block Trump's pick; Buckhorn helps restore Tampa's oldest burial ground; the 10 best college games ever played in Tampa; Eric Paslay talks music's best athletes

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

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BUCKHORN JOINS PUSH FOR OAKLAWN CEMETERY RESTORATION

At nearly 170 years old, Oaklawn Cemetery looks its age. Still, Tampa's first burial ground is in better shape today than it was a few months ago, thanks in part to the interest of Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

FLORIDA PROFESSORS JOIN EFFORT TO BLOCK JEFF SESSIONS AS ATTORNEY GENERAL

More than 30 law professors in Florida have joined a national effort opposing Sen. Jeff Sessions as Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, contending racial issues make him unqualified to lead the Justice Department. 

CHARLESTON SHOOTING SENTENCING BEGINS WITH ROOF ACTING AS OWN ATTORNEY

The same jury that last month unanimously found Dylan Roof guilty in the slayings of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church is returning to court to contemplate his punishment. Dylan Roof is facing the death penalty, and serving as his own lawyer, though he has no plans to call any witnesses to the stand. 

OFFICIALS: CHARLES MANSON IS ALIVE

Amid reports that Charles Manson has been taken from his California prison cell to a hospital, a state corrections official would confirm only that the 82-year-old killer and cult leader was still alive.

SEMI DRIVES OFF I-75 IN TAMPA

[Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]

Westbound lanes on E Fowler Avenue were closed Wednesday morning after a semi ran off the roadway. According to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, the roadway was closed after the semi ran off the northbound I-75 overpass and onto E Fowler Avenue.

MUSICIAN'S MOTORCYCLE DEATH HIGHLIGHTS FIGHT OVER U.S. 19 INTERSECTION

After a member of a local band died in a motorcycle wreck on U.S. 19 near Beach Boulevard in November, a petition seeking a traffic light at the intersection garnered more than 1,000 signatures. It was the second fatal crash at the intersection since 2015, and since the Florida Department of Transportation reconfigured the intersection to prevent left turns onto U.S. 19 in 2013, according to state records.

SARASOTA SENATOR WANTS TO BAR SHORT-TERM RENTAL RESTRICTIONS

City and county governments would no longer be able to stop homeowners from renting their homes for less than a month or even just a week, under legislation a Sarasota Republican has filed. Currently cities and counties have varying rules statewide on rental properties, particularly on beachfront communities.

THE TOP 10 COLLEGE GAMES EVER PLAYED IN TAMPA

We're happy to give the occasion all the deference it deserves. When the third College Football Playoff National Championship Game is staged Monday night at Raymond James Stadium, we'll douse it with watershed-moment status. After all, how often has the bay area served as college football's epicenter? Locally, the contest will be groundbreaking, grand, even glitzy. But the greatest? Here are some other games that could take that title.

MADEIRA BEACH FERRY STRUGGLES IN EARLY GOING

Last fall a ferry service began at Madeira Beach amid much fanfare. The goal was to offer residents and visitors a new way of reaching restaurants, attractions and other destinations along the Intracoastal Waterway, but the Tampa Bay Ferry & Taxi, based at John's Pass Village, has yet to attract many riders. Ridership is averaging about a half-dozen people a day. Some days, there are no riders.

IMPACT FEES WOULD LET GOOD TIMES KEEP ROLLING IN HERNANDO

If your Realtor friends in Hernando County served anything less than top-shelf booze at their holiday parties, they were holding out on you. Chances are, they had a very good year. The volume of home sales in November in Hernando County, the most recent month for which figures are available, was up a whopping 19 percent from 12 months earlier. The median price for homes jumped 17.2 percent from the same time in 2015, to $140,500. 

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS FOR TV WATCHERS

[iStockphoto]

This year we'd really like to change some of our TV habits. No, we don't mean watching less and going outside and socializing more. Let's be realistic here. It's the era of Peak TV, and we'd like 2017 to be the year of TV productivity. So before a bunch of new stuff drops, here are our TV resolutions for 2017.

ERIC PASLAY TALKS FOOTBALL AND COUNTRY MUSIC'S BEST ATHLETES

Eric Paslay never played high school football. "They said I was too mean," the country singer and songwriter said with a laugh from his home in Nashville. "I wish I did sometimes, but then my knees don't feel too bad right now, so I'm glad I didn't in that sense. But I always love watching it." He'll have a front row seat this weekend in Tampa.

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Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

TAMPA – After Sunday morning, the Lightning sat five cuts away from having a 23-man roster to start the regular season.It announced 27 cuts that left 28 players on the roster with the start of the regular season less than two weeks away.Gone ar...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Motorcyclist injured in Bayshore crash, southbound traffic diverted

Police: Motorcyclist injured in Bayshore crash, southbound traffic diverted

TAMPA — A motorcyclist suffered serious injuries in a crash on Bayshore Boulevard, police reported.About 3:10 p.m., the motorcyclist was driving southbound, according to the Tampa Police Department. At the same time, a driver in a Jeep Cherokee was h...
Updated: 1 hour ago
This is what happens to a shy octopus on ecstasy

This is what happens to a shy octopus on ecstasy

If you give an octopus MDMA, it will get touchy and want to mingle.What sounds like the premise of a children's book set at Burning Man is, in fact, the conclusion of a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology. Neuroscientist Gül ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

TORONTO – Blake Snell earned his team record and majors-most 21st win on Sunday as the Rays beat the Blue Jays 5-2.The victory improved the Rays to 87-68 and kept alive their slimmest chances to make the playoffs, though perhaps for only a few ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Find A Friend: Sweet Caroline the Tabby Kitten

Find A Friend: Sweet Caroline the Tabby Kitten

Put your paws in the air like you just don’t care! Sweet Caroline thinks good times never seemed so good. A bundle of gray stripes and spots, she and her litter mates were rescued at three weeks of age. Caroline’s the most social of the...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Women's Expo to feature Tampa Bay Times staffers

Women's Expo to feature Tampa Bay Times staffers

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Times presents its inaugural Tampa Bay Women’s Expo and the event will include an opportunity to meet many of its key women staff writers and editors.Susan Taylor Martin (Senior Correspondent/Real Estate) and Manag...
Updated: 3 hours ago
USF assistant VP rides AHN wave of support to success

USF assistant VP rides AHN wave of support to success

Editor’s note: Academy of the Holy Names junior Tress Jacobs spent the summer of 2018 shadowing Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper. To conclude the experience, she interviewed Academy alumnus Kim Wilmath Hill and filed this report.By Tres...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to  testify at Kavanaugh hearing

Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to testify at Kavanaugh hearing

The woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers has committed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, her lawyers said Sunday. The lawyers said some details — including whe...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Stolen smokes: Florida man gets 20 years for cigarette theft

Stolen smokes: Florida man gets 20 years for cigarette theft

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida man who stole $600 worth of cigarettes from a convenience store has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.A jury in Pensacola convicted 48-year-old Robert Spellman of burglary and grand theft in August. Authori...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

One of the dominant storylines heading into Monday Night Football between the first-place Buccaneers and the last-place Steelers will be the things we didn’t expect to see. It’s the team that usually melts down against the team that actua...
Updated: 6 hours ago