Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: Florida State Fair primer; remembering an original 'Mad Men', blizzard cancels Tampa flights; Senate showdown looms

The latest news and developments to help you get ready for the day ahead.

WHAT TO KNOW: FLORIDA STATE FAIR GUIDE AND TIPS

Midway madness returns starting today when the Florida State Fair fires up its deep fryers and midway rides and readies farm animals for 12 days of nostalgia-scented exhibition.

PINELLAS CONSTRUCTION LICENSING BOARD TO DECIDE ON FORMER LEADER'S PAYOUT AND INTERIM REPLACEMENT

Amid a swirling controversy, the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board will meet today to discuss the former executive director's request to stay on the payroll through June so he can collect about $66,000 in unused vacation time. The emergency session will be the first time the agency's governing board has met since Rodney Fischer announced his resignation Jan. 31 and asked to collect the 1,168 hours of vacation time he said he stockpiled over 16 years. The meeting starts at 1:30; follow Mark Puente at @MarkPuente for updates.

SHOWDOWN LOOMS AS SENATE CONSIDERS NEW BUDGET-WRITING RULE

At Florida's Capitol, far from the noise over tourism spending, a bigger clash looms between the House and Senate over stark differences in the Legislature's sole constitutional responsibility: the writing of a state budget.

BLIZZARD PARALYZES NORTHEAST, CAUSES FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS AT TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

A powerful, fast-moving storm swept through the northeastern U.S. early today, making for a slippery morning commute and leaving some residents bracing for blizzard conditions and more than a foot of snow. Airlines scrapped thousands of flights by late Wednesday as a precaution, including several cancellations at Tampa International Airport. Travelers are urged to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

FLORIDA'S IMMIGRANT 'SANCTUARIES' FACE STIFF PENALTIES IF BILLS PASS

Declaring "we are a nation of rules," Florida Republican lawmakers have officially revived their efforts to go after so-called "sanctuary" cities and counties in Florida — and their elected officials — that don't fully cooperate with federal enforcement of immigration law. The bills (SB 786/HB 697) — dubbed the "Rule of Law Adherence Act" — impose an array of restrictions to ban "sanctuary policies" in Florida and create fines and penalties for state agencies, local governments or law enforcement agencies that have one. Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, and Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha, unveiled their legislation Wednesday in Tallahassee.

NOAH HAWLEY AND DAN STEVENS EXPLAIN LEGION'S TRIPPY VISUALS AND COMIC BOOK ORIGINS

FX's foray into comic book-inspired shows premiered last night, marking the small screen debut of the lesser-known Marvel mutant, Legion. During recent conference calls, creator Noah Hawley and star Dan Stevens explained some of the more complex concepts in Legion and revealed influences behind its surrealism.

EPILOGUE: BOB GUCKENBERGER, ONE OF ADVERTISING'S ORIGINAL 'MAD MEN', KNOWN FOR HUMOR, HEART

Robert "Bob" Guckenberger, a local legend in advertising, was known for his large heart and his love of practical jokes and telling gregarious stories. Mr. Guckenberger, the founder of Guckenberger and Partners and previously co-founder of Landers and Partners, died Jan. 30 at 78. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Kathy, sons Bob and Ken and their wives, and five grandkids. Mr. Guckenberger started as one of Madison Avenue's original "Mad Men" in the 1960s in New York.

SUPER SAM FULD TALKING WITH RAYS, OTHERS, SEEKING CHANCE TO PLAY

[Times files]

Free-agent OF Sam Fuld, who earned the nickname "Super" by making amazing acrobatic catches, is talking with the Rays and other teams in hopes of soon getting back on the field.

Free-agent OF Sam Fuld, who earned the nickname "Super" by making amazing acrobatic catches, is talking with the Rays and other teams in hopes of soon getting back on the field, Marc Topkin writes. The Rays are among several teams that have "kept in contact" with Fuld, who became a fan favorite in Tampa Bay with his scrappy, hustling style of play and his willingness to go out in making diving catches all over the outfield duing his 2011-13 stint. He played for the A's and Twins in 2014-15.

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Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

High school students from both sides of Tampa Bay will commemorate the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings on Friday, although in very different ways.In St. Petersburg, students from several schools will gather at noon at City Hall for...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Students remember Columbine; 98Rockfest is back; and the pier moves forward

The Daystarter: Students remember Columbine; 98Rockfest is back; and the pier moves forward

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• A dry cold front moved through the bay area overnight but it won’t affect temperatures much. It might be a little cooler in the North Suncoast, but that’s it. Bay area highs will stil...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions. The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Crabby Bill’s founder Bill Loder dies at 86

Crabby Bill’s founder Bill Loder dies at 86

LARGO — Bill Loder, who founded the Crabby Bill’s seafood restaurant in Indian Rocks Beach, died at Largo Medical Center Thursday afternoon.Mr. Loder, 86, had trouble breathing early in the day and was rushed to the hospital, said his son Matt Loder....
Updated: 9 minutes 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 — Beef jerky, mayonnaise and Altoids mints were the only edible things in view inside one of the houses. There was no running water. The refrigerator was empty. A bed sat on top of the deteriorating living room floor. Cigarette butts b...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

ST. PETERSBURG — An old friend is back in the lineup.The Kiwanis of Gulf Beaches Miracle League, which champions baseball for the physically and mentally challenged, returned with a flourish Saturday morning. We're better for it."This...
Updated: 1 hour 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: 1 hour ago