Friday, December 15, 2017
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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Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

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Stephan Jiggetts’ 20 points lead USF basketball over Bethune-Cookman

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’s not leaving Congress soon

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Tampa police seek ‘person of interest’ in Dec. 3 homicide

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Updated: 3 hours ago

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Pence to delay Mideast trip as tax deal nears vote

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WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is delaying his weekend departure for the Middle East as Congress nears completion of a tax overhaul, his office announced Thursday. White House officials said Pence now plans to leave for Egypt on Tuesday so he...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Pinellas Park officer stuns middle school student with Taser

PINELLAS PARK — A school resource officer stunned a middle school student with a Taser while trying to break up a fight between her and another female student on Thursday, police said.Neither the Pinellas Park officer nor the students involved in the...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Senator: Comey’s remarks on Clinton probe heavily edited

Senator: Comey’s remarks on Clinton probe heavily edited

WASHINGTON — A draft statement former FBI director James Comey prepared in anticipation of concluding the Hillary Clinton email case without criminal charges was heavily edited to change the "tone and substance" of the remarks, a Republican senator s...
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