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Morning Watch: Getting ready for the cross dive at Epiphany in Tarpon Spirngs

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

LIVE NOW: EPIPHANY 2017 IN TARPON SPRINGS

Today Tarpon Springs celebrates the largest Epiphany event in the Western Hemisphere, celebrating the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. The church service starts at 8 a.m., then at 12:30 p.m. the faithful will head to the waterfront where teenage boys dive into the chilly water in an attempt to be the first to find the Holy Cross that will be tossed into Spring Bayou by the archbishop. Follow our live blog for updates throughout the day.

U.S. ADDS 156,000 JOBS; UNEMPLOYMENT RATE TICKS UP TO 4.7 PERCENT

U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in December,/a>, capping a year of slower but solid hiring. The report is the last major snapshot of the economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit from President Barack Obama.

TRUMP TWEETS THAT MEXICO WILL PAY FOR WALL WHILE CONGRESS DISCUSSES OPTIONS

Congressional Republicans and Donald Trump's transition team are exploring whether they can make good on Trump's promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border without passing a new bill. Under the evolving plan, the Trump administration would rely on existing legislation authorizing fencing and other technology along the southern border. Trump said in a tweet early Friday that Mexico will reimburse American taxpayers.

MARCH COLUMN: IF CASTOR RUNS FOR TAMPA MAYOR, BIKE TICKETS MAY BE ISSUE

[Times photo]

Former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor may face a challenge winning black votes if she decides to run for mayor of Tampa, some leaders in the black community say.

Tampa political insiders are saying former Tampa police Chief Jane Castor is acting a lot like a candidate for mayor, hitting community events and meetings, William March writes. But several black political leaders say if Castor runs, she may face an obstacle — resentment in the black community over ticketing of blacks on bicycles. .

TAMPA INTELLIGENCE EXPERTS SEE DANGER IN RIFT BETWEEN TRUMP, SPY AGENCIES

People in the Tampa area who used to spy for a living say they are troubled by tensions between the intelligence community and President-elect Donald Trump over allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. While they don't agree on who is to blame for the division, those contacted by the Tampa Bay Times say they fear it will erode mutual confidence and cooperation and present a potential danger to national security.

CRASH CLOSES NORTHBOUND LANES OF INTERSTATE 75 AT BIG BEND ROAD IN APOLLO BEACH

Authorities have closed a stretch of northbound Interstate 75 near the Big Bend Road exit because of traffic crash. The crash happened about 7:15 a.m. Friday. Emergency crews were working to extricate a patient from a vehicle, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. Motorists should use an alternate route.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF: CLEMSON'S MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER DEFENSE

[Jennifer Stewart | Getty Images]

Clelin Ferrell (99) of the Clemson Tigers celebrates with teammate Carlos Watkins during the first half of the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.

It's atop Page 1 of Power Ranger protocol: The superhero identity remains a secret. Even when you're super-sized. Tall order. Wide one, too. Clemson's defensive linemen found anonymity hard to maintain last Halloween night when, at the behest of 310-pound sophomore Christian Wilkins, they squeezed their flanks and forearms into Power Rangers costumes and showed up at the doorstep of several Tigers coaches. Read more about the Tigers' talented unit.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND

Let us help guide your TV viewing with these highlights, including a documentary on the lives of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds on HBO, and Emerald City on NBC.

Nicolaos Solis from Greece holds up the wooden cross which was thrown into the waters by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I during the Epiphany ceremony to bless the waters at the Golden Horn in in Istanbul, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. [Associated Press]

Nicolaos Solis from Greece holds up the wooden cross which was thrown into the waters by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I during the Epiphany ceremony to bless the waters at the Golden Horn in in Istanbul, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. [Associated Press]

Morning Watch: Getting ready for the cross dive at Epiphany in Tarpon Spirngs 01/06/17 [Last modified: Friday, January 6, 2017 8:56am]
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  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii

    Military

    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.