Tuesday, January 23, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: Profiling Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court

Here's what's new this morning.

IN NEIL GORSUCH, AN ECHO OF SCALIA IN PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE

President Donald Trump, in nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, has chosen a judge who not only admires the justice he would replace but also in many ways resembles him. He shares Scalia's legal philosophy, talent for vivid writing and love of the outdoors. His mother was a high-level official in the Reagan administration. Gorsuch, 49, spent part of his childhood in Washington and practiced law here for a decade, at a prominent law firm and in the Justice Department. And, like all of the current justices, he is a product of the Ivy League, having attended college at Columbia and law school at Harvard. Learn more about him in this New York Times profile.

TAMPA CITY HALL TO BEGIN OFFERING EMPLOYEES PAID PARENTAL LEAVE

Tampa City Hall will begin providing paid parental leave to full-time employees after a baby's birth or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee, Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced Wednesday. The new policy will provide eight weeks of paid leave to primary caregivers. That's the person who has primary responsibility for the care of the new addition to the family and is typically also recovering from childbirth herself.

FED IS LIKELY TO LEAVE RATES ALONE AT A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY

At 2 p.m., the Federal Reserve will likely end its latest policy meeting with an announcement that it's keeping its benchmark rate unchanged at a time of steady economic gains but also heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration. In its statement, the Fed will likely acknowledge that the economy has continued to move toward the central bank's dual goals of full employment and annual inflation of roughly a moderate 2 percent.

HILLSBOROUGH PLANNERS TAKE TO STREETS TO STUDY PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

[JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]

A group composed of Hillsborough County transportation planners, engineers, politicians and law enforcement cross Hillsborough Avenue and Kelly Road during an on-street audit of Town 'N Country roads Tuesday.

Danielle Joyce, director of traffic services for the engineering firm GPI, was one of about 60 people who met Tuesday at the Town 'N Country Regional Public Library in northwest Hillsborough County. They split into four smaller groups for a Hillsborough County workshop on improving bike and pedestrian safety. The event was part of Vision Zero, an international initiative dedicated to designing safer roads. The group says that how governments build streets is just as much to blame for pedestrians' deaths as the decisions of the pedestrians themselves.

LARGO MAY SUBSIDIZE ART TO ATTRACT MORE MURALS

Public art is in, and Largo officials want more of it in their city. To catalyze the process, city commissioners are considering a grant program that would allocate city funds for wall murals and artwork to go on traffic control boxes, the metal structures next to traffic lights.

HERNANDO SCHOOLS WILL NOT SEEK NEW FUNDING FOR STARFISH

The Hernando County School District will not seek additional state funding for Project StarFISH — a program designed to address underserved students with mental illnesses — because of forecasts of a tight state budget and incomplete data about its effectiveness.

LIVE COVERAGE: NATIONAL SIGNING DAY 2017

[Times staff]

Jesuit athlete Travell Harris picks Washington State despite late push from USF.

Whether you follow the Florida State Seminoles, Florida Gators, USF Bulls or one of the many high schools around the Tampa Bay area, the Tampa Bay Times is bringing you all the news from signing ceremonies today, the day high school seniors can officially commit to colleges.

REVIEW: TAMPA WRITER KAREN BROWN'S 'CLAIRVOYANTS' A COMPLEX, CHILLING GHOST STORY

Martha isn't afraid of ghosts. Not that she doesn't see them. The narrator of Tampa writer Karen Brown's new novel, The Clairvoyants, sees the spirits of the dead so often it's become routine. Many of them are the shades of people she hardly knows, distinguishable from the living only by their expressions of longing and confusion. Read Colette Bancroft's review here.

REVIEW: 'SANTA CLARITA DIET' IS THE ZOMBIE SHOW WE NEED RIGHT NOW

[Netflix]

Drew Barrymore as Sheila Hammond in Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet.

Does the world need another zombie show? No. Does the world need a zombie show starring Drew Barrymore as an undead real estate agent who devours humans in between showing suburban ranch homes? Yes. Read Chelsea Tatham's review of Santa Clarita Diet.

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Florida may hand out school vouchers to bullied students

Florida may hand out school vouchers to bullied students

TALLAHASSEE — Florida students who get bullied may get taxpayer help to attend a private school.A Senate panel on Monday voted for a bill that would allow students who are victims of bullying, physical attack, robbery and other types of violenc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

NEW YORK — Guillermo del Toro’s lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" fished out a leading 13 nominations, Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated for best director and "Mudbound" cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history as the f...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Truck carrying frozen chickens catches fire on I-75 in Brandon

Southbound lanes on Interstate 75 were closed in Brandon early Tuesday morning after a semi-trailer carrying frozen chickens caught fire.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 52-year-old Brian Keith Jester, of Venice, was driving southbound near S...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Five Hernando County educators nominated for LifeChanger of the Year Awards

Hernando County Public Schools has five educators in the running for prizes ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 in the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year awards. The program will give out 17 awards.Travis Bruns and Doug Poteet of Pine Grove Elemen...
Updated: 2 hours ago
MacDill crews shift from Islamic State battle to join winter fight against Taliban

MacDill crews shift from Islamic State battle to join winter fight against Taliban

Now that the fight against the largely defeated Islamic State is winding down, the U.S. Air Force is turning its efforts toward the Taliban and moving aircraft and crews to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.Crews and a KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refue...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Alaska hit by 7.9 earthquake; tsunami warning canceled

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck off Alaska’s Kodiak Island early Tuesday, prompting a tsunami warning for a large swath of the state’s coast.Officials at the National Tsunami Center canceled the warning after a few tense hours a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
More teacher protests and another charter school approval expected at the Hillsborough County School Board meeting

More teacher protests and another charter school approval expected at the Hillsborough County School Board meeting

TAMPA — This will seem familiar: Teachers are mobilizing to protest outside Tuesday’s Hillsborough County School Board meeting about their frozen pay rates.And this too: A vote is expected on a new charter school.Florida Connections Academy is a virt...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Naomi Parker Fraley, the real Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96

Naomi Parker Fraley, the real Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96

Unsung for seven decades, the real Rosie the Riveter was a California waitress named Naomi Parker Fraley.Over the years, a welter of American women have been identified as the model for Rosie, the war worker of 1940s popular culture who became a femi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, joking that he "used to be a comedian" and playing with a jazz band in his hometown as a retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault ca...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Daystarter: Seminole Heights suspect could face death penalty; soggy commute across Tampa Bay; Oscar nominations released today; Lightning shut out Blackhawks

The Daystarter: Seminole Heights suspect could face death penalty; soggy commute across Tampa Bay; Oscar nominations released today; Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• Those Monday evening showers could linger to saturate Tuesday morning’s commute, according to 10Weather WTSP. They’ll move out by the afternoon as a cool — not quite a cold —...
Updated: 4 hours ago