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News at Noon: Rubio will support Tillerson; gas prices finally fall; USF extending RayJay deal; Smashburger smashes a good burger

Sen. Marco Rubio will have to decide if he'll vote to confirm Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. [Times files]

Sen. Marco Rubio will have to decide if he'll vote to confirm Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. [Times files]

Here's what's happening today.

RUBIO ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR REX TILLERSON, AVOIDING TRUMP SHOWDOWN

Sen. Marco Rubio announced this morning he will vote for Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, despite "reservations" about the former Exxon Mobil CEO. The move avoids a confrontation with President Donald Trump and Trump's passionate supporters. But it also likely upsets Republicans who wanted to see a visible counter to Trump and his policies. Read Rubio's full statement here.

GAS PRICES ARE FALLING FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE NOVEMBER. WONDER WHY?

The drumbeat of higher gas prices just reversed. Just don't expect it to last. Gas prices, which have dipped 4.8 cents over the last week, will be on the rise again by about March, experts say.

CROSSBAY FERRY LIKELY WON'T SAIL DURING GASPARILLA

Unless Mayor Rick Kriseman can work something out with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the CrossBay Ferry won’t be running during Gasparilla, Tampa Bay’s signature event, this weekend.

NO LATER, GATOR IN FLORIDA: A FEW REMINDERS ABOUT THE REPTILES AMONG US

[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

Last week was a newsworthy one for alligators in Florida. First, a massive 13- or 14-footer decides to take a stroll in broad daylight at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County. Cell phone video shows the gator slowly crossing a nature trail on its way from one lake to another. It's also a reminder that we live in alligator country, and we humans should be leery.

USF EXTENDING DEAL WITH RAYMOND JAME STADIUM

Even as it studies the possibility of an on-campus football home, USF appears set to enter into a new lease agreement with Raymond James Stadium. The agreement -- six years with a five-year option -- is part of the agenda for Tuesday's meeting of the Tampa Sports Authority's executive committee. The term includes a termination clause with a 24-month written notice.

VOTE NOW FOR FLORIDA STATE FAIR FOOD

The Florida State Fair begins its third annual People's Choice Fare Favorite Awards on Monday. Would you vote for this cheesy enchilada funnel cake (or be brave enough to eat it)?.

REVIEW: SMASHBURGER SMASHES ITS BURGERS FOR GOOD REASON

[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

Even the Incredible Hulk didn't have his own "signature smashing tool." Smashburger has one. Another contestant in the premium burger wars, this one debuted in Clearwater in December, with a Tampa location slated. What they preoccupy themselves with is this: the Maillard reaction. This is the chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. Read the full review of the new burger restaurant here.

 

News at Noon: Rubio will support Tillerson; gas prices finally fall; USF extending RayJay deal; Smashburger smashes a good burger 01/23/17 [Last modified: Monday, January 23, 2017 1:09pm]
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