Friday, September 21, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: Scenes from Tampa's first Cuba flight; updating Florida's constitution; boaters kill record number of manatees

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

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The latest Tampa Bay-area radar

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The latest 7-day forecast

SCENES FROM TAMPA'S FIRST CUBA FLIGHT IN 50 YEARS

"I made history at 3:30 a.m. Monday," writes reporter Paul Guzzo, who was first to arrive for Southwest Airlines Flight 3952, which departed for Havana this morning, marking the first commercial service between Tampa and the island nation in more than five decades. Guzzo sets the scene from the historic flight.

REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS HAVE BIG PLANS FOR FLORIDA'S CONSTITUTION

For the first time in 20 years, Florida embarks on a constitutionally mandated update of the state Constitution next year and, if Florida's top Republican officials have their way, they will use the process to overturn the most controversial rulings of the state's high court — on education spending, private school vouchers and political redistricting. The current hand-selected panel is expected to tilt conservative and advance more ideological proposals than either of the previous two constitutional commissions.


MANATEES KILLED IN RECORD NUMBER IN 2016

The 98th manatee to die this year, the one that broke the record, was an adult female that was found dead on Dec. 2 in Fort Lauderdale's Stranahan River. The record-breaking find comes as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering taking manatees off its endangered list and reclassifying them as merely "threatened."

[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

 

FENNELLY: BUCS SURE SOUND LIKE A PLAYOFF TEAM

"They sure sounded like a playoff team to me. When the reception was good, that is," writes sports columnist Martin Fennelly, who went old-school and listened to the Bucs on the car radio Sunday while traveling and came away with a fresh perspective.

AD CAMPAIGN AGAINST FAKE NEWS MIGHT RESTORE TRUST

Spurred by Tom Brokaw's appearance at the Poynter Institute's Bow Tie Ball on Dec. 9 and his comments on fake news and unreliable social networks, columnist Ernest Hooper imagines an ad campaign fronted by the legendary NBC anchor to help the media earn back the trust lost with so many Americans.

WHAT TO WATCH AND LISTEN TO

Check out the best of what's coming to traditional TV and what's newly streaming on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon in the coming days with our weekly roundup that also includes a preview of the Lena Dunham's podcast Women of the Hour.

GIFTS FOR THE FOOD LOVER IN YOUR LIFE

There are just 11 days until Christmas. Hannukah starts even earlier, beginning the evening of Dec. 24 and ending Jan. 1. And you've probably already been to at least one holiday party. It's officially time to focus your efforts on checking off various gift lists. Food editor Michelle Stark suggests something food-related, with these ideas for food gifts you can buy or make at home.

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Football: Plant City 24, East Bay 7

GIBSONTON — Plant City’s high-powered passing game gets most of the attention. But the Raiders’ defense is just as responsible for the team’s unbeaten start.In Plant City’s 24-7 road victory against East Bay in Class 7A, District 9 on Friday, the def...
Updated: 11 minutes ago

Football: Sickles 7, Freedom 3

TAMPA — Sickles needed a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter to escape Freedom 7-3 on Homecoming and remain in the hunt for a Class 7A, District 8 title.Gryphons coach Patrick Murphy knew that facing the Patriots would be a battle. Freedom (1-...
Updated: 15 minutes ago

Football: Clearwater Central Catholic 38, Northeast 17

ST. PETERSBURG — Championship caliber teams don’t cut themselves any slack.Just ask senior quarterback Rory Hicks, a tough grader moments after visiting Clearwater Central Catholic rolled out its textbook offensive precision to subdue Northeast, 38-1...
Updated: 19 minutes ago

Football: Wesley Chapel 48, Gulf 7

NEW PORT RICHEY — Welcome to the Jelani Vassell show. The Wesley Chapel junior entered Friday night’s game leading Pasco County in touchdowns with seven. Before the first quarter ended against Gulf, he had added three more as the Wildcats eventually ...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Rays journal: Carlos Gomez says ump should’ve been ejected

Rays journal: Carlos Gomez says ump should’ve been ejected

TORONTO — After unleashing a Twitter rant criticizing umpire Andy Fletcher's work behind the plate Thursday, Rays OF Carlos Gomez doubled down on his comments, saying he was even more upset about how Fletcher treated him when questioning a thir...
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Football: Wiregrass Ranch 42, Wharton 6

TAMPA — The Wiregrass Ranch Bulls football team has been struggling on offense the last two weeks heading into Friday’s District 7A-8 game against Wharton High. The Bulls had scored a total of 19 points the last two games after averaging 30.5 the fir...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Rays bounce back big after a debacle

Rays bounce back big after a debacle

TORONTO — The way the Rays played Friday — all nine innings, lesson learned — in beating the Jays 11-3 provided the best answer on how, or even if, they could rebound from the crushing loss the night before that all but ended their ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago

Football: Dixie Hollins 43, Dunedin 6

ST. PETERSBURG — A 14-point halftime lead by Dixie Hollins become a blowout as the Rebels took big chunks of yardage through the air and on the ground in the second half to stifle visiting Dunedin, 43-6.The Rebels got on the board late in the first q...
Updated: 1 hour ago
UCF-FAU featured the fun most Florida teams would love to have

UCF-FAU featured the fun most Florida teams would love to have

ORLANDO — The first two times Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic faced fourth down Friday night at No. 16 UCF, they kept their offense on the field. The quarterback punted.On the third time, the Owls brought their punt unit onto the fie...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Forward Adam Erne flicks the puck into the net, but he has no time to celebrate.He flips around. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Snow flies off his skates. Erne then squares his body as he arrives in the defensive zone, steps away from the net.Within a secon...
Updated: 1 hour ago