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Morning Watch: Tampa building sells for record price; Trump adds Rick Perry to cabinet; our top TV shows of 2016

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

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CITIGROUP BUYS ITS HUGE TAMPA SERVICE CENTER IN RECORD DEAL

Citigroup Inc. has purchased its huge Tampa service center, home to 5,600 employees, in what is being called Florida's largest-ever sale of single-tenant office buildings. The price was not disclosed and the deed had not been recorded as of Tuesday, but the 92-acre, six-building site in the Sabal Park area last sold in 1999 for $147 million.

TRUMP TAPS RICK PERRY TO HEAD DEPARTMENT HE VOWED TO ABOLISH

President-elect Donald Trump picked Rick Perry to head the Energy Department on Wednesday, seeking to put the former Texas governor in control of an agency whose name he forgot during a presidential debate even as he vowed to abolish it. Perry, who ran for president in the past two election cycles, is likely to shift the department away from renewable energy and toward fossil fuels.

 

ALEPPO CEASE-FIRE RUINED, THREATENING EVACUATION PLANS

A cease-fire deal between rebels and the Syrian government in the city of Allepo foundered on Wednesday, threatening plans to evacuate the remaining rebels and tens of thousands of civilians out of harm's way in what would effectively seal the enclave's surrender.

PROSECUTORS: DEPUTIES WERE JUSTIFIED IN USE OF LETHAL FORCE

Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against two Hernando County sheriff's deputies who shot and killed a suicidal elderly man, determining that the officers' use of deadly force was justified. The decision comes more than two months after the Sept. 15 incident.

Times files

HISTORY CENTER ANNOUNCEMENT COMING

The Tampa Bay History Center plans a major announcement at a news conference Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. That's all the history center will say for now. Opened in 2013 along the Tampa Riverwalk downtown, the center — a Smithsonian Institution affiliate — features 12,000 years of local history in its three floors of permanent and temporary exhibition space. The center also boasts a museum store, the Witt Research Center, a map gallery, event hall and the Columbia Café, a branch of the historic Columbia Restaurant. Follow @PGuzzoTimes for the big news.

FUTURE OF HILLSBOROUGH TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION TO BE DISCUSSED

The Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission holds its first meeting Wednesday morning under new chairman Al Higginbotham, a Hillsborough County commissioner. The previous chairman urged the abolition of the PTC as he stepped down and key members of the local legislative delegation hope to make that happen in Tallahassee during lawmakers 2017 session. Follow Chris O'Donnell at @codonnell_Times for updates.

MEET RINGLING BROS. FIRST FEMALE RINGMASTER

Kristen Wilson stood in the bathroom at Palmetto-based Feld Entertainment, threw her hands in the air, mouthed a silent "whoop" and did a victory dance that shook her bouncy, brown curls. Only a week had passed since the 35-year-old Florida native was waiting in line for a first audition in Orlando, but she came to believe that she started on the path to becoming Ringling Bros. circus' first female ringmaster during childhood.

COLORFUL BURANO WORTH A SIDE TRIP — BY WATER — FROM VENICE

Four miles and 40 minutes from Venice, Italy is Burano, primarily known for houses that look like they came straight from a child's coloring pad. Boxy in shape, they eschew the muted hues of many Italian structures in favor of egg-yolk yellow, carrot orange and other cartoon colors. Here's what it's like to take a day trip to one of the world's most colorful and picturesque islands.

BEST OF 2016: 10 NEW TV SHOWS

At least something good came out of 2016. More than ever this year we needed to escape into our screens, and thankfully we have a lot of quality TV right in front of us. And that means it's harder than ever to pick what programs to watch. There are familiar titles you've probably already watched and hopefully a few you haven't. Catch up on these before even more new shows drop (we'll preview those in a few weeks).

FX

"Atlanta" is one of the best new TV shows of 2016.

Citigroup has purchased this and five other buildings in its 92-acre CitiBank campus in Tampa  in what is said to be Florida's largest sale ever of single-tenant office buildings. (Photo by Brentton Johnson)

Citigroup has purchased this and five other buildings in its 92-acre CitiBank campus in Tampa in what is said to be Florida's largest sale ever of single-tenant office buildings. (Photo by Brentton Johnson)

Morning Watch: Tampa building sells for record price; Trump adds Rick Perry to cabinet; our top TV shows of 2016 12/14/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 9:07am]
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  1. AP: Rick Scott to name Jimmy Patronis CFO on Monday

    Blogs

    From the AP's Gary Fineout:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott is turning to a long-time political ally and former north Florida legislator to take over one of the top elected jobs in state government. 

    Then state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City Beach, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, tour downtown Panama City, Fla. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Scott will name Patronis CFO on Monday.
  2. Despite Pride success, Grand Central business owners upset over losing parade

    Events

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Grand Central District was packed with people Sunday, there to enjoy the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Patrons eat lunch and cool off inside of the Community Cafe during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival along Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times

  3. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) scores in the eighth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie

    Blogs

    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.
  5. 'Sharknado' coming to Tampa Theatre with director Q&A

    Blogs

    A movie about a tornado filled with man-eating sharks has to be better on the big screen, right? You'll have a chance to find out for yourself when the Syfy network's original Sharknado screens at Tampa Theatre.

    The original 'Sharknado,' which premiered in 2013, will screen at Tampa Theatre.