Friday, July 20, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: Trump to order investigation into 'voter fraud'

Here's what's new this morning.

President Donald Trump says he will order an investigation into voter fraud. The president tweeted early Wednesday that the measures will affect those registered to vote in more than one state, "those who are illegal and even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)."

GOV. SCOTT TO PITCH $618 MILLION IN TAX CUTS DURING TAMPA STOP

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, brushing aside a more pessimistic outlook on the state's financial situation, wants state legislators to slash taxes by $618 million in the coming year. During stops in Tampa, Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale, Scott on Wednesday will tout a tax cut package he's asking the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature to pass this spring. It will be a key part of spending recommendations that he will release in the next few weeks.

MULBERRY SINKHOLE DISRUPTED MOSAIC PLANS TO RAISE GYPSUM STACK, EXPAND MANATEE MINING

[JIM DAMASKE | Times]

A massive sinkhole that opened up at a Mosaic phosphate fertilizer plant in Mulberry dumped contaminated water into the Floridan aquifer back in August.

The massive sinkhole that swallowed a radioactive pool of water from a Mulberry phosphogypsum stack last August opened at an inopportune time for the company that owned the site. The Mosaic Company, the largest phosphate company in the world, was planning to expand both its Mulberry stack in Polk County and its mining operation in nearby Manatee County when the contaminated water drained into the aquifer.

CARLTON: IN A CITY'S BATTLE WITH THE HOMELESS, A PARK DISAPPEARS

A nice thing about Tampa's urban neighborhoods is that somebody actually thought about parks, columnist Sue Carlton writes. A tall black metal fence recently sprouted around a park that was once open green space next to a big law firm just north of downtown. Placards warn "NO TRESPASSING KEEP OUT,'' and every entrance is padlocked. Gone is the welcoming city sign that said "Phil Bourquardez Park."

MIAMI GIRL, 14, HANGS HERSELF WHILE STREAMING IT LIVE

[Facebook/Miami Herald]

An image of Nakia Venant on her Facebook page. On the social media platform where she liked to post personal videos, some longer than an hour, she called herself Hothead Nikee.

For two hours, Nakia Venant broadcast from the bathroom of her Miami Gardens foster home, eventually fashioning a homemade noose from her scarf. The live feed ended abruptly. Nakia, a petite 14-year-old with long hair and a sweet smile, killed herself overnight Sunday while live-streaming the event. Administrators with the Florida Department of Children & Families would offer little detail Tuesday about Nakia's death, other than to confirm that both child welfare administrators and the Miami Gardens Police Department were investigating the suicide death of "a child … in the care of a foster family."

MADEIRA BEACH DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENTS DOWNSIZED

It is likely that several new hotels will open their doors in Madeira Beach in a few years, but the path to that new development continues to be rocky. A lawsuit challenging the city's rejection of a referendum petition, dismissed in court in November, has been reinstated and will go forward.

PRESERVE'S CONSERVATION CEMETERY OFFERS FAMILIES A 'GREEN' END-OF-LIFE ALTERNATIVE

With today's typical funeral and burial process, the natural process of returning to dust is impeded, while cemeteries have become "landfills" polluted with toxins from embalming fluids, steel caskets and concrete vaults. Green burials offer a sustainable alternative, but the choices are minimal. There are only a handful of "hybrid" cemeteries in Florida that offer both natural and traditional burials, and even fewer conservation cemeteries that work toward protecting the land. eartwood Preserve Conservation Cemetery in Pasco County is one of them.

REVIEW: 'Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING' SPOTLIGHTS THE ORIGINAL JAZZ AGE FLAPPER

Based on the 2013 novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, the show moves through the turbulent life of Zelda, played out in the salons of Montgomery and speakeasies of New York City. Read Chelsea Tatham's review here.

FLORIDA'S TASK: KEEP IN-STATE RECRUITS, STARTING WITH TAMPA BAY

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Malik Davis (20) of Jesuit, Gator chomps in celebration of a touchdown during the second half of the game on Friday November 4, 2016 at Tampa Catholic High School. Jesuit defeated Tampa Catholic, 34-14.

Jim McElwain's recruiting plan starts with locking down the state of Florida. If McElwain is serious about that — and making Florida a legitimate College Football Playoff contender — reestablishing a pipeline from Tampa Bay to Gainesville is a good place to start. However, local stars have simply chosen to go elsewhere, Matt Baker writes.

JAMIES WINSTON VS. MARCUS MARIOTA: MARIOTA WON 2016. HERE'S WHY.

Like the highly touted prospects before them, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota will be linked together forever. We'll critique their throws, parse their words, debate their leadership. Every so often, we'll ask, "Who is better?" In 2015, the answer was Winston. This season? Mariota didn't just catch up to him — he passed him by, at least in the ways we can measure. To find out how, Tom Bassinger dives into the numbers.

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Hooper: Time to push the envelope in effort to build Rays stadium in Ybor

Hooper: Time to push the envelope in effort to build Rays stadium in Ybor

The Rays started employing a strategy of using relievers to start games when they sent Sergio Romo to the mound to face the Los Angeles Angels earlier this season. Through criticism and occasional outright ridicule, they stuck with the plan. And they...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Inside a suicide hotline center; St. Petersburg residents storm city council with allegations; should Rays trade Chris Archer?

The Daystarter: Inside a suicide hotline center; St. Petersburg residents storm city council with allegations; should Rays trade Chris Archer?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.   • Today brings a 50 percent chance of rain and high temperatures in the mid to upper 80s, according to the National Weather Service.   • As you head out for your morni...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Get this: Bank of the Ozarks is the country’s largest construction lender

Get this: Bank of the Ozarks is the country’s largest construction lender

This surprised me: Little ole Bank of the Ozarks is the country’s largest construction lender, loaning out more to the industry than financial heavyweight Wells Fargo and Bank of America.Those factoids were part of a lengthy profile of the bank pub...
Updated: 1 hour ago
High chance of showers, muggy conditions for Tampa Bay throughout weekend

High chance of showers, muggy conditions for Tampa Bay throughout weekend

It’s shaping up to be a warm and muggy weekend across the bay area with rain chances staying around 60 percent through the weekend.Much of the expected precipitation is coming to the area thanks to the combination of a southwestern flow bringing show...
Updated: 1 hour ago
At least 11 dead after Missouri duck boat sinks; search for 5 resumes

At least 11 dead after Missouri duck boat sinks; search for 5 resumes

Authorities say 11 people died after a duck boat carrying about 31 passengers capsized and sank Thursday on Table Rock Lake near the tourist town of Branson, Missouri.Some of the dead passengers were children, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told rep...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Bay and Florida businesses expect tariffs to drive prices up

Tampa Bay and Florida businesses expect tariffs to drive prices up

TAMPA — Tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and other countries are beginning to push up prices and depress demand in spots around the Tampa Bay area and Florida, business executives say."We’ve definitely seen that the tariffs have increased ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Carlton: Rotary Clubs support no-women-allowed dinner. What year is this?

Going "stag" sounds so old-fashioned — boys night out, sans the gals.But it’s not so outdated in certain Rotary clubs in the Brandon suburbs and still rural Plant City. There, the decades-old no-women-allowed tradition of the yearly stag Wild Game Ni...
Published: 07/20/18
Chickens remain free to range in Ybor

Chickens remain free to range in Ybor

TAMPA — Ybor City chickens have escaped the political chopping block — again. The Tampa City Council on Thursday declined to do anything about a wild flock of poultry that drew a loud, strong throng of supporters to City Hall to ask coun...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin: Rays should trade Chris Archer

Marc Topkin: Rays should trade Chris Archer

ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer wants the Rays to get going.Trade more veterans. Bring back Willy Adames and bring up the next group of kids. Get on with getting better, and get back to reaching the postseason, as they did four times over six yea...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Activists camp out in protest at Tampa’s Homeland Security, ICE offices

Activists camp out in protest at Tampa’s Homeland Security, ICE offices

TAMPA — The national movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency came to Tampa on Thursday night — and it’s in tents.Approximately 25 local activists gathered next to Cypress Drive in front of the local Department of Homeland S...
Updated: 3 hours ago