Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

Astronomers find blue planet outside solar system

By the numbers

5 Percent of U.S. high school sophomores who in 2012 said they had smoked cigarettes daily in the previous 30 days, according to a report by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.

18 Percent of sophomores who were smoking daily at one point in the 1990s. The report said the numbers have also plunged for eighth-graders and high school seniors, hitting their lowest point since the reports began.

A first for a planet far, far away

Astronomers have for the first time managed to determine the color of a planet outside our solar system — a blue gas giant 63 light-years away. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, an international team said the planet known as HD 189733B would look like a deep blue dot if viewed up close. "Measuring the planet's color is a real first — we have never managed it before with a planet outside our own solar system," Frederic Pont of the University of Exeter in England said Friday. Discovered in 2005, the planet belongs to a class of giant gas planets called "hot Jupiters" that orbit close to their stars.

Ruling stands: Firing not bias

A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he had grown too attracted to her and worried he would try to start an extramarital affair, the Iowa Supreme Court reaffirmed Friday in its second crack at the controversial case. Coming to the same outcome as it did in December, but clarifying its rationale, the court found that bosses can fire employees that they and their spouses see as threats to their marriages. The court said such firings do not count as sex discrimination because they're motivated by feelings, not gender. The ruling upholds the dismissal of a discrimination lawsuit filed by Melissa Nelson against James Knight of Fort Dodge. The married mother of two had worked for Knight for 10 years.

Saudi princess free on $5M bail

A Saudi princess charged with human trafficking was freed after her country's consulate posted her $5 million bail, but authorities imposed strict travel requirements and GPS tracking to keep her in Southern California, Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said Friday. Meshael Alayban, 42, was arrested Wednesday after a Kenyan woman who worked for her as a maid in Irvine alleged she was held against her will and forced to toil long hours for meager pay.

Associated Press

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Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hernando Business Digest for June 22

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITAL RECEIVES AWARD: Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill was the recipient of Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals that have prevented the occurrence...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northeast High grad return home

Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northeast High grad return home

ST. PETERSBURG — In November 1969, at a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, Air Force Capt. James White and his wife Sharon enjoyed their last night out together, dining on hotel room service with family friends Neil and Janet Armstrong.It was four months af...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and fled scene

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and fled scene

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian before fleeing the scene on Sunday night.Police say the driver struck an unidentified woman near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida Aquarium continues coral restoration research in Cuba

Florida Aquarium continues coral restoration research in Cuba

At the current rate of restoration work, some estimate it will be 550 years before certain types of coral are removed from the endangered species list."I don’t know if that timeline works for you," Scott Graves, director of the Florida Aquarium’s Cen...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man caught in rip current, drowns off Lido Beach

Man caught in rip current, drowns off Lido Beach

A man who was swimming off Lido Beach got caught in a rip current and drowned Sunday night.According to the Sarasota Police Department, the unidentified man was swimming with a woman near Big Pass, a boater channel, around 10 p.m. before becoming cau...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Child, 1, killed in single-car crash in Ruskin

Child, 1, killed in single-car crash in Ruskin

RUSKIN — A 1-year-old child was killed Sunday night and four family members were hospitalized when their vehicle overturned into a ditch.Deputies, responding to the scene after receiving several 911 calls around 6:30 p.m., located the overturned vehi...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hernando Religion Calendar for June 22

Religion calendarBrooksvilleProvidence Church is offering a free weekly water-themed Kid’s Summer Fun Series that features Biblical stories, worship music and activities for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. W...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hernando Bloodmobile for June 22

BloodmobileLifeSouth Community Blood Center will have blood drives at the following off-site locations during the coming week.June 22: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Surge Suppression, 15424 Flight Path Drive, south of Brooksville; 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sam...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hernando Government Meetings for June 22

Here is a listing of public meetings scheduled for this week:TuesdayHernando County Commission, 9 a.m., commission chambers, Hernando County Government Center, 20 N. Main St., Brooksville.Southwest Florida Water Management District, 9 a.m., district ...
Updated: 1 hour ago