Friday, April 20, 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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St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

ST. PETERSBURG — The city said not one of the 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water released on Jan. 18 reached Tampa Bay.There was no mention of the waste released from the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility ever reaching the bay in the city’s notice...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

BRANDON – Devils top defenseman Sami Vatanen had not traveled to Tampa as of Friday afternoon, according to coach John Hynes, and his availability for Game 5 Saturday against the Lightning is in doubt.Hynes, however, did not rule out Vatan...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

ST. PETERSBURG — Officers are searching for a 20-year-old woman who they believe to be missing and who could be in danger.Kayla Brandi Boone was last seen at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Fourth Street S, according to St. Petersburg pol...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Woman says Hernando County commissioner kept her as a ‘sex slave’

Woman says Hernando County commissioner kept her as a ‘sex slave’

SPRING HILL — A woman who answered the door Friday at the home of Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson said she served for months as a “sex slave” to the elected official. Valerie Surette, who called herself a 30-year-old st...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Deputies: 19-month-old child found in New Port Richey pond has died

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 19-month-old child that was found in a pond on Thursday afternoon has died, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The incident took place at about 12:31 p.m. Deputies and firefighters were called out to a home in the 47...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Racing schedules for 2018-19 parimutuel seasons released

OLDSMAR — Eight is not enough at Tampa Bay Downs, at least when the thoroughbred racing facility on Race Track Road opens its 93rd season July 1.The final card of what will be the Downs' sixth annual two-day Summer Festival of Racing will featu...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 3 hours ago