Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Obama looks to pivot from health care fiasco

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama worked to turn a page Friday on his signature health care law, nominating White House aide Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace embattled Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services.

Known for her management skills, Burwell will become the new face of the Affordable Care Act, a law with a troubled track record that could threaten Democratic prospects in this fall's congressional elections.

The first test for Burwell will come in the Senate, which unanimously confirmed her as White House budget director last year but which likely will use her confirmation hearings next month to stage a partisan debate over Obamacare.

The hearings could get contentious, as Republican senators seize the opportunity in the run-up to elections to campaign against the health law. But Burwell also could end up looking good by comparison to her predecessor Sebelius, who bore the brunt of the blame for Obamacare's botched rollout and glitch-filled website.

A veteran of Democratic administrations, Burwell is a West Virginia native and a graduate of Harvard University and Oxford University in England, where she was a Rhodes scholar. She has a lengthy record of public service as well as extensive experience in the private sector.

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Police identify man found dead in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police on Monday released the identity of the man who was found dead inside an apartment last week.Officers said it was Abdirashid Ali, 50, who was discovered around 3 p.m. Friday at The Courtyard on the River Apartments, 5217 Sonora Court.De...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
‘Lysol defense’ fails. Alcohol violation keeps man convicted of DUI manslaughter in jail.

‘Lysol defense’ fails. Alcohol violation keeps man convicted of DUI manslaughter in jail.

LARGO — Brock Troutman, freed on bail while he appeals his DUI manslaughter conviction, wasn’t drinking when his ankle monitor detected high levels of alcohol last month, his defense attorney said on Monday.They told the court that Troutman, 35, was ...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
ISIS ambush kills at least 27 Iraqi Shiite-led fighters

ISIS ambush kills at least 27 Iraqi Shiite-led fighters

BAGHDAD — Islamic State militants ambushed a group of Iraq’s Shiite-led paramilitary fighters, killing at least 27, more than two months after Baghdad declared victory over the extremist group, officials said Monday The Popular Mobilization Forces, a...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.’’ A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he won’t raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trump’s claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

CLEARWATER — A simmering feud between Tampa and the regional water authority avoided boiling over Monday, but little was resolved.At a Tampa Bay Water meeting, board members requested Tampa work with the agency on the city’s plan to convert tens of m...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Speaking in front of a small crowd gathered on the front lawn of the city’s main library, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Monday that the facility will get a $6 million renovation and be renamed in honor of President Barack Obama.The a...
Updated: 1 hour ago