Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: Zika vote bugs Florida lawmakers; complaint filed over Trump donation; mall worker chases thief; Anclote receding

Senate Democrats blocked a $1.1 billion bill over objections to a provision aimed at preventing funding to Planned Parenthood. The ire played out among Florida lawmakers — including Rep. David Jolly making his point on the House floor with a container of 100 Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae and Sen. Bill Nelson saying, "Let's stop these political games."

GROUP FILES IRS COMPLAINT OVER TRUMP-BONDI DONATION

A watchdog group has filed an IRS complaint calling for an investigation into Donald Trump's foundation giving $25,000 to a political committee backing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The complaint alleges the contribution appears to be an attempt to influence Bondi's decision to not pursue a fraud case against Trump University. Bondi has denied that the money influenced the decision, and Trump has said he never spoke to her about complaints against the branded real estate seminars.

JEWELRY STORE WORKER THROWN FROM CAR WHILE CHASING THIEF

An employee at a Brandon mall jewelry store suffered life-threatening injuries Tuesday evening after being thrown from the hood of a car while chasing a fleeing thief, investigators said. The thief ran off about 7 p.m. with two pieces of jewelry — a gold necklace and bracelet, valued around $23,500 — from Mirage Diamond & Fine Jewelry in the Westfield Brandon mall.

Luis Santana | Times

Residents evacuated the Elfers Parkway area of Pasco County on Sunday afternoon. Waters receded enough Wednesday that residents were able to start the recovery process.

RESIDENTS BEGIN RECOVERY AS ANCLOTE FINALLY STARTS RECEDING

The Anclote River receded below flood stage Wednesday morning, allowing people along Elfers Parkway to begin their recovery from Hurricane Hermine. The river height stood at 19.5 feet as of 10 a.m. and was projected to continue to fall.

RAYS SHUTTING DOWN DUFFY FOR SEASON

The Rays are shutting down shortstop Matt Duffy for the season. Duffy, recently acquired by trade from San Francisco, will see a doctor Friday in North Carolina and likely have a procedure on his left heel this weekend. The Rays wrap up the six-game homestand at 1:10 this afternoon against the Orioles.

FERGUSON ACTIVIST FOUND DEAD IN BURNING CAR

When Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo., two years ago, Darren Seals was one of the most vocal activists leading protests across the city. On Tuesday, Seals was found shot and dead in a burning car outside the city. He was 29.

COMPLAINT ACCUSES MURPHY OF 'COORDINATING' WITH SUPER PACs

A watchdog group plans to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission that accuses Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy of illegally coordinating with super PACs that support his bid to unseat Sen. Marco Rubio.

WATCH: JAMEIS WINSTON SPEAKS TO SEMINOLES AT HALFTIME

Former Florida State star Jameis Winston was in Orlando Monday night to watch his Seminoles play Ole Miss. The Bucs' quarterback had some fiery words to say at halftime. Showtime, which is airing a season-long, all-access documentary on FSU football, supplied a clip. Florida State, down 28-13 at the time, rallied to win. 45-34.

TAMPA CITY COUNCIL HEARING ON 2017 BUDGET TODAY

The Tampa City Council holds the first of two public hearings at 5 p.m. today on Mayor Bob Buckhorn's proposed $906 million budget for 2017. Apart from the $35.5 million makeover of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, the budget doesn't feature a lot of high-profile public improvement projects. However, property values are expected to rise for the fourth straight year.

POLL: TRUMP AND CLINTON NECK-AND-NECK IN FLORIDA

Donald Trump has a narrow advantage in Florida over Hillary Clinton if Libertarian Gary Johnson and other candidates are included, but the nominal lead flips to Clinton in a head-to-head matchup, according to a new poll.

HERNANDO WON'T RAISE TAX RATE TO MEET SHERIFF'S REQUESTS

Having already held the line on spending for county departments, and uncertain how much property tax revenue it will have for the coming year, the Hernando County Commission has tentatively said no to a tax rate increase that would allow Sheriff Al Nienhuis to beef up services.

Associated Press

Previous versions of the iPhone used a standard jack for headphones or earbuds. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 with a different way of connecting the accessory.

LISTEN TO THIS, iPHONE FANS

Apple is expected to show off new iPhones, an updated smartwatch — and maybe some new gear for listening to both — during its annual fall product launch event today. Even casual users of consumer technology may be interested to see if Apple follows through on reports that it's eliminating the iPhone's analog headphone jack.

POLICE: UBER DRIVER PEEPED INTO PASSENGERS' APARTMENT

An Uber driver faces charges after St. Petersburg police say he was found peering into a window where he had dropped off two female passengers. Police say Christopher Cuccorillo, 40, of Pinellas Park, faces charges of loitering and prowling.

News at noon is a weekday feature from tampabay.com. Check in Monday through Friday for updates and information on the biggest stories of the day.

Comments
Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

When Brenda Terry was 16 and living in St. Louis, she was a hostess and food runner at a sports bar where female employees wore cute, little cheerleading skirts. One night, she said, a patron grabbed her crotch. She ran to her management team and the...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Festivus 2017: Submit your grievances and complaints here

Festivus 2017: Submit your grievances and complaints here

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Updated: 20 minutes ago
After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

TAMPA — A 46-year-old man was arrested Friday and accused of setting fire to a vacant Ybor City bathhouse hit by arson at least two other times earlier this year.Two Tampa police officers spotted smoke from the vacant building at 1512 E Eighth Ave. a...
Updated: 26 minutes ago

FHP: Overturned pick-up slowed traffic on northbound Howard Frankland

ST. PETERSBURG — A pick-up truck towing a car onto the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge overturned and crashed on the shoulder, causing back-ups for motorists trying to get to Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident was reported...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Editorial: Warren’s smart approach on guns, domestic violence

Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren would make it safer for victims and police alike with his plan to remove firearms from defendants charged with domestic violence. These cases are toxic enough, and having guns at the ready only adds to a dang...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: St. Petersburg council right to reject Bayfront deal

Editorial: St. Petersburg council right to reject Bayfront deal

The St. Petersburg City Council made the difficult but correct decision this week to reject the proposed sale of a local nonprofit’s minority stake in Bayfront hospital. Despite months of negotiations, there were too many questions, a few suspicions ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched the stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Traffic grew heavy, and so did contractions, so Plant City mom delivers in car

Traffic grew heavy, and so did contractions, so Plant City mom delivers in car

BRANDON — Christine Stallworth had experienced false labor before so she decided to ignore the contractions she was feeling Thursday as she and her husband Clifford drove their two boys from home in Plant City to school in Tampa.But this time, 10 day...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Pour Taproom, a craft beer bar with 85 taps that customers pour their own brew from, will open at noon on Saturday, Dec. 16. The nearly 2,300-square-foot bar at 225 Second Ave. N has undergone extensive renovations, including a St. Petersburg-themed...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 1 hour ago