Friday, August 17, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: A Scientology battle like no other; Alabama fans sting scalper; Tampa waterfront land hitting market; Bolts' Bishop could return

The Church of Scientology says it's all about strengthening and supporting families, yet its most prominent clan is engulfed in an epic — and very public —- feud. Ron Miscavige, the father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, has written a tell-all book about his time in the church and how he pulled his family into it in the 1970s, only to leave in 2012 after years of disillusionment. His son fired back with a website that attacks his dad's reputation. Times reporter Thomas C. Tobin takes in-depth look at an extraordinary airing of one famous family's dirty laundry.

POLICE: ALABAMA FANS STING SCALPER WHO SOLD THEM FAKE TICKETS

A scalper on Craigslist agreed to meet an Alabama fan seeking a ticket to the College Football Playoff championship hours before the game on Monday. But he was known beforehand to the man and his two brothers, who pinned the seller down, took his shoes and socks. The brothers had called police to tell them the same scalper had sold them two counterfeit tickets the day before — at $1,000 apiece. So they pulled a bit of fakery themselves, using a different email and phone number to arrange a second purchase. Police arrest the scalper.

PRIME WATERFRONT PROPERTY EYES REDEVELOPMENT

After decades of ownership, Tampa's L. M. Hughey Co. has decided it's time to sell a prime piece of waterfront land in Beach Park, across Kennedy Boulevard from WestShore Plaza. The 10.5-acre parcel includes a 75-slip marina and three commercial buildings, one with a superb view of Old Tampa Bay. Beach Park residents will keep a close eye on what developers would have in mind.

BOLTS' BISHOP CLOSE TO RETURNING TO ICE

Goalie Ben Bishop practiced Wednesday with the Lightning for the second straight day and could return to the lineup tonight when Tampa Bay hosts the Buffalo Sabres or on Friday when it hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets. Bishop has not played since Dec. 20, when he suffered a lower-body injury. That Friday game is already special, with the retirement of Martin St. Louis' jersey during a pregame ceremony.

FOR JAMERSON ELEMENTARY STAFFER: $25,000 AND NATIONAL BUZZ

An unsuspecting staff member at St. Petersburg's Jamerson Elementary got a big treat this morning: $25,000 and national recognition as a rising star in the field of education. Lukas Hefty, the school's magnet coordinator, is one of 35 educators recognized nationwide — and the sole Florida recipient — for the 2016-2017 Milken Educator Award. The surprise came at a school assembly.

CONFIRMATION HEARING FOR FORMER CENTCOM CHIEF MATTIS

Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, selected by President-elect Donald Trump to be defense secretary, faces a confirmation hearing today before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is expected to broadly approve his nomination. Mattis, 66, retired as the chief of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa in 2013. Trump's choices for housing secretary, Ben Carson, and CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo, also face confirmation hearings today.

AUDIT: FLORIDA PAID PRISON OPERATOR $16 MILLION TOO MUCH

For the last several years, Florida prison officials have used an opaque pricing scheme that inflated payments to a private prison company operating the Lake City Correctional Facility, costing taxpayers millions of dollars in excess charges instead of producing promised savings, according to an independent financial audit by a Miami Beach state legislator.

FACT-CHECKING DONALD TRUMP'S PRESS CONFERENCE

A day after Donald Trump's first news conference since winning the election, PolitiFact highlights some of the president-elect's comments with face-checking. Topics include Russia, conflicts of interest, the media, job creation and the Mexican border.

CVS OFFERS GENERIC COMPETITOR TO EPIPEN, SOLD AT A SIXTH THE PRICE

CVS is selling a rival, generic version of Mylan's EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to consumers. The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 for a two-pack of the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick, a lesser-known treatment compared to EpiPen, which can cost more than $600.

HILLSBOROUGH COMMISSIONER WILL ATTEND TRUMP'S INAUGURATION

County Commissioner Stacy White will be among the tens of thousands of people traveling to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of Donald Trump next week. White, an east Hillsborough Republican, said it was a "once in a lifetime opportunity" for himself and his family.

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.

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Full disclosure: My preseason AP Top 25 ballot

Full disclosure: My preseason AP Top 25 ballot

We'll find out where Miami, Florida State and the rest of Florida's teams start the season Monday when the AP releases its preseason Top 25 rankings.Until then, here's a sneak peek, in the form of the AP ballot I submitted last week.Clemson starts at...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Fridayís letters: Iíve lived in countries lacking a free press; you wouldnít want to

Striving to keep truth flowingfor democracy | Editorial, Aug. 16Iíve lived in places lacking free pressMore than half my adult life Iíve lived, worked or studied in countries governed by dictators or authoritarian rulers in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ukr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Why is Red Tide so bad this year? Could dust from the Sahara be to blame?

Why is Red Tide so bad this year? Could dust from the Sahara be to blame?

Red Tide hits Florida on a regular basis, but rarely is one of the algae blooms as deadly as this yearís. Already declared the worst in a decade, itís killed a dozen dolphins, scores of manatees, hundreds of sea turtles and untold thousands of fish. ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A USF milestone: Three new dorms, more than 6,300 students living on campus

A USF milestone: Three new dorms, more than 6,300 students living on campus

TAMPA ó The paint on Pinnacle Hallís white-and-gold walls still smelled fresh as Lilly Myskey led a parade of parents and bins and bags down the hall toward her new room at the University of South Florida. "Speaking of the building being brand-new, L...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny,Iím a recent college grad whoís been working an entry-level job for the past year. I only make about $33,000 a year, but Iím doing OK. Iím able to pay my bills without taking on more debt. One of the reasons Iím able to do so is that I dri...
Published: 08/17/18
ĎI need help now!í pleads woman in 911 tape from Florida stand your ground shooting

ĎI need help now!í pleads woman in 911 tape from Florida stand your ground shooting

Even before the 911 operator could ask about the emergency, the caller was screaming."Baby! Oh my God!" she yelled, as the operator tried to calmly ask for the address."I need help now! I need help now!" the caller pleaded, her voice cracking in hyst...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Preseason football: Berkeley Prep passing game on point in weather-shortened win

TAMPA — Berkeley Prep did some strange things on offense Thursday night.Instead of wheeling around to hand off, quarterback Josh Youngblood was firing the ball down the field.The Bucs becoming more of passing team?Believe it.By shucking its run...
Updated: 8 hours ago
The Rays finally won a series in Yankee Stadium. Now for some perspective.

The Rays finally won a series in Yankee Stadium. Now for some perspective.

NEW YORK — After the Rays exhaled following Thursday's tense-as-they come 3-1 win, they were able to appreciate the significance of what they'd done.For now.And, more importantly, for the future.Really, it shouldn't be that hard. They make thre...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays journal: Rookie Adam Kolarek picks good time for first career save

Rays journal: Rookie Adam Kolarek picks good time for first career save

NEW YORK — There was a lot that went into the Rays hanging on to their 3-1, series-clinching win over the Yankees Thursday.Including the conversation  reliever Adam Kolarek had with himself jogging in from the bullpen with the bases loaded...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Preseason football: Springstead rolls over Hudson 55-0

Preseason football: Springstead rolls over Hudson 55-0

SPRING HILL — Preseason games are usually a good gauge of where teams stand entering the season. But even after Springstead's 55-0 win over Hudson on Thursday night, Eagles coach Mike Garofano was cautiously optimistic.He thought dept...
Updated: 9 hours ago