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.
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