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News at Noon: Black caucus demands Scott change on Loyd case; Utah man among London dead; what 25 Tampa Bay execs earn; urban farming in Pasco

Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, led by Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Lauderhill, call on Gov. Rick Scott to rescind an executive order removing the Orange-Osceola state attorney from a case after she said she would not seek the death penalty. [Michael Auslen | Times/Herald]

Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, led by Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Lauderhill, call on Gov. Rick Scott to rescind an executive order removing the Orange-Osceola state attorney from a case after she said she would not seek the death penalty. [Michael Auslen | Times/Herald]

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

BLACK CAUCUS DEMANDS SCOTT RESCIND ORDER ON ORLANDO PROSECUTOR

Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus have called for Gov. Rick Scott to rescind an executive order transferring the case of Markeith Loyd, who is accused of killing a police officer in Orlando, away from the local state attorney after she declared she would not seek the death penalty. Since the order, Scott has faced pressure from all sides. Some, including lawmakers, have demanded he suspend State Attorney Aramis Ayala from office. Others, among them a group of lawyers and former state Supreme Court justices, call Scott's decision an overreach.

UTAH MAN KILLED IN LONDON ATTACK; ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY

A Utah man celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary was among those killed in the London terror attack, according to a statement from the Mormon church issued on behalf of relatives. The man's wife was seriously injured and remain hospitalized. Meantime, ISIS has claimed responsibility the attack, in which a man plowed an SUV into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death on the grounds of Parliament.

PAYCHECK SAMPLER: WHAT 25 AREA BIG SHOTS EARN

A sampling of the compensation received by many area CEOs, university presidents and health care officials shows mostly robust pay packages for a majority of top execs in Tampa Bay. TECO Energy CEO John Ramil, now retired from the Tampa power company, so far tops the pay scale for executives of publicly traded companies as of 2016. Of course, other execs saw a pay drop, typically a reflection of the weaker performance of their companies or the result of an earlier windfall year for pay.

URBAN FARMING TAKES ROOT IN NEW PORT RICHEY FRONT YARDS

In broad daylight and right in the front yard, something is happening in New Port Richey. The New Urbanism movement has taken hold and urban agriculture is flourishing. Jim Kovaleski, a self-proclaimed urban farmer, thinks it's because the city has cheap land, low taxes, free compost, an urban agriculture ordinance and a free-to-vendors, year-round farmers market — a formula he thinks is perfect for attracting the growing number of people interested in urban farming.

STATE SENATE APPROVES BILL TO LET GROCERY STORES SELL LIQUOR

Floridians are one step closer to being able to buy whiskey, rum or vodka in a grocery store. Legislators passed the "whiskey to Wheaties" bill in the state Senate, which will allow grocery stores like Publix or Wal-Mart to sell hard liquor on the shelves next to beer and wine instead of in a separate liquor store with its own entrance.

AT 100, TAMPA'S OPERA KING CELEBRATES A LIFE'S WORK

As he celebrates his 100th birthday, Anton Coppola, the legendary conductor who helped shape Tampa's opera culture, will conduct selections from Sacco and Vanzetti at the Straz Center, part of Opera Tampa's annual gala. The founding artistic director of Opera Tampa will likely be joined by members of his famous family, including the directors Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola. Times performing arts critic Andrew Meachum sits down with the maestro ahead of the special night.

WOMAN ACQUITTED IN EX-HUSBAND'S SLAYING FACES WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT

The daughter of a former St. Petersburg police sergeant shot dead two years ago is suing her father's ex-wife, who was acquitted of a murder charge in his death in January, according to court records. The wrongful death lawsuit filed this month by John "J.J." Rush's daughter, Meghan Rush, chronicles the turbulent relationship between Cara Ryan and Rush leading up to the shooting.

RAYS ANNOUNCE CUTS IN ADVANCE OF ESPN GAME AGAINST YANKEES

The Rays are back in Port Charlotte today to host the Yankees with ESPN televising. First pitch will be at 1:05. Righthander Austin Pruitt, one of the prospects making an push for a job in the bullpen, will start for the Rays. The Rays also made another round of cuts today. Check the Heater blog for the latest developments.

MOVIE REVIEW: REBOOTED 'CHIPS' WILL HAVE YOU SPEEDING FOR EXITS

Everything you need to know about the Hollywood reboot of CHiPs can be summarized in the first words the audience sees on the movie screen: "The California Highway Patrol does not endorse this film. At all." On the 40th anniversary of TV's show debut in 1977, Dax Shepard has created a modern-day take on the daring motorcycle duo that is more groan than grown-up.

DICK VITALE TALKS FLORIDA-WISCONSIN

ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale said the Florida Gators have had an impressive season and NCAA Tournament, but tomorrow's Sweet 16 matchup against Wisconsin could pose some matchup problems. Still, the Gators have one big reason to be optimistic second-year coach Mike White. If Vitale had to name five coach of the year finalists today, White would be on the list.

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.

News at Noon: Black caucus demands Scott change on Loyd case; Utah man among London dead; what 25 Tampa Bay execs earn; urban farming in Pasco 03/23/17 [Last modified: Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:09pm]
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