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News at noon: 2015 was hottest on record; a 9th planet?; Trump on top in Florida; Gasparilla security; Alan Cumming chats; Jackson Browne on Glenn Frey; weekend planners; Drouin chatter

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event Wednesday in Norwalk, Iowa. [Associated Press]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event Wednesday in Norwalk, Iowa. [Associated Press]

Last year wasn't just the Earth's hottest year on record — it left a century of high temperature marks in the dust. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA say 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of record keeping.

Speaking of planets: Scientists say they finally have "solid evidence" for Planet X, a true ninth planet on the fringes of our solar system.

Florida's Republican primary would be a Donald Trump blowout if held today, according to a new poll. Trump leads with a whopping 47.6 percent support among likely Republicans. Did you catch Sarah Palin's speech endorsing Trump yesterday in Iowa? It was classic Palin. We've highlighted six things she said. And our PolitiFact team will be with Trump again today. Follow the live blog.

A crowd of 350,000 is expected at this year's Gasparilla parade set for Jan. 30. Tampa officials are discussing security for the event today.

Two more sets of remains exhumed from a small clearing in the pines on the campus of the former Dozier reform school in Marianna have been identified, according to University of South Florida anthropologists. The school has been the subject of a special Times investigation, For Their Own Good.

Taliban gunmen stormed a university in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and triggering an hours-long gunbattle with the army and police before the military declared the assault in a town near the city of Peshawar was over.

Fewer people are learning how to drive. For people ages 20 to 24, there has been a 16 percent drop in the number of people with driver's licenses over the past few decades. It's another reason, writes Robert Trigaux, that the Tampa Bay area needs to pick up the pace on better mass transit and lessen our dependence on more and bigger roads.

Energy stocks are leading another sell-off on Wall Street as the price of crude oil continues to plunge. Investors worry that the global glut in crude will cause deep damage to oil and gas companies and lead to more bankruptcies and layoffs in the sector.

Alan Cumming doesn't do the expected, never has. The Tony-winning actor, now in his seventh season as Eli Gold in The Good Wife, brings his musical act to the Straz Center on Sunday. He talks with Andrew Meacham about his eclectic show.

When bestselling and beloved authors John Grisham and Stephen King sat down together on stage in Bradenton on Tuesday night to talk about the writing life, King kicked it off by asking Grisham, "What is the question you get asked the most, so I don't ask it?" Can you guess what the answer was?

The mood was much more somber at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Tuesday night. Two songs into his set, Jackson Browne echoed what everyone at in the crowd was thinking. "This is a sad, sad, sad day," Browne said, not mentioning his late friend and Take It Easy songwriting collaborator Glenn Frey by name, and not needing to do so. "The only thing I want to do is what I know how to do."

It's a good day to plan your weekend. August Wilson's Jitney opens at American Stage. Or catch a movie: Anomalisa, the stop-motion marvel now nominated for the best animated feature Oscar, opens, and so does Dirty Grandpa with Robert De Niro and Zac Efron.

Just one more day! Food critic Laura Reiley's list of the Top 50 restaurants is coming tomorrow, but head to our teaser video to see what's to come.

Jonathan Drouin trade talks appear to be heating up. Check out our Lightning Strikes! blog throughout the day for updates.

Rookies have been a major part of the Bucs' success this past season, and that continues as Tampa Bay has a league-high four players — QB Jameis Winston, LT Donovan Smith, RG Ali Marpet and LB Kwon Alexander — honored on the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie Team.

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: 2015 was hottest on record; a 9th planet?; Trump on top in Florida; Gasparilla security; Alan Cumming chats; Jackson Browne on Glenn Frey; weekend planners; Drouin chatter 01/20/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 1:07pm]
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  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
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    World

    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

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    Accidents

    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
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    The Heater

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    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.