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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. O.J. Simpson had a 'conflict-free life'? Not really, not in Florida

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — When O.J. Simpson told a Nevada parole board last week that he's led a "conflict-free life," he seemed to overlook a few episodes that had him cycling in and out of courtrooms and jail cells for nearly 20 years before the Las Vegas hotel-room heist that sent him to prison in 2008.

    Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson appears via video for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017.  Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star.  [The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP]
  2. Baby Charlie protesters to rally as hospital reports threats

    World

    LONDON — Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment are planning a rally and prayer vigil Sunday, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the heart-breaking case they have received death threats.

    Reverend Patrick Mahoney from Washington DC, centre, speaks to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, as he joins other Charlie Gard supporters, Sunday July 23, 2017. Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment gathered for a rally and prayer vigil Sunday, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the heart-breaking case they have received death threats. [Associated Press]
  3. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. FHP: 55-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by car in Largo

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 55-year-old St. Petersburg man died late Saturday after he walked into the path of a car on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. Study offers warning for Florida strawberry farmers from global warming

    Agriculture

    LAKELAND — Florida strawberry growers already have experienced a dress rehearsal for the impacts of climate change during the past two seasons.

     Carl Grooms shows off some of his strawberries at Fancy Farms near Plant City Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  Grooms, President of Fancy Farms. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]