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News at Noon: A stand your ground industry; Trump reverses on 'birther' issue; sewer plant operator seeks whistleblower protections; states adds $10M for Zika

A memorial for Yaileen Ayala's ex-husband Carlos Juan Garcia sits inside the Tampa home where he was shot to death. The neighbor was never arrested. [Luis Santana | Times]

A memorial for Yaileen Ayala's ex-husband Carlos Juan Garcia sits inside the Tampa home where he was shot to death. The neighbor was never arrested. [Luis Santana | Times]

Before Carlos Garcia, a 37-year-old father of three, had even been declared dead, the man who shot him was already on the phone with the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. The association offers a 24-hour hotline, an attorney on retainer, bail money and a wallet-sized card instructing members on what to say after a shooting — starting at $13 a month. It's one of a handful of organizations handful of organizations that says they can help members strengthen their claim of self-defense from the moment they pull the trigger.

TRUMP REVERSES ON 'BIRTHER CONTROVERSY'

Donald Trump has finally acknowledged that President Barack Obama was born in the United States. As he did so, the Republican presidential nominee repeated the theory that Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for president started the so-called the "birther controversy."

SEWER PLANT OPERATOR FILES FOR WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS

A chief plant operator at the St. Petersburg's Northeast wastewater treatment facility filed for whistleblower protection Friday, saying the city knew sewage dumps and spills were possible if it shut down the Albert Whitted sewer plant.

$10 MILLION IN STATE FUNDS AUTHORIZED TO CONTROL ZIKA

Gov. Rick Scott announced today that he had authorized an additional $10 million in state funds to fight the spread of the Zika virus. Scott had used emergency executive authority in June to authorize $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response. The $36.2 million in funding will be allocated as needed for mosquito control, enhanced laboratory capacity and the purchase of Zika prevention kits.

IS ANOTHER RECESSION IS COMING TO TAMPA BAY?

Tampa Bay Times reporters have talked to dozens of business owners, Realtors, bankers, economists, tourism leaders, retailers and others to gauge the arrival of the next recession. The main questions are: When will it arrive and how severe will it be? For the answers, read our special report.

MOSAIC SINKHOLE DUMPS REPROCESSED WATER INTO AQUIFER

A massive sinkhole that opened up underneath a gypsum stack at a Mosaic phosphate fertilizer plant in Mulberry has dumped tens of millions of gallons of reprocessed water into the Floridan aquifer. The company reported that it immediately began to sample regimens and extensively monitor groundwater and found no off-site impact from the water loss.

IS USF'S BIG 12 DOOR SLAMMED SHUT?

Anybody get the feeling USF and the other 11 Big 12 hopefuls are about to get played? Columnist Martin Fennelly believes it is difficult not to think that way after Oklahoma president and Big 12 board chairman David Boren told reporters: "I would just caution you and say I would not take expansion as a given."

[SAM OWENS | Times]

Veteran tattoo artist "Gentle" Jay Blondel says for someone who's considering their first tattoo, a convention is a great place to start.

FUN THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND

Have you made your weekend plans? There are plenty of things to do around Tampa Bay, including the Tampa Tattoo Arts Convention and dozens of new shows coming to Tampa Bay regional museums. Check out our weekend planner for even more fun things happening this weekend.

NEGRON DOES CLEAN SWEEP OF APPROPRIATIONS HIGH-LEVEL STAFF

Fresh off a bitter two-year fight to become Florida Senate president, Sen. Joe Negron is shaking up the Senate's professional staff in a way the Legislature hasn't seen since former Senate President Mike Haridopolos six years ago. The biggest turnover will occur in the Appropriations Committee, where nearly every high-level staff director has been moved out.

FORMER TAMPA WATER EXECUTIVE TO PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

Donald Polmann , a water utilities veteran who has spent a career navigating the water wars of Tampa Bay, has been named Florida's next public service commissioner by Gov. Rick Scott. Polmann is Scott's fourth appointment to the influential five-member panel that has the power to raise or lower customer utility bills.

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: A stand your ground industry; Trump reverses on 'birther' issue; sewer plant operator seeks whistleblower protections; states adds $10M for Zika 09/16/16 [Last modified: Friday, September 16, 2016 12:03pm]
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