Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: A survivor's life; Justice Scalia's comments; commuter rail; violence against local Muslims; Bubba; Bucs; and Broadway

Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, 16, was the youngest person when a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and she was also one of the survivors in the worst shape: Lung punctured. Kidney pierced. Ribs cracked. Nerves compressed. Stomach stapled. Abdominals torn. She couldn't yet sleep flat in bed, or walk unassisted, or do much of anything beyond lie in the recliner on her left side. "Very lucky, considering," was what she had been told by one trauma medic, who specialized in treating soldiers after combat. It doesn't always feel lucky. Read the story of one survivor's life.

Dow Chemical and the DuPont Co. have announced they are merging in a $130 billion chemical industry megadeal .

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is taking heat for comments he made from the bench that some are calling racist. During oral arguments in Fisher vs. University of Texas, a case that has the potential to derail affirmative action across the country, Scalia questioned whether African Americans might instead be helped by "having them go to a less-advanced school . . . a slower-track school where they do well." PolitiFact examines the validity of Scalia's statement.

Local leaders and planners have gathered to further explore a proposal to convert 96 miles of CSX freight lines running through Tampa Bay to commuter rail. For live updates from the Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting, click here.

After two incidents of assaults against Muslim women this week, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will join local religious leaders at a noon news conference to "condemn extreme and divisive anti-Muslim rhetoric," according to a news release.

Parents in Pinellas County are petitioning the School Board to bring back recess for all elementary school students — part of a grass roots push that is catching fire across the state, and this month resulted in a bill in the Legislature that would make recess mandatory in Florida.

Authorities are searching for a person who drowned a pit bull terrier by tying a rope and a concrete block to its neck before leaving it in the water. A fisherman found the dog's body floating off Weedon Island Preserve near the Bartow power plant.

Allegations from ratings giant Nielsen now say Bubba the Love Sponge Clem asked five people — four in the Tampa Bay area and one in South Carolina — to help him boost the numbers for his radio show. The scandal that threatens to take one of Tampa's most famous shock jocks off the air in a case that industry experts say has little precedent.

Either Alabama running back Derrick Henry, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey or Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson will emerge Saturday as the winner of what's expected to be one of the closest Heisman Trophy races in years. We breakdown the three finalists vying for college football's biggest honor.

In today's Scouting Report, we offer you this intelligent analysis of the New Orleans Saints: That defense STINKS.

Department store chains have defined the way Americans have shopped in traditional malls for decades. But in recent years those household name brands have reported significant sales losses year over year, and they are shuttering stores faster than they're opening them. Maybe that's why fewer shopping centers are relying on traditional department stores to be the anchors they need to draw new customers these days.

Tampa Bay home flippers who are short on ready cash may have an alternative. A South Carolina-based company, Lima One Capital, is offering 13-month "FixNFlip'' loans to buy and rehab houses for re-sale. The company says it can approve loan applications and get the money out much faster than traditional lenders, enabling flippers short on funds to better compete with cash buyers for the best home sale price.

Before Broadway star Sutton Foster takes the stage Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, she'll take a stroll backstage. What she sees influences the final version of that night's show.

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.

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Fugitive suspected in Bradenton woman’s death arrested in Texas

Fugitive suspected in Bradenton woman’s death arrested in Texas

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — A woman suspected of killing her husband in Minnesota, then fleeing to Florida and killing a woman who resembled her in order to assume a new identity, was captured Thursday night at a South Texas resort.Two federal deputy...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Tampa Bay students to stage walkout; ‘Crabby Bill’ Loder dies; NRA turns on some Republicans breaking down the Bucs’ 2018 schedule

The Daystarter: Tampa Bay students to stage walkout; ‘Crabby Bill’ Loder dies; NRA turns on some Republicans breaking down the Bucs’ 2018 schedule

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• A dry cold front moved through the bay area overnight but it won’t affect temperatures much. It might be a little cooler in the North Suncoast, but that’s it. Bay area highs will stil...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

High school students from both sides of Tampa Bay will commemorate the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings on Friday, although in very different ways.In St. Petersburg, students from several schools will gather at noon at City Hall for...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
St. Petersburg celebrates with long tables and literacy

St. Petersburg celebrates with long tables and literacy

At 500 feet, this year’s Longest Table really was the longest table yet for the annual WUSF fundraiser. That’s 200 feet longer than last year. More than 1,100 supporters of the radio station ate dinner at the table stretching between the Museum of Fi...
Published: 04/20/18
Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions. The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Crabby Bill’s founder Bill Loder dies at 86

Crabby Bill’s founder Bill Loder dies at 86

LARGO — Bill Loder, who founded the Crabby Bill’s seafood restaurant in Indian Rocks Beach, died at Largo Medical Center Thursday afternoon.Mr. Loder, 86, had trouble breathing early in the day and was rushed to the hospital, said his son Matt Loder....
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

ST. PETERSBURG — Beef jerky, mayonnaise and Altoids mints were the only edible things in view inside one of the houses. There was no running water. The refrigerator was empty. A bed sat on top of the deteriorating living room floor. Cigarette butts b...
Updated: 1 hour ago