Sunday, January 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: Akins resigns GOP spot; lawmakers consider gun bill; Pinellas board and ethics; Florida school testing reforms

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

PASCO GOP OFFICIAL QUITS AFTER FACEBOOK, 'DEATH PANEL' UPROAR

Bill Akins resigned Tuesday evening as secretary of the Pasco Republican Executive Committee after learning that a loyalty oath he signed with the committee did not allow him to make statements without the party's blessing. Akins has been in the news recently after falsely claiming "death panels" were part of the Affordable Care Act at a town hall meeting and the Washington Post revealed his Facebook posts contained racist and fake news stories and memes.

FLORIDA LAWMAKERS CONSIDER GUNS AT BARS, POLLS, EVENTS, CAMPUSES

With the recent, tragic history of the Pulse nightclub massacre last June in Orlando and the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting last month, two conservative Republican lawmakers want to do away with all of Florida's "gun-free zones" — 15 locations in state law where concealed weapons are currently prohibited.

TROUBLED PINELLAS BOARD WOULD FACE ETHICS TRAINING IN HOUSE BILL

The Florida House is moving ahead with a plan to impose higher ethics laws on most city elected officials and thousands of political appointees to local boards, including the Pinellas construction licensing board, which has been the target of a criminal grand jury investigation.

FLORIDA LAWMAKERS UNVEIL PROPOSED SCHOOL TESTING REFORMS

Instead of scattering K-12 assessment tests throughout the spring months and disrupting teaching time, Florida schools would be required to give all such exams only in the final three weeks of the school year, according to a proposal being unveiled in the Legislature.

MATTIS GIVES NATO MEMBERS ULTIMATUM TO BOOST DEFENSE SPENDING

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has issued a sharp ultimatum to NATO, telling allies they must start increasing defense spending by year's end or the Trump administration will "moderate its commitment" to them. He did not detail what the United States might do if NATO members failed to fall in line.

AMERICANS ARE SERIOUSLY STRESSED OUT ABOUT THEIR COUNTRY, SURVEY FINDS

The American Psychological Association polls Americans about their stress every year, and it's common for many of those polled to report anxiety around work and money. This time, however, people are also citing politics as a serious stressor in their lives.

KATE UPTON MAKES THIRD APPEARANCE ON SI SWIMSUIT EDITION COVER

Kate Upton is once again gracing the cover of the annual issue, becoming only the fourth woman to do so three times. This year, she's making the splash with three different covers.

MLS HOLDS A VERSION OF SPRING TRAINING IN AREA

Ah, spring training is near. But not just for baseball. For the second straight year, Major League Soccer is bringing some of its teams to Tampa Bay for two weeks to play in the Suncoast Invitational in St. Petersburg. One team is training at Al Lang Stadium, two in Bradenton and another in Clearwater.

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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Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Lightning said all the right things about needing to look in the mirror and do some soul-searching during its recent funk. Veterans said they had to lead the way. Coach Jon Cooper believed this eight-game trip would "show us wha...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida wins big SEC showdown with Kentucky

Florida wins big SEC showdown with Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Jalen Hudson came off the bench to score 17, and Chris Chiozza, Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes contributed clutch baskets down the stretch as Florida rallied to upset No. 18 Kentucky 66-64 Saturday night. "We were able to win it jus...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

For years, Edward Peachey has bragged about the number of jobless people he has helped find work.As president and CEO of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, he’s in charge of the two main government agencies that provide training to the...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

WEEKI WACHEE — The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday investigated the death of a Hillsborough County man in the Eagle’s Nest, an underwater network of caves where at least 11 others have died since 1981.Even experienced divers have lost th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

Florida’s dip into frigid temperatures did more than just stun humans unused to such cold air. This month scientists and volunteers have rescued more than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles from a single bay in the Florida Panhandle.The U.S. Geological S...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say musicia...
Updated: 9 hours ago
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown won’t slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Forecast: Tampa Bay’s bitter cold snap is finally over

Forecast: Tampa Bay’s bitter cold snap is finally over

Tampa Bay is finally clear of the bitter chill that covered the region this week as temperatures picked up on Saturday. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around t...
Published: 01/20/18