Wednesday, September 26, 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.

Comments
The Daystarter: Breaking down the Bucs’ breakdowns against the Steelers; who will start at quarterback?; meet the Lightning’s newest acquisiton.

The Daystarter: Breaking down the Bucs’ breakdowns against the Steelers; who will start at quarterback?; meet the Lightning’s newest acquisiton.

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Scattered thunderstorms will develop along the east coast in the morning and early afternoon and travel westward throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service. It’ll s...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tampa Bay Whole Foods can now deliver through Amazon Prime Now

Tampa Bay Whole Foods can now deliver through Amazon Prime Now

Tampa Bay Whole Foods Market shoppers can finally get organic goodies delivered to their homes in a few hours as members of Amazon Prime. Amazon announced today that Whole Foods has added Tampa, nine other metro areas and parts of Seattle and New Yor...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Pork’s reputation is better than ever. Here’s why.

Pork’s reputation is better than ever. Here’s why.

DES MOINES, IowaTop three answers on the board. What are the most common chef tattoos? Yes, there are knives, whisks and other kitchen tools, but if you believe Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton, the author and illustrator respectively of a book...
Published: 09/26/18
Rosery Road fixes coming, but not until next year

Rosery Road fixes coming, but not until next year

By CHRIS GEORGETampa Bay NewspapersLARGO – City leaders continue to give the green light to road improvement projects they say will make streets safer and easier to traverse for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.The latest project that has mov...
Published: 09/26/18
New forward Danick Martel hoping to stick with Lightning

New forward Danick Martel hoping to stick with Lightning

TAMPA — Danick Martel didn't have much of an opportunity to ease his way into his time with the Lightning.On Sunday, 10,164 Lightning fans flocked to Amalie Arena to watch Martel's debut practice, also known as Fan Fest.As if there was not alre...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: Jake Faria struggles in loss to Yankees

Rays journal: Jake Faria struggles in loss to Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG — After being formally eliminated Monday from the postseason chase, the Rays on Tuesday turned their focus to addressing some issues for next season.One is what to make of RHP Jake Faria, whose follow-up season to his impressive ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning journal: Kucherov leaves preseason game with lower-body injury

Lightning journal: Kucherov leaves preseason game with lower-body injury

F Nikita Kucherov played in the first period against the Panthers, but he did not return for the second.Midway through the second, the Lightning ruled him out for the rest of the game with a lower-body injury.Lightning coach Jon Cooper did not want t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Already playing well, Rays’ Tommy Pham promises more

Already playing well, Rays’ Tommy Pham promises more

ST. PETERSBURGTommy Pham has been doing some impressive things for the Rays since coming off the DL after coming over from the Cardinals in a July 31 trade.Like hitting .357 in 32 games, posting a 1.087 OPS and reaching base in a career-best 27 strai...
Updated: 6 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Tuesday, September 25

Tuesday’s scoreboardBoys swimmingShorecrest 181, Tampa Prep 133Girls swimmingShorecrest 159, Tampa Prep 135
Updated: 6 hours ago
Wesley Chapel High instructional assistant accused of abusing special needs student on bus

Wesley Chapel High instructional assistant accused of abusing special needs student on bus

A Wesley Chapel High School special education instructional assistant was arrested Monday on two counts of child abuse after a school bus video showed him pushing a restrained special needs student down by the back of the head multiple times, accordi...
Updated: 8 hours ago