Friday, May 25, 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
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputiesí actions justified

In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputiesí actions justified

TAMPA ó Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriffís deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Itís human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sparks fly among Hillsborough School Board members as private messages are leaked

Sparks fly among Hillsborough School Board members as private messages are leaked

TAMPA ó Somebody got into Hillsborough County School Board member Melissa Snivelyís Facebook account, copied her messages and gave them to a newspaper publisher who is a friend of her rivals on the board.The posts discussed politics and power struggl...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Raccoon bites bicyclist, now the Health Department is looking for the victim

TAMPA ó A bicyclist in the Palm River area was bitten by a raccoon Friday morning, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said.Now the department is concerned the animal had rabies and is searching for the bicyclist."While it is impo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Meet your unwelcome Memorial Day guest: Subtropical Storm Alberto

Meet your unwelcome Memorial Day guest: Subtropical Storm Alberto

It has a name.Subtropical Storm Alberto is crawling into the Gulf of Mexico, an unwelcome guest arriving a week before the official start of hurricane season.The system, which became the first named storm of the year Friday, could bring five inches o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Mom service dog has puppies in Tampa airport, while dad service dog looks on

Mom service dog has puppies in Tampa airport, while dad service dog looks on

TAMPA — Travelers killing time at Tampa International Airport’s Gasparilla Bar got an unexpected show Friday when a dog gave birth to eight puppies near Gate F81. The 2-year-old golden retriever, Eleanor Rigby, owner Diane Van Atter, and...
Updated: 4 hours ago