Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Allegiance runs deep over national anthem; Rays release spring schedule; how to treat your Thanksgiving hosts; and an original cigar factory could soon be a boutique hotel

Passions run hot when it comes to The Star-Spangled Banner, a 202-year-old song that in 2016 is at the epicenter of a national conversation about race, politics and protestation. Bucs receiver Mike Evans found out this week when he declined to stand for the national anthem before a game last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, an act of protest over Donald Trump's presidential election. Jay Cridlin explains that when it comes to the national anthem, allegiance runs deep.

RAYS RELEASE SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE, TICKET INFO

The Rays released their spring training schedule Friday, with 18 games in Port Charlotte, including a March 8 exhibition against the Colombian World Baseball Classic team, and six in the immediate Tampa Bay area, including the March 31 finale at Clearwater. Check out the full schedule.

SPICES, VODKA AND OTHER LOCAL FOOD GIFT IDEAS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY HOSTS

There are years where you're ironing napkins and polishing the good silver. And there are years when you're hopping in the car, maybe with a casserole sliding around in the trunk. Sometimes it's nice to be a guest and to leave the turkey and stuffing in someone else's capable hands. And to reward the hands in question, here's a lineup of local food gifts to give your host or hostess on Thursday.

ONE OF TAMPA'S ORIGINAL CIGAR FACTORIES COULD SOON BE A BOUTIQUE HOTEL

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

The historic Tampa Cuba Cigar factory once owned by the Balbin Brothers sold this week for $1.4 million. The three-story building is 35,000 square feet and could become a hotel.

They've been turned into offices, schools, restaurants and luxury apartments. And now one of Tampa's original cigar factories could soon be a boutique hotel. The former Balbin Bros. Cigar Factory at 1202 N. Howard Ave. was purchased for $1.4 million this week by a partnership between a Tampa hotelier and a Louisiana-based hospitality company. Though still in the early stages, plans call for a hotel with about 70 rooms that likely will be part of a major chain but with a name reflecting its local heritage, partner Mike Desai said Friday.

TAMPA MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN FATAL STABBING OF HIS FATHER

A Tampa man has been charged with second degree murder in the stabbing death of his father, police said. Officers were called to a home at 2608 E. 18th Ave. shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday and found Damon D. Larry, 43, suffering from multiple stab wounds, according to Tampa police. Witnesses told police Larry's son, Damon T. Larry, 23, attacked his father and what appeared to be a fist fight ensued.

METROPOLITAN MINISTRIES HELPS FAMILIES IN NEED DURING ANNUAL HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE IN TAMPA

DIRK SHADD | Times

Andre Norton, 47, works to load about 18 barrels, each 30 gallons, of donations at the holiday food drive location at WestShore Plaza en route to the Metropolitan Ministries holiday tent in Tampa on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

Metropolitan Ministries kicked off its annual holiday drive Friday morning by collecting food donations for families in need in the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa-based nonprofit organization collected thousands of pounds of turkey, along with other seasonal foods, during its food drive at WestShore Plaza in Tampa.

FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISES SLIGHTLY, JOB CREATION SLOWS DOWN

After being stuck for five months at 4.7 percent, Florida's unemployment rate finally budged in October. But not in the right direction. The jobless rate ticked up a notch to 4.8 percent, though it's still down from 5.1 percent a year ago, according to figures released this morning by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in October.

WHY GENIUSCENTRAL CAME AND WHY IT LEFT: LESSONS FOR ST. PETERSBURG'S HUNT FOR INNOVATIVE FIRMS

There are critical lessons for St. Petersburg (and any city) in its valiant effort to woo young tech businesses to its downtown and then trying to keep them there, business columnhist Bob Trigaux writes. The tale of what happened to a company called GeniusCentral holds three lessons for a city that is itself in the midst of major growth, a construction boom and still in need of deciding what it wants to be in the future.

Comments

Updated: 3 minutes ago

Updated: 5 minutes ago
Where you can trade in your Gasparilla beads for doughnuts

Where you can trade in your Gasparilla beads for doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will be trading old Gasparilla beads for its famous glazed doughnuts.Anyone who brings in 12 pounds of beads to Krispy Kreme on Saturday will be rewarded with a dozen original glazed doughnuts, according to a news release.For t...
Updated: 8 minutes ago

Updated: 10 minutes ago
Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

TAMPA — Former Florida state Rep. Robert Wallace ended his life Monday by jumping from a Dale Mabry Highway overpass, records show. He was 65.At least one witness saw Wallace go off the overpass and plunge between 40 and 50 feet onto Gunn Highway, ac...
Updated: 11 minutes ago

Updated: 14 minutes ago
Investor calls for Bloomin’ Brands to let Outback Steakhouse stand alone

Investor calls for Bloomin’ Brands to let Outback Steakhouse stand alone

TAMPA — A second activist investor is calling for a big shake-up at Bloomin’ Brands Inc. In a letter to Bloomin’s CEO, Barington Capital Group, a New York-based investment firm, urged the Tampa-based restaurant conglomerate to let Outback Steakhouse ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater Beach named No. 1 in U.S. by TripAdvisor

Clearwater Beach named No. 1 in U.S. by TripAdvisor

A reigning champion for sand and sunshine, Tampa Bay is once again home to what’s been deemed the best beach in the country. Clearwater Beach was named the best beach in the U.S. for 2018 by the popular travel site TripAdvisor reclaiming the crown tw...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Each lap remains a lease on life for distance runner Jon Mott

Each lap remains a lease on life for distance runner Jon Mott

LAKELAND — It took only one moment of teenage audacity for Northeast High's top distance runner to be immortalized as a sprinter.Days before his high school graduation, Jon Mott sneaked off to a dugout in the baseball stadium. There, he strippe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Alex Trebek will moderate a Republican debate in the Pennsylvania governor’s race

Alex Trebek will moderate a Republican debate in the Pennsylvania governor’s race

We’ll take "surprising side gigs" for $1,000! "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek will moderate a debate among Republican hopefuls vying for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial nomination.The longtime game show star will be questioning candidates at an Oct. 1 for...
Updated: 1 hour ago