Monday, December 11, 2017
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
Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

TAMPA — The season started in August with “Hard Knocks,” packed bleachers at training camp and cheers for coach Dirk Koetter.It ended Sunday with a 24-21 loss to the Lions, a lot of empty seats and chants of “We want Gruden ba...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police make arrest in home invasion of 77-year-old South Tampa man

Police make arrest in home invasion of 77-year-old South Tampa man

TAMPA — A 19-year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with an armed home invasion in the city’s Hyde Park area, according to Tampa police.Leo Butler faces a charge of robbery of less than $300. He was still in the county jail on Monday, held in...
Updated: 7 minutes ago

New YorkBatali steps away from restaurants, show after reportsMario Batali, one of the country’s most high-profile chefs and restaurant owners, is stepping away from the daily operations of his businesses and the program he co-hosts on ABC amid repor...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Those sonic booms heard across the state Saturday afternoon were likely from two F-15 fighter jets protecting President Donald Trump during his visit to Florida, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.The jets, which belong to the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

TAMPA — CB Brent Grimes picked up his third interception of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Lions, tying him for the Bucs’ team lead and with another, more impressive group.Since the start of the 2013 season, Grimes has 20 interceptions, tying him...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mother, sons lose everything in fire -- except her daughter’s urn

Mother, sons lose everything in fire -- except her daughter’s urn

ST. PETERSBURG — The day after a fire claimed most of Jahmeshia Jackson’s possessions, the 27-year-old mother returned to the house she and her sons had escaped, trying to salvage what she could. She hoped her washer and dryer still worked. But most ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot ShotsEmily Joseph, NortheastJoseph, a senior, has been a deadly shooter since her sophomore year. But this season she has added to her game. "She’s gotten physically stronger and has gained confidence," coach Will White said. "She used t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris Sullivan steps off Bloomin’ Brands’ board

Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris Sullivan steps off Bloomin’ Brands’ board

Chris Sullivan, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, resigned from the board of the restaurant chain’s parent company last Wednesday, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The document, filed by Tampa-based Bloomin’ B...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Pets rescued from fire at Tampa apartment complex (with video)

TAMPA — Firefighters rescued a cat and a dog from a blaze Monday that severely damaged an eight-unit apartment building in the Lowry Park area of Tampa.The fire started about 3:30 p.m. inside a two-story building at the Brookshire Townhomes, at 1910 ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

CLEARWATER — A 38-year-old tree trimmer is in critical condition after he was shocked by a power line Monday, according to Clearwater Fire & Rescue.Ernest Harlen, of Largo, was on a ladder cutting trees with a pole saw when he was shocked just before...
Updated: 3 hours ago