Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: Bay area religious leaders call for an end to the death penalty

A coalition of religious leaders, including Bishop Robert Lynch of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, is demanding a halt to death penalty prosecutions in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties in the wake of a Harvard University report that labeled the two "outliers" on capital punishment.

FLORIDA'S ELECTIONS CHIEF ORDERED TO MEET TODAY'S COURT-IMPOSED DEADLINE ON FIXING MAIL BALLOTS

Gov. Rick Scott's chief elections officer is under a court-imposed deadline to allow mail ballots with signature defects to be fixed in time to be counted in the upcoming election — a ruling that could affect thousands of Florida voters.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH DURING TONIGHT'S MARCO RUBIO/PATRICK MURPHY DEBATE

The debate over debates is over. Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Patrick Murphy will finally stand face to face tonight in Orlando. The one-hour debate will be held at the University of Central Florida and broadcast online and on certain TV and radio stations statewide. ABC chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl will moderate. In the first of at least two debates over the next three weeks, we list five things to watch. And make sure to keep our live blog open on your second screen while watching: tbtim.es/senatedebate.

MOSAIC REPORTS THIRD SPILL AT ONE OF ITS PLANTS, THE SECOND UNDER NEW REPORTING SYSTEM

Mosaic, the phosphate company that spilled 215 million gallons of contaminated water into the aquifer via a massive sinkhole at its Mulberry plant, has suffered another spill.

PINELLAS COUNTY SEWER TASK FORCE BEGINS: WHO SHOULD PAY? WHO IS FIRST IN LINE?

Elected officials from around Pinellas County met Monday to try to reach consensus on possible fixes for leaky pipes that have led to hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage polluting waterways and watersheds in recent years.

Times files

The Avila mansion of corporate raider Paul Bizerian, Tampa Bay's most expensive foreclosure, has sold for $2.85 million.

PAUL BILZERIAN'S MANSION, TAMPA BAY'S MOST EXPENSIVE FORECLOSURE, FINALLY SELLS FOR $2.85 MILLION

The 28,000 square foot home — with 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, six half-baths, indoor basketball and racquetball courts, four fireplaces and a wine room — once was on the market for $18 million, making it a relative bargain.

ARE YOU PAYING MORE AT THE PUMP?

Though Florida was largely spared by Hurricane Matthew, gas prices here are up while falling elsewhere. Here's why.

EVE EDELHEIT | Times

Guacamole with chips and salsa served at D'Mexican in St. Petersburg.

DINING: FRESH INGREDIENTS ELEVATE THE FARE AT D'MEXICAN

D'Mexican opened in November 2014 in a nothing-special strip mall way out west on Central Avenue. Prior to that, the space had briefly been Old St. Pete Cafe and New York Cafe before that. It's a long, slightly narrow dining room with a bar, no outdoor tables. Simple tile floors, deep terra cotta-colored walls and the radio turned to lively Mexican hits, it's comfortable and casual. But what makes it worth reviewing is the quality of ingredients.

WITH USF ON THE TABLE, WILL THE BIG 12 PICK ANYONE FOR EXPANSION?

The Big 12 expansion movement takes its next public step today when league presidents offer an update at the end of their scheduled meeting at a Dallas-Fort Worth hotel. Will USF get in? Our sports columnist Martin Fennelly points out that the Bulls had more to lose by not trying to join than if they had sat idly by.

MOVIES: 'AMERICAN HONEY' AND RAMBLING, EPIC LOOK AT YOUNG LIFE

"We explore America" says the roustabout spider to a firefly spirit in American Honey, echoing so many easy riders before. Finding what different movie generations do, that isn't always pretty.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Aaron McClearnon owns Elite Watersports in St. Petersburg and is an avid kite boarder.

KITE BOARDING: FREEDOM TO RIDE THE WAVES

When the wind kicks up and seas get rough, most people stay off the water. But Aaron McClearnon looks forward to those breezy forecasts. In fact, he hopes for them.

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Lightning-Capitals: Washington forces Game 7 with 3-0 victory

Lightning-Capitals: Washington forces Game 7 with 3-0 victory

WASHINGTON — The Lightning let one get away Monday night. And it might cost Tampa Bay a chance at the Stanley Cup.So now there will be a Game 7 to decide the Eastern Conference. Maybe this is how it should be. Maybe this is how it's supposed to...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The weather didn’t get Lightning fans down. Losing Game 6 did.

The weather didn’t get Lightning fans down. Losing Game 6 did.

TAMPA — If the Tampa Bay Lightning can overcome a 2-game deficit to the Washington Capitals and take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference final, then Deborah Schmeltzer can definitely drive across the Howard Frankland Bridge through a driving rainsto...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning journal: Capitals had a shot at Jon Cooper

Lightning journal: Capitals had a shot at Jon Cooper

WASHINGTON — Interesting how things work out in the world of hockey.Back in 2012, the first NHL team to ever interview Jon Cooper for a head coaching job was actually the Washington Capitals. The Caps general manager at the time was George McPh...
Updated: 3 hours ago
History has been kind to Lightning in Game 7s

History has been kind to Lightning in Game 7s

WASHINGTON — There's nothing more delicious in sports than Game 7.Unless your team is playing in it. Then there's nothing more nerve-racking.Most sports fans watch a big game with a nice cold drink. But if your team is playing in a Game 7, the ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

WASHINGTON — It's incredible. Unbelievable, really. Maybe the best sports story in this country and the sport of hockey since 1980's Miracle on Ice.And, as a side note, if the Lightning reaches the Stanley Cup final, everyone in the country out...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s Game 6 shutout loss

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s Game 6 shutout loss

Let's do it one more time, shall we?Game 7 it will be.If it matches Game 6, it will be extraordinary.RELATED: More Lightning coverageThe Lightning could not close the door on the Washington Capitals. The Caps, who apparently really don't want to lose...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tom Jones’ takeaways from Washington’s Game 6 win

Lightning-Capitals: Tom Jones’ takeaways from Washington’s Game 6 win

Caps D Dmitry Orlov has one of the most wicked slap shots in hockey. When he stepped into one in the first period, Lightning D Ryan McDonagh threw his body in front of it and blocked it with his shoulder — just inches from his face. McDonagh sh...
Updated: 4 hours ago
FPL parent wants to expand its Florida footprint with new purchase

FPL parent wants to expand its Florida footprint with new purchase

TALLAHASSEE — The parent company of Florida utility giant Florida Power & Light announced Monday that it will buy the largest electricity producer in Northwest Florida, Gulf Power, in a $6.4 billion deal.Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy Inc. said in a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
One of Ybor City’s most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

One of Ybor City’s most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

TAMPA — Developers are poised to launch construction this week on one of Ybor City’s biggest new projects in years — a four-story, $50 million boutique hotel being created by a Chicago company that seeks out neighborhoods rich in color and character....
Updated: 7 hours ago
State softball: Admiral Farragut happy to be in title game this time around

State softball: Admiral Farragut happy to be in title game this time around

VERO BEACH — All season, Admiral Farragut has focused on two things:Believe in each other.Commit to the process.Well, it all paid off in a big way Monday in the Class 3A state semifinals at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach.Alyssa Rano hit a two-run ...
Updated: 7 hours ago