Sunday, December 17, 2017
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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Church bombing kills 9 in Pakistan; Couples wed in 1st Australian same-sex marriages; more in world news

Church bombing kills 9 in Pakistan; Couples wed in 1st Australian same-sex marriages; more in world news

PakistanChurch bombing kills at least 9Two suicide bombers attacked a church packed with worshippers Sunday in the southwest city of Quetta, killing at least nine people and injuring at least 35 others, several critically, officials said. The assault...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is saying he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump returned to the White House from Camp David on Sunday and was asked if he was considering dismissing the man investigating whether there ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida mayor resigns after arrest for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits

Florida mayor resigns after arrest for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits

DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) — The mayor of a small Florida town arrested for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits to park at city hall has resigned.The Bradenton Herald reports that Teresa Bradley resigned and was given six-months of probation as pa...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Power outage halts flights at Atlanta international airport

Power outage halts flights at Atlanta international airport

ATLANTA — A sudden power outage at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday grounded scores of flights and stranded thousands of passengers during one of the busiest travel times of the year.Passengers were left in the dark when...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Wesley Chapel woman, 28, dies after crashing motorcycle

LUTZ — A 28-year-old motorcyclist died Sunday after she crashed near Lutz Lake Fern Road and Apian Way, Hillsborough deputies reported.Erica Kristen Rodriguez of Wesley Chapel was riding a Kawasaki motorcycle with a small group of motorcyclists eastb...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Woman, 24, hit by Land Rover, in critical condition

LARGO — A 24-year-old woman is in critical condition after she was struck by a vehicle Saturday night, police said.Khadijah Wood was walking through the parking lot of the Sandy Lane Apartment Homes on Belcher Road about 7:30 p.m.At the same time, Ju...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Warm, sunny Sunday in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — It’s another bright, sunny day in Tampa Bay. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay areaHigh temperatures should reach about 80 d...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

A first-degree murder suspect remains at large almost a week after the fatal shooting of a Winter Haven father.The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Johnny Ray Owsley’s murder of 35-year-old Adam Thrower, called "Cook" by friends, involved Owsley’s e...
Updated: 9 hours ago