Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, rumored to be in the running for a job in Donald Trump's administration, is scheduled to meet with the president-elect Friday, according to a report. Bondi's name has been mentioned in connection to several high-level positions, including White House "drug czar" and U.S. trade representative.
BUCKHORN TAKES SIDES IN DISTRICT 7 RUNOFF
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn typically does not take sides in City Council races, but he is backing Luis Viera over Jim Davison in a special runoff for the District 7 seat. Why? It starts with Davison's views on New Tampa seceding and "outrageous and patently false statements" by the candidate, Buckhorn says. Davison says he would be willing to work with the mayor but not "roll over."
THOUSANDS OF HILLSBOROUGH STUDENTS COULD LOSE BUS RIDES
Nearly 6,700 students in Hillsborough County's middle and high schools could lose bus transportation when the next school year begins as the district continues its efforts to cut spending. The students are "courtesy riders" who live within two miles of their schools, a distance the state considers safe for walking or bicycling. The changes are pending approval Tuesday by the School Board, and are expected to later extend to elementary schools.
GOV. SCOTT PROPOSES RAISE FOR STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT
Gov. Rick Scott wants the Florida Legislature to approve a 5 percent pay raise for state law enforcement officers in next year's budget. Scott, who has generally opposed across-the-board raises for all state workers, cited troopers' heroic efforts at the Pulse nightclub massacre in June, followed by two hurricanes and a tropical storm.
OCTAVIO JONES | Times
FENNELLY: THREE COACHES WHO CAN'T DUCK THE RUMORS
Three familiar names are popping up in rumors about the Oregon Ducks head-coaching job: Jim McElwain, Willie Taggart and Greg Schiano. It's an odd trio of candidates, but it's all part of the annual college football Dating Game, writes sports columnist Martin Fennelly.
BUZZ ALDRIN EVACUATED FROM SOUTH POLE 'AS A PRECAUTION'
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, has been evacuated "as a precaution" from the South Pole, where he was visiting as part of a tourist group. The 86-year-old was evacuated on the first available flight under the care of a doctor and was in stable condition, the tour company said.
FHP: MAN BACKED INTO 13-YEAR-OLD BICYCLIST, DROVE AWAY
The Florida Highway Patrol is searching for a man who investigators said drove away after backing into a 13-year-old girl riding her bike on the sidewalk of the 5700 block of 28th Street N in St. Petersburg. The teen was hospitalized with minor injuries. The man is driving a black, newer Toyota Tacoma with tinted windows, a lifted wheel base, chrome bumpers and decals on the back window.
PEOPLE BUYING CARS LIKE CRAZY, BUT MORE GETTING IN TROUBLE WITH LOANS
Auto lending is on pace this year to hit the highest levels in 17 years, and regulators are warning about an "increased level of distress" among millions of Americans who are falling behind on their loan payments. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York expressed concern that delinquencies among auto borrowers with shaky credit had been rising.
COUNCIL SLOWS PROCESS OF TALL SHIP'S RELOCATION TO WATERFRONT
Plans to relocate a visiting tall ship near the Pier weren't permanently scuttled Thursday by the St. Petersburg City Council, but the Nantucket-based Lynx will have to wait at least a week to see if it can dock on the downtown waterfront. Council members balked at the last-minute request to spend $65,000 in BP settlement money for improvements to the North Yacht Basin to accommodate the War of 1812 replica, which is used to educate school children and corporate team-building.
STEPHANIE HAYES | Times
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO BE A STREISAND SEAT-FILLER?
Imagine the disbelief of hearing: "Would y'all like to be seat fillers at Barbra tonight?" That's Barbra, as in Streisand, performing at Amalie Arena. The venue's marketing department was surveying broadly for people to fill up seats left empty by latecomers in the first 10 rows, but there was no guarantee that's where you'd sit. However, for a brief The Way We Were moment, it was one of those surreal moments where you question whether anything is real. Times Arts and Entertainment Editor Stephanie Hayes explains.
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