Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Bondi's career path could lead to White House; medical marijuana moving slowly; downtown waterfront parks the hot new thing; and new restaurants opening in Tampa Bay

Pam Bondi would bring personal loyalty to Donald Trump's future administration — and political baggage, too. Her meeting today with the president-elect at Trump Tower, ostensibly to discuss a high-level federal post, is the latest milepost in her stunning rise from local Tampa prosecutor to state attorney general to possible White House insider.

IMPLEMENTATION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA MOVES SLOWLY AFTER OVERWHELMING APPROVAL

More Floridians voted for medical marijuana than for President-elect Donald Trump. Now, the drug's future in the state rests in the hands of legislative leaders who were not among its most vocal supporters. With sharp divisions already emerging between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron, both Republicans, marijuana is an early point where the two men appear to be in agreement — at least on the surface.

DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT PARKS: WHY ALL THREE OF TAMPA BAY'S TOP CITIES WANT THEM NOW

SCOTT KEELER | Times

A view of the downtown St. Petersburg skyline and waterfront from just north of the North Shore Aquatic Complex. The view is looking south toward Albert Whitted Airport. At the center, left, is where the St. Petersburg Pier used to be.

Urban waterfront parks are suddenly gotta-have items for Tampa Bay's top cities, business columnist Robert Trigaux writes. Economic development experts claim such urban parks are key for downtowns already surging with new residents as well as city cores still hoping to attract people to live and work there. Done right, these experts say waterfront parks can be a source of revenues for budget-pressed cities.

DECEMBER RESTAURANT OPENINGS IN THE TAMPA BAY AREA

As we enter December still full of Thanksgiving leftovers, it's hard to think about foods that don't fall under the umbrella of seasonal fare. Let the restaurants opening this month be your buffer for all things festive, as we find a lot of seafood, barbecue and craft beer-heavy eateries making their debuts across the region.

MEET THE WOMAN WHO WROTE THE BOOK ON FLORIDA REAL ESTATE

If you've ever studied to become a real estate agent in Florida, chances are you used the textbook written by Linda L. Crawford. A New Orleans native who went to college in Florida, Crawford sold real estate for several years before realizing her true interest was in education and testing. She was working as education coordinator for the Florida Division of Real Estate when the publisher approached her about helping out with the textbook, whose then-authors were getting older. Read what she had to say in this Q&A with Susan Taylor Martin.

UNEMPLOYMENT AT 9-YEAR LOW OF 4.6 PERCENT AS U.S. EMPLOYERS ADD 178,000 JOBS

U.S. employers added a solid 178,000 jobs in November, reflecting the steady economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit. And the unemployment rate hit a nine-year low of 4.6 percent, though mainly because many people stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed.

'IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, BABY'

Linda Davidson | Washington Post

Jaxon and Tina run errands. In a given week, two children die from accidental shootings, according to U.S. gun violence research.

A great-grandfather left out a gun. A grandmother didn't see it. And a boy reached for it, pulled the trigger, and accidentally killed his 9-year-old sister. Now a family is trying to figure out how to recover.

TAMPA BAY RENTS CONTINUE TO RISE WITH CLEARWATER LEADING THE WAY

Rents continue to climb in the Tampa Bay area, with Clearwater showing the biggest jump of any city in Florida. In November, the rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Clearwater was $1,300, a 5.2 percent increase over the same time a year ago. That amount put it ahead of Tampa and equal with St. Petersburg, whose downtown area has seen an explosion in the construction of new apartments in the past few years.

EIGHT FUN HOLIDAY EVENTS ACROSS TAMPA BAY THIS WEEKEND

From parades in Tampa and St. Petersburg, a block party in Clearwater, concerts and boat parades, it'll definitely begin to look a lot like Christmas across Tampa Bay this weekend. Here are a few suggestions.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF: A SATURDAY ROADMAP TO THE BEST FINAL FOUR

This is it. Saturday is the final day that matters in the college football regular season. Before the weekend is over, we will have our final four playoff teams, Tom Jones writes. Who those four teams are will be determined by what happens today. So, what should we want to happen today? What gives us the best chance for a truly dramatic playoff and an awesome national championship game right here in Tampa?

HOW TO BEAT 'BAMA? LIST IS SHORT, BUT NOT SWEET

The reasons Alabama is such a prohibitive favorite over Florida in Saturday's SEC championship game are obvious. The Crimson Tide might be Nick Saban's best team, even better than the national championship squad that beat UF 29-15 last year (in a game that wasn't as close as it sounds). A Gators offense that totaled three offensive touchdowns last month will face a 'Bama defense that didn't allow a single play past its 10 in November. Saban is 9-0 against his former assistants, including two wins over Jim McElwain. So how could the three-touchdown underdog Gators upset an undefeated powerhouse gunning for the Jan. 9 national title game in Tampa?

TAMPA BUCCANEERS-SAN DIEGO CHARGERS PREDICTIONS FROM THE TAMPA BAY TIMES' BUCS COVERAGE TEAM

Who will win Sunday's game between the Bucs and Chargers? Our Bucs reporters make the call.

RAYS LIKELY TO TENDER ALL 11 ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

The Rays are expected to tender contracts by tonight's 8 p.m. deadline to their MLB-most 11 players eligible for arbitration. That group includes three who qualified under the Super 2 provision based on service-time, which teams sometimes try to manipulate by limiting call-ups early in player's career — RHP Danny Farquhar, INF Tim Beckham and OF Kevin Kiermaier.

Comments
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

It’s human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

TAMPA — Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriff’s deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 6 hours ago