Friday, January 19, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Bush and Rubio's big-money campaigns; Brussels arrests; Florida Republicans seek votes at convention; 100 top Tampa Bay workplaces; Goody Goody's hamburgers make a comeback

• Belgian authorities say several arrests have been made in relation to the Brussels attacks, one day after they called on the public to help look for a key suspect who was involved in the March 22 bloodshed that killed 32 people.

• $235 million. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio burned through that much cash before joining the heap of failed 2016 presidential candidates, an astounding figure even in the big-money era.

• The Florida Insider Poll is out, and Conventional wisdom among Florida's political elites has shifted dramatically over the past six weeks. They are saying different things about the likelihood of Donald Trump becoming the next Republican presidential nominee. Meanwhile, one of the poll's comments is "'The Republican party as we have known it in America is gone." What does that mean, exactly?

• Alan Hays, a Republican state senator from Umatilla, has never been interested in national political conventions, dismissing them as "just a formality." But this year is different. Umatilla is vying for one of Florida's 99 delegate slots for the July convention in Cleveland so he can be there to vote for Ted Cruz.

• Ever felt like calling up a complete stranger in Sweden? Well, now you can. The Swedish Tourist Association has set up a hotline that lets callers worldwide "get connected to a random Swede." About 3,000 people had dialed the "Swedish Number" by midday Thursday, a day after it was launched, and roughly the same number of Swedes had signed up to answer calls.

• A gray area? Pope Francis insisted that individual conscience be the guiding principle for Catholics negotiating the complexities of sex, marriage and family life in a major document released today that rejects the emphasis on black and white rules for the faithful.

• Do you love where you work? Or do you think your employer could learn a thing or two about making your job a little more fun or interesting? The Times 7th annual list of the best places to work in this area came out this morning, and we have profiled several of the highly-ranked companies. Read all about them -- and perhaps learn a little about how your workplace could get better.

• Authorities are searching for a man found slumped over behind the wheel of a car on Morris Bridge Road on Friday morning who then fled from a deputy who stopped to check on him, injuring the deputy's foot and leg, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

• A man who shot at Hillsborough sheriff's deputies responding to a domestic disturbance call in Carrollwood Thursday has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.

• Breezy, clear, cool — the weather in Tampa Bay this weekend will carry few signs of the muggy summer to come. What's in store for temperatures and rain chances this weekend.

• A personalized weekend schedule is waiting for you. Find our critics' top picks for the stage, the movies, dining out and more in our Weekend Planner page. Some highlights in Tampa Bay this week: Jaume Plensa lecture, Karate Kid interview, Bern's Winefest and the Shark Bite Challenge.

• It was like Fight Club in Tampa the other night, except people weren't cheering on people throwing punches, they were rooting for people making coffee. You'll love this a latte.

• Richard Gonzmart, president of the Columbia Restaurant Group, isn't touting his upcoming resurrection of Goody Goody, the iconic Tampa burgers-and-pies restaurant, as the fountain of youth. But for many who grew up eating Goody Goody, one bite of that burger and they're 11 years old again.

• From The Heater Blog: Former Rays 1B James Loney has found a new home - signing a minor-league deal with the Padres.

• Tampa has already gotten a whole lot colder. Men's ice hockey teams faced off in the Frozen Four yesterday at Amalie Arena in Tampa and play in the final on Saturday night. Follow our live blog for the latest updates, photos and videos. The semifinals will be played on Thursday, with the finals scheduled for Saturday night. For tickets, visit ncaa.com/tickets or call (813) 301-6900.

• Check out this week's All Eyes photo gallery: The Best 10 wire photos of the week.

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

People admire cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Sunday, April 3, 2016. People all over the country go out to see cherry blossoms this weekend as the country's iconic flower is full bloom.

News at noon is a weekday feature from tampabay.com. Check in Monday through Friday for updates and information on the biggest stories of the day.

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Tampa Bay schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

Tampa Bay schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

The Florida Department of Health has reported a sharp increase in flu activity in the last several weeks, prompting area schools to send out letters warning parents about the virus. At least two districts, however, say that flu activity in their scho...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
State Attorney: Tampa woman uses soulfood restaurant as part of IRS scheme, steals thousands

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Updated: 28 minutes ago
Rapper Kodak Black arrested in Florida on grand theft, other charges

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Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Saying ‘thank you’ helps Tampa police build needed trust

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The smiles, applause and at least one hug belied the grim impetus for a gathering last week at a neighborhood center in Tampa — the Seminole Heights killings.The Tampa Police Department held a ceremony to thank those who helped in the investigation t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

NEW PORT RICHEY — Two New Port Richey men face charges after Pasco County deputies say they stole about $11,000 worth of cell phones and cell phone equipment at a Metro PCS store on State Road 54.Robert Jackson and Ronald Hartshorn were arrested Wedn...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bus rapid transit: First look at Tampa Bay’s next, best hope

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ST. PETERSBURG — The public got its first glimpse Friday morning of a new transit system that could one day connect Wesley Chapel to Tampa to St. Petersburg.It’s called bus rapid transit, or BRT. Representatives from Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

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ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners on Friday unveiled a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit.Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional transit p...
Updated: 2 hours ago

‘Mike Hammer - Encore for Murder’ serves up hard-boiled 1950s fare with a healthy side of wit

CLEARWATER — From the moment the title character takes center stage, Mike Hammer — Encore for Murder is sold. Rarely does one actor own an entire production the way Gary Sandy owns this world premiere, and it’s a pleasure at watch, in large measure t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa man gets five life sentences for killing three with assault rifle

Tampa man gets five life sentences for killing three with assault rifle

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Updated: 2 hours ago