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News at noon: Danger inside Tampa domestic violence shelter; Lawyers called to aid 'Failure Factories' schools; 3 dead inside pond-plunged stolen car; Developer bets on millennial home-buying; Weekend planner

Taneka Rodman of Tampa lived at the Spring of Tampa Bay with her five children, where she said another resident molested her daughter. 


[MONICA HERNDON | Times]

Taneka Rodman of Tampa lived at the Spring of Tampa Bay with her five children, where she said another resident molested her daughter. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]

• A year after her husband punched her in the face, Taneka Rodman called the police again. This time, she told them, he dragged her to the ground by her neck. This time, she'd had enough. The 36-year-old mother packed her five kids into their van and drove to the only place they had left to go: The Spring of Tampa Bay, a shelter for domestic violence victims guarded by barbed wire and security cameras. Here, they would finally be safe. Or so she thought.

• Flanagan, a criminal defense lawyer, and Jamarcus, 9, are something of an odd pair, playing makeshift basketball, goofing around and talking near a picnic table on Lakewood's campus. But when the Fred G. Minnis Sr. Bar Association put out a call for mentors to work in five failing elementary schools in St. Petersburg, Flanagan was one of about a dozen lawyers who responded.

• Craig Pittman on Florida: "The Legislature should change our nickname to 'The Punch Line State.' We're constantly producing stories about kooky crooks, crooked politicians and other wackiness that get circulated worldwide." Why those Florida mug shots aren't always so funny.

• Three people died early this morning in a stolen car while fleeing from authorities when they plunged into a pond at a cemetery near Gandy Boulevard. The driver and passenger are not yet identified. Follow for updates and information on the accident.

• The 3rd time: still no charm. St. Petersburg City Council is still mulling over marijuana civil citations. Why things got complicated when questions arose.

• Sylvia's, the Midtown soul food restaurant that opened to great fanfare in late 2013, has been served something that wasn't on the menu: eviction papers. St. Petersburg poured about $3 million into renovating the building and now seeks to evict Sylvia's from Manhattan Casino.

• Lots of millennials are paying $2,000 or more to rent apartments in downtown St. Petersburg. Now a developer is betting that at least some would prefer to put that money toward a downtown home of their own. Enter 801 Conway.

• The Tampa Bay housing market remains one of the more affordable major metro areas in the country even as it enjoys strong appreciation in a "sluggish" economy, says a Well Fargo analysis of the state of U.S. housing. Not all signs are rosy, however.

• When you hear 'pour your own beer' restaurant do you think 'Yes please!' or 'Oh my, that sounds dangerous'? American Social, an upscale sports bar and farm-to-table restaurant chain from Miami, will be in Tampa soon, so you can find out for yourself.

• The sculpture titled Homeless Jesus was recently installed at the downtown Tampa campus of Hyde Park United Methodist Church. It's an emotionally charged image of Jesus huddled on a bench, shrouded by a blanket, his feet protruding to reveal the holes from the nails that affixed them to the cross during the Crucifixion. As in other countries and U.S. cities, the sculpture has invited praise and controversy but little critical commentary as a work of art. There is a reason.

• Our insiders help you plan your weekend: from dining, movies, music, arts, stage, things to do, shopping, and outdoors there's something for everyone in Tampa Bay. This week features Duran Duran, Filopino food, Rays home opener and Kathy Griffin.

• Tampa Bay Times' All-Tampa Bay wrestling teams are here and we've announced the county-by-county high school wrestlers of the year.

• Show us your wits for this week's All Eyes caption contest.

Times files - 1961

Caption Contest #25 photo: Can you come up with a clever caption for this image?

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.

News at noon: Danger inside Tampa domestic violence shelter; Lawyers called to aid 'Failure Factories' schools; 3 dead inside pond-plunged stolen car; Developer bets on millennial home-buying; Weekend planner 03/31/16 [Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2016 1:54pm]
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