Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: David Bowie; Powerball fever; circus elephants retire early; national college football championship; 2 hour wait for sushi

"In certain musical circles, there is no higher compliment than a comparison to David Bowie." Jay Cridlin wrote those words Sunday in a review of Bowie's new album Blackstar, released Friday, the singer's 69th birthday. Bowie died Sunday, and Cridlin's review became part of an obituary. Also, our photo gallery looks at Bowie through the years.

Wednesday's Powerball jackpot, likely to exceed $1.4 billion, has us thinking back on winners whose luck didn't stick. In Tampa Bay, one man embodies that sad narrative better than any other: Abraham Shakespeare. The illiterate, occasional sanitation worker from Lakeland won a $17 million jackpot in 2006. When he died on April 6, 2009, he had just $14,000 left.

When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to Tampa last weekend, local circus fans thought they'd have a couple more years to see the elephants perform before they retired. Turns out, it was the last time. The Associated Press reports that the circus is ending its elephant acts a year and a half early, and will retire all of its touring elephants in May. Previously, circus representatives had said the elephants would be phased out by 2018.

Innovation. It's an elusive word to define but every state's economy desperately wants to be known as innovative. It's a 21st century thing. Too bad, then, that Florida isn't there yet. According to a Bloomberg News analysis, Florida is 35th among the 50 states on its state innovation index.

The innovation ranking doesn't appear to be slowing tourists at all. The tourism industry in Tampa Bay thrived in 2015. Hillsborough County bed tax collections reached nearly $2 million for November, which broke a record by more than 14.5 percent for the month that has stood since 2007, according to a news release from Visit Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport saw more than 1.6 million passengers in 2015, a figure that broke the all-time passenger record previously set at the airport in 2004, according to a news release. Overall, passenger traffic was up 24 percent for the last month of the year.

Sen. Marco Rubio is expected to discuss economic policy when he appears in Sarasota this afternoon. It's a tricky thing, being Rubio these days. Polls show he's well-liked by Republican voters, and well-positioned to emerge as the establishment's top alternative to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. But a slew of Rubio's competitors want to be that alternative too. He must fend them off while trying to appeal to Cruz and Trump supporters who have rewarded a far more strident campaign approach.

Follow our live coverage of the national championship football game between No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama. And as we wait for kickoff, here are 8 things you need to know.

If saving money on lunches was on of your New Year's resolutions, or if you just like to bring your lunch to work, here are 5 great sandwich ideas.

Steve Persall cautions us to keep one thing in mind about Sunday's stunning Golden Globes results, and the effect on Thursday's Academy Award nominations. They don't mean anything. He explains why.

A two-hour wait for sushi in Seminole? Yes! Osaka Sushi & Thai is jamming. And with good reason, says Laura Reiley. The vast lineup of specialty rolls benefits from vibrantly fresh fish, meticulously rolled, sauced and plated.

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.

Comments
Pasco sheriff: Man arrested after stabbing driver, kicking officer

Pasco sheriff: Man arrested after stabbing driver, kicking officer

DADE CITY — A Dade City man was arrested Tuesday night after jumping on top of a car, stabbing the driver multiple times and kicking an officer in the face, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Roscoe James, 42, was walking down Morningside...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn’t headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn’t headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Front-end loaders will serve as coda to Tampa Bay Lightning’s wild ride

Front-end loaders will serve as coda to Tampa Bay Lightning’s wild ride

TAMPA — Hours before the puck drops at Amalie Arena for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, the ice crew boss talks about putting off any sign of the end for as long as possible."We don’t want to see the front-end loaders," says Tom Miracle, who...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

APOLLO BEACH — Tampa Electric Co. is taking a big step away from coal. The Tampa-based utility is converting its coal-fired Unit 1 at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas and retiring coal-fired Unit 2 in 2021.Five workers died in June 2017 afte...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Familiar softball foe upends Land O’Lakes’ state title hopes

Familiar softball foe upends Land O’Lakes’ state title hopes

VERO BEACH — To become the first Pasco County team and just the third from the area to win consecutive state titles, Land O’Lakes knew it had to get past a familiar — and determined — opponent in Thursday’s Class 6A championship game.The Gators faced...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Eight women accuse Morgan Freeman of sexual misconduct in CNN report

Eight women accuse Morgan Freeman of sexual misconduct in CNN report

Eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior on-set, at his production company, and during press junkets, according to a report.CNN reports that 16 people have spoken out against Freeman’s alleged misco...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A white supremacist killed her twin. Why did she forgive him?

A white supremacist killed her twin. Why did she forgive him?

As a fifth-grader, Aleesha Mance wrote an essay about her sister’s killer, explaining how peer pressure and drugs led the 17-year-old to make a deadly choice. In high school, she searched for his name online. She read news articles about a tee...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Flashing beacons, lower speed limit are in the works on Tampa’s deadly Bayshore

Flashing beacons, lower speed limit are in the works on Tampa’s deadly Bayshore

TAMPA — Work is underway to improve pedestrian safety on Bayshore Boulevard, the signature Tampa roadway popular among walkers, joggers and bicyclists where a mother was struck and killed by a car Wednesday while pushing her 21-month-old daughter acr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Three men charged with street racing in Bayshore Boulevard crash are recent graduates of Tampa Catholic High School

Three men charged with street racing in Bayshore Boulevard crash are recent graduates of Tampa Catholic High School

TAMPA— The Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg confirmed Thursday that the three men involved in the Bayshore Boulevard crash that killed an Ohio mother and critically injured her 21-month-old daughter are recent graduates of Tampa Catholic High Schoo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ohio mom killed in street-racing crash ‘made mark in this world,’ says uncle she was visiting

Ohio mom killed in street-racing crash ‘made mark in this world,’ says uncle she was visiting

TAMPA — Before Jessica Raubenolt was fatally struck by a speeding black Mustang on Wednesday, the gray skies she had seen all week had turned blue so she decided to take her baby out in the stroller. Her husband David had just completed his flight ce...
Updated: 2 hours ago