Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

News at noon: Debate preview; Zika virus; Open-carry bill; St. Pete city council on noise ordinances and marijuana; Barbie's got a new, realistic figure; Lightning podcast

GOP DEBATE: Donald Trump may not show because of Fox News' Megyn Kelly, but that doesn't mean PolitiFact won't be watching what the other candidates say. Check back to our live fact-checking starting around 8 p.m. ET tonight.

FROM THE EDITORIAL BOARD: TIMES RECOMMENDS JEB BUSH

It's time to stop treating the election of the next president of the United States like a game show without serious consequences. After more than a year of constant fundraising, meaningless opinion polls and reckless rhetoric from so many candidates, voters finally will make their voices heard starting Monday in the Iowa caucuses and eight days later in the New Hampshire primary. For Republicans fighting for both the soul of their party and the White House, the best choice is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The World Health Organization says it is convening an emergency committee on Monday to decide if the Zika virus outbreak should be declared an international health emergency. So far, officials doubt the virus will be widespread in the U.S.

A controversial Florida Legislature proposal— backed by the National Rifle Association and gun-rights advocates — that would allow more than 1.4 million people in Florida to openly carry guns is going before its third and final House committee this morning.

Florida Governor Rick Scott wraps D.C. visit as transparency expert at a conservative think tank. His two-day visit to the nation's capital was a busy one and culminates with a speech to AEI later this afternoon.

Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco is being admitted to Florida Hospital last week with pain that may be related to a hernia, his family said Thursday. Greco is now recovering from surgery.

Almost 170,000 Tampa Bay homeowners are still "seriously" underwater on their mortgages even as rising home values are making others "equity rich."

ST. PETE LOCAL GOVERNMENT: A City Council committee voted unanimously to require downtown businesses to lower the volume on their outdoor speakers after 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. Another committee voted unanimously to have city attorneys draft an ordinance for the St. Pete to start a civil citation program for marijuana.

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is headed to his first NHL All-Star game, and it is well deserved. In the latest podcast, Joe Smith discusses the latest developments in the Stamkos contract saga, breaking down the potential of a Jonathan Drouin trade.

Curvy has caught on. Mattel, the maker of the iconic plastic doll, said it will begin selling Barbie in three new body types — curvy, tall, and petite. She'll also be available in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles.

British actor Joseph Fiennes will star as Michael Jackson in a one-off TV comedy set to broadcast later this year — a casting decision that has added fuel to a raging debate about opportunities for non-white actors in movies and TV.

Persall: Truth is duller than fiction in The Finest Hours, a film of real-life Coast Guard heroism that coasts on patriotic goodwill.

If you can't make it to Gasparilla 2016, our

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Multiple fatalities as Amtrak train derails south of Seattle

Multiple fatalities as Amtrak train derails south of Seattle

TACOMA, Wash. — Authorities say multiple people were killed when an Amtrak passenger train derailed onto Interstate 5 south of Seattle.The train derailed about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle before 8 a.m., spilling at least one train car o...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
ESPN chief Skipper resigns, cites substance abuse problem

ESPN chief Skipper resigns, cites substance abuse problem

NEW YORK — John Skipper, president of the sprawling ESPN sports network, said Monday that he is resigning to treat a substance abuse problem.Skipper’s sudden announcement will force the Walt Disney Co.-owned network to search for new leadership at a ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Monday night football preview, Bucs vs. Falcons

Cannon Fodder podcast: Monday night football preview, Bucs vs. Falcons

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman has a final preview of tonight’s Bucs-Falcons game — Matt Ryan’s history with the Bucs, how Tampa Bay will handle its absences on defense and a few Ring of Honor hypotheticals as well … Listen below: ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: The hole in DJJ’s beefed-up screening process; can Gruden coach Bucs again?; and more

Top 5 at noon: The hole in DJJ’s beefed-up screening process; can Gruden coach Bucs again?; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.ALTHOUGH FLORIDA JUVENILE JUSTICE SAID IT WOULD WEED OUT BAD HIRES, SOMEHOW THIS GUY SLIPPED THROUGHWhile the beefed-up screening governs how the Department of Juvenine Justice hires officers...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Riverview father accused in daughter’s murder tells judge he wants to drop his attorney

Riverview father accused in daughter’s murder tells judge he wants to drop his attorney

TAMPA — Nahshon Shannon wants to drop his attorney.Shannon, accused of murdering his 13-year-old daughter, argued in court Monday morning that Assistant Public Defender Jennifer Spradley should be removed from his case.His main complaint was that Spr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
American Social tries to draw a young Tampa crowd with New York prices

American Social tries to draw a young Tampa crowd with New York prices

TAMPAPaul Greenberg and Rick Mijares believe something. They believe that millennials are nostalgic for a time they didn’t live through. American Social, the long-anticipated waterside restaurant adjacent to Jackson’s on Harbour Island, reads like a ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Woman killed in Clearwater drive-by shooting while daughter, 10, in back seat

Police: Woman killed in Clearwater drive-by shooting while daughter, 10, in back seat

CLEARWATER — A Palm Harbor woman was killed in a drive-by shooting while riding with her husband and 10-year-old daughter in a Nissan Sentra late Sunday, police said.Elizabeth Rosado, 30, was in the front passenger seat of the sedan, which was headed...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida gas prices back to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels

Florida gas prices back to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels

Just in time for one of the busiest travel periods of the year, gas prices across Florida are back down to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels. Tampa Bay gas hit $2.30 per gallon today, while state prices averaged $2.37 per gallon, according to AAA, The Auto...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa flights affected as Atlanta airport outage creates holiday chaos

Tampa flights affected as Atlanta airport outage creates holiday chaos

ATLANTA — While power has been restored to the world’s busiest airport, the travel woes will linger for days.Thousands of people were stranded Monday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where more than 1,000 flights were gro...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Portion of Lutz Lake Fern Road closed after crash involving motorcycle

TAMPA — A portion of Lutz Lake Fern Road is closed in northwest Hillsborough County following a crash involving a motorcycleHillsborough County deputies say the roadway is expected to be closed between Sunlake Boulevard and Cypress Green Drive for th...
Updated: 4 hours ago