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News at noon: Debate recap; Early voting in Florida; Obama in Jacksonville; Gun safety in St. Pete; Lightning resigns Coburn; Oscars preview of films and fashion

Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, left, and businessman Donald Trump argue while answering a question during the Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the University of Houston Thursday. AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Gary Coronado, Pool]

Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, left, and businessman Donald Trump argue while answering a question during the Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the University of Houston Thursday. AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Gary Coronado, Pool]

After that brawl of a debate last night, Marco Rubio hit the morning new shows looking to amplify his attacks on Donald Trump . Trump meantime went on Twitter: "Lightweight Marco Rubio was working hard last night. The problem is, he is a choker, and once a choker, always a choker! Mr. Meltdown."

A huge lead among women propels former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to a 59 – 33 percent lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders among Florida likely Democratic primary voters, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. The Florida Primary is March 15. South Carolina Democrats will vote Saturday.

As hundreds of thousands of Florida voters return mail ballots with their choices for president, a second wave of balloting begins Monday with the start of early voting in many large counties.

President Barack Obama is touring Saft America Inc, a lithium-ion battery company in Jacksonville that the White House is using as proof that the federal stimulus passed in 2009 has been a success. Meanwhile the Republican National Committee is seeking to frame Obama's trip as a failure. So

href="http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/court-rules-to-enforce-floridas-24-hour-waiting-period-for-abortions/2267011" target="_blank" >was the federal stimulus a failure or a lifesaver for the Florida budget?

Florida's 24-hour waiting period for abortions will be enforced after an appeals court todayoverturned an order halting it. The 1st District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee cited problems with the trial judge's injunction order, issued in July, that stopped the law from being enforced.

Today, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Police Chief Tony Holloway announced a program urging gun owners to lock their guns and their cars to prevent gun theft. The city, they said, will offer free anti-theft devices to gun owners.

Cedric Ford, the man who shot 18 people — killing three of them —in central Kansas, had several convictions in Florida over the past decade, including for burglary, grand theft, fleeing from an officer, aggravated fleeing, carrying a concealed weapon, all from Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

St. Petersburg's mayor and police chief have announced initiatives to combat gun violence, including supplying gun owners with locks for their weapons.

You can get a burger from a fast food drive thru on pretty much any corner in any city. But a hot dog? Checkers has challenged Burger King to the battle of the weiners.

One of the most recognizable faces in Tampa Bay broadcast journalism, Chip Carter of Fox 13, will sign off tonight.

SeaWorld's admission that it had planted employees in animal rights groups opposing the theme park company's treatment of its orca whales overshadowed news that the theme park company continues to struggle financially. For SeaWorld and its CEO, Joel Manby, the task now becomes not only how to "fix" the company's battered brand but also how to recoup visitor and investor confidence.

Today is the day the Rays spring training camp really kicks into full gear with the first full-squad workout. Marc Topkin is filing updates all day in The Heater blog.

The Lightning has re-signed defenseman Braydon Coburn to a three-year extension, the team announced today.

But if you're a football fanatic, the past two weekends couldn't have been easy. You can reflect on the good times, but you can get by on that for only so long. Fear not! Beginning today, the NFL Network broadcasts workouts from the league's annual Underwear Olympics, officially known as the NFL Scouting Combine<.a>. Rick Stroud is there and reports that Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is talking about ways quarterback Jameis Winston needs to improve his throwing mechanics.

Have you made your Academy Award predictions? Steve Persall has. You can find them, other snubs, and much much more in our Oscars blog. And be sure to join us Sunday night. The Deal Divas will critique the fashions on the red carpet beginning at 6 p.m. and we'll cover the telecast from start to finish.

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: Debate recap; Early voting in Florida; Obama in Jacksonville; Gun safety in St. Pete; Lightning resigns Coburn; Oscars preview of films and fashion 02/26/16 [Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2016 12:36pm]
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