Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

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

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.

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Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

HOUSTON — The Rays brought up several of their top prospects so they can get as much experience as possible.And Monday that included seeing how the relentless defending champion Astros worked their way back from an early four-run deficit to sco...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

HOUSTON — Well before the idea of using a reliever to open games, as the Rays did against the Astros Monday for the 12th time, and then bringing in a starter was even a gleam in the eyes of the current Rays staff, former manager Lou Piniella wa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Nazi or not? Tattoo sparks Twitter storm over wounded New Port Richey veteran

Nazi or not? Tattoo sparks Twitter storm over wounded New Port Richey veteran

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is pushing back against a social media post implying that a combat-wounded New Port Richey veteran has a Nazi symbol tattooed on his arm.In a tweet Monday afternoon, ICE officials denied the vete...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pinellas protesters: Stop separating families at the border

Pinellas protesters: Stop separating families at the border

Protests were held on both ends of Pinellas County on Monday in opposition to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents as they seek asylum at the U.S. border."Children are not pawns," "No kids in cages" and "I would...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Two people drowned and another suffered life-threatening injuries in the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.Investigators said all three cases appear to be accidents, but the incidents stand as a reminder that summer, with vacation ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

SEMINOLE — She was 22 when deputies said a man forced her at knifepoint into the woods off Seminole Boulevard and sexually battered her in February 1987.The case went cold, but now the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested the man it ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

TAMPA — Iceland isn't what it used to be. Literally. The Nordic island country is shrinking, what with global warming. Iceland's glaciers are getting smaller. If you took all that ice and laid it end to end, well, you clearly have nothing bette...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian on Sunday night and then drove off.The incident took place at 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh Avenue.No details a...
Updated: 5 hours ago