Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: 'Definition of Insanity' Mental Health part 4; Congress budget talks continue; Solar Power amendment; FarmTable review; Bucs analysis, sandyhook

The official who oversaw Florida's state-funded mental hospitals from 2008 to 2010 calls it the "definition of insanity." The state spends millions making sure the mentally ill go to court, but the minute they are declared competent, they are sent back to jail and routinely fall apart again. Read the latest installment of our investigation: Insane. Invisible. In danger.

The U.S. House easily passed a $1.14 trillion spending bill to fund the government through next September, capping a peaceful end to a yearlong struggle over the budget, taxes, and Republican demands of President Barack Obama. The Senate is expected to approve the plan later today.

Fifty-six percent of Cuban-Americans support President Obama's decision to normalize relations with Cuba, according to a new poll. The survey from Bendixen & Amandi echoes others that have shown acceptance of the diplomatic thaw. It puts politicians such as Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush on the opposite side of popular opinion.

The group backing a solar power constitutional amendment is all but throwing in the towel. With a key end-of-year petition deadline fast approaching and lacking more than 400,000 petition signatures, Floridians for Solar Choice announced Thursday night that it will continue trying to qualify for the ballot in the 2016 election but it is "exploring options for 2018."

Six weeks. Six shootings. Six people dead. Beginning Nov. 10, six St. Petersburg boys and men, ranging from ages 16 to 25, have died after being shot. In response to the shootings, city leaders are planning a march down Central Avenue this evening to protest gun violence.

Offers of help have poured in after someone stole a trailer full of toys and food donated to Metropolitan Ministries' annual holiday charity drive earlier this week.

Florida Atlantic University has moved to fire professor James Tracy who outraged many by calling the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School an elaborate hoax.

Florida's unemployment rate fell to 5 percent in November, the first time since January that the state's jobless rate is lower than the national average. Three Tampa Bay area counties — Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco — have seen job growth, but they are still trailing when it comes to wages.

Management at Locale Market's restaurant, FarmTable Kitchen, seem utterly comfortable with the idea of flux. With various changes to the market/dining foodie paradise, Food Critic Laura Reiley looks at a revamped Sundial institution and sees an epicurean Eden.

Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom and ground cloves bring lots of flavor to the Chewy Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies featured in Cooking this morning.

Mustard beats Ketchup: The Bucs took a prime-time 31-23 loss at the hands of the Rams, all but ending any playoff hopes they still had, but here are five things you might not have noticed.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Palace releases new photo of Prince William, Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte

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NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 4 hours ago
St. Pete ponders building parking garage -- then giving it away

St. Pete ponders building parking garage -- then giving it away

ST. PETERSBURG — For years, Edge District merchants and residents have been united by this grievance: there isn’t enough parking to accommodate visitors to the booming entertainment and retail district.The City Council will consider a plan to fix tha...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Woman fired from Bay Pines health center calls it retaliation for complaints of harassment

Woman fired from Bay Pines health center calls it retaliation for complaints of harassment

Chalea Weekes fumes each time she sees another entertainer, politician or public figure stand accused of sexual harassment.Fired from her job in the social work department at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Weekes says in federal complaints that ...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Horrified friends watch screaming woman driven to her death in Plant City

Horrified friends watch screaming woman driven to her death in Plant City

PLANT CITY — Jonathon Adams heard a scream, "like a dog getting run over by a car," then saw a mini-van come tearing around the corner with a woman he knew dangling out of the passenger seat.It was the start of deadly sequence of events Dec. 8 that P...
Updated: 28 minutes ago

Tim Tebow wants to help throw you a tailgate wedding (sausages included)

Tim Tebow loves weddings.He apparently also loves football, tailgate parties and a good brat, which might explain why he’s lending his pitchman talents to a contest that ties all four together.In a promotional video, Tebow asks, "What happens when yo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa chamber names first companies for minority business accelerator

Tampa chamber names first companies for minority business accelerator

TAMPA — Four firms in marketing, construction and secure cash logistics will be the first to go to through a new Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce program designed to help black- and Hispanic-owned companies grow their businesses through two years of...
Updated: 1 hour ago
FCC votes down Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules

FCC votes down Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules

NEW YORK — The Federal Communications Commission has voted on party lines to undo sweeping Obama-era "net neutrality" rules that guaranteed equal access to internet.The agency’s Democratic commissioners dissented in the 3-2 vote Thursday.The FCC’s ne...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

TAMPA — It is one of the most honest moments of the season, captured in the first Hard Knocks episode. Jameis Winston is having a frank conversation with coach Dirk Koetter, seated behind his desk in his office at One Buc Place."I just want to have a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

What would you do?If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?Well, you could go to Hooter’s and order a pitcher of beer and dozen wings. Then, Monday, you could go be inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor.I’m talking about after that.Would you stay i...
Updated: 1 hour ago
River Ridge grad Chris Schwarz on brink of Division II title with West Florida

River Ridge grad Chris Schwarz on brink of Division II title with West Florida

Two years ago, Chris Schwarz was mulling over his college choices. The former River Ridge High standout had offers from Valparaiso, Florida Tech and West Florida. West Florida?That one baffled Schwarz, mostly because he knew nothing about the school....
Updated: 1 hour ago