Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Democratic debate tonight; NC governor McCrory changes his mind; School choice bill; Electric shuttles in Tampa; No farmers at farmers markets; St. Pete to get another brewery

• Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off again tonight in a debate in Brooklyn. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer will moderate the event, which begins at 9 p.m. Follow our PolitiFact team as they offer live fact-checking during the debate.

• This week began when North Carolina Governor McCrory, looking pale from a virus, emerged from the executive mansion to tell reporters that he would not discuss the raging national controversy over the state's new law rolling back local government protections for gay and transgender people - which he has been defending since he signed it three weeks ago. Then, Tuesday, McCrory backpedaled, issuing a surprising call for changes to the law — known as House Bill 2 — and signing an executive order to give state employees more nondiscrimination protections.

• Republican Gov. Rick Scott faces a deadline today on 21 bills that the Legislature passed during the 2016 session. Among them: A far-reaching education bill that includes several new policies intended to advance "school choice" in Florida public education. Meanwhile, David Di Pietro won back his Broward Health chairmanship, but now he's resigning.

• Onetime presidential candidate and Florida resident Ben Carson is endorsing congressman Ron DeSantis for the U.S. Senate, his campaign announced today.

• Once they were popular. Then they were regulated out of existence. Now free electric shuttles could soon return to downtown Tampa.

• Claude Tankersley, St. Petersburg's new public works administrator, wants to improve communication in a part of city government known for its engineering jargon and bureaucratic rigidity. How Tankersley is putting the public back into public works.

• Before the club next door burned and water flooded their Ybor City cigar shop, the Ogando family was already dealing with a far greater tragedy. Marya Ogando, a co-owner of Nicahabana Cigars on Seventh Avenue, died of cancer at age 51 on April 5. The next day, the Amphitheatre nightclub next door caught fire. Firefighters doused the blaze for more than six hours. A lot of that water poured into Nicahabana, ruining seven bundles of tobacco leaves worth $7,000 and shuttering the shop for three days.

• Craig Wall, a Clearwater man seeking the death penalty for himself in the murder of his girlfriend, was escorted to court this morning by six Pinellas Sheriff's deputies in SWAT gear when he refused to leave his jail cell.

• Pinellas Hope, a shelter run by Catholic Charities, is raising $1.25 million to build cottages made of shipping containers to replace tents for the homeless.

• Surprise! There's going to be more beer in St. Pete. Flying Boat Brewing Co. broke ground on a 11,000-square-foot facility at 1776 11th Ave. N., this morning. Owners Glenn Zakany and Josh Perian joined St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the brewery near Woodlawn Park, which owner and director of operations, Perian said they anticipate opening by the end of summer.

SPECIAL REPORT: FARM TO FABLE

Do you know where the food in that restaurant is really coming from? Do you shop at weekend farmers markets? You'll definitely want to read our latest special report, Farm to Fable. Also, check out the interactive that allows you to find the fable on local restaurant menus.

• On April 17, seven high school students will model period bridal dresses designed by their classmates during a wedding dress sale at Nova 535 in St. Petersburg from noon to 3:00 pm. Students found 98 vintage dresses in storage containers while cleaning out the costume storage area at the school recently, and all the dresses will be sold to buy new lighting and sound equipment for the Pinellas County Center for the Arts (PCAA)/Gibbs High School Grand Theater.

• Tonight, the Rays are seeking their first home series win against the Indians since 2013. This is only the third time in Rays franchise history they have gone eight games into a season without a win by a starter

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
Joe Henderson: With chaos the norm on Interstate 4, back roads are looking more inviting

Joe Henderson: With chaos the norm on Interstate 4, back roads are looking more inviting

In the past couple of months, I have had to travel about 25 miles from the bucolic burg of Brandon to Lakeland several times.I take Interstate 4 because it is the most direct route.I may have to rethink that strategy, though, especially with Memorial...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Passenger out of jail after street-racing crash that killed mother on Bayshore Boulevard

Passenger out of jail after street-racing crash that killed mother on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — One of the two brothers accused in the street racing death of a 24-year-old Ohio woman was released on bail early Thursday morning while police continue to investigate the crash along Bayshore Boulevard.Tristan Christopher Herrin, 20, a passe...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Forecasters: Increased likelihood for tropical system to form in gulf, soak Tampa Bay

Forecasters: Increased likelihood for tropical system to form in gulf, soak Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The National Hurricane Center has raised the chance that a low pressure system moving up through the Caribbean will become a tropical system as it enters the gulf in the next 3-5 days.Thursday morning, the hurricane center bumped up ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Lightning’s season is over; latest on Bayshore street racing death; soggy Memorial Day could curtail concerts; Hooper pays tribute to Lee Roy Selmon’s

The Daystarter: Lightning’s season is over; latest on Bayshore street racing death; soggy Memorial Day could curtail concerts; Hooper pays tribute to Lee Roy Selmon’s

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The rain is back, and it won’t let up through the Memorial Day weekend. Blame Invest 90L, the low-pressure system brewing in the Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center predicted...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

ST. PETERSBURG — The increased competition in the IndyCar Series was on display during qualifying for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.Two fan favorites (Pippa Mann and 2013 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe) couldn't crack th...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Largo considers rate hike for trash, recycling

Largo considers rate hike for trash, recycling

LARGO — Residents may see the first trash and recycling rate hike in more than a decade next year as the city faces changes in the global recycling landscape and rising costs.The potential 20 percent increase, which would bring the rate for residenti...
Published: 05/24/18
St. Petersburg City Council throws wrench into Housing Authority’s Jordan Park plans

St. Petersburg City Council throws wrench into Housing Authority’s Jordan Park plans

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council rejected a request from the St. Petersburg Housing Authority for a letter the agency said would help it proceed with a $43 million makeover of Jordan Park.There’s also a question about whether the housing authority, ...
Published: 05/24/18
What’s bringing that new $50 million boutique hotel to Ybor City? It’s not just the local history

What’s bringing that new $50 million boutique hotel to Ybor City? It’s not just the local history

TAMPA — The historic charm of Ybor City is only part of the reason developers will break ground today on a $50 million boutique hotel on E Seventh Avenue.Two other key factors are Tampa’s larger business climate and the hospitality market in particul...
Published: 05/24/18