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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

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory makes remarks during an interview at the governor's mansion in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday. McCrory says he wants to change a new state law that prevents people from suing over discrimination in state court, but he's not challenging a measure regarding bathroom access for transgender people. [Associated Press]

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory makes remarks during an interview at the governor's mansion in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday. McCrory says he wants to change a new state law that prevents people from suing over discrimination in state court, but he's not challenging a measure regarding bathroom access for transgender people. [Associated Press]

• 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.

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 04/14/16 [Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2016 2:33pm]
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