Sunday, December 10, 2017
News Roundup

News at noon: Dirk Koetter Bucs' head coach; Python hunting challenge; Lindsey Graham endorses Jeb; Real estate news; 'Benghazi' review

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached an agreement with Dirk Koetter to be the new head coach, replacing Lovie Smith who was fired last week. And he's pretty quotable, by the way.

Thousands of Burmese pythons slither around the Everglades as a non-native species and aren't worried about the upcoming Python Challenge, a hunting event to try and diminish the python population. Despite the efforts of more than 1,000 hunters in the last hunt, only 68 pythons were found and killed — such a small number that a single female python could replace that many with a single clutch of eggs.

Republican president candidate Jeb Bush has scored the endorsement of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Why this endorsement has been coveted by candidates of the past, and what it means for the campaign.

Created in 2010 after the housing crash, the $7.6 billion Hardest Hit Fund was mainly intended to help homeowners in Florida and 17 other states avoid foreclosure. But $50 million in Hardest Hit money is now being used to help people in just five counties — Hillsborough, Brevard, Orange, Duval and Volusia — buy houses.

The frontiers of condominium development in downtown St. Petersburg continue to push farther south and westward. Vela, an eight-story, 20-unit condo project, is being planned for downtown St. Petersburg at 8th Street S and Delmar Terrace. Prices will start in the low $300s.

Movie Review: "Benghazi" is a city's name that now holds heavy political meaning. The movie? Not so much.

After being killed aboard a U.S. military helicopter that crashed during a firefight with insurgents in southern Afghanistan, Patrick Feeks' family became part of the Gold Star Families, a support group that honors relatives of fallen military personnel. They will watch this year's local Frogman Swim, a charity 5k swimming race that has grown steadily in the past several years.

This season has been a struggle for the defending Eastern Conference champion Lightning. Injuries combined with a slow start have had it trying to play catchup in the conference race. As it nears the All-Star break, Tampa Bay used a four-game road trip that ended Tuesday to ignite its play.

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Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sunny day floods become new norm

WASHINGTON — The tide watchers start patrolling whenever the celestial forces align. From coast to coast, hundreds of tide watchers come out with their cameras to record the latest ‘‘king tides,’’ brief episodes of tidal flooding that could become th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

The "Welcome to Florida" sign in the northwest part of the state was covered in light snow as winter weather dipped into the Sunshine State. It was part of a winter storm that hit the Deep South over the weekend and left thousands of people without p...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Wrestler Rich Swann is being held without bail in a Florida jail after he was arrested and charged with battery and false imprisonment. Swann, who is 26 and a former WWE cruiserweight champion, was arrested Saturday. According to ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Getting around Cuban customs control

Getting around Cuban customs control

HAVANA, CUBA — Ernesto Machado will never forget that cold morning in 1968 at José Martí International Airport in Havana, when an immigration official seized his parents’ gold wedding bands and ripped up his passport."This is property of the revoluti...
Updated: 3 hours ago
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Updated: 3 hours ago
Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

WINTER HAVEN — Although the 2017-18 citrus harvest has barely begun, growers are already planning for the 2018-19 season, and they have critical decisions to make in the coming months that will affect next season’s crop and perhaps others in years to...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA — The Bucs’ unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

CaliforniaNew normal: Christmas firefightingA flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday. Fire crews saved several homes as unpredictable gusts sent the blaze churning dee...
Updated: 4 hours ago