Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

News at noon: EgyptAir standoff ends; Trump manager charged with misdemeanor; New plan for the Straz; Meet the Rays; Violin prodigy to come to Tampa Bay

• The Egyptian plane drama has ended after the hijacker was arrested and the passengers were freed. His surrender ended an hours-long drama and standoff at the Larnaca airport in southern Cyprus. The hijacker had earlier freed most of the passengers but kept seven people — four crew members and three passengers — with him.

• In Palm Beach County, Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump campaign manager, is charged this morning with misdemeanor battery after allegations of forcefully grabbing a reporter at a local news conference.

• FLORIDA MAN: Delta Air Lines employee Jean Yves Selius, 29, of Boynton Beach was arrested Saturday after an airport security officer saw him using his security badge to enter the boarding area in the Palm Beach International Airport. Longo wrote that he was being paid $900 to $1,000 to deliver a backpack holding $282,000 to an unknown passenger in a bathroom, who would take the money to New York City's LaGuardia Airport.

• Today, the Obama administration will issue a proposed rule that aims to increase medication-based treatment for tens of thousands of people addicted to opioids. The rule will coincide with President Barack Obama's visit to Atlanta where he will participate in a panel discussion at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit.

• Mantras of the Democratic primary race: Hillary Clinton can't attract young voters, and Bernie Sanders can't win minorities. Following Sanders' win in Hawaii, the country's most ethnically diverse state, #BernieMadeMeWhite appeared on Twitter.

• Yet another of Gov. Rick Scott's state agency chiefs announced his surprise resignation today. Retired Army Col. Mike Prendergast dropped the news during a Cabinet meeting that he'll be leaving immediately to run as a Republican for sheriff of Citrus County.

• What's this? A central gathering place in Tampa? The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts just unveiled the latest version of its plan for the future, and it's still looking at making the most of its location overlooking the Hillsborough River.

• Finn Caspersen was a leading developer and philanthropist in Tampa who the New York Times compared to Jay Gatsby before a tragic end to his life. Now his son is accused in a $95 million fraud scheme.

• Meet the Rays. Watch video interviews with the Tampa Bay Rays as you've never seen them before. For example, you might think you know Chris Archer. But do you know which TV show the Rays ace wants to binge watch? For complete Rays coverage, follow our Spring Training live blog.

• "I fell in love with the violin," Simone Porter says, "and (I) bugged my parents until they let me start when I was 3 1/2." Now 19, on the cusp of international stardom, violin prodigy Porter will appear this weekend with the Florida Orchestra, performing a familiar piece: Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.

• Ten years ago, the Gasparilla International Film Festival sailed into Tampa on bumpy seas. Now principally sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union, the Gasparilla festival is thriving. See the lineup of 115 features, documentaries and shorts here.

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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FHP: Overturned vehicle reported on northbound Howard Frankland

ST. PETERSBURG — Drivers should avoid the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge for a while: The Florida Highway Patrol is responding to a report of an overturned vehicle there.The incident was reported at 2:11 p.m. on northbound Interstate 275, near mi...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Traffic grew heavy, and so did contractions, so Plant City mom delivers in car

Traffic grew heavy, and so did contractions, so Plant City mom delivers in car

BRANDON — Christine Stallworth had experienced false labor before so she decided to ignore the contractions she was feeling Thursday as she and her husband Clifford drove their two boys from home in Plant City to school in Tampa.But this time, 10 day...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Pour Taproom, a craft beer bar with 85 taps that customers pour their own brew from, will open at noon on Saturday, Dec. 16. The nearly 2,300-square-foot bar at 225 Second Ave. N has undergone extensive renovations, including a St. Petersburg-themed...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Hillsborough school district and its teachers are at a bargaining impasse, but still talking

Hillsborough school district and its teachers are at a bargaining impasse, but still talking

TAMPA — A months-long conflict over planned pay raises has moved to a new phase with the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association declaring a bargaining impasse with the public school district.The two sides, which began negotiations in late spring...
Updated: 1 hour ago

AOL Instant Messenger is no more, and it’s okay your inner 13-year-old is crying

Saying goodbye to an old friend stings.On the morning of Dec. 15, 2017, AOL Instant Messenger died.Take a moment to allow the 13-year-old inside of you let out a deep sob; think about the bulletin you wish you could post to your MySpace page about ho...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Vology landlord challenges property tax assessment

Vology landlord challenges property tax assessment

LARGO — Eight months after paying $10.15 million for the office building that houses IT services company Vology, a New York company is suing the Pinellas County Property Appraiser and Florida Department of Revenue contending its $5.5 million tax asse...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas schools sheltered thousands during Irma. Here’s what it cost

Pinellas schools sheltered thousands during Irma. Here’s what it cost

Three months later, the Pinellas County school district has totaled up the costs of operating 16 schools as shelters for 25,000 evacuees during Hurricane Irma.The district is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, for a reimbursemen...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Being your own lawyer: bad idea. People in Tampa Bay do it anyway.

Being your own lawyer: bad idea. People in Tampa Bay do it anyway.

LARGO — Daniel Richards walked into the courtroom in his orange jail scrubs. Carrying a stack of papers, he stood in front of Pinellas Circuit judge Chris Helinger as she glanced at the handwritten documents he filed days earlier."I foresee foul play...
Updated: 1 hour ago
New video shows cows beaten and burned at Florida dairy farm

New video shows cows beaten and burned at Florida dairy farm

The Miami Beach-based Animal Recovery Mission has released a video from its undercover abuse investigation at a Central Florida dairy farmThe graphic video, with disturbing images of cows cruelly being beaten, speared, stabbed and burned, was shot by...
Updated: 1 hour ago