Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: Epiphany divers set to plunge at 1pm in Tarpon Springs; FL school grades; Powerball information; North Korea H-bomb skepticism; Fun Card holders can score big this year; Interview with Richard Dreyfuss

Thousands of people are in Tarpon Springs today for Epiphany, which is the largest event of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Follow our live blog for photos and updates as dozens of teenage dive into chilly Spring Bayou waters in search of the famed Epiphany cross. If you are in Tarpon Springs today, don't forget to use the hashtag #tbtepiphany to join along in the coverage.

The future of Florida's testing and accountability system comes to the State Board of Education this morning, and for the first time in memory the outcome isn't clear in advance. On the verge of doling out school grades throughout the state, the current board has appeared divided in recent months over just how high to set the bar.

Tonight, Powerball players will have a chance to win the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year. another round of tough international sanctions looms for the defiant, impoverished country.

Winn-Dixie's recent price-cutting is a result of its "wily" president and CEO using "hardball" and "strong arm" tactics with suppliers. While many think this is a copy of Walmart strategy, it may be imported from our mates across the Pacific in Australia.

Coming soon, an interview with Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss. The sit-diwb will include as much Jaws background as possible — Dreyfuss' clash with co-star Robert Shaw, for example — and whatever else from a career including such classics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and American Graffiti, his Oscar-winning turn in The Goodbye Girl, the similarly nominated Mr. Holland's Opus and a personal favorite, The Big Fix.

Busch Gardens Fun Card holders will be able to get a free pass to the Adventure Island water park, a savings of $50. Here's how to score on discounted entrance to theme parks.

Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo is forgoing his final season to enter the NFL draft. He leaves the Seminoles as one of the best kickers in NCAA history.

A year ago, John Jonchuck drove to the top of a bridge, held his 5-year-old daughter Phoebe over the side and let go. He must have been crazy. It was the only thing that made sense. He loved his daughter. And yet, for years, police had documented violence between the girl's parents, and child protection workers had visited their home five times. Seven times, people called the abuse hotline, fearing for her safety. And still, no one stopped it. Watch the trailer video here and look for the story tomorrow on TampaBay.com.

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Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cameron, a&#...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Eight passengers who were aboard a Southwest Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of its engines blew apart filed suit Wednesday against the airline, Boeing and the companies that manufactured the eng...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Tesla sued a former employee Wednesday, accusing the man of hacking the automaker’s computer systems and stealing company secrets, shedding light on what chief Elon Musk had suggested was the work of a secretive internal saboteur.But the employee, Ma...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

CLEARWATER —The city’s proposed $79.7 million overhaul of the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training facilities depends on getting $40 million in bed taxes from Pinellas County.But records show even if county officials wanted to bankroll the Phillies...
Updated: 5 hours ago