Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: Eyes on weather disturbance; Senate GOP primary looks over; EpiPen programs expanded

An area of low pressure approaching the Bahamas could develop into Tropical Storm Hermine by the weekend, and forecast models show it affecting Florida, forecasters say. The strongest impact on the Tampa region would likely take place Monday afternoon through Tuesday night, 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Bobby Deskins said. That could mean as much as 6-8 inches of rain with strong winds. Stay with the Tampa Bay Times for updates.

SENATE GOP PRIMARY ALREADY LOOKS OVER

It is just five days until Florida's primary elections, but you wouldn't know it by watching either of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate over the last few days. Officially the campaigns for Marco Rubio and Carlos Beruff say they are still working hard and taking nothing for granted. But the actions of both show that reality is setting in with each new poll that comes out and Rubio solidly ahead.

MYLAN TO EXPAND PROGRAMS THAT LOWER EPIPEN COSTS

Mylan, in the face of heated criticism over price hikes for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, is bulking up programs that help patients pay for the drug. The generic drugmaker laid out a plan today to expand its patient assistance program and offer $300 savings cards for its EpiPen 2-Pak. There is no change in the price of the treatment, however, which is what has drawn ire in Congress and from families that have had to shell out increasingly large sums for the potentially life-saving treatment.

CRIST 'LISTENING' DURING EDUCATION ROUNDTABLE

Charlie Crist, the Democratic nominee for Florida's 13th congressional district, will hold a roundtable on education this afternoon in St. Petersburg. He'll discuss issues facing Pinellas County public schools such as funding, testing and oversight with a group of educators. The roundtable is part of a "listening tour" that Crist has been conducting across the county. Follow Hannah Jeffrey on Twitter (@hannahjeffrey34) for updates.

LUIS SANTANA | Times

For months, Pitbull plugged Visit Florida's #LoveFL hashtag a few dozen times on Twitter and Instagram; filmed a tourism-heavy, #LoveFL-branded video for his 2014 single Sexy Beaches in Miami Beach; and hosted a live, nationally televised New Year's Eve concert in Miami's Bayfront Park.

VISIT FLORIDA, PITBULL PULL PLUG ON TOURISM PARTNERSHIP N

Pitbull may still #LoveFL. But he's no longer getting paid to say so. The hip-hop star is no longer a paid tourism ambassador for Visit Florida, the partially state-funded agency has confirmed, without elaborating on the reason.

IS TRUMP MOVING TOWARD RUBIO, BUSH ON IMMIGRATION?

Donald Trump may have hinted recently that he intends to soften his tough immigration stance -- even floating the idea that people living in the U.S. illegally can stay if they pay some penalty. This has fans of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush alternately appalled and feeling vindicated.

ST. PETE CITY COUNCIL MEETING TODAY

The St. Petersburg City Council is set to discuss today whether to tweak the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area after complaints about how the special taxing district handed out more than $300,000 this year. Also on tap: strengthening the city's wage theft ordinance and allowing sidewalk drinking in the increasingly popular Edge District. The meeting starts at 3 p.m. Follow Charlie Frago on Twitter (@CharlieFrago) for updates.

RAYS, RED SOX CONCLUDE SERIES THIS AFTERNOON

Tampa Bay and Boston return to the Trop for a quick turnaround after last night's 11-inning affair won by the Rays 4-3 on a walk-off error. The getaway matinee features a matchup between Jake Odorizzi and Drew Pomeranz. Follow along live with Tampa Bay Times beat reporter Marc Topkin.

DIRK SHADD, Times

Pinellas Park senior Zamari Maxwell is notorious for pulling down interceptions when the ball is thrown his way.

AREA QUICKLY BECOMING DEFENSIVE BACK CENTRAL

Tampa Bay high schools have plenty of game changers in the secondary. Five of the state's top six returning interception leaders are locals: Armwood's Mekhi LaPointe (a state-leading 10 last season), Northside Christian's Demetrius Jackson (seven), River Ridge's Alex Kostogiannes (seven) and Cambridge Christian's Derrick Powell (seven). Given those numbers, it is no wonder defensive back is now the game's glamour position.

RETIRED NAVY CAPTAIN, CHAMPION FOR WOUNDED DIES AT 80

Capt. Bob Silah's 27-year Navy career took him around the world, but he was most proud of what he did once he hung up the uniform for good, friends and family say. For years, he was the driving force behind the Operation Helping Hand monthly dinner at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, which raised over $1 million to help nearly 1,000 wounded, ill and injured service members and their families. Silah, 80, passed away Monday, leaving a big void in the local military and veteran community.

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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