Sunday, December 17, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: First appearance for slain baby's mother; A-Rod's last game; Ferg's reopens; 5 things missing in GOP bid to unseat Rubio

Kathleen Steele is set to make her first appearance in court around 1:30, a day after she was jailed on aggravated manslaughter charges in what investigators say was the beating death of her 13-day-old daughter by her 6-year-old son. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

IN TENSE ELECTION, PASSIONS OVER GUNS INTENSIFY

"State Rep. Brad Drake is determined to keep his House seat in Tallahassee. He must defeat Republican challenger Bev Kilmer in the Aug. 30 primary in a rural district on the state's northernmost tier that's sometimes described as "L.A.," for "Lower Alabama." Drake is expected to win, in no small part because of his A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association, the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping seal of approval for Republicans challenged within their party.

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The Yankees say farewell to Alex Rodriguez, who is expected to retire after 22 years as a player, tonight against the Rays at Yankee Stadium.

A-ROD'S COMPLICATED CAREER SLATED TO END TONIGHT VS. RAYS

Amid the words that will be showered upon Alex Rodriguez when he plays — supposedly— the final game of his 22-year career tonight in New York against the Rays, the most applicable is "complicated." That might also describe tonight's hastily arranged farewell — a dressed-up version of his unceremonial release —given the possibility he may opt to play for another team rather than move into a special adviser's job with the Yankees.

BUCS' BELL: NO EXCUSE FOR FUMBLE

Having spent his rookie season on injured reserve, Kenny Bell waited a year to put his hands on the football. He didn't hold onto it for long. Bell fumbled the opening kickoff of the preseason against the Eagles when he was hit and stripped of the ball by Eagles linebacker Najee Goode and safety Chris Maragos recovered at the Tampa Bay 18 yard line. The Bucs lost 17-9.

SARA DiNATALE | Times

Ferg's Sports Bar in downtown St. Petersburg reopened this morning.

FERG'S REOPENS AFTER TEMPORARY SHUTDOWN

Ferg's Sports Bar in downtown St. Petersburg reopened at its usual time today at 11 a.m., a day after the popular eatery was shut down for 42 health violations — including nine "high-priority violations." According to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the violations ranged from food not properly stored and food accumulation on cooking surfaces to "insects, rodents or other pests" inside the restaurant.

TAMPA TO OFFER FREE DOWNTOWN SHUTTLE ON BUSY WEEKENDS

Downtown Tampa has a dozen or so weekends a year with so many big events that gridlock becomes a problem and easy parking vanishes. To alleviate such an "unintended consequence" of newfound success, officials are moving ahead with plans to launch a free shuttle to lesser-used lots on the busiest weekends.

FIVE THINGS MISSING IN GOP BID TO UNSEAT RUBIO

In his long shot bid to defeat Marco Rubio, Republican Carlos Beruff has yet to ignite the type of political grass fire that two years ago took out a top Republican leader in the U.S. House and nearly claimed four U.S. Senators.

NEWCOMER PAINTS FOES AS REPUBICANS

Augie Ribeiro says he's the only "true Democrat" running for Florida Senate District 19 — and he's spent at least $141,000 on mailers alone to tell voters that. His glossy ads land in mailboxes with an uncommon frequency. As of late, they've had a pointed message: Ribeiro, not his opponents — all three of whom have served in the Florida House of Representatives — is the only one with real democratic values running in the Democratic primary.

SURVIVORS MEET HOLLYWOOD ON 'DEEPWATER HORIZON' SET

The filmmakers behind Deepwater Horizon don't want it to be just another action flick. "You remind yourself every day why you're doing it, who you're doing it for," says Mark Wahlberg. "The 11 people who lost their lives and people affected by it." The $150 million production is slated to open in theaters nationwide Sept. 30.

PUSH TOWARD 'TRASH FISH' MAY HELP ENDANGERED SPECIES

Earlier this month, Louies Modern hosted the area's third annual Trash Fish Sarasota, a celebration of "bycatch" — the undesirable fish that sneak into nets sent to snare more prized varieties — as well as underused, invasive or aquafarmed seafood species. It's a phenomenon that is happening across the country.

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Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Updated: 10 hours ago
Aquarium reopens to divers

Aquarium reopens to divers

Florida Keys News BureauVisitors to Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters dive with among indigenous Keys fish Friday in Marathon. The attraction reopened Friday after closing just before Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sept. 10. Although tourism f...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

MIAMI — With burrowing iguanas showing up in people’s toilets and damaging expensive sewer lines, Florida wildlife managers are stepping up efforts to control the state’s booming population of the wild, invasive reptiles. The Florida Fish and Wildlif...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Fan helps fund Miami Stadium’s historic marker

MIAMI — For thousands of kids who grew up in Miami, going to the old Miami Stadium in the Allapattah neighborhood was a part of coming of age. Opened on Aug. 31, 1949, with a game between the Miami Sun Sox and Havana Cubans, two Class B Florida Inter...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

OCEAN CITY, Md. — Phil Heasley of Naples caught the fish of his life, but the $2.8 million in tournament prize money got away. Heasley reeled in a 6-foot white marlin last year off Maryland’s coast. But in a sign of how concerned some big money tour...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Updated: 11 hours ago