An Orlando man faces animal cruelty charges after witnesses told police he reached into the flamingo pen at Busch Gardens, pick up a Chilean flamingo, and throw the bird to the ground. The flamingo, Pinky, had to be euthanized because of her injuries, the park said. Anthony Corrao, 45, who was visiting the park with his family, was taken into custody.
HILLSBOROUGH APPROVES FERRY PILOT PROGRAM
Hillsborough County commissioners unanimously approved a proposed ferry pilot program that would link the downtowns of St. Petersburg and Tampa throughout the winter. The proposal is still awaiting approval from the Tampa City Council — which votes on Thursday — as well as St. Petersburg and Pinellas County officials.
TRUMP RETURNS TO THE SUNSHINE STATE
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is back in Florida, with a town hall at 3 p.m. at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, followed by a rally at 7 p.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Follow @learyreports and @JeremySWallace on Twitter for coverage.
FENNELLY: PATH FOR NEXT DUNGY STILL ROCKY ONE
On Saturday, Tony Dungy will become the first African-American head coach in the modern era to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I'm happy, I'm proud," Dungy says, "but I also I know I shouldn't have been the first." Indeed, Dungy blazed trails for other black coaches, but there is still more road to travel, writes columnist Martin Fennelly.
Florida Highway Patrol
CRASH CLOSES SB LANES ON I-275 IN TAMPA
Southbound lanes on Interstate 275 are blocked in Tampa following a crash involving a semitrailer truck. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the lanes near Exit 46B (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) underneath Interstate 4 were closed around 10:45 after the truck jackknifed, spilling concrete onto the roadway. The driver was not injured after losing control, and drivers should seek alternate routes.
CDC BOSS: BATTLE AGAINST ZIKA MOSQUITOES FALLING SHORT
The mosquitoes spreading Zika in Miami are proving harder to eradicate than expected, says Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as authorities sprayed clouds of insecticide in the ground-zero neighborhood, emptied kiddie pools and handed out cans of insect repellent to the homeless.
NO DEATHS AFTER FLIGHT WITH 300 ABOARD CRASHES IN DUBAI
An Emirates flight from India with 300 people on board crash landed at Dubai's main airport Wednesday, sending black smoke billowing into the air and halting all traffic at the Middle East's busiest airport. There were no fatalities and all the passengers were safely evacuated before the plane was engulfed in a fireball.
RUBIO TO HELP OPEN FLORIDA GOP FIELD OFFICE
Amid skepticism and second-guessing over whether the Donald Trump campaign and Florida GOP that has been all but abandoned by Gov. Rick Scott can or will field a robust get-out-the-vote operation, the Republican Party of Florida announced that Sen. Marco Rubio will be on hand in Panama City for the first of "many" campaign office openings across the state.
LOREN ELLIOTT | Times
MUTANTS COULD FIGHT ZIKA, BUT MISINFORMATION SPREADS
Throughout Key West, people are swatting away. They give it a moment's consideration, then turn back to their children, their conversations, their cocktails. This story is not the stuff of campfires and nightmares. But it might be the scariest story of all. Because the little mosquito they live with has the power to kill them, to doom their children, to scare away their chief industry and scar their community. And they're more afraid of the hero — genetically modified mosquitoes — than the monster.
GASPARILLA FILM, MUSIC FESTIVALS JOIN FORCES
The Gasparilla International Film Festival and Gasparilla Music Festival are coordinating efforts for the 2017 celebration in hopes of leveraging their individual cachet into a powerhouse entertainment experience. The event will begin on March 2 with the film festival. On March 11 and 12, the music festival will take over.
READ IT BEFORE YOU SEE IT: 'SUICIDE SQUAD'
The number of comic book-based movies and TV shows hitting screens in the past couple years is overwhelming. Fear not, fellow nerds, the Tampa Bay Times has you covered. We created guides to essential comics and graphic novels you should read before or after seeing the movies Marvel and DC will bless us with in the next four years.
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