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News at Noon: GOP debate recap; Cruz/Rubio eligibility hearing today; #HulkvGawk continues; Double tolling in Tampa; Plastic surgeon operates live on Snapchat; Tom Jones on Rays' defense; Okeechobee festival updates

U.S. senators Marco Rubio, left, and Ted Cruz shake hands during a break in last month's Republican presidential primary debate in Houston. [New York Times]

U.S. senators Marco Rubio, left, and Ted Cruz shake hands during a break in last month's Republican presidential primary debate in Houston. [New York Times]

• The remaining Republican presidential candidates participated in a debate last night at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. It was moderated by Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace of Fox News. Here's your watercooler recap, awkward manhood references and all. And from Who told the truth — and who didn't? We performed live fact-checks during last night's show. Browse the Truth-O-Meter roundup.

• More than 170 lobbyists, political professionals, fundraisers and other veterans of Florida politics participated in the latest Tampa Bay Times Poll. What the Florida Insiders say about the mayhem in the GOP primary and what it will mean for Rubio, Trump and Clinton.

• Local leaders threw their two cents into the primary race, as well. All seven members of the Tampa City Council are endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy.

• Are Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz "natural born citizens" eligible to run for U.S. president? Rubio was born in Miami in 1971 to Cuban immigrants who became citizens a few years later. Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban-born father and American mother, who moved to Texas when Cruz was four. The case will be heard in a Broward County court today. Check back this afternoon for news on the two GOP candidate's future.

• It's the last day of jury selection in the #HulkvsGawk trial. Terry Gene Bollea (a.k.a. Hulk Hogan) is looking to win $100 million in damages from Gawker, a New York-based news website, for publishing an excerpt of his sex tape in 2012. Follow our live blog for updates on the trial and the subsequent social media explosion after each one.

• In real estate transactions, the most visible players are the agents representing buyers and sellers. But it is the work of appraisers that helps determine the true value of a home and what a bank is willing to loan.

• Jobs report: U.S. employers added a robust 242,000 workers in February as retailers, restaurants and health care providers drove another solid month for the resilient American job market. The unemployment rate held steady at a low 4.9 percent.

• For the first time ever in the United States, a toll road is getting an even more expensive toll lane. That road is Veteran's Expressway in Tampa. While some experts say it's not double tolling but offering more options, others say "lower income people can be priced out."

• Three Pinellas County charter schools are experiencing "deteriorating" finances, according to the Pinellas school district. The schools are managed by the same company, Newpoint Education Partners.

• Spaghetti Warehouse will close its restaurant in a former Ybor City cigar factory after serving the Tampa Bay community for more than 25 years. The restaurant's last day is next week.

• Two days after Christmas, a Tampa police officer spotted an old Honda with an expired tag and stopped it on the Courtney Campbell Causeway. From a marijuana bust to a search on a computer tablet in the car, did Tampa police go too far?

• A tummy tuck, breast implants, all happening in real time on your mobile device. Meet Dr. Miami, the Florida plastic surgeon who operates live on Snapchat.

• Oh, you enjoyed the Crawleys of Downton Abbey when they were the hot new thing. Each week, you waited on pins and needles to learn the next catastrophe to strike the family. But then you drifted… Never fear! You won't embarrass yourself in front of the die-hard Abbots with this crash course in Downtonology.

• If there's one storyline to pay close attention to this spring, it's seeing if the Rays can still play defense, Times sports columnist Tom Jones writes.

• This inaugural Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival is under way in South Florida. With artists like Mumford and Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant and the Avett Brothers, you'll want to follow along as Pop Music Critic Jay Cridlin blogs and live tweets at Florida's premiere indie rock festival. Just in time for you Tampa Bay area concert goers, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar released new music last night.

• If you know Florida, you know the Sunshine State has a legendary case of the crazies. As with all good legends, over time, it can be tough to sort the myths from the truth. Take our True Florida Quiz. Can you spot the bogus Florida headline?

News at noon is a weekday feature from Check in Monday through Friday for updates and information on the biggest stories of the day.

News at Noon: GOP debate recap; Cruz/Rubio eligibility hearing today; #HulkvGawk continues; Double tolling in Tampa; Plastic surgeon operates live on Snapchat; Tom Jones on Rays' defense; Okeechobee festival updates 03/04/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2016 1:23pm]
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