Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

News at noon: Harper Lee dies at 89; Mourners pay respects to Scalia; American planes in Libya; Jeb Bush loses favor in Florida; Mold property flips to 'lovely' home; Gary Clark Jr. review; USF basketball

• Beloved author Harper Lee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for To Kill a Mockingbird has died at the age of 89, according to a report on AL.com. To Kill a Mockingbird, Miss Lee's debut novel, sold 40 million copies and became an award-winning movie as well as one of the most widely read and beloved books in American literature.

• Thousands of mourners — from the president and members of Congress to former justices and tourists — are expected to pay their respects to the late Justice Antonin Scalia as the casket rests in the Supreme Court's Great Hall. Follow the latest on ceremonies at the Supreme Court paying tribute to Scalia, who was found dead last Saturday.

• In Libya, local officials estimated that more than 40 people were killed with more wounded, some critically, when American warplanes struck an Islamic State training camp near the Tunisian border this morning. A Tunisian-described key extremist operative likely was killed, the Pentagon announced today.

• Florida's overwhelmingly pro Jeb Bush political establishment has lost confidence in the former governor's presidential campaign. More than six in 10 of the more than 125 veteran Florida politicos participating in the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll, say Bush should suspend his campaign if he finishes no better than fourth place in tomorrow's South Carolina presidential primary.

• Follow our live blog: Tampa Bay Times is on the campaign trail as South Carolina takes center stage in the 2016 presidential election. Political Editor Adam C. Smith and Washington Bureau Chief Alex Leary are on the road with the candidates.

• With a dwindling pool of state money available to cover the uninsured, lawmakers are increasingly turning one of the lowest-cost options of all: charity clinics. At more than 100 clinics across the state, low-income Floridians can receive health care for much less than it would cost to buy insurance, often for free or a small donation.

• Gov. Rick Scott's greatest source of enduring frustration, the Florida Legislature, is once again threatening to derail his political agenda as the 2016 session enters the home stretch. Scott's insistence on $1 billion in tax cuts appears dead in the Senate, a result of conflicting priorities and a less-optimistic outlook on the state's revenue.

• A construction company with worker deaths at stadiums and in Tampa is now in charge of construction at a Tampa stadium. Manhattan Construction will lead the renovation of Raymond James Stadium with a quick turnaround to finish by the start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium. Earlier this month Manhattan Construction was on the losing end of a $53 million lawsuit related to a worker death during the renovation of Texas A&M's Kyle Field, which also face deadline pressure.

• Saturday marks the one and only time that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public hearing on its proposal to knock manatees off the federal endangered species list, even though boaters killed more manatees last year than they did in 2014.

• Several years ago, a sewage pipe backed up and flooded a home in St. Petersburg's upscale Snell Isle neighborhood. The owner put the house on the market, warning that the property was being sold for land value, due to contamination by sewage and mold. The house was pulled from the market, foreclosed and relisted this month as a "lovely and spacious pool home." How could a house become "lovely" after being so "contaminated" that almost everyone agreed it needed to be torn down?

• Shelves lined with square eye glasses, round glasses, some tortoise shell colored, and others with titanium frames now make up half of what used to be the bookstore inside the Oxford Exchange. What you need to know about the Warby Parker story opening at Tampa's Oxford Exchange.

• Gary Clark Jr.'s sizzling, sold-out concert last night at Jannus Live showed the Texan can play a mean guitar and sing the blues, channeling both Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray like no one else.

• Derby Lane is heating up with Husker Magic nearing 100 victories. Why Valentine's Day couldn't have been any kinder to the Kennel 8 sweetheart.

• Like the couple-thousand others who convene at the Sun Dome on game days, USF athletic director Mark Harlan sees the ridiculously long row of guys in gray warmups on the Bulls' men's basketball bench, either ineligible or incapacitated.

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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