Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: High security for college football championship; Republicans ready to repeal Obamacare; soldier accused of online sex with minor; best albums of 2016

First responders on horses and bicycles will patrol the huge crowds expected for the College Football Playoff Championship at Raymond James Stadium when Tampa becomes the center of the college football universe next month. Tampa police and fire officials gathered Thursday in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park to brief reporters on the massive effort to provide security at the high-profile event.

HOW VIEW-MASTERS AND 3-D GLASSES HELPED TAMPA LAND THE BIG GAME

Before Tampa could win the bidding war to host this year's College Football Playoff National Championship, the city had to lose one first. What was it about Tampa that ultimately secured next week's game? Here's what people close to the bid, both within the community and college football, had to say:

REPUBLICANS READY SWIFT OBAMACARE REPEAL WITH NO REPLACEMENT

The first major act of the unified Republican government in 2017 will be a vote in Congress to begin tearing down Obamacare. But the euphoria of finally acting on a long-sought goal will quickly give way to the reality that Republicans — and President-elect Donald Trump — have no agreement thus far on how to replace coverage for about 20 million people.

SHOPPING YEAR IN REVIEW: MORE STORES CLOSED AND STRUGGLED

Sports Authority closed all its stores, Aéropostale, Pacific Sunwear and American Apparel filed for bankruptcy protection and Macy's and Wal-Mart struggled. It was a tough 2016 for retail, but a new wave of fresh retail companies are lining up to take over the spaces of those that sputtered out before them.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF MEDIA DAY

[Matt Baker | Times]

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts chats with reporters during Thursday's Peach Bowl media day at the Georgia Dome.

Times staff writer Matt Baker was at the Peach Bowl's media day in Atlanta where Nick Saban, Chris Petersen and Jalen Hurts spoke, and has some quick nuggets from the news conference with No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Washington. Check out our Road to Tampa for additional updates and coverage throughout the college football playoffs, leading to the national championship game on Jan. 9.

WATCH THE BIRMINGHAM BOWL WITH US

You can follow live coverage of the University of South Florida Bulls taking on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Birmingham Bowl starting at 2 p.m. on our live blog.

SOLDIER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH PINELLAS MINOR

A Fort Campbell, Ky, soldier was arrested Wednesday after Pinellas County deputies say he had a 10-month sexual relationship with a minor over the Internet. Peter Maxx Matlock, 23, was arrested at his parents' home at 1566 Ridgewood Street in Clearwater around 7:45 p.m.

THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2016

Radiohead's latest is one of critic Jay Cridlin's top albums of the year.

It was the year of surprise releases, the year of celebrity deaths, the year that the only thing predictable about the music industry was that no one could predict the future. It was also the year of Beyonce. All of that and more, you'll find in critic Jay Cridlin's Top 10 list of the best albums of 2016.

10 BOOK-INSPIRED TV SHOWS COMING IN 2017

In a time when the glut of primetime network television is melodramatic cop sagas and cheesy family comedies more and more book-based series are popping. Here are just 10 of them premiering in the next year.

Comments
Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Aint no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Aint no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp vehemently denied allegations that he sexually harassed a female employee when he worked at the NFL Network during a radio appearance this afternoon in Miami."Ain’t no #MeToo," the former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer said on the And...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
After shark video arrest, 5 other instances where trouble followed social media posts

After shark video arrest, 5 other instances where trouble followed social media posts

Be careful what you post on social media.The viral video of a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope led to the arrest of three men on Tuesday, but it’s not the first time a post on social media has landed someone in trouble.Here are fivd such ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago

Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Goodman: The night Alabama woke up America

Goodman: The night Alabama woke up America

After weeks during which the people of Alabama were prejudged as incapable or unwilling to decipher right from wrong, they proved themselves by blazing a new path to virtue.They defied tradition. They defied political party. They defied the elites wh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ernest Hooper: Alabama vote shows Democrats should quit taking black vote for granted

Ernest Hooper: Alabama vote shows Democrats should quit taking black vote for granted

Former NBA player Charles Barkley established himself as a truth-teller long before the term became vogue.His controversial "I am not a role model" commercial drew a mix of outrage and support during his playing days, and his critical eye serves him ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Column: In Trump World, the need for disobedience

LONDON — Dog lovers tend to find each other in life, for the rest of humanity is, after all, suspect. On a long flight recently, I fell into a conversation with a woman about dogs. It turned into a conversation about disobedience, and the world’s cur...
Updated: 1 hour ago

When to see the Geminid Meteor Shower light up Tampa Bay (w/video)

Folks around Tampa Bay will be treated to quite the light show Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.And it has nothing to do with Christmas.The Geminid Meteor Shower will produce as many as 120 meteors per hour.The best time to view? We hope yo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Federal Reserve boosts key interest rate for third time this year

Federal Reserve boosts key interest rate for third time this year

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is raising its benchmark interest rate for the third time this year, signaling its confidence that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing 8˝ years after the end of the Great Recession. The Fed is lifting its short-...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg police sergeant demoted after throwing bullet at fellow officer

St. Petersburg police sergeant demoted after throwing bullet at fellow officer

ST. PETERSBURG — A long-tenured St. Petersburg police sergeant and executive vice president of the local police union is being demoted to the rank of officer after he threw a bullet at another officer while on duty, the department said on Wednesday.J...
Updated: 2 hours ago