Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: History center to add pirate exhibit; fate saves a tortoise; Pasco sets some medical marijuana parameters; a look at Bucs' playoff scenarios

The Tampa Bay History Center announced that it will begin construction on a third-story expansion, and — yo ho, this seems like a no-brainer near these waters. "We surveyed our audience for what else they would like to see," center president and CEO C.J. Roberts said. "They answered pirates, pirates, pirates." The centerpiece of the 8,500-square-foot project will be a 60-foot replica of a pirate ship that visitors can explore inside and out. There will also be real buccaneer artifacts like cannons and an interactive theater where visitors can choose a swashbuckler-themed adventure game.

GOPHER TORTOISE AVOIDS THE STEW POT, RETURNED TO ITS HOME

Here's a story about a gopher tortoise — marked for study by biologists decades ago and fitted with a radio transmitter — came close to ending up on someone's dinner plate after someone nabbed it in the Archbold Biological Station. But fate was with the gopher tortoise, which is classified as a threatened species in Florida.

PASCO SETS LOCATIONS FOR SOME MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSERS

County commissioners have decided that retailers with a conditional permit can sell low-THC medical marijuana — approved by the Legislature in 2014 — in districts zoned for light industrial use, but did not decide how many would be allowed to do so. The commission also authorized a one-year moratorium in Pasco on dispensaries tied to the Amendment 2 referendum approved in November.

IN OR OUT? BREAKING DOWN THE BUCS' PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

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Even if Jameis Winston and the Bucs lose at Dallas, they have paths to the postseason.

NFL playoff scenarios can be complicated -- a combination of a win by this team and a loss or tie by that team and so on -- but with three weeks left in the regular season, the Bucs' paths to the playoffs can be distilled to a few possibilities that can play out between now and Jan 1. The Times' Greg Auman lays them out.

AD PLEADS WITH FLORIDA ELECTORS NOT TO ELECT TRUMP

A political group founded by a California activist horrified by President-elect Donald Trump bought a full page ad in Florida's biggest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, urging Florida's 29 electors not to vote for Trump. The "open letter" says Trump's inauguration "would present a grave and continual threat to the Constitution, to the domestic tranquility, and to international stability."

WATCH REAL REINDEER AND FAMOUS TREES VIA WEBCAMS

If you're looking for a diversion from doing online holiday shopping at work, or even doing work at work, let the power of the Internet transport you to Christmas scenes around the globe. Check out reindeer in Michigan, ice skating in New York or even Christmas trees in Hungary. It's our latest posting in the 12 Blogs of Christmas, featuring stocking stuffer-sized holiday stories about pop culture and beyond. You can find all of them on The Feed blog.

RAYS' DISSENTING VOTE ON MLB LABOR DEAL HARDLY A SURPRISE

That the Rays' Stuart Sternberg cast the reported lone dissenting vote as MLB owners ratified their new labor agreement 29-1 late Tuesday was eye-catching but not really a surprise. The Rays made their dissatisfaction known after the deal was agreed upon last month, and Sternberg still felt strongly enough to make a symbolic statement during the conference call session when his 29 other colleagues voted yes. In short, the Rays felt that the new deal, while it had some small adjustments, did not do enough for them and other small market/low revenue teams in their battle against better funded foes.

CARLTON: HOW NOT TO PARK IN DOWNTOWN TAMPA

Our little city is growing up, especially when it comes to parking your car downtown, writes Times columnist Sue Carlton. Where folks once were able to leave the car nearby, we now fend for ourselves in a downtown that currently boasts 8,100 residents and a workforce close to 60,000. "We just need to get used to it not being right outside the door," says Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning at the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

THAT'S NOT SANTA. THAT'S A FAKE

Young Frances Behrman was immediately skeptical of the man who was supposed to be the main event at the Breakfast with Santa event on Saturday at the Largo Community Center. This wasn't the old, white-bearded, hefty Santa the 7-year-old was familiar with; he was young, dark-haired and skinny. So her father wrote an email to city commissioners that elicited an apology from the city's parks and recreation director.

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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Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

TAMPA — Shaquem Griffin wakes up knowing each day will be better than the last and barely unable to wait until tomorrow."It's just a whirlwind,'' Griffin said.On Thursday, he will walk the red carpet with his family, including his twin brother,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

TAMPA — Confronted in late 2017 with reports of misconduct by substitute teachers hired through a contractor, Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins said he would ask tough questions and demand answers. He had his lawyer, Jeff Gibson, ...
Published: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

DUNEDIN — After losing a four-run lead thanks to a bad sixth inning, it would have been easy for Clearwater Central Catholic to fold against Dunedin in the final of the 49th annual Dunedin Spring Tournament. But quality relief pitching from Gar...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — Roughly four hours before taking the field against his former team Friday, Rays outfielder Denard Span spoke admirably about the Minnesota Twins, their organization in general, even hometown icon Joe Mauer.But business is busin...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

BRANDON — Ryan McDonagh blocks shots. He competes for pucks in the corners and wins those battles. He moves the puck up the ice well. He can join the rush. He can shoot from the blue line. He kills penalties."It was a great pickup by (Lightning...
Updated: 9 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 20

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 15, Central 0
Updated: 9 hours ago
St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

ST. PETERSBURG — The city said not one of the 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water released on Jan. 18 reached Tampa Bay.There was no mention of the waste released from the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility ever reaching the bay in the city’s notice...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Updated: 11 hours ago