Saturday, July 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: How the I-4 corridor picks presidents; why Democrats won't take the state Senate; grading the Bucs: D for disaster; Pokémon Go changes at Ballast Point

The basic political math for winning statewide races has been consistent for decades: Republicans rack up votes in conservative north and southwest Florida; Democrats clean up in the population centers of South Florida; and the two sides battle it out in the high-growth areas along Interstate 4. Who knew this asphalt ribbon would one day become the ultimate political barometer.

WHY DEMOCRATS WON'T TAKE THE FLORIDA SENATE

Republicans have dominated state government for the past two decades. This year could have been different. A legal breakthrough changed circumstances so that Democrats had a chance to take back the Senate. But that won't happen. A Tampa Bay Times interactive graphic explains why.

GRADING THE BUCS' LOSS TO FALCONS: D FOR DISASTER

It was John Lynch Ring of Honor night, a night for defense. "You didn't go and get a hot dog when our defense was on the field," Lynch said of the great Bucs defenses. "You wanted to watch us." Could have grabbed as many hot dogs as you wanted Thursday night when the Bucs lost 43-28 to Atlanta. Another disaster. And on prime-time national television. Times sports columnist Martin Fennelly breaks it down.

[ZACK WITTMAN | Times]

Pokemon Go players, shown here in July during the peak of the game's popularity at Ballast Point Park, are finding fewer game features there now because the manufacturer has complied with a request from Tampa police.

POKÉMON GO DEVELOPER MAKES CHANGES AT BALLAST POINT PARK

Confronted by a wave of players parking illegally and lingering after hours at Ballast Point Park, Tampa police officials asked Niantic in late July to remove the PokéGyms as well as the PokéStops, where players can replenish their avatar's supplies and drop "lures" that cause creatures to appear. After months of silence, the company finally replied.

PARTIES DEADLOCKED AS FLORIDA'S EARLY TURNOUT NEARS 5.3 MILLION

Florida's early voter turnout is at a record 5.3 million with Republicans and Democrats nearly dead even in ballots cast four days before Election Day. Reports posted on the Division of Elections website this morning showed Republicans cast 39.74 percent of votes and Democrats 39.71 percent through Thursday.

TROUBLE IN BIOTECH, YEARS AFTER GOV. BUSH TRIED TO KICK-START INDUSTRY

All is not well in Florida's biotech industry. The latest controversy is being played out in Orlando's 650-acre, once highly touted health and life sciences park called Lake Nona Medical City. That's the Florida home of Sanford Burnham Prebys, an elite California life science research organization recruited at great cost 10 years ago to expand to Florida.

WHAT'S THE BUZZ WITH THE ELECTION DAYS AWAY

With the election four days away, there's plenty buzzing in politics: Donald Trump's in Tampa on Saturday; how did President Obama's Florida visit affect the black vote, Clinton and Trump's TV ad war hits $115 million, and lots more. Check out the Times' Buzz blog for the latest.

SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A REPORTER AFRAID OF HEIGHTS PILOTS A PLANE

Fear of heights? Check. Bad experience on a small plane? Check. Seen a few too many episodes of Why Planes Crash on The Weather Channel? Check. Times reporter Jerome R. Stockfisch has never been a big fan of hurtling through the air, trusting the physics. But with enough cajoling and questioning of courage, and an ICON Aircraft staffer extending a clipboard and pen within reach, he took a deep breath and signed the release.

[SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]

Tampa Catholic senior defensive back Bentlee Sanders leads the Crusaders into Friday night's game against rival Jesuit. After that, Sanders and the Crusaders head into the playoffs.

FOOTBALL'S A BEACON AFTER DARK DAYS FOR TC'S BENTLEE SANDERS

When Bentlee Sanders arrived at Tampa Catholic as a freshman, he immediately started thinking about his future. He wanted to play football in college. He had a schedule, a plan, to earn a scholarship. But a knee injury on top of two tragic family deaths were difficult to overcome. "I just kept saying, 'Why me?' " he said. Bentlee had to repair his psyche, as well as his knee. He never gave up and has committed to play at USF to be near his family.

SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF GREEN FOR COLLARD GREENS

Neiman Marcus caused an Internet uproar this week when it listed frozen collard greens on its website for $66. They come in four, separate, 12-ounce portions. That comes to $22 per pound of greens. Is that too much? Apparently not.

Comments
Carlton: Victorious Ybor chickens make Tampa Tampa

Carlton: Victorious Ybor chickens make Tampa Tampa

A city can be judged on its progress by, say, having sleek rail that gets people where they need to go. Or by being home to big-name corporations or impressive sports venues. Or by the sheer number of tall buildings it boasts.At least for today, you ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Open office plans are as bad as you thought

Open office plans are as bad as you thought

A cubicle-free workplace without private offices is supposed to force employees to collaborate. To have them talk more face-to-face. To get them off instant messenger and spontaneously brainstroming about new ideas.But a recent study by two researche...
Published: 07/21/18
Police identify man killed in shooting at South Tampa McDonald’s

Police identify man killed in shooting at South Tampa McDonald’s

TAMPA — A man died early Saturday after he was shot Friday night in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant in South Tampa.Nicholas A. Mortazavi, 20, was pronounced dead about 3:30 a.m., police said.Police responded to the restaurant at 3515 S Dal...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest Rays player is also nearly the oldest.With All-Star C Wilson Ramos on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Tampa Bay turned to veteran Adam Moore, 34, as the new backup catcher behind Jesus Sucre. Only reliever...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

ST. PETERSBURG — New York Yankees god and former Tampa resident Derek Jeter, who was once going to save the Rays (or so we thought), was at Tropicana Field on Friday night. The Captain had the gall to show up as Miami Marlins chief executive of...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Dolphins owner: Actually, we haven’t decided whether to levy anthem penalties

Dolphins owner: Actually, we haven’t decided whether to levy anthem penalties

Times wiresThe NFL can't seem to get away from the divisive national anthem issue.The latest developments this week assure that, despite the league's wishes, the debate about how to handle players who kneel during the anthem to protest police violenc...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

ST. PETERSBURG –The Rays rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, but their rally came up short as the Marlins held on for a 6-5 win at Tropicana Field.Tampa Bay's bullpen gave up five runs in the seventh, and that was too...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier left Friday's game in the fifth inning when an injury to his right foot that has bothered him since April flared up with the worst pain he's encountered this season.Kiermaier called the injury a "severe bone bruise" an...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Greg Auman’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Marlins game

Greg Auman’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Marlins game

Nathan Eovaldi bounced back nicely following an eight-out, eight-run outing last week vs. the Twins. He lasted six innings, gave up one run and struck out eight. Take away the Twins game and Eovaldi has allowed three earned runs in his past four star...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Pasco sheriff: Woman faked kidnapping attempt on her daughter to frame former business partner

Pasco sheriff: Woman faked kidnapping attempt on her daughter to frame former business partner

HOLIDAY — The mother of a 12-year-old girl was arrested Thursday after authorities said she faked a kidnapping attempt on her daughter in an effort to frame a former business partner.After the mother was taken into custody, detectives said she tried ...
Updated: 10 hours ago