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News at noon: Howard Frankland Bridge crash; Rubio in Tampa; Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker; 10 Florida strawberry facts; Peyton Manning retires; Nancy Reagan photo gallery; Okeechobee music fest review

An accident involving several vehicles on the northbound span of the Howard Frankland Bridge blocked multiple lanes Monday morning and caused major delays, according to Florida Highway Patrol reports. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]

An accident involving several vehicles on the northbound span of the Howard Frankland Bridge blocked multiple lanes Monday morning and caused major delays, according to Florida Highway Patrol reports. [LARA CERRI | Times]

Sen. Marco Rubio brings his campaign to the Tampa Convention Center this evening. Some supporters of Rubio say bad strategy and a poorly run campaign are killing his chances to gain the GOP presidential nomination, according to a Washington Post report. Follow the event in our live campaign blog.

More than 1 million voters have already cast ballots in advance of next week's Florida presidential preference primary. Balloting is on pace for turnout to set a new record for a presidential primary.

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed into law changes to Florida's death penalty sentencing system in an effort to bring the state in line with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The bill requires juries to have a greater say in death penalty cases and requires that at least 10 of 12 jurors must agree on a recommendation to impose a death sentence.

Were you stuck in traffic this morning? A multiple car accident shut down the northbound lanes of the Howard Frankland Bridge and had traffic backed up for hours.

Attorneys for Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media are making opening statements today in Hogan's $100 million invasion of privacy lawsuit against the website for posting a video of Hogan having sex with the wife of his former best friend, Tampa DJ Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

Carol Kurdell, Hillsborough County's longest-serving School Board member and a close ally of former Superintendent MaryEllen Elia, is not seeking re-election. While tired of the dissent among board members, she said that's not the main reason for her decision to step down at the end of her term.

Tampa Bay has added to its ranks of larger public corporations now that Manitowoc Foodservices, a maker of commercial food service equipment from ice makers to beverage equipment, has spun off from its Wisconsin parent and began trading as an independent company.

We're at the height of Florida Strawberry season, so what better time than now to bring you 10 facts about strawberries that might surprise you.

For all the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and all-star jam sessions the inaugural Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival threw at fans on Friday and Saturday, it was the fest's final act on Sunday that served as its ultimate trump card, writes Jay Cridlin. Mumford and Sons are THE rock act you book if you want to run with the big boys of modern rock festivals; by snapping them up for only their second-ever Florida gig, Okeechobee organizers were lobbing a gauntlet directly at any doubters.

Rita Moreno will receive a lifetime achievement award April 2, after a 6 p.m. screening of her new comedy, Remember Me, at this year's Gasparilla International Film Festival. Now in its 10th year, the festival runs March 30 through April 3 at Tampa Theatre and Ybor City's Muvico Centro Ybor 20. Here's the complete lineup.

Peyton Manning's days of decoding defenses and recuperating in cold tubs are over. The five-time MVP is retiring after 18 NFL seasons, dozens of passing records, five MVP trophies and two Super Bowl championships. A news conference is expected at 1 p.m. Manning may not have been the best quarterback, but he showed what was possible. He created the passing game as we know it in 2016 and, in turn, forced defenses to adapt and disguise and get better.

Manning isn't the only player retiring today. Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Logan Mankins is retiring after 11 seasons in the NFL. Mankins, 33, officially informed the Bucs of his decision this morning, although the news is not a surprise to the team.

The University of Illinois has made the hiring of former Bucs coach Lovie Smith official, and his new contract as the Illini head coach will save the Bucs $4 million over the next two years.

The Rays are heading south again today to face the Red Sox in a 1:05 pm. game at Fort Myers, with Matt Moore making his spring debut. Moore has looked sharp thus far in camp during bullpen and batting practice sessions. He is a key part of the Rays rotation after finishing last season strong having struggled in his initial return from Tommy John elbow surgery. Find Marc Topkin's updates in our live Rays blog.

NANCY REAGAN: A LIFE REMEMBERED

Associated Press

President Barack Obama escorts former first lady Nancy Reagan after signing the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act on June 2, 2009, during a ceremony in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington

Our All Eyes photo gallery takes a look back at the life of former first lady Nancy Reagan, who died Sunday of congestive heart failure at age 94.

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.

News at noon: Howard Frankland Bridge crash; Rubio in Tampa; Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker; 10 Florida strawberry facts; Peyton Manning retires; Nancy Reagan photo gallery; Okeechobee music fest review 03/07/16 [Last modified: Monday, March 7, 2016 1:44pm]
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  1. Tampa driver dies after swerving off Interstate 4 into canal

    Accidents

    PLANT CITY — A Tampa driver swerved off Interstate 4 Wednesday morning, plunging into a canal in a fatal crash, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

  2. Editorial: Scott should keep demanding better for seniors in nursing homes

    Editorials

    The horrific story of elderly Floridians dying from the heat in a Broward County nursing home after surviving Hurricane Irma grows more outrageous. Even as a ninth death has been reported, the nursing home blames the state and has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Rick Scott's move to prevent it from accepting new …

    Even as a ninth death has been reported, the nursing home blames the state and has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Rick Scott’s move to prevent it from accepting new patients or Medicaid payments.
  3. DCF announces $133 million in federal aid for low-income families who lost food during Irma

    Hurricanes

    An additional $133 million is being distributed to Florida low-income families to help replace food destroyed by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Department of Children and Families announced today.

    The United States Department of Agriculture has made $133 million available to Florida low-income families to help them replace food damaged during Hurricane Irma
  4. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Luis Flores, executive chef at Ciccio Restaurant Group, prepares an Impossible Burger at Epicurean Hotel's Food Theatre. Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that will launch on Sept. 27, 2017 in all the Ciccio Restaurant Group locations, except for Fresh Kitchen. "This burger caters to the carnivorous, not just the vegetarians" said Jeff Gigante, co-founder at Ciccio Restaurant Group. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  5. Plan your weekend: Sept. 22-24: Buffyfest, Arcade Fire, Howl-O-Scream, Wanderlust 108 and 'Rent'

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Pop show

    Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: Pop culture meets pop music when the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that tributes ground-breaking pop artists, on Saturday will play with eight vocalists for "Once More with …

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.