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News at Noon: Hurricane Matthew continues northward trek; no swimming at Clearwater Beach; Jobless rate ticks up; FSU-Miami still on ... for now

Half of Florida's east coast is still bracing for Hurricane Matthew's destructive path, 120 mph winds and up to 10-foot-high storm surges. While Fort Pierce and South Florida largely dodged a major hit, Gov. Rick Scott reminded Floridians on Friday morning that the storm is not over. As of 11 a.m., the storm was still packing 120 mph winds and located about 35 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach and about 95 miles southeast of Jacksonville, and moving north-northwest at 12 mph. We have teams in Fort Pierce, Titusville, Daytona Beach, St. Augustine and Jacksonville, so check out our live blog for the latest.

CLEARWATER BEACH CLOSED DUE TO HIGH WINDS

High winds from Hurricane Matthew forced Clearwater officials to close Clearwater Beach to swimmers. Conditions deteriorated, with waves rising to 3-5 feet and winds whipping at between 35-40 mph, prompting lifeguards to raise the double red flags indicating the beach was off-limits.

U.S. JOBLESS RATE TICKS UP TO 5 PERCENT; EMPLOYERS ADD 156K JOBS

U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs last month, a decent gain but also a sign that hiring has slowed from its strong pace last year. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5 percent from 4.9 percent, but mostly for a positive reason: More Americans came off the sidelines and looked for work, though not all found jobs.

FLORIDA STATE-MIAMI GAME STILL ON, FOR NOW

It seems as if the Florida State-Miami game will go on as scheduled, at 8 p.m. Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium. The Seminoles are on their way to Miami for the game, despite Hurricane Matthew, FSU assistant coach Tim Brewster tweeted. In other news, there seems to be growing doubt that the LSU-Florida game (initially scheduled for Saturday at noon in Gainesville) might ever take place.

WHY ARE CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE POLICYHOLDERS STATEWIDE PAYING FOR A 'WATER CLAIMS' CRISIS IN SOUTH FLORIDA?

If not for litigation — much of which Citizens Property Insurance questions as fraudulent — over non-weather-related water damage caused by things like busted water pipes or leaky roofs, most of the insurer's customers across the state would be paying less.

[Winston: DIRK SHADD | Times, Mariota: Getty Images]

WINSTON, MARIOTA SLUMPING BECAUSE OF TURNOVERS

We're only a quarter of the way through the 2016 NFL season, but Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota -- last season's first two draft picks -- have been awful. Most troubling, Tom Bassinger writes, is that both have been more prone to turnovers than they were as rookies

WOMAN WHO HAS BABY WITH MOM'S WOMB: IT'S 'SCIENCE FICTION'

When the young Australian cervical cancer patient learned she had to lose her womb in order to survive, she proposed something audacious to the doctor who was treating her: She asked if she could have a womb transplant, so she could one day carry her own baby.

MEET THE CONSERVATIVE GROUP THAT'S DRIVING HILLARY CLINTON'S EMAIL SCANDAL

Tom Fitton and the lawyers at Judicial Watch unearthed a bombshell. Scouring through a cache of documents tied to the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack that killed four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, they discovered an email with the subject: PREP CALL with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET. What followed was a list of Sunday news show talking points that a top Obama administration official prepared for Susan Rice, then ambassador to the United Nations, "to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy."

HIGH WINDS SEND BUCS TO RAY JAY

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said his team would have to be ready for sudden change this week as Hurricane Matthew moves north along the state's east coast, bringing high winds and rains across the state. And due to those high winds, the Bucs moved their Friday morning practice across the street from One Buc Place to Raymond James Stadium, where they'll hold both their scheduled walkthrough and regular practice.

[Tampa Police Department]

Tampa police are searching for three unidentified suspects accused of stealing over $7,000 worth of eyeglasses from Patterson Eye Center in Tampa Monday night.

TAMPA POLICE SEARCH FOR SUSPECTS IN EYEGLASSES THEFTS

Tampa police are searching for three unidentified suspects accused of stealing more than $7,000 worth of eyeglasses on Monday night. The suspects backed up a newer-model, white Dodge van to the front door of Patterson Eye Center, 2917 W Kennedy Blvd., around 11:45 p.m.and used a pry bar to enter the store, according to police.

TIMES STAFF PICKS BUCS-PANTHERS GAME

The Tampa Bay Times Bucs coverage team makes its picks for the Bucs-Panthers Monday night game in Charlotte, N.C.

[DIRK SHADD | Times]

The Lightning's announcement that it will retire Martin St. Louis' No. 26 during a ceremony during a Jan. 13 game against Columbus stirred emotions among fans who resented how St. Louis left Tampa Bay.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DECISION TO RETIRE ST. LOUIS' NUMBER?

When owner Jeff Vinik on Thursday announced that Marty St. Louis will be the first player in Lightning history to have his number retired, it elicited strong opinions. Those who recall fondly St. Louis' 17-year career — 13 with the Lightning — rejoiced in the news that the former Bolts captain will be honored. Others, stung by the trade St. Louis forced to the Rangers in 2014, felt differently. We want to know how you feel. Vote in our poll and leave us your thoughts on the decision.

HAVE YOU MADE YOUR WEEKEND PLANS?

If you were hoping to get outside this weekend, you're in luck. Hurricane Matthew should be long gone, as far as Tampa Bay is concerned, meaning skies will clear and — at least after Saturday morning — folks should be able to enjoy some good outdoor quality time. Check out our weekend planners to help you set your agenda.

A billboard canvas flaps in the wind after Hurricane Matthew passed off shore, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in North Palm Beach.  Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight with the strongest winds of 120 mph just offshore as the storm pushed north, threatening hundreds of miles of coastline in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. [Associated Press]

A billboard canvas flaps in the wind after Hurricane Matthew passed off shore, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in North Palm Beach. Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight with the strongest winds of 120 mph just offshore as the storm pushed north, threatening hundreds of miles of coastline in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. [Associated Press]

News at Noon: Hurricane Matthew continues northward trek; no swimming at Clearwater Beach; Jobless rate ticks up; FSU-Miami still on ... for now 10/07/16 [Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2016 12:09pm]
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