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News at noon: ISIS allegiance; TIA renovation; Dontae Morris, saving Florida's strawberry; The Wiz; Bucs and Baker's Dozen

Trinity Cuellar, 2, puts a candle down at a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, on Thursday in San Bernardino, Calif., for the victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. [Associated Press]

Trinity Cuellar, 2, puts a candle down at a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, on Thursday in San Bernardino, Calif., for the victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. [Associated Press]

Tashfeen Malik, the wife in the couple blamed in the deadly California shootings, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and the terror group's leader on Facebook using an alias then deleted the messages before the attacks, the Associated Press reports.

Tampa International Airport made it a priority to hire local construction firms when it came time to divvy up nearly $1 billion in renovation and expansion jobs. So far that appears to be paying off. Of the 142 companies that are working on projects at the Tampa airport, 122 are local or have a regional office here.

A Hillsborough judge has handed down a third death penalty sentence for convicted cop killer Dontae Morris, who could face yet another murder trial in the coming year.

Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, is stepping down, Gov. Rick Scott announces.

Vance Whitaker and his colleagues are growing some 10,000 strawberry plants this year. If the team is lucky, one of those plants might be the one that rescues Florida's strawberry industry.

The U.S. economy generated another month of solid hiring in November, making it highly likely the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates from record lows later this month. The Labor Department said Friday employers added 211,000 jobs last month.

Super fast pacing and excessive commercial breaks couldn't sap the fun out NBC's The Wiz Live! Thursday night. Ultimately, The Wiz is about the music, though, and the singing was aces.

Scott Weiland, the former frontman for the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, has died at 48. Jay Cridlin writes that like Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, and Andrew Wood, Weiland has joined the Mount Rushmore of grunge gods gone too soon.

In today's Bucs Scouting Report, we take a look at the Atlanta Falcons. And Matt Baker previews the weekend's college football matchups in his Baker's Dozen.

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: ISIS allegiance; TIA renovation; Dontae Morris, saving Florida's strawberry; The Wiz; Bucs and Baker's Dozen 12/04/15 [Last modified: Friday, December 4, 2015 11:46am]
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  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  4. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman

    Health

    TAMPA — When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Throughout her battle with brain cancer, Beth Caldwell, 35, keeps her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7, on her mind.
  5. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.