Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: John Oliver vs. Donald Trump; Osama bin Laden's will; Seminole gambling compact; Stu Sternberg; Strawberry Festival

Opponents of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump are fired up this week over a rant by John Oliver, who spent 21 minutes pillorying the brash billionaire on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight." In the screed, Oliver references our Pulitzer Prize winning website PolitiFact and mentions Trump Tower Tampa that never materialized.

In his handwritten will, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden claimed he had about $29 million in personal wealth — the bulk of which he wanted to be used "on jihad, for the sake of Allah." The will was released in a batch of more than 100 documents seized in a May 2011 raid that killed bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Mired by the prospect of uncertain court rulings and constant infighting by an aggressive industry, the Florida Senate signaled Tuesday that efforts to rewrite the state's gambling bills and ratify a gaming agreement with the Seminole Tribe may be dead for the session.

Dr. John Armstrong's confirmation as state surgeon general has again been postponed after the Gov. Rick Scott appointee didn't have enough support in a Senate panel. And he may not get another shot.

During a rare panel conversation, Bucs owner Bryan Glazer, Rays owner Stu Sternberg and Lightning owner Jeff Vinik shared a message: Good seasons and bad seasons happen. Taxpayer money for improved stadiums and arenas may be called for on occasion. But each team wants to be a long-term contributor to improving the Tampa Bay community. And, of course, added Sternberg: "We all want to win."

An estate in Odessa owned by a notorious Ponzi schemer and former Republican bigwig might well have been the short sale deal of the decade. Not only did buyers get the 8,000 square foot lake front home for the bargain price of $1.1 million, the sellers didn't have to pay the nearly $4 million they still owed two lenders.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg gave a state of the franchise address today in Port Charlotte, saying he is confident the team is improved over last year but acknowledging that the level of competition in the AL East is greater.

The Florida Strawberry Festival has a special place in the hearts of the Band Perry. It's where singer Kimberly Perry met her future husband, major league catcher J.P. Arencibia. "He was in spring training," said bassist Reid Perry, Kimberly's brother. "He knew a couple of guys at the radio station there in Tampa, and they actually brought him to a meet-and-greet. None of us knew exactly why he was there, other than he was a baseball player and he knew the radio guys. But a couple of months later, it came out that he was there to meet Kimberly." As festival tales go, that one's hard to top. No wonder it happened at the down-home, low-key Strawberry Festival, which kicks off its 81st year of shortcake and country music Thursday.

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Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

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VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

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WASHINGTON — White House physician Ronny Jackson has grown frustrated with the nomination process to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs and has told colleagues he may remove his name from consideration, two White House officials with knowledge o...
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A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors aren’t happy.

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CLEARWATER — The first thing John Trevena noticed about his new neighbors was the color of their house: Pepto-Bismol pink.It didn’t worry Trevena, a criminal defense lawyer who moved into the three-bedroom rental home next door in 2015."I knew it was...
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Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

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LAND O’LAKES — Kayla Peña filled up her water bottle then returned to her lunch table at Sunlake High School when she heard a commotion in the cafeteria on Tuesday afternoon.A female student was riled up, walking back and forth, Peña said, screaming ...
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