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News at Noon: Latest on Charlotte; Tampa Bay home prices soar; 'Infiltrator' author sued; stretch of I-75 closed in Pasco

Protesters rushed police in riot gear at a downtown Charlotte hotel and officers  fired tear gas to disperse the crowd Wednesday night. [Associated Press]

Protesters rushed police in riot gear at a downtown Charlotte hotel and officers fired tear gas to disperse the crowd Wednesday night. [Associated Press]

After a second night of violent protests, Charlotte's police chief says he plans to show video of an officer shooting a black man to the slain man's family, but the video won't be immediately released to the public. Chief Kerr Putney says the video does not definitively show Keith Lamont Scott pointing a gun at anyone. The video could be key to resolving the chasm between police, who say Scott refused repeated commands to drop his gun, and residents who say he was unarmed.

TAMPA BAY HOME PRICES JUMPED 20% IN AUGUST

The figures outpaced all other metro areas in Florida. The big year-over-year price gain was great news for sellers, pushing the bay area's median price to $209,900 with even higher amounts in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. But the increase in prices was propelled by a continued — and worrisome — shortage of homes for sale both in the bay area and nationwide.

TAMPA-BASED AUTHOR OF 'THE INFILTRATOR' SUED ON DEFAMATION CLAIM

The grandson of the former president of Colombia says Robert Mazur's book and the film based on it portray him "as a hedonistic, bisexual member of the Medellin cartel, who drinks alcohol and uses drugs in excess." He claims to be a family man who does not drink. He wants all depictions of him in the book and movie halted.

FHP: STRETCH OF I-75 IN PASCO CLOSED AFTER SUSPECTS FLEE TRAFFIC STOP

Authorities have closed a portion of southbound Interstate 75 in Pasco County after a suspect fleeing a traffic stop was hit by a car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The southbound lanes at Mile Marker 277, near the rest area, were closed about 10:30 a.m. The traffic stop involved a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent and several suspects who fled from their car, the highway patrol said.

A rendering shows the core part of the new pier design. Other features have been stripped away to keep it within budget.

'THE ST. PETERSBURG PIER, BROUGHT TO YOU BY ...'

Money is tight for the planned 25-acre Pier District, even with a budget of $66 million. It can't be stretched to get some of the most intriguing and desired features architects proposed. But city officials say they have come up with a way to help finance the project: corporate sponsors.

SEWAGE WOES HIGHLIGHT BUSY DAY FOR ST. PETERSBURG CITY COUNCIL

The City Council will likely spend much of its energy on the latest twists and turns of the city's sewage crisis at its meeting, but members are also expected to give final approval to a $511 million budget and increased utility rates to pay for sewer and stormwater fixes. The meeting begins 1:30 p.m. Stay up to date with Tampa Bay Times reporter Charlie Frago.

KRISEMAN REPLACES TWO WASTEWATER OFFICIALS AS SCOTT ORDERS PROBE

As Gov. Rick Scott ordered the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to investigate St. Petersburg's sewage crisis, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced he was replacing two top city wastewater officials who were intimately involved in the closure of the Albert Whitted plant, the expansion of the city's Southwest plant and have been at the forefront of addressing the city's growing sewage mess.

PASCO DEPUTY FIRED, ACCUSED OF STRIKING RESTRAINED INMATE

A Pasco County detention deputy was fired after he was accused of striking an inmate who was restrained after causing a disturbance in his cell last week. Jorge Febus, 41, was arrested and faces a charge of battery by a secure facility employee on a confined person.

FELON ON PAROLE FLEES AFTER TRAFFIC-STOP SCUFFLE WITH DEPUTY

A Taser-style device didn't work during a Hillsborough deputy's scuffle with a man on parole for crimes including kidnapping and the man managed to escape during a foot chase. Rodshee Jermaine Rayford, 37, is wanted on a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer after a confrontation arising from a traffic stop this morning on 142nd Street in north Tampa. Rayford had an outstanding warrant for parole violation and is considered dangerous, deputies say.

RUBIO, MURPHY DEBATE ON DEBATES, DELAYING MORE DEBATES

With Democrat Patrick Murphy quietly declining debates proposed by two of Florida's largest newspapers and Republican incumbent Marco Rubio adding two other debates to his list of acceptable possibilities, Florida's top U.S. Senate candidates are no closer to mutually agreeing to more debates before Election Day.

PLANNING BOARD MOVES AHEAD ON ST. PETE BEACH HOTEL

TradeWinds' proposed 217-room, 12-story hotel on St. Pete Beach cleared its first hurdle Tuesday when the city's Planning Board approved a conditional use permit for the $55 million project. Meanwhile, opposition is already building among factions that have been blocking hotel redevelopment for the past decade. The next obstacle will be getting City Commission approval Oct. 11.

[Associated Press]

Blue Bell Creameries recalled select flavors of ice cream distributed across the South after finding chocolate chip cookie dough from a third-party supplier for use as an ingredient was potentially contaminated with listeria, the Brenham, Texas-based company announced Wednesday.

BLUE BELL RECALLS IN FLORIDA, NINE OTHER STATES

Blue Bell Creameries recalled select flavors of ice cream distributed across the South after finding chocolate chip cookie dough from a third-party supplier for use as an ingredient was potentially contaminated with listeria. Blue Bell said it was recalling half-gallons and pints of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and half-gallons of Blue Bell Cookie Two Step made at its Sylacauga, Ala., creamery.

BURTON, WINKLER JOINING SHATNER AT MEGACON TAMPA BAY

The first ever MegaCon Tampa Bay has announced a new batch of celebrity guests for the pop culture convention coming to Tampa Bay Convention Center Oct. 28 to 30, including Star Trek: The Next Generation star LeVar Burton and classic TV icon Henry Winkler, of Happy Days fame.

RAYS CONTINUE TO SEND MESSAGE WITH PROMOTION OF QUERECUTO

If Tim Beckham or Taylor Motter didn't get the message about their bad attitudes and poor performances when not getting called up by Tampa Bay after the Durham season ended, or after the Rays signed Alexei Ramirez off the discard pile, well, they certainly should with the addition of Juniel Querecuto. It's the fourth time in the past two weeks the big-league team has added a player who had already gone home, presuming his season was over.

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: Latest on Charlotte; Tampa Bay home prices soar; 'Infiltrator' author sued; stretch of I-75 closed in Pasco 09/22/16 [Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2016 11:58am]
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  1. What you need to know for Thursday, Oct. 19

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    White nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida tonight and the school is on high alert for tensions. [Associated Press]
  2. Bowen: Park land deal raises Penny for Pasco questions

    Environment

    The Penny for Pasco is unambiguous.

    At least it is supposed to be.

    There was no equivocating in 2004 when Penny for Pasco supporters detailed how the sales tax proceeds would be spent: schools, transportation, public safety and environmental lands. No money for parks. No money for recreation.

    Pasco County is considering a loan from its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Mangement Program to buy land for a park in the Villages of Pasadena Hills in east-central Pasco. Shown here is the Jumping Gully Preserve in Spring Hil, acquired by ELAMP in 2009 and 2011.
[Douglas R. Clifford, Times]
  3. Another Tampa Bay agency loses tax credits worth millions in dispute over application error

    News

    LARGO — Another Tampa Bay housing agency has lost out on a multi-million dollar tax credit award because of problems with its application.

    A duplex in Rainbow Village, a public housing complex in Largo. The Pinellas County Housing Authority is planning to build new affordable-housing in the complex but was recently disqualified from a state tax credit award because of an issue with its application.
  4. Live blog: Many unknowns as Richard Spencer speaks in Gainesville today

    College

    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Florida Highway Patrol cruisers jammed the parking lot Wednesday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, part of a big show of force by law enforcement ahead of Thursday's appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]
  5. As Clearwater Marine Aquarium expands, it asks the city for help

    Growth

    CLEARWATER — When Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates saw an architect's initial design for the facility's massive expansion project, he told them to start all over.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium Veterinarian Shelly Marquardt (left), Brian Eversole, Senior Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biologist (middle) and Devon Francke, Supervisor of Sea Turtle Rehab, are about to give a rescued juvenile green sea turtle, suffering from a lot of the Fibropapillomatosis tumors, fluids at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday afternoon. Eventually when the turtle is healthy enough the tumors will be removed with a laser and after it is rehabilitated it will be released back into the wild.  -  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is launching a $66 million renovation to expand its facilities to take in injured animals and space to host visitors. The aquarium is asking the city for a $5 million grant Thursday to help in the project. American attitudes toward captive animals are changing. Sea World is slipping after scrutiny on the ethics of captive marine life. But CEO David Yates says CMA is different, continuing its mission of rehab and release, it's goal is to promote education, not exploitation. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times