Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: Latest on tropical depression; Rubio-Murphy race already heats up; Bucs-Redskins tonight; mourners remember Higgins

Rain bands will continue to drench Florida's gulf coast on and off today through Friday as Tropical Depression Nine strengthens into a tropical storm and turns toward the state's Big Bend, forecasters say. Expect flooded roadways and treacherous commutes. Meantime, Gov. Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for Tampa Bay. Get the latest updates from our blog.

NEXT: RUBIO, MURPHY VIE FOR KEY SENATE SEAT

Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy easily won their primaries Tuesday, setting up a battle over the next 70 days that promises to play a critical role in determining which political party controls the U.S. Senate for the next two years. Rubio wasted no time by challenging Murphy challenged Democrat Patrick Murphy this morning to six live, televised debates before the November election.

FOR BUCS AND REDSKINS, THE SHOW GOES ON

Tampa Bay and Washington meet in the final preseason game, rescheduled to tonight at 7 due to expected severe weather expected from the tropical system in the gulf. Of course, the weather likely won't be all that accommodating tonight, making it more likely the teams will play a mix of backups and players who will be gone before Saturday's cutdown deadline. So there are some things for fans to watch.

CHRIS URSO | Times

Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco arrives at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa for the funeral service for Monsignor Laurence Higgins.

MOURNERS GATHER TO REMEMBER MONSIGNOR HIGGINS

Thousands of mourners are expected this morning at St. Lawrence Catholic Church for the funeral of Monsignor Laurence Higgins, whose influence in Tampa was felt far beyond the parish he founded in 1958. Higgins, 87, died Aug. 24.

GRAHAM: GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO RELEASE MORE 9/11 INFO

Former Sen. Bob Graham this morning sharply criticized government secrecy over 9/11, saying the recent release of 28 pages of classified information is only an opening into what the American public deserves to know.

HISTORIC COMMERCIAL FLIGHT LANDS IN CUBA

JetBlue Flight 387, the first U.S. commercial flight to Cuba in more than half a century, has landed in Santa Clara, re-establishing regular air service severed at the height of the Cold War.

$170 PER VOTE AND STILL NOT A WINNER

Tuesday night's primary election was not kind to candidates who pumped hundreds of thousands of their own money into their races. The 10 state legislative candidates with the most personal cash on the line together spent $4.36 million on primary races -- and just two look like they're going to win.

TOO MUCH TO DRINK? HOLD THE PICKLE JUICE

Cure your hangover with help from Times food critic Laura Reiley, an idea sparked by a recent party at which there was overexuberance and an impromptu sleepover. Research brought in a multitude of ideas, and she set about to test some.

RAYS, RED SOX FINISH SERIES WITH FENWAY MATINEE

After a tense 4-3 win on Tuesday night, the Rays wrap up their series in Boston today with a 1:35 p.m. matinee. LHP Drew Smyly will be on the mound for the Rays, knuckleballer RHP Steven Wright for the Red Sox. Get updates from reporter Marc Topkin on our live blog from Fenway Park.

ROUSON, NARAIN ENTER NEW PHASE IN STATE SENATE RACE

It's going to be a long week -- or weeks -- for the candidates of state Senate District 19. State Rep. Darryl Rouson, leads state Rep. Ed Narain by only 61 votes, a margin of just 0.16 percent. Recounts in Florida are triggered anytime a candidate leads by a margin within one-half of 1 percent. So what's next?

SEPTEMBER BRINGS BARGAINS AT STATE ATTRACTIONS

After the heat and crowds of summer, the many bargains available in September at Disney World, Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo and other attractions are a fall bonus for Floridians. The weather might not be crisp yet, but there are many deals in the wind.

Times photo

Bill and Dulcinea Kimrey have cookie cutters for many occasions for their custom-made cookie business, Silly Monkey Cookie Co. in Tampa. Some of the cutters were handmade by Bill.

COUPLE BAKES TO HELP THEM HEAL AFTER STILLBIRTH OF SON

It's late, and their day jobs are done, and here they are, just like every other night, baking cookies. In a side business they never foresaw, Bill and Dulcinea Kimrey make hundreds of sugar cookies, week after week, for weddings, birthday parties, baby showers. They bake, sometimes until the wee hours, before shutting off the lights and heading for bed, passing a door that always remains shut.

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.

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Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Senate race motivated Alabama’s white, black evangelical voters in different ways

Senate race motivated Alabama’s white, black evangelical voters in different ways

Nationally, the word "evangelical" has become in recent years nearly synonymous with "conservative Republican" and Alabama is one of the most evangelical states in the country. But in Alabama, there is a difference: black Christians.While in many par...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Gators crash volleyball power party, play national semifinal Thursday

Gators crash volleyball power party, play national semifinal Thursday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s difficult to call a volleyball program that has been to the Final Four eight times an underdog, especially the way Florida rallied to beat Southern California and punch its latest ticket. Yet of the four schools descending on ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Dec. 13

Wednesday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 3, St. Petersburg 1Girls basketballPalm Harbor U. 42, Largo 25
Updated: 4 hours ago
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith named to fill Franken seat

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith named to fill Franken seat

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Wednesday to fill fellow Democrat Al Franken’s Senate seat until a special election in November, setting up his longtime and trusted adviser for a potentially bruising 2018...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida Toys for Tots charity raffles off AR-15 rifle. Gun debate ensues.

Florida Toys for Tots charity raffles off AR-15 rifle. Gun debate ensues.

SPRING HILL — Hernando County Commission Vice Chairman Steve Champion wanted to do something to help raise money for the annual Toys for Tots drive. So he donated the grand prize for the Nov. 18 raffle:It was an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.That led to ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Thefts from cell towers interrupted service, deputies say

Thefts from cell towers interrupted service, deputies say

Lost cell signal recently? The culprit could be a 40-year-old Ruskin man who deputies said stole thousands of dollars worth of the equipment that powers cell towers. The theft interrupted cell tower signals on at least two occasions, deputies said, i...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Foot washes ashore in Canada, again; Abbas wants U.S. out as Mideast mediator; 12 sentenced to life for gang-raping kids; more in world news

Foot washes ashore in Canada, again; Abbas wants U.S. out as Mideast mediator; 12 sentenced to life for gang-raping kids; more in world news

CanadaJust another foot washing ashoreAnother human foot has been found on British Columbia’s coastline, the 13th such grim discovery since 2007. Police said a man was walking on the beach in Jordan River on Vancouver Island when his dog found the fo...
Updated: 5 hours ago