Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned in the wake of campaign shake-up and revelations about his work in Ukraine. In a statement issued as he arrived in Louisiana to tour the flood-ravaged state, Trump said Manafort offered his resignation this morning. The billionaire called Manafort "a true professional." Manafort's resignation comes a day after The Associated Press reported that confidential emails from Manafort's firm contradicted his claims that he had never lobbied on behalf of Ukrainian political figures in the U.S.
RUBIO'S DILEMMA: SUPPORT TRUMP WITHOUT HURTING OWN CHANCES
Dangerous. Wholly unprepared. Lunatic. Con artist. Those are direct words from Marco Rubio about Donald Trump, and as Rubio said in a widely noted interview Monday, he stands by everything. But the Florida Republican also stands by Trump, whom he once vowed to oppose at all cost. These are uncharted times for Republicans and Rubio's attempt to balance antipathy for his former rival with loyalty to the party is perhaps the country's most stunning illustration of the problems (and opportunities) Trump is creating.
SCOTT CANCELS TAMPA APPEARANCE TO DISCUSS ZIKA IN MIAMI
Early Friday morning, Gov. Rick Scott cancelled an appearance in Tampa at Aero Simulation, where he was to tout the latest Florida jobs numbers (26,000 new jobs in July, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity). At the same time the cancellation was announced, Scott's office disclosed that he would hold a news conference at the Miami-Dade County Health Department regarding the Zika virus. The area of transmission is expected to expand to include Miami Beach, which is the linchpin of South Florida's tourism economy. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.
Luis Santana | Times
LAST WEEKEND TO DIVE INTO THE BEACH TAMPA
It turns out plenty of people in Tampa Bay want to play in a ball pit. It doesn't hurt that it's free to flop around in the stunning exhibit of all-white plastic bubbles at the Beach Tampa in Amalie Arena. But it's also just plain fun, so more than 80,000 people have snapped up the free timed tickets, an arena spokeswoman said, and it's on track to hit the 100,000 mark by the time the exhibit ends on Thursday.
BUCS FACE BIG TEST FROM BORTLES, JAGUARS
The Bucs have their second game of the preseason at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Channel 38, WMOR) against the Jaguars, and the two teams know each other well, having spent two days this week in joint practices. Expect Bucs starters to play more than the 18 or so snaps they got last week in Philadelphia. Here are five things to watch for as the Bucs take another step closer to the Sept. 5 final roster cut deadline and the Sept. 11 season-opener at Atlanta:
LOCHTE APOLOGIZES FOR NOT BEING MORE CANDID ABOUT INCIDENT
U.S Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has apologized for his behavior surrounding a late-night incident at a Rio de Janeiro gas station, saying he should have been more "careful and candid" about how he described what happened. Lochte said in a lengthy post on Instagram that he was apologizing for his role in taking the focus away from other Olympic athletes. "This was a situation that could and should have been avoided," Lochte said. "I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons."
EVE EDELHEIT | Times
SISTER FINDS WORDS TO HONOR MISSING AIRMAN
It was just a bone fragment, a small piece from a human skull, but pulled from the icy expanse of an Alaska glacier, it proved enough to solve a mystery six decades old. "It stirred everything back up again," said Coralee Hays, 77, of Redington Shores, remembering the phone call she received from the Air Force in February with the news about her step-brother. or one moment that day, Hays could breathe easy with the answer she had sought so long. But only for a moment. Now, there was a eulogy to prepare — a daunting prospect for a woman who had never in her 77 years written or spoken for an audience.
GRIM NEWS KEEPS VISITORS FROM ORLANDO THEME PARKS
Heading into this summer, all signs were pointing to another banner year for Florida's attractions after five straight years of record-setting attendance and revenue leaps. Gas prices were dropping and new roller coasters and attractions were coming online. arrested in the double shooting on Ninth Avenue on Tuesday that ended in one death, according to St. Petersburg police. Police announced Friday that Michael Murray, 26, had been arrested on charges of first degree murder and felony murder. Police had already arrested Neville Chambers, 21.
MEETING TODAY COULD ESTABLISH DOZIER SCHOOL MEMORIAL
A task force is going to try to come up with recommendations on how to deal with the legacy of a shuttered reform school. The group is meeting today and scheduled to vote on plans for a memorial for the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, located 60 miles west of Tallahassee. Some former students have accused school officials of physical and sexual abuse. The Florida Legislature this year passed a law that calls on the group to make recommendations for a memorial and figure out what to do with any unclaimed remains that were found on school grounds.
Jim Stem | TIMES
MOTION: JOY CULVERHOUSE DIDN'T WANT CHILDREN TO BENEFIT FROM ESTATE
Even in her 90s, Joy Culverhouse was a woman of "strong will'' who made one thing perfectly clear — she didn't want her children to inherit any of her millions. That's the latest claim in the battle over the estate of the widow of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse Sr. In a motion filed this week in Hillsborough County probate court, representatives of the estate are trying to quash attempts by Hugh Culverhouse Jr. and his sister, Gay Culverhouse, to revoke their mother's will and a multi-million dollar trust. The siblings don't have legal standing to challenge the will, the motion says, because Culverhouse disinherited them long ago.
REALTOR FINDS NICHE SERVING LGBT MARKET
Initially settling on Tampa, where he had friends, Greg Burton bought and restored a house in Hyde Park. A year later, in 1997, Burton crossed the bay to St. Petersburg. While fixing up a house in the Old Northeast, he got his real estate license and embarked on a new career as a Realtor whose specialty is working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender buyers and sellers.
TAMPA POLICE MANE ARREST IN BEATING OF MAN, 81
A man police had sought as a "person of interest" in an attack on an 81-year-old man was arrested early Friday on robbery and aggravated battery charges. Carlos Alberto Cordero, 47, was arrested at 2 a.m. at the Meridian Pointe Apartments on Hillsborough Avenue, about a mile south of where Alfred Watton was found seriously injured. Cordero was booked in the Orient Road Jail just after 6 a.m. and held on $22,500 bail.
DIRK SHADD | Times
ST. PETERSBURG CITY THEATRE STRUGGLES TO CLIMB OUT OF DEBT
The struggling St. Petersburg City Theatre, which scrapped its planned 2016-2017 season lineup, is hardly alone. The number of community theaters in Tampa Bay has fallen off since the 1990s, when there were more than two dozen. Now, there are about half that.
FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE STAYS AT 4.7%
For the third straight month, Florida's unemployment rate has remained at 4.7 percent, with 28,100 jobs added in July, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Friday. Compared to July 2015, the rate was down half a percent; the state has added 250,200 jobs since last year. However, unemployment rose in counties around Tampa Bay.