Monday, November 20, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: Missing girl found safe; teacher incentives considered; Mattis says Russia must 'prove itself'; author Connelly headed back to Tampa

RECOMMENDED READING


Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

MISSING 11-YEAR-OLD FROM BRANDON FOUND SAFE IN PASCO

Jenna Irmler, the 11-year-old with Asperger's syndrome missing from her Brandon home, has been found safe and in good condition, Sheriff David Gee said this morning. According to the sheriff, the sixth-grader was located in Pasco County but it was unclear how she got there. "Everything points to the fact that she left on her own," Gee said.

FLORIDA LAWMAKERS CONSIDER SPENDING $200 MILLION ON TEACHER INCENTIVES

The amount of money Florida spends to recruit and keep good teachers for its K-12 public schools could potentially quadruple next year, under tentative plans being crafted in private by Republican House and Senate leaders ahead of the 2017 session.

MATTIS: U.S., RUSSIAN CAN ENGAGE POLITICALLY, NOT MILITARILY

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that Russia will need to "prove itself first" before the U.S. and other members of the NATO are willing to let their armed forces collaborate — a complicating factor in cooperation that President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discussed adopting against the Islamic State in Syria.

MICHAEL CONNELLY IS HEADING BACK TO TAMPA TO FINISH HIS NEW BOOK

Internationally bestselling author Michael Connelly is a busy man these days. In addition to writing two novels this year instead of his usual one, he's deeply involved in the early stages of Season 4 of Bosch, the Amazon TV series based on his 19 novels. He'll be in Tampa this week to work on his new novel and to appear at a screening Sunday of The Lincoln Lawyer, based on his 2005 book. He recently talked with Times book editor Colette Bancroft.

ST. PETERSBURG CITY COUNCIL AGENDA: NEW POLICE HQ, RENOVATING AL LANG STADIUM

The potential price tag of St. Petersburg's new police headquarters continues to rise as City Council members today tentatively approved $4.2 million more to add energy efficient features and more parking. The council is also expected to consider an ordinance to authorize a referendum on renovating Al Lang Stadium for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Follow Times reporter Charlie Frago (@CharlieFrago) on Twitter for updates.

HENDERSON: MAKE TIME FOR KIDS TO HAVE RECESS AT SCHOOL

While society in general celebrates the active lifestyle, educators demand the youngest kids sit and absorb. To be fair, public school administrators grapple with the ever-increasing academic requirements from politicians using them as a piñata. But, writes columnist Joe Henderson, kids need time to be kids and blow off a little steam.

RAYS ADD TOMMY HUNTER, LOOKING AT BRIAN HUNTER

The Rays are set to add another experienced reliever to their spring roster as they are close to signing right-hander Tommy Hunter to a minor-league deal, the Times has learned. Tampa Bay also has an interest in Brian Wilson, 34, who is trying to make a comeback as a knuckleballer, having last pitched in the majors in 2014. The Times' Marc Topkin catches you up on the latest from Rays camp in his Heater blog.

POLK COUNTY BRUSH FIRE IS UNDER CONTROL

A brush fire that spanned across thousands of acres in Polk County and prompted the evacuation of at least 800 homes early Wednesday is under control this morning, according to state fire officials. The evacuation order was lifted for Indian Lake Estates, where the blaze burned through 1,500 acres.

LINEUP ANNOUNCED FOR GASPARILLA FILM FEST

Gasparilla International Film Festival organizers announced this year's lineup, including Jordan Roberts' Burn Your Maps in the prized opening night slot. The festival's closing night slot goes to Unleashed, a comedy directed by Finn Taylor and starring Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates fame, plus Sean Astin, who has previously visited the festival. Find more details about the lineup and festival here.

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.

Comments
How did UCF go from 0-12 to unbeaten? Coaching and chemistry

How did UCF go from 0-12 to unbeaten? Coaching and chemistry

ORLANDO — The marvel of Space Mountain dissipated decades ago. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall at Universal, while a nifty defiance of gravity, has its ups and downs. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? Please. To many locals, Orlando’s most dizzying experience — ...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
‘I tried,’ mother of killer Adam Matos says at sentencing

‘I tried,’ mother of killer Adam Matos says at sentencing

NEW PORT RICHEY — His family described him as a loving, kind-hearted father. His neighbors regarded him as quiet and respectful. His friends recalled him as "happy-go-lucky," a "laid-back, fun guy."Thirteen witnesses told of a softer side of Adam Mat...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin’s not at fault for struggling running game

Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin’s not at fault for struggling running game

TAMPA — RB Doug Martin had just 38 yards on 19 carries in Sunday’s win against the Dolphins, but coach Dirk Koetter said his team’s struggles running the ball shouldn’t go squarely on his running back."In my opinion, he is not the reason we’re not mo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sex assault reports declining at MacDill despite increase militarywide

Sex assault reports declining at MacDill despite increase militarywide

TAMPA — The number of sexual assaults reported to officials at MacDill Air Force Base has decreased dramatically during the past three years even as reports across the military have increased slightly, new Pentagon statistics show.Officials at MacDil...
Updated: 1 hour ago
UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

GAINESVILLE — At last, there’s some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.The Gators sent a group — including president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin — to New Hampshire on Sunday to talk with the former Oregon coach about U...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NTSB report details steep turns and dives preceding Roy Halladay’s fatal crash

NTSB report details steep turns and dives preceding Roy Halladay’s fatal crash

Before he crashed, Roy Halladay flew within 75 feet of houses and skimmed the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a report published Monday by the National Transportation Safety Board.The report, which did not address the cause of the crash, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

TAMPA — The Bucs are sticking with Ryan Two and Oh Fitzpatrick at quarterback for Sunday’s game in Atlanta.But this isn’t a case of just riding the guy who has the cool head and hot hand.Doctors would not clear starter Jameis Winston to begin throwin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Adam Matos sentencing begins; Seminole Heights thanks first responders; and more

Top 5 at noon: Adam Matos sentencing begins; Seminole Heights thanks first responders; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:SENTENCING PHASE CONTINUES IN TRIAL OF ADAM MATOS, FOUND GUILTY IN MURDER OF FOURThe sentencing phase begins Monday in the trial of Adam Matos, convicted Friday of first degree murder in the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
UPDATED: Crocodile spotted lurking on Florida beach has been captured (w/video)

UPDATED: Crocodile spotted lurking on Florida beach has been captured (w/video)

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Authorities say they’ve captured a 6-foot (2-meter) crocodile that came ashore on a Florida beach.News outlets report that wildlife officers caught the large reptile Monday afternoon on Hollywood Beach.Hollywood spokeswoman Joann Hu...
Updated: 2 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Nick Ferrini and Kellyn Trowse

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Nick Ferrini and Kellyn Trowse

HomeTeam Hot Shots Nick Ferrini, MitchellOn Monday, Ferrini embarked on a five-day cruise with 30 family members. "Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it," he said. Destinations during the trip include Key West, The Bahamas and a...
Updated: 2 hours ago