Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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

Jenna Irmler  was located near a convienence store in Pasco County, officials said.  [Find Jenna Facebook page]

Jenna Irmler was located near a convienence store in Pasco County, officials said. [Find Jenna Facebook page]

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.

News at Noon: Missing girl found safe; teacher incentives considered; Mattis says Russia must 'prove itself'; author Connelly headed back to Tampa 02/16/17 [Last modified: Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]