Friday, September 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Our most memorable stories of 2016; Amazon Echo raises privacy issues; recalling the Woody Hayes punch; and remembering all those crazy animal tales this year

A look back on Tampa Bay area news from 2016 might carry a warning: Hold your nose. There was mud flinging and sludge slinging, with Gawker on trial over a sex video and St. Petersburg's mayor feeling the stink of trial by sewage. But the news wasn't all bad. As the year comes to a close, Tampa Bay Times editors chose 10 state and local stories that stood out, presented in no particular order here.

ALEXA, WILL YOU TESTIFY AGAINST ME? POPULAR AMAZON ECHO DEVICE RAISES PRIVACY ISSUES

Is your Christmas gift spying on you? A murder case out of Arkansas raises new questions about privacy in an age of ever-more sophisticated — and intrusive — technology. And it involves Amazon's best-selling holiday product, the Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled speaker that has sold millions. This complicated case, first reported by tech news website The Information, has legal and technological experts assessing how our expectations of privacy shifts as technology becomes more embedded in our everyday lives.

MURDERED FLAMINGOS, DOG-EATING ALLIGATORS, SPRAY-PAINTED TURTLES AND ANOTHER YEAR IN FLORIDA ANIMALS

[Busch Gardens, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

Pinky, a Chilean flamingo, was thrown to the ground and killed Tuesday at Busch Gardens. Park guest Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45 (inset), faces a felony charge in the death.

We've seen a bear cub survive a wildfire and dog who fell off a boat and into a propeller pull through. Wildlife officials reminded locals to stop painting turtles, Batman the Pig found a new home and we said goodbye to Pinky the Flamingo after one of the most bizarre stories of 2016. Ah, another year in Florida animals. Sara DiNatale recounts all the crazy animal stories she's written this year.

BIG CORPORATE GIVERS TO AREA UNITED WAY SUNCOAST HOLD STEADY BUT OVERALL CONTRIBUTIONS SLIP A BIT

Call it a revealing holiday tradition. United Way Suncoast, the non-profit community organization that helps pool area charitable fundraising, unveiled its third annual list of the 100 "most generous" workplaces in the four counties it serves: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota and DeSoto. It should be no surprise as to which company made the list.

SECOND MAN ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH MURDER IN CONNECTION WITH DEADLY TEMPLE TERRACE HOME INVASION

The search for the second suspect in this week's deadly home invasion ended early Friday in a Tampa hospital. Hillsborough sheriff's deputies arrested Leroy Monsalvatge, 24, without incident at Florida Hospital and charged with him first degree murder, among other charges. He had been admitted for an unrelated illness.

REPUBLICAN MEDIA STRATEGIST ADAM GOODMAN COULD WORK FOR A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE IN 2018 GOVERNOR RACE

If Democratic Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine makes a run for governor, as he's widely expected to, he may have a surprising media strategist — Adam Goodman of Tampa. Goodman is a nationally prominent Republican media strategist whose clients have included John McCain's presidential campaign, Republican governor and Senate candidates in a half-dozen states, Attorney General Pam Bondi and numerous Florida GOP congressional candidates. He was just named a teaching fellow in media and politics at Tufts University.

FIESTA BOWL: FORGET PAYBACK, CLEMSON QB DESHAUN WATSON PAYS IT FORWARD

[Getty Images]

Deshaun Watson is interviewed by ESPN after Clemson's win over Louisville in October.

A dozen years ago, Deshaun Watson, his single mom Deann and three siblings were residing in government-run apartments in Gainesville, Ga. The primary landscaping was clotheslines. Crime sprouted like weeds through the sidewalk cracks. Watson was 9 when he returned from a trunk-or-treat function at a local church with a bag full of Halloween candy and a Habitat for Humanity pamphlet nestled inside. They were the recipients of a new home, thanks to former Bucs running back Warrick Dunn. Watson has helped construct Habitat homes. Oh, and this: He has evolved into one of the greatest football players in Clemson history.

OHIO STATE-CLEMSON STIRS MEMORIES OF WOODY HAYES, CHARLIE BAUMAN AND THE PUNCH

Ohio State and Clemson are playing again, for the third time in history, and that can mean only one thing, Martin Fennelly writes. You know, other than Saturday's national playoff semifinal. We get to remember Woody Hayes and Charlie Bauman. We get to remember The Punch.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS-CAROLINA PANTHERS PREDICTIONS FROM THE TAMPA BAY TIMES STAFF

The Times' Bucs writers offer their predictions for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium.

YOU CAN WATCH DISNEY WORLD'S NEW YEAR'S EVE FIREWORKS ONLINE SATURDAY

[Walt Disney World]

For those of us who would rather curl up in our jammies on New Year's Eve than brave the crowds, Walt Disney World will live stream the Magic Kingdom fireworks show online Saturday night. The fireworks show, called Fantasy in the Sky, is an extravagant one, with fireballs sent into the sky from multiple launch sites around the theme park, not just behind Cinderella's Castle.

BEST OF 2016: REVIEWING THE YEAR IN REVIEW, FROM ALBUMS TO SONGS TO CONCERTS

Wow, 2016. What a great year, huh? Actually, no, Jay Cridlin writes. It was an unbearable dirge of angst and loss that stretched for 12 solid months. We lost some amazing musical talents, including some Tampa Bay favorites, and pondered our own mortality in the process. It's time for a fresh start. Bring on 2017! But before we do that, let's look back at Soundcheck's year in review, one last time, with feeling.

WINTER TV PREVIEW: PREMIERE DATES FOR NEW AND RETURNING SHOWS

Did you think you were going to have a break to catch up on other shows? Nope. Starting Sunday, your TV will be fully loaded with new stuff, such as the highly anticipated fourth season of Sherlock. So bookmark this list to make sure you don't miss the new shows(*), and your returning favorites. We're not including midseason premieres, only new seasons of returning series.

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'Divorce Court' woman accused of sex with boy, 15; he says he may have fathered her newborn

'Divorce Court' woman accused of sex with boy, 15; he says he may have fathered her newborn

HUDSON — A 26-year-old woman has been charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery after a 15-year-old boy told deputies he could be father of her newborn child, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. The boy, who has not been nam...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, trying to bounce back

For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, trying to bounce back

After Thursday's crushing loss in which they blew a six-run lead in the ninth, the Rays will try to bounce back and keep their even longer-shot playoff hopes in play.RHP Diego Castillo will serve as the opener again today, with LHP Jalen Beeks likely...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Carlton: The siege of Red Tide: No walk on the beach

Carlton: The siege of Red Tide: No walk on the beach

This week, on one of the last mornings of summer, I went walking on one of our Gulf beaches, the sunrise warming my back. It could not have been prettier — the sky cloudless, the water a quiet blue, a lone Brown Pelican skimming the surface.If you co...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Hillsborough school district releases list of referendum purchase items

Hillsborough school district releases list of referendum purchase items

TAMPA --- Anderson Elementary School will get two new playgrounds. Chiles Elementary will get carpets and floors. Madison Middle School will get new stage lights and a repaved parking lot.All that, and air conditioning overhauls throughout the school...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Watch: A southern white rhinoceros calf just a week after being born at ZooTampa

Watch: A southern white rhinoceros calf just a week after being born at ZooTampa

TAMPA — A southern white rhinoceros gave birth to a calf at ZooTampa on Sept. 12, marking the sixth successful birth of the species in the zoo's history. In a news release, ZooTampa said southern white rhinoceroses are a nearly threatened spec...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Spring Hill man set fire to ex-girlfriend’s home in July

Deputies: Spring Hill man set fire to ex-girlfriend’s home in July

SPRING HILL — A 27-year-old man was arrested Thursday in connection with a July building fire, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Christopher Lamar Jamison of Spring Hill faces 10 counts of attempted murder and charges of arson and agg...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

Before Ryan Fitzpatrick filled the sky with footballs, connecting on deep passes and touchdowns, he was just the guy standing between the Bucs and what looked like a long losing streak after the suspension to quarterback Jameis Winston.But following ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The guys who brought you Tampa’s Armature Works plan high-end offices next door

The guys who brought you Tampa’s Armature Works plan high-end offices next door

TAMPA — Coming soon from the developers who brought you the Armature Works: Heights Union, two high-end office buildings next door to the trendy food hall, event space and co-working complex overlooking the Hillsborough River.Developers said Friday t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Franklin on Twiggs restaurant opens in former downtown Tampa Pita Pit location

Franklin on Twiggs restaurant opens in former downtown Tampa Pita Pit location

DOWNTOWN — After a falling out with the Pita Pit corporate offices, Andrew Turek, the former owner of the SoHo location sold the property to Shula Burger and decided to open a new eatery and market called Franklin on Twiggs in the former downt...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Forward Adam Erne flicks the puck into the net, but he has no time to celebrate.He flips around. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Snow flies off his skates. Erne then squares his body as he arrives in the defensive zone, steps away from the net.Within a secon...
Updated: 2 hours ago