Tuesday, January 23, 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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Florida may hand out school vouchers to bullied students

Florida may hand out school vouchers to bullied students

TALLAHASSEE — Florida students who get bullied may get taxpayer help to attend a private school.A Senate panel on Monday voted for a bill that would allow students who are victims of bullying, physical attack, robbery and other types of violenc...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

NEW YORK — Guillermo del Toro’s lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" fished out a leading 13 nominations, Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated for best director and "Mudbound" cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history as the f...
Updated: 23 minutes ago

Truck carrying frozen chickens catches fire on I-75 in Brandon

Southbound lanes on Interstate 75 were closed in Brandon early Tuesday morning after a semi-trailer carrying frozen chickens caught fire.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 52-year-old Brian Keith Jester, of Venice, was driving southbound near S...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Five Hernando County educators nominated for LifeChanger of the Year Awards

Hernando County Public Schools has five educators in the running for prizes ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 in the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year awards. The program will give out 17 awards.Travis Bruns and Doug Poteet of Pine Grove Elemen...
Updated: 1 hour ago
MacDill crews shift from Islamic State battle to join winter fight against Taliban

MacDill crews shift from Islamic State battle to join winter fight against Taliban

Now that the fight against the largely defeated Islamic State is winding down, the U.S. Air Force is turning its efforts toward the Taliban and moving aircraft and crews to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.Crews and a KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refue...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Alaska hit by 7.9 earthquake; tsunami warning canceled

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck off Alaska’s Kodiak Island early Tuesday, prompting a tsunami warning for a large swath of the state’s coast.Officials at the National Tsunami Center canceled the warning after a few tense hours a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
More teacher protests and another charter school approval expected at the Hillsborough County School Board meeting

More teacher protests and another charter school approval expected at the Hillsborough County School Board meeting

TAMPA — This will seem familiar: Teachers are mobilizing to protest outside Tuesday’s Hillsborough County School Board meeting about their frozen pay rates.And this too: A vote is expected on a new charter school.Florida Connections Academy is a virt...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Naomi Parker Fraley, the real Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96

Naomi Parker Fraley, the real Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96

Unsung for seven decades, the real Rosie the Riveter was a California waitress named Naomi Parker Fraley.Over the years, a welter of American women have been identified as the model for Rosie, the war worker of 1940s popular culture who became a femi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, joking that he "used to be a comedian" and playing with a jazz band in his hometown as a retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault ca...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Daystarter: Seminole Heights suspect could face death penalty; soggy commute across Tampa Bay; Oscar nominations released today; Lightning shut out Blackhawks

The Daystarter: Seminole Heights suspect could face death penalty; soggy commute across Tampa Bay; Oscar nominations released today; Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• Those Monday evening showers could linger to saturate Tuesday morning’s commute, according to 10Weather WTSP. They’ll move out by the afternoon as a cool — not quite a cold —...
Updated: 3 hours ago