Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Plans reveal downtown Clearwater revitalization ideas; minimum-wage protests; a hipster Nativity scene; and real-life Mario Go-Karts at Universal?

A downtown waterfront transformed into a greener space with a garden, marsh pond and picnic areas. Trails for biking or strolling with views of the Intracoastal. A gathering space surrounded by cafes, retail and a splash pad to replace the Harborview Center eyesore currently taking up prime space in the heart of downtown. That's the vision a team of consultants have designed to revitalize Clearwater's struggling downtown after more than six months of community input meetings and study. Although they unveiled the plan publicly at a work session Tuesday, City Council members were reluctant to give their verdicts until residents see the details at two final workshops this week.

WORKERS' STRIKES AND PROTESTS BREAK OUT AT AIRPORTS AND CITIES ACROSS THE NATION, INCLUDING IN TAMPA BAY

Fast-food workers, health care providers, airport workers, child care providers and Uber drivers are protesting in Florida and across the country today in an effort to rally support for a $15 minimum wage hike. Hundreds of workers at some of the nation's largest airports, including Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, are on strike today, which is likely to cause travel delays — including at Tampa International Airport. A rally also is scheduled for noon today at St. Petersburg City Hall.

UNIVERSAL WILL BRING NINTENDO ATTRACTIONS TO ORLANDO THEME PARK

Orlando will be getting a Nintendo-themed area in Universal theme parks, as will parks in California and Japan over the next few years. Universal Parks and Resorts had already announced in May of 2015 that the theme park company had a deal to create attractions based on Nintendo's wildly popular games. It looks like tourists in Orlando will one day be catching life-size Pokemon — or maybe riding real Mario Karts.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: SKIP THE STUFF AND BUY YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY COOL EXPERIENCES

[BRENDAN FITTERER | Times]

Jennifer, left, and James Adams of Brooksville work together during a couples class at Painting with a Twist in Spring Hill in 2016.

Our critics and writers have scoured Tampa Bay to find cool experience gift suggestions, from spa days to cooking classes to flight lessons and concerts. Because while that electronic picture frame catches dust in your closet, you could be jumping out of a plane.

MAN GETS LIFE IN PRISON FOR KILLING 3-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER

Steven Dykes pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for killing his 3-month-old daughter Olivia last year as her mother slept in their Pinellas Park home. Dykes, 46, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

FRESCO FOODS TO OPEN $1.5 MILLION COMMERCIAL KITCHEN AND PRODUCTION FACILITY IN TAMPA

Fresco Foods Inc., a Tampa-based company that makes and sells healthy prepared meals, will open a new commercial kitchen and food service production facility in eastern Hillsborough County next year. The new facility will create up to 50 jobs in operations, customer service and food production.

BUCS ROUNDTABLE: BIGGEST REASON FOR THE THREE-GAME WINNING STREAK

The Bucs' victories over Chicago, Kansas City and Seattle have thrust Tampa Bay into the NFC playoff picture. The biggest reason for that three-game winning streak? Here's the Tampa Bay Times' Bucs coverage team's take.

THIS HIPSTER NATIVITY SCENE IS $130 AND SELLING FAST

Modern Nativity

Joseph is sporting a man-bun and taking a selfie. A latte-swilling Mary is making a duck face with Jesus in the manger. The Three Wise Men are arriving on Segways with Amazon gift boxes under their arms. And the barn animals are eating gluten-free feed. In short, it's the coolest Nativity set of the year. It costs $129.99 at Modern Nativity and it's selling so fast they have a limit of three.

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FBI: Marine flares ignited at Florida mall not a terrorist act

FBI: Marine flares ignited at Florida mall not a terrorist act

LAKE WALES ó Police say two devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.According to the FBI, bomb technicians examining the contents of a backpack found at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales on Sund...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Tampa Bay ranks No. 5 for top moving destinations

Tampa Bay ranks No. 5 for top moving destinations

TAMPA ó Tampa Bay was the No. 5 moving destination in 2017. Penske Truck Rentalís annual list ranks metro areas based on the number of one-way moving truck rentals to them.The Tampa Bay region, which includes Sarasota, held its position from 2016. It...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Jobsiteís ĎThe Tempestí balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

Jobsiteís ĎThe Tempestí balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

TAMPA ó The Tempest begins with shadow play, a ship tossed on high seas. Projected onto a backdrop, the shadow of that ship looks proportionate to the waves that rock it. You see this, even as a daemonic spirit holds a toy replica in her hand, the ac...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Police: Driver rear-ends school bus in Clearwater

Police: Driver rear-ends school bus in Clearwater

CLEARWATER ó A driver rear-ended Monday a school bus on the way to Safety Harbor Middle. None of the 38 students on board were hurt in the crash in the eastbound lanes of NE Coachman Road just west of U.S. 19, according to Clearwater police. Most boa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier - up to a point, new research shows

Teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier - up to a point, new research shows

In recent months, Silicon Valley executives have been speaking out about the purposely addictive designs of smartphones and social media, which make them hard to put down for anyone, but particularly teenagers. Now, a new report puts numbers to the w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Your insiderís guide to Gasparilla 2018; St. Petersburg spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into Smacks Bayou; and more

Top 5 at noon: Your insiderís guide to Gasparilla 2018; St. Petersburg spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into Smacks Bayou; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:YOUR GUIDE TO GASPARILLA 2018Some 300,000 carousers are expected to gather on Saturday for Gasparilla 2018, Tampaís pirate invasion. All the fuss centers around the legend of Jose Gaspar (nic...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Pete spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into Smacks Bayou

St. Pete spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into Smacks Bayou

ST. PETERSBURG ó It may be a new year but the city finds itself still dealing with an old problem: spills at its sewage plants.The city announced Thursday that two spills at its Northeast sewage plant at 1160 62nd Ave. NE had been contained.But the r...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sirata Beach Resort is getting a $15-million facelift

Sirata Beach Resort is getting a $15-million facelift

ST. PETE BEACH ó A year ago, the longtime owners of the Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center acknowledged they couldnít afford the improvements it needed. They sold the 382-room hotel to a Texas company.Now the new owner has launched a $15 million...
Updated: 3 hours ago
This is how MoviePass hopes to make money off your low-cost subscription

This is how MoviePass hopes to make money off your low-cost subscription

MoviePass is a film nerdís dream. The subscription service allows users to see one movie a day at a theater for a single monthly cost. The service isnít new, but itís become popular among a lot more than movie buffs in the past few months.During its ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

From the food editor: Mastering the frittata, with help from a lot of mozzarella cheese

Letís talk about frittatas. Specifically, how I can never seem to make one that actually tastes good. They are described in blogs and cookbooks as an easy, breezy dish suitable for using up leftovers lingering in your fridge. Like a quiche, but low-c...
Updated: 3 hours ago