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News at Noon: Politifact Cruz v. Rubio on immigration; U.S. job economy looks up; Car sharing in Tampa Bay; Local MLK controversy; Perspectives; Bucs' potential head coaches

Voters wait in line at the Suncoast and Dance Party Center on County Line Road in Spring Hill on Election Day 2012. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

Voters wait in line at the Suncoast and Dance Party Center on County Line Road in Spring Hill on Election Day 2012. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

Your Politifact Florida: Marco Rubio vs. Ted Cruz on immigration. Marco Rubio insists he and Ted Cruz have the same position on securing the border before even thinking about changing the legal status of millions of illegal immigrants already here. Cruz says no way. Why neither one tells the full story.

American employers added a strong 292,000 jobs in December, suggesting that the U.S. economy is so far defying global trends and growing at a solid pace.

Car sharing companies have been in Tampa Bay since before anyone was using the words Uber or Lyft. But the roll out of the business model — which lets users rent a car by the hour or the day usually online or through an app — has been slow to catch on. Ever noticed the traffic around here? People have their own vehicles and may need to borrow a zipcar.

The controversy over Dr. Jamal Bryant's appearance the MLK Leadership Awards Breakfast continues. Late Thursday, the St. Petersburg branch of the NAACP issued a statement saying the group was saddened by Mayor Rick Kriseman and the gay community's opposition to the selection of Bryant as the keynote speaker at the Jan. 18 event. Kriseman's staff has said that Bryant's inflammatory remarks about gays disqualified him from the honor. Now, Mayor Rick Kriseman said he's going to attend the MLK Leadershp Awards Breakfast.

Perspectives from Times Staff Writers on:

Voting - Read this week's Romano Column on how Florida voters "are hapless followers of the status quo" and why that's quantifiable.

Gun Control - "Why I still want my gun" explains why Robbyn Mitchell stands by her decision to get gun educaiton and seek licensing to carry a conceled weapon. In "I broke a would-be rapist's nose, but what if I'd had a gun?," Colette Bancroft says what she would have really liked on that harrowing night is her loyal German shepherd, not a firearm.

Schools column from Education Editor Thomas C. Tobin on the work of state Sen. Don Gaetz. In the coming days, Gaetz, one of Tallahassee's most influential players on education issues, will carry the flag for a bill that would broaden educational opportunities for students with disabilities.

Utilities and the environment by Craig Pittman - Florida has some serious water woes: spreading nutrient pollution, the algae-choked springs and, in the Indian River Lagoon, massive sea grass and wildlife die-offs. Reform has been delayed in the Legislature. Politics got in the way.

Romulo "Romy" Camargo isn't a professional athlete, comedian, beloved 1990s TV star or the basis for a movie about his exploits. He's a quadriplegic veteran from New Tampa who was wounded in Afghanistan. And he's the 2016 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates grand marshal.

It's only the morning after the Bucs discussed their decision to fire Lovie Smith, and already, there are two candidates with a history with GM Jason Licht now confirmed as interviewing for Tampa Bay's head coaching vacancy -- Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.

News at Noon: Politifact Cruz v. Rubio on immigration; U.S. job economy looks up; Car sharing in Tampa Bay; Local MLK controversy; Perspectives; Bucs' potential head coaches 01/08/16 [Last modified: Friday, January 8, 2016 12:59pm]
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  1. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposited sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  2. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  3. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  4. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane

    Bucs

    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.