Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Pope in Mexico; North Korea developments; Florida death penalty revisited; GOP political ad spending; Howard Franklin hit-and-run update; Bonefish to close 14 restaurants; New 'Cobra's Curse' at Busch Gardens

• Pope Francis urged Mexico's young people to resist the lure of easy money from drug dealers and instead value themselves as the future of their country during a visit Tuesday to the heartland of the nation's narcotics trade.

• Four of the most advanced U.S. fighter jets flew over South Korea on Wednesday in a clear show of force against North Korea, a day after South Korea's president warned of the North's collapse amid a festering standoff over its nuclear and missile ambitions.

• Today Iran snubbed a proposal agreed to by four influential oil producers to cap their crude output if others do the same, with a senior Oil Ministry official saying Tehran has no intention of freezing oil output levels.

• Hours after a federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock the iPhone used by one of the shooters who carried out the Dec. 2 terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., the technology giant's chief executive declared that he would fight the government's "unprecedented" demands.

• A political compromise to repair Florida's broken death penalty sentencing system is in sight — and the magic number is 10. According to new discussion, all future death penalty cases in Florida will require at least 10 of 12 jurors to agree on a punishment of death for a defendant.

• Jeb Bush has spent nearly $81 million on TV ads, by far the leader in either nomination fight, according to new figures. And Marco Rubio is second with $50 million.

• As authorities hunted for her in connection to a fatal hit-and-run crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge, Allison F. Huffman showed up at an apartment in the Carillon area.The man who lived in the apartment at the Promenade at Carillon, however, clearly did not want her there, calling St. Petersburg Police. Meanwhile, family and witnesses tell their story after the hit-and-run that killed a tow truck driver on the bridge Monday.

• Under a new measure Hillsborough County commissioners announced today, sex offenders in Hillsborough County would be barred from living within 2,500 feet of a school, park and the like.

• A former University of Tennessee football player was arrested last night as part of "Operation Wayfarer," a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office sting operation targeting men seeking sexual relationships with young girls they meet online.

• Trigaux: Is Florida really a 'best state' for business? Here's a shortcut to the top.

• Bonefish Grill will close 14 restaurants this year as the seafood chain restructures following several quarters of disappointing sales results, according to a recent earnings report.

• On a hotel room television, Darlene Love instantly recognized a cellphone commercial's music, and wasn't pleased. Whether Google legally needed to obtain Love's permission will be determined in California federal court.

• A Busch Gardens sneak peek: See the progress of a new spinning coaster called "Cobra's Curse," a hex on your stomach and a test if what's in it will stay there.

• Luke Beevor doesn't think his 6-foot-10 frame will give him much of an advantage when he lines up for the 15K at Saturday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic. "If it is windy, as it can be on Bayshore (Boulevard), then my height can really be a disadvantage."

• Our photo for Caption Contest #19 makes you wonder what this guy was thinking (or what the rhinoceros was thinking)! Can you come up with a clever caption for this image?

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.

Comments
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Hillsborough commissioners approve referendum on making county officers non-partisan

Hillsborough commissioners approve referendum on making county officers non-partisan

TAMPA — The debate over whether "Rep" or "Dem" should be on the ballot alongside the name of candidates for sheriff or property appraiser is now in the hands of Hillsborough County voters.Hillsborough County commissioners voted 5-2 Wednesday to hold ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

TAMPA — Mortar & Pestle, a fledgling Seminole Heights eatery with a mom-and-pop pharmacy theme, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Seacoast Bank was listed as the creditor with the largest unsecured claim: $1.4 million.The restaurant...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Column: It’s time for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to process concealed weapons licenses

It is hard to believe that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs didn’t discover for a year that an employee could not log into an account needed to see results of background checks that examined, among other things, whether applicants f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Twenty-five years ago, I was a reporter at WTSP-TV, out in the field covering Tampa Bay’s Independence Day celebrations. I expected an easy assignment talking about families and fireworks. Then the newsroom called with an urgent message: I needed to ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

TAMPA — The contractors arriving at the Brandon home thought they were meeting with a potential customer. They were wrong.In fact, the would-be clients were undercover detectives and the contractors, lacking a license to ply their trade, left the hom...
Updated: 3 hours ago
As Border Patrol searches its buses, Greyhound is pulled into immigration uproar

As Border Patrol searches its buses, Greyhound is pulled into immigration uproar

He was a 12-year Miami resident originally from Trinidad, taken off a Greyhound bus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by U.S. Border Patrol agents in January.She was a 60-something Jamaican national who had just met her granddaughter for the first time, w...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Phil Mickelson has apologized four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the U.S. Open, saying his frustration got the best of him. The apology came Wednesday in a statement released by his ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Lucky’s Market is considering a move in to the old Albertsons box space in Clearwater, according to preliminary plans filed with the city. Lucky’s master broker, Rick Lewellyn, was listed on an agenda as discussing renovating the existing property wi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

LARGO — At least 12 families leased the same Largo home at the same time and lost as much as $4,300 each in a fraud scheme run by a couple who portrayed themselves as owners of the property, Largo police said.Police learned of the scheme Tuesday afte...
Updated: 3 hours ago