Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Primary election day; Tropical storm could form soon; Tampa firefighter has Zika; Distressed home sales still common

Voters in one Miami Beach precinct are arriving at their polling place today to find that it's been moved down the street. The Miami Beach Botanical Gardens are closed for mosquito spraying, so the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections is directing voters to the Miami Beach city hall. It's one of the only snafus on an otherwise calm start to primary voting on Election Day, Secretary of State Ken Detzner told reporters. The weather was expected to be a problem in South Florida and Tampa Bay with the arrival of a tropical depression moving up from the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico.

MEANWHILE, IN THE TAMPA BAY AREA ...

.... Plenty of people are flocking to the polls across the Tampa Bay area. Check out our live blog on tampabay.com for the latest from the precincts and live reports later today, and these five political trends to watch for today.

TROPICAL STORM COULD FORM WITHIN HOURS

What started as Invest 99L and has now become Depression Nine may soon be getting a new name as a tropical storm. Tropical Depression Nine was expected to strengthen Tuesday and make landfall around Florida's Big Bend area around midday Thursday. Stay with tampabay.com for the latest storm track, and our live blog to submit your storm questions.

TAMPA BAY EVENTS POSTPONED

The threat of tropical weather will likely affect scheduled outdoor events across Tampa Bay this week. The list of postponements and cancellations — including the Shine Mural Festival Creative Block opening party — will be updated as more information becomes available.

IDENTITY OF ZIKA VICTIM IN PINELLAS REVEALED

The single victim of a locally transmitted Zika virus infection in the Tampa Bay area is a firefighter with Tampa Fire Rescue who lives in Pinellas County, an agency spokesman said today. Personnel at the station where the firefighter works also were tested for Zika and the results were negative, said Jason Penny, Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman.

iStock photo

Short sales and other indications of distressed housing sales remain high in Tampa Bay despite an improving market.

DISTRESSED HOME SALES IN TAMPA BAY STILL COMMON DESPITE IMPROVING MARKET

Even as Tampa Bay's housing market continues a robust recovery, distressed sales still make up a significant share of all home sales. Foreclosures and short sales in Tampa Bay were more than twice the national rate in May, and the third highest rate among large metro areas.

OFFICIAL: NO FEAR ABOUT HACKED ELECTION SYSTEMS

Federal officials have sounded the alarm to several states that their election systems may be at risk of being hacked, the Washington Post reported late Monday. But Secretary of State Ken Detzner says Florida is not among them. Detzner said the state has put security first. In the event of a problem, the state uses paper ballots as a backup plan, he said.

MAN SHOT IN PALM RIVER

Man shot as Hillsborough deputies serve search warrant at Palm River home. The warrant was being served at a home 1432 Longwood Loop, the home of 22-year-old Levonia Riggins, who was the subject of a monthlong drug investigation, Hillsborough sheriff's Major Chad Chronister said at a news conference. When the SWAT team arrived at the house about 8 a.m., everyone inside cooperated except for Riggins, Chronister said.

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