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News at noon: Radio's McKay dead; Tampa Prep principal on leave; Tampa okays ferry; Trump meets with Gold Star families

Dave McKay, 55, was found dead in his St. Petersburg apartment by a co-worker who checked on him after McKay did not show up for work.  [WQYK-FM]

Dave McKay, 55, was found dead in his St. Petersburg apartment by a co-worker who checked on him after McKay did not show up for work. [WQYK-FM]

WQYK-FM radio personality Dave McKay was found dead in his St. Petersburg apartment this morning. He was 55. Police said that after McKay didn't show up for work this morning, a co-worker who lives in the same complex checked on him and discovered the body. There is no sign of foul play.

TAMPA PREP PRINCIPAL ON PAID LEAVE AMID ALLEGATIONS

Kevin Plummer went on paid leave in the middle of July after allegations of "possible inappropriate behavior" at another school more than 25 years ago, while he was an intern, according to an email sent to Tampa Prep parents, faculty and alumni. The school says it is taking the inquiry seriously and an independent private investigator has been hired.

TAMPA COUNCIL APPROVES FERRY PROPOSAL

The city joined Hillsborough County in moving forward to pay a share of $1.4 million for a pilot program to that would connect the downtown waterfronts of St. Petersburg and Tampa. Elected officials in Pinellas County and St. Petersburg have yet to vote.

JEREMY WALLACE | Times

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump talked up his appreciation for Gold Star families during a rally Wednesday in Jacksonville

TRUMP MEETS WITH GOLD STAR FAMILIES BEFORE JACKSONVILLE RALLY

After days of stirring controversy by going back and forth with the family of a soldier who died in Iraq, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took a decidedly different approach Wednesday night in one of the nation's biggest military towns, avoiding any further engagement that could trigger more backlash from veterans groups.

RAYS-ROYALS MATINEE TODAY AT TROP

After rolling to a 12-0 win over Kansas City on Wednesday, the Rays are looking to split the four-game series with the World Series champion in a 12:10 p.m. matinee today at Tropicana Field. LHP Drew Smyly will be on the mound for the Rays; RHP Ian Kennedy for the Royals. Follow Marc Topkin on Twitter for game updates.

'BAPTISTS AND BOOTLEGGERS' JOIN ON SOLAR PANEL VOTE

Conservative business groups and liberal environmental interests seldom see eye-to-eye in Tallahassee, but they are united in supporting Amendment 4 on Florida's statewide primary ballot. The ballot question would create an exemption from sales taxes and tangible personal property taxes for businesses that add solar panels on their property.

TRUMP: SCOTT SEEMS TO HAVE ZIKA 'UNDER CONTROL'

GOP nominee Donald Trump says Gov. Rick Scott "probably already" has the Zika mosquito problem in Florida under control, according to a West Palm Beach TV station. Trump's reply came when asked how he would be fighting the problem if he were in the Oval Office. "It's a big problem, but I watch and I see ... what they're doing with the spraying and everything else. And I think he's doing a fantastic job," Trump said.

DEPUTIES: SUSPICIOUS DEATH AT SPRING HILL HOTEL

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office says it is investigating a death where "foul play is suspected" at the Holiday Inn Express in Spring Hill today. Detectives and forensics specialists were at the hotel, at 3528 Commercial Way.

JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times

A rendering of St. Petersburg's new pier design presented during a City Council workshop in March.

HOW MANY RESTAURANTS DOES THE PIER NEED?

Architects are scheduled to give St. Petersburg City Council members an update today on plans to link the new Pier to the city's downtown. The proposal to put three restaurants in the $66 million Pier District is facing strong opposition. For updates, stay with tampabay.com.

EARL STRIKES BELIZE, DOWNGRADED TO TROPICAL STORM

Earl weakened to a tropical storm after making landfall in Belize early today as a Category 1 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center said Earl's maximum sustained winds decreased to near 65 mph with additional weakening expected as the storm moved farther inland.

PULSE VICTIMS TO LEARN HOW DONATIONS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED

The administrator of a fund raised by donations for survivors and family members of the Orlando nightclub shooting that left 49 dead is holding two meetings in Orlando to explain how the more than $20 million will be distributed. The goal is not only to explain how the distribution will work but also to listen to the concerns of survivors and family members.

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.

News at noon: Radio's McKay dead; Tampa Prep principal on leave; Tampa okays ferry; Trump meets with Gold Star families 08/04/16 [Last modified: Thursday, August 4, 2016 12:02pm]
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  1. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  2. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

    World

    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  4. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond

    Crime

    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
  5. Mayor Rick Kriseman says St. Petersburg mayoral election is about going forward, not back

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally