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News at noon: Ramadi, Iraq update; Pinellas fire; Tampa Bay renter report; Alert to drone-owners; Copa airlines; Nutcracker ballet preview; Bucs report

Concerned about rising reports of close calls and safety risks involving drones, the government announced Monday it will require many of the increasingly popular unmanned aircraft to be registered. AP photo

Concerned about rising reports of close calls and safety risks involving drones, the government announced Monday it will require many of the increasingly popular unmanned aircraft to be registered. AP photo

Today, Iraq sent battalions of reinforcements to secure neighborhoods in Ramadi recaptured from the Islamic State, as soldiers continued an offensive for a second day to try to take full control of the city. If Iraq can take back Ramadi, it would ISIS' biggest loss in Iraq since they moved in.

The roommate of a New Port Richey man who was stabbed to death Sunday has been arrested and charged with murder. Paramedics responding to a 911 call about 5:20 p.m. found the victim lying on his back in his bedroom with stab wounds to his neck and chest, according to an arrest report. A witness told deputies Kamees stabbed Gaffney and then walked out of the room "with a blank stare on his face," the report states.

A fire that started in a detached garage was being investigated by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office early Wednesday morning. The Lealman Fire Department responded to the Lealman fire, entered the garage and found "improvised explosives," said Lealman Fire and Rescue Capt. Larry Thompson. No injuries have been reported.

Are you a dog-owner? Enjoy a local watering hole? Then you're a typical Tampa Bay renter according to a recent study.

Unwrapping a drone this Christmas? Don't take it out for a spin just yet. In the eyes of the federal government, that's not a toy you've got; it's an aircraft.

Copa Airlines this month celebrated its second year offering direct flights to and from Tampa Bay and Panama City — a central hub that offers access to dozens of Central American and South American countries. Unlike other international airlines at TIA, Copa has had mixed results so far.

Your stage planner: Moscow Ballet comes to Tampa Bay for an unforgettable 'Nutcracker' performance, Side Splitters comedy contest nears the end, a Lyndon B. Johnson drama to come to the local stage.

People everywhere (everywhere being "The Internet") are stressing out looking for a panda in this illustration of snowmen by Dudolf, a.k.a. artist Gergely Dudás. Try your hand at the illustration here.

Maybe at some point during the first half, you had had enough. Maybe the Buccaneers-Rams game on Thursday Night Football got so out of hand that you changed the channel. If you didn't, you saw a post-game Jameis Winston who didn't smile when he greeted the other team.

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: Ramadi, Iraq update; Pinellas fire; Tampa Bay renter report; Alert to drone-owners; Copa airlines; Nutcracker ballet preview; Bucs report 12/23/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 3:49pm]
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  1. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren joins other prosecutors in protesting Jeff Sessions' 'tough-on-crime' policy

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Andrew Warren, the state attorney for Hillsborough County, is among signers of a letter from 31 district prosecutors nationwide voicing opposition to the tough-on-crime policies of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Hillsborough State Atttorney Andrew Warren is among the signers of a letter from 31 top prosecutors nationwide opposing Attorney General Jeff Sessions' 'tough-on-crime' policies. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  2. Suspect tells police he killed roommates for disrespecting his Muslim faith

    Crime

    TAMPA — A man accused of shooting his roommates in a New Tampa apartment told police he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with the two men until he converted to Islam then killed them because they disrespected his faith.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, of Tampa told police  he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, until he converted to Islam and shot them because they disrespected his faith.
[Photo courtesy of Tampa Police]
  3. Nelson, Rubio want Trump to back off cuts to drug office

    Blogs

    Citing an opioid crisis “devastating Florida,” Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio are asking the Trump administration to back off plans to gut the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    A letter to the Office of Management and Budget
  4. US President Donald Trump, left,  meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Monday, in Jerusalem. Trump opened his first visit to Israel Monday, a two-day stop aimed at testing the waters for jumpstarting the dormant Middle East peace process. [AP photo]
  5. Study: Florida most friendly state for retired veterans

    Working Life

    Florida is the nation's best state for military retirees looking for somewhere to settle. That's according to a study released Monday by WalletHub which rated Florida the most friendly when it comes to economic factors, quality of life and health care.

    Veterans watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during training camp in 2016. Florida is the most friendly state for retired veterans according to a new WalletHub study. | LOREN ELLIOTT, Times