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News at noon: Reviewing Bush and Rubio's debate performance; new House speaker; why Google chose Tampa; Taylor Swift FAQ

Jeb Bush, center, flanked by Mike Huckabee, left, and Marco Rubio responds to a question during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado on Wednesday. [Mark J. Terrill | Associated Press]

Jeb Bush, center, flanked by Mike Huckabee, left, and Marco Rubio responds to a question during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado on Wednesday. [Mark J. Terrill | Associated Press]

Political editor Adam C. Smith writes, "The morning after Jeb Bush's nearly disastrous debate performance, the once mighty frontrunner faces grim cultural comparisons: Dead Man Walking... The Walking Dead... That the Bruce Willis character in the Sixth Sense who doesn't realize he's dead. Meanwhile, Alex Leary, our Washington bureau chief, writes about Sen. Marco Rubio's victory lap.

A lot was said at last night's debate — some of it true, some of it not. PolitiFact has checked several claims. Guess who got a Pants on Fire rating.

In other political news, GOP Rep. Paul D. Ryan is ready to begin a "new day in the House of Representatives" after being elected the body's 62nd speaker.

We reported yesterday that Google is looking at Tampa as a site for its Google Fiber. Robert Trigaux explores why Google chose Tampa to be among the early wave of U.S. cities to be considered for this ultra-high-speed Internet service.

There's a lot of discussion over whether or not police officers should be required to wear body cameras. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco was one of the earlier adopters and has equipped his deputies with the devices. Josh Solomon talks with the sheriff about the benefits he has seen from them.

With Lightning goalie Ben Bishop returning to his hometown to face the Blues this week, he reflects in today's Lightning Strikes podcast on his time in St. Louis, and how it might have been a "blessing in disguise" that he was traded, eventually landing in Tampa Bay.

CAMERON COTTRILL | Times

Taylor Swift brings her 1989 Tour to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night. Jay Cridlin is gathering answers to all your questions whether you're planning to be in the crowd, just dropping off your kid — or hoping to avoid the traffic headaches. Check back at our 10 Days of Taylor Swift blog for updates. And if you have questions, email them to Jay at jcridlin@tampabay.com or tweet them to @jaycridlin.

Eugenie Bondurant has long been a presence on the Tampa Bay arts scene. And next, you can can see her in the small yet pivotal role of Tigris in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2, opening worldwide Nov. 20. Steve Persall talks with Bondurant about her first movie role in eight years.

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION

Years of neglect and $100 million in budget cuts created chaos at Florida's mental hospitals, leaving violent patients unsupervised, easily able to attack workers and other patients. Read our special investigation, Insane. Invisible. In Danger.

News at noon: Reviewing Bush and Rubio's debate performance; new House speaker; why Google chose Tampa; Taylor Swift FAQ 10/29/15 [Last modified: Thursday, October 29, 2015 12:32pm]
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  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]