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News at Noon: Say farewell to fall weather (or spring, or whatever that was); a ticket announcement from the Lightning and a farewell to a stricken guide dog

Deni Elliott, left, who is visually impaired and a professor at the University of South Florida, spends time with her guide dog Alberta on the last birthday they will share together at her home in St. Petersburg. Elliott will have to part ways with Alberta because of a recent discovery of melanoma in the canine's right iris. OCTAVIO JONES | Times 


Deni Elliott, left, who is visually impaired and a professor at the University of South Florida, spends time with her guide dog Alberta on the last birthday they will share together at her home in St. Petersburg. Elliott will have to part ways with Alberta because of a recent discovery of melanoma in the canine's right iris. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

• Say farewell to the breeze across your face and welcome home the sweat on your back. After a spell of cool, dry air, the muggy Florida summer is expected to return to Tampa Bay this week.

Tickets for the Lightning's Eastern Conference final against the Penguins or Capitals go on sale at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Amalie Arena box office and via Ticketmaster at outlets, ticketmaster.com and by calling toll-free, 1-800-745-3000.

• Alberta, a yellow Lab guide dog who works with USF journalism department chair Deni Elliott, is being forced to retire, and students, professors and neighbors threw her a farewell. They came bearing cookies, cheese and wine, a poster to sign. For five hours, they shared stories and hugs as they said good-bye. "We're going to miss you," people kept saying. "We love you, Alberta!" The yellow lab smiled and wagged her tail. When someone bent to shake hands, she offered her paw. She wove between guests' legs, sniffed at the bowl of pretzels, posed for pictures on command. Technically, she wasn't working. But even with a flowered lei around her neck, she stayed close to her partner's side. "It's okay, Albee," Elliott kept telling her through tears. "I'm okay." Lane DeGregory's story will tug at your heartstrings today. (You might remember Elliott and Alberta from Lane's 2013 story about how they met.)

• The battle over downtown St. Petersburg's so-called cheese-grater buildings continues. Preservationists say the buildings on a prime Central Avenue block are historic and shouldn't be razed to make way for promised redevelopment. The owners have countered, setting up a Facebook page and taking out a full-page ad decrying preservationists for standing in the way of progress. Tomorrow, the Community Planning and Preservation Commission will consider a request from the St. Petersburg Preservation group to designate the buildings historic. The group has already filed a lawsuit trying to overturn a decision to allow the owners of the former Pheil Hotel and Theater and Central National Bank to demolish them for new development.

• The economic connections between Florida and Brazil are growing stronger every year. That's great when Brazil is growing — and it has been growing rapidly over time — but not so great lately when Brazil's economic woes are starting to be felt so broadly in Florida's economy.

• As Hillsborough County nears a deal with Uber and Lyft to operate legally here, the ridesharing companies are pulling out of a major U.S. city — at least temporarily.

• A Florida Insider Poll indicates that the strongest vice presidential candidate from Florida is … well, none of the above." With Marco Rubio in second place.

• 59-year-old Lagloria Johnson was on her way home from church with friends last night when someone fired several bullets into the car she was riding in near 15th Avenue S and 42nd St. in St. Petersburg, police said. She was shot in the arm, but was expected to survive.

• A veteran Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy was fired over the weekend after being arrested on a DUI manslaughter charge, authorities said.

Krispy Kreme is being taken private by JAB Beech in a deal worth approximately $1.35 billion. Peter Harf, a senior partner at JAB, said in a written statement that the acquisition is part of its strategy of investing in brands with significant growth prospects. The announcement said Krispy Kreme will continue to be independently operated from its current headquarters.

• A few months after being named a tourism ambassador for his home state of Florida, Pitbull is about to spread some love to Tampa. And Twenty One Pilots is coming, too.

• Fish Bar and Grille in Gulfport is now up and running in the Gulfport space formerly home to local favorite Peg's Cantina. And while "some Gulfport residents will persist in lamenting the passing of Peg's," our dining critic Laura Reiley writes, "Fish seems like a welcome newcomer offering honest seafood in a space casual enough for sports-watching. Oh, and the patio is dog-friendly. It's Gulfport, after all."

• Love your macaroni and cheese? We've got five recipes that will help you elevate your game beyond the blue box.

• The Women's Conference of Florida, the first ever statewide conference for female leaders, entrepreneurs, business women and spokeswomen, will take place May 19 and 20 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. Aside from networking and panel workshops, the conference has a long list of high-profile female speakers, including Randi Zuckerberg, former Facebook executive and CEO of Zuckerberg Media; Jill Abramson, the first woman to serve as the executive editor of the New York Times; and Cheryl Strayed, author of the memoir turned Academy Award-nominated film Wild. Our Justine Griffin caught up with conference organizer Arlene Dibenigno, who discussed the topics and speaker lineup.

• In the era of the surprise album release, can a rock band still, y'know, surprise you? Our critic Jay Cridlin says the sudden release wasn't the only surprise in Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool.

• Faded jeans? Probably not a good idea. Red Phillies cap? A hoodie? No, and no. The Washington Post takes a look at how millions of young men of color navigate a world where in 2015 unarmed black men were fatally shot by police about once every nine days. "The fact that it happens at all, I have to associate it with every daily maneuver," says Georgetown university student Jawad Pullin, who grew up in North Philadelphia, aced his SATs, got A's in high school and won a Gates Scholarship. "I'm making those decisions, whether it's the friends I walk with or the clothes I wear."

• Electronic cigarettes have sickened rising numbers of young children, a study of U.S. poison center calls has found. Most cases involve swallowing liquid nicotine. While most kids weren't seriously harmed, one child died and several had severe complications including comas and seizures. "This is an epidemic by any definition," said lead author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

News at Noon: Say farewell to fall weather (or spring, or whatever that was); a ticket announcement from the Lightning and a farewell to a stricken guide dog 05/09/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 9, 2016 1:51pm]
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