Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: Search for son who never came home; marijuana lags in Legislature; Trump considers review of interrogation methods; Spectrum customer 'irate' over activation fee

Times columnist John Romano tells the story of a 30-year-old Hernando County man who mysteriously disappeared on the road home from Jacksonville, and how his desperate family did everything they could to find him, and then, to find closure.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAGS IN THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

Debates have begun to put voter-approved medical pot into state law and patients' hands. State senators and officials with the Florida Department of Health have rolled out their initial plans to enact Amendment 2, and House leaders are finalizing their own ideas. But they have already earned criticism from advocacy groups who say the state's plans are falling short of what voters intended.

TRUMP DRAFT ORDER SEEKS REVIEW ON TERROR INTERROGATIONS

President Donald Trump is considering a major review of America's methods for interrogating terror suspects and the possible reopening of CIA-run "black site" prisons outside the United States, according to a draft executive order obtained by the Associated Press.

SPECTRUM CUSTOMER IRATE OVER 'MISTAKEN' ACTIVATION-FEE CHARGE

Lara Bartelds of Clearwater has no beef with a broadband company charging new customers a one-time activation fee for new service. But what happens when Spectrum is the new guy on the block and connects its network to thousands of its existing Tampa Bay customers? In Bartelds' case, she still got charged a new customer activation fee. Spectrum's response: Oops, our bad.

PROTESTERS CLIMB CRANE NEAR WHITE HOUSE, HANG 'RESIST' BANNER

Protesters climbed a 270-foot construction site crane just blocks from the White House on Wednesday and unfurled an orange and yellow banner calling for resistance to President Donald Trump. Greenpeace said in a statement that the protesters are "calling for those who want to resist Trump's attacks on environmental, social, economic, and educational justice to contribute to a better America."

PASCO RINK BILLED AS LARGEST IN SOUTHEAST OPENS

A new five-rink ice skating facility billed by its owners as the largest of its kind in the Southeast has opened in Wesley Chapel. The Florida Hospital Center Ice complex includes three NHL size rinks, one Olympic rink and a junior rink.

PROPOSED SPRING TRAINING FACILITY IN SARASOTA SEEKS $40 MILLION

A spring-training facility for the Atlanta Braves in Sarasota County would require more than $40 million in taxpayer funds, county commissioners there were told. The proposed project, with a cost of $75 million to $80 million, would be funded in part with $22.1 million from county hotel taxes, $20 million from the state and an unspecified amount from North Port, where the facility would be located.

MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING ORLANDO OFFICER CURSES AT ANOTHER JUDGE

Markeith Loyd went before a judge for the third time Wednesday morning and, again, ended by yelling an expletive at a judge. Loyd is facing charges in the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton. The latest court appearance was on a new charge of resisting arrest without violence.

POLICE ARREST SUSPECT IN SOUTH TAMPA ARMED ROBBERY

A Tampa man was arrested Monday after he was accused of robbing a woman at gunpoint as she walked home from a South Tampa restaurant last week. Austin Tyler Wilson, 19, faces a charge of robbery with a firearm. The incident occurred near W Estrella Street and S Marti Street around 1:45 p.m., police said.

REVIEW: STRONG ENSEMBLE SERVES UP MUSICAL POWER IN 'CABARET'

The darkest long-running musical in history is back, promising another round of eternal messages about authoritarianism and hit songs. Roundabout Theatre Company, one of Broadway's nonprofits, celebrates its 50th anniversary with this touring production of Cabaret, reviving one of the theater's biggest and most influential hits.

WHY ISN'T JIMBO FISHER COMPLAINING ABOUT THE ACC SCHEDULE?

Head coach Paul Johnson thinks the ACC is out to get Georgia Tech. Three of Georgia Tech's ACC opponents have open dates the week before they play the Yellow Jackets. But if Johnson has a complaint, doesn't Florida State's Jimbo Fisher? Ten of Georgia Tech's ACC foes have had open dates the previous week since 2013 — tied with Florida State for the most in the league.

WINSTON VS. MARIOTA 2016: WHY MARIOTA WON

After two seasons, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are poised to become the franchise quarterbacks the Bucs and Titans hoped they would be. Taken first and second overall in the 2015 NFL draft, they'll be linked together forever. Every so often, we'll ask, "Who is better?" In 2015, the answer was Winston. This season? Mariota passed him by, at least in the ways we can measure. To find out how, Tom Bassinger dives into the numbers.

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.

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Forecast: Brutal cold arrives in Tampa Bay, but won’t stay long

Forecast: Brutal cold arrives in Tampa Bay, but won’t stay long

It’s freezing, literally. For now.The quick-moving cold blast, which has been anticipated for days, arrived with an especially frigid punch across Tampa Bay.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area The region is under a freeze wa...
Updated: 5 minutes ago

Two treated at hospital after fire at Apollo Beach home

Two elderly residents were treated at a local hospital after a fire at an Apollo Beach home early Thursday morning.Hillsborough Fire Rescue crews, responding to the 600 block of Flamingo Drive around 4 a.m., found the home fully engulfed in flames.Tw...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Tampa Bay freeze won’t last long; report describes binge drinking in FSU hazing death; Lord Stanley, meet Jose Gaspar; 15,000 ball pit balls up for auction

The Daystarter: Tampa Bay freeze won’t last long; report describes binge drinking in FSU hazing death; Lord Stanley, meet Jose Gaspar; 15,000 ball pit balls up for auction

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• The worst is behind us, but we’re not quite yet finished with the chilly weather. Last night was one of the coldest nights in years, prompting shelters to open across Tampa B...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Romano: Are buses really our last gasp?

Romano: Are buses really our last gasp?

To the members of the Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area Leadership group:Listen carefully when a new plan for a rapid bus system is unveiled to you on Friday. All the benefits the supporters will tout will undoubtedly be true.A rapid bus syste...
Updated: 10 hours ago
In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In the state capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers breezed through the bullet points of a higher education bill. They skimmed past a hot-button proposal to consolidate the University of South Florida System into a single university without a peep of pushba...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

"On Nov. 3, 2017, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to 1012 Buena Vista Drive … in reference to a death investigation."So begins a charging document in the case of Andrew Coffey, the 20-year-old Florida State University student who was foun...
Updated: 12 hours ago
New St. Pete City Council gets to work, starting with 2018 budget

New St. Pete City Council gets to work, starting with 2018 budget

ST. PETERSBURG — The new City Council will get its first chance to weigh in on the 2018 budget on Thursday morning — and they’re likely to bring a long list of priorities to the table.In recent years, rising property values have kept city coffers flu...
Updated: 12 hours ago
After half a century, World Liquors sign may finally come down

After half a century, World Liquors sign may finally come down

ST. PETERSBURG — The demise of the distinctive sign has been rumored many times.This time, it’s no rumor. It looks very likely that by the end of spring the corner of 16th Street and Central Avenue will no longer be graced by World Liquors and its ic...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

After 16 years of combat and counting, the war in Afghanistan gets a happy movie ending in 12 Strong, a thick slice of patriot porn.Based on a true story, 12 Strong rightfully celebrates the first U.S. Special Forces unit battling Taliban forces shel...
Published: 01/18/18
Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and officers with Metro Development Group and Crystal Lag...
Published: 01/18/18