Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

News at noon: SeaWorld ends orca breeding; record hot February; new designs for the Pier; Jill Kelley writes a book; gambling in Florida; growing hops here; March Madness, Rays; and more fog on the Skyway

SeaWorld has announced it is ending its practice of killer whale breeding after years of controversy over keeping orcas in captivity. The company also said it is ending theatrical shows at its parks and will introduce "new, inspiring natural orca encounters." We're exploring what that could mean for the SeaWorld park in Orlando.

Earth got so hot last month that federal scientists struggled to find words, describing temperatures as "astronomical," "staggering" and "strange." They warned that the climate may have moved into a new and hotter neighborhood.

A clearer picture of St. Petersburg's new Pier Park emerged today when architects unveiled schematic designs for the $46 million project. The designs, which you can view here, will be used to develop construction documents for the downtown landmark that city officials hope will be completed by 2018.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin and Kriseman's chief of staff, Kevin King, will be traveling to Cuba next week to see the Tampa Bay Rays play an exhibition game and pursue closer ties with the island nation.

Coming soon, according to the New York Post's gossipy Page Six column: a book by Tampa's own Jill Kelley. You won't believe what the title is.

What's next for gambling in Florida? When legislators finished their annual session last week without a gaming bill or a compact with the Seminole Tribe, they raised the stakes on the future of casinos in the state, and it's precisely where gaming opponents want it. Instead of lawmakers deciding the future of expanded gambling, that decision will now be made by the courts in pending lawsuits before the Florida Supreme Court and a federal judge.

When Katie Sanders' Japanese translator asked "Do you like animals?" Katie wasn't sure whether it was a real question or a warning. You can decide when you read about Katie's taste-test of the octopus cracker and other delicacies on her trip to Japan.

After making his own beer for a few months, Brian Pearson wanted fresher hops. Good hops, he realized, were key to good beer, since they shape its flavor and aroma. But fresh hops were nowhere to be found in Florida. Now Pearson is part of a group of UF researchers that plans to test how well hops grow in Florida with a two-year study in Hillsborough and Orange counties.

Who's ready for some basketball? March Madness begins with UNC-Wilmington against Duke at 12:15 p.m. on WTSP-Channel 10. Get ready for it with Tom Jones' Guide to the NCAA Tournament.

The Rays are in Clearwater to take on the Philliestoday. Matt Moore is on the mound. Keep up with the action in our live blog.

Matt Baker has a theory for why Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher ripped his Seminoles after their opening spring practice. In involves Jim McElwain.

ANOTHER FOGGY MORNING

Florida Highway Patrol troopers closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge again this morning because of dense sea fog. Here's a video from the Dick Misener Bridge on the approach to the Skyway shot about 7 a.m.

Video footage from Dick Misener Bridge

Heavy fog closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge again Thursday morning. Times staffer Graham Brink shot this video a few minutes ago from the Dick Misener Bridge, approaching the Skyway.

Posted by Tampa Bay Times on Thursday, March 17, 2016

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.

Comments

High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 6 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Fri., Dec. 15, midday:01 563 0000e_SRit95765Fri., Dec. 15, evening:12 287 1492e_SRit04851Fantasy 5Fri., Dec. 15...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is very little these days that can dampen the mood of Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise, whose Gators knocked off reigning national champion Stanford in Thursday’s NCAA semifinals and face Nebraska tonight for the title. Not...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Updated: 9 hours ago