Saturday, November 18, 2017
News Roundup

News at noon: security threat at local school; France launches more airstrikes; medical marijuana; holiday movie preview; and Charlie Sheen

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Two separate, though unfounded, school shooting threats related to Palm Harbor University High School led to increased security on campus this week. In one of the incidents, an image of the school calendar was altered to read "PHU SCHOOL SHOOTING UPDATE." And beneath that, these words: "There is a 95% chance students will die tomorrow.

France made an unprecedented demand on Tuesday for its European Union allies to support its military action against the Islamic State group as it launched new airstrikes on the militants' Syrian stronghold, days after attacks in Paris linked to the group killed at least 129 people.

In related news, the head of Russia's FSB security service said a homemade explosive device brought down a Russian passenger plane over Egypt last month. The official told Russian President Vladimir Putin it's now clear the bombing that killed 224 people was a "terrorist" act. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for downing the plane.

In Tallahassee, a group of Florida lawmakers decried a federal government that "refuses to enforce our immigration laws" as they unveiled a series of bills aimed at stemming the flow of undocumented immigrants to the state.

Also, a Florida House panel approved legislation that would expand an existing, small medical marijuana program and a law allowing terminal patients to try experimental drugs. Now, with two doctors' approval, a patient can buy marijuana from a licensed grower in the state.

The Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved a plan to issue $1.3 billion in bonds to cover Duke Energy Florida's costs for the closure of the Crystal River nuclear power plant in Citrus County.

Bank of America may be first in market share in Florida banking but it ranks last among big banks in customer satisfaction. In results unveiled Tuesday morning, Bank of America registered the lowest score among the largest U.S. banks ranked on the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

From giant blockbusters like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to quiet little movies like Room and The Danish Girl, nearly two dozen movies are scrambling for attention during the holiday season. Check out Steve Persall's Holiday Movie Preview for all of them.

Brian Wilson performs tonight at the Mahaffey Theater along with fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine. Wilson may not have imagined, 50 years ago, that his songs about cars and surfboards and wistful innocence — the sunny soundtrack of youth — would still resonate with children and teens as he reached his mid-70s. But it does. Find out why here.

As expected, Charlie Sheen said in an interview on NBC's Today show, that he has tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS. He said he was diagnosed about four years ago. One reason for going public with his condition, he said, was to put a stop to shakedowns from prostitutes and others who threatened to out him. He said he had paid "enough to bring it into the millions" — perhaps as much as $10 million — to buy their silence.

Following Marlene Sokol's report on the role Idlewild Baptist Church plays in training officials with Hillsborough Schools, Sue Carlton asks does a church belong in our public schools.

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Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Greg Auman has a final preview of Sunday’s Bucs-Dolphins game in Miami in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.He talks about key matchups to watch for, from perhaps the NFL’s best slot receiver in Jarvis Landry, to Miami’s vulnerabilities at right tackl...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Possible wrong-way crash on Courtney Campbell Causeway late Friday

TAMPA — A multi-vehicle crash on the Courtney Campbell Causeway late Friday may have been caused by a driver traveling in the wrong direction, Tampa police said.The crash occurred in the eastbound lanes closer to the Tampa side of the causeway, near ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Region football: Clearwater Central Catholic 37, Calvary Christian 10

CLEARWATER — The ice bath ensued for Clearwater Central Catholic coach Chris Harvey after the Marauders’ 37-10 victory over Calvary Christian in Friday’s Class 3A region final. The win placed the Marauders (11-0) in their fifth state tournament since...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tampa police investigate drive-by shooting in Seminole Heights

Tampa police investigate drive-by shooting in Seminole Heights

TAMPA — Police took one person into custody late Friday after a drive-by shooting ended in Seminole Heights.The incident, which unfolded about 11 p.m., did not appear to be related to the spate of other recent shootings in Seminole Heights that have ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

MELBOURNE — With 1 yard separating Plant from an incredible come-from-behind victory, or a devastating defeat, it all came down to a matter of trust.And for Panthers coach Robert Weiner, there was no one he would put more faith in to get that 1 yard ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

SEFFNER — Hillsborough conquered one nemesis with last week’s win over Class 6A defending state finalist Lake Gibson, the team that knocked the Terriers out of the playoffs in the first round a year ago.But there was an even bigger stumbling block to...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Region football: Ocala Vanguard 35, Mitchell 31

NEW PORT RICHEY — The start wasn’t quite befitting of a playoff game between undefeated teams, but the end of Friday’s war between Ocala Vanguard and Mitchell certainly was.Like last year’s Class 6A regional semifinal, the Mustangs held a three-point...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Region football: Green Cove Springs Clay 52, Zephyrhills 49

Region football: Green Cove Springs Clay 52, Zephyrhills 49

ZEPHYRHILLS — For Zephyrhills, Friday night’s Class 5A region semifinal against Green Cove Springs Clay was doomed by 12 bad minutes. The Bulldogs led by four points at halftime but allowed 28 unanswered points in the third quarter and were not able ...
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Region football: Lakewood 20, Jesuit 7

Region football: Lakewood 20, Jesuit 7

ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood came into Friday’s playoff game knowing its defense had to help control field position against Jesuit. The Spartans (9-1) left Friday’s game with a ticket to Immokalee for a region final — and six Tigers (6-5) turnovers en r...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Region football: Tampa Bay Tech 42, Palmetto 26

TAMPA — Another Friday night, another offensive explosion.Tampa Bay Tech’s offense continued its torrid pace and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. accounted for five total touchdowns as the Titans rolled past Palmetto 42-26 in a Class 7A, Region 3 semifi...
Updated: 10 hours ago