Saturday, May 26, 2018
News Roundup

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

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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Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Published: 05/26/18
Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Hope of another Stanley Cup has dissolved, and soon the ice will follow. Yet even if sorrow is the price of devotion, the true hockey fans will still buy in when the next season comes around.That concept may not be unique to Tampa Bay, but it does se...
Published: 05/26/18
Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

I may have cracked the code. Found a way to sell doing the right thing. Discovered a method of persuasion in certain matters of fairness, conscience and the greater good.Like giving our fellow Americans a second chance.When morality-based arguments d...
Published: 05/26/18
Quick action to slow traffic on Bayshore prompts call to do more citywide

Quick action to slow traffic on Bayshore prompts call to do more citywide

TAMPA — As city workers set up signs Friday establishing a lower speed limit on Bayshore Boulevard, neighborhood residents and transportation activists urged more steps to improve safety for pedestrians all across the city.The move is a good beginnin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Published: 05/25/18
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Published: 05/25/18
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

It’s human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Published: 05/25/18
In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

TAMPA — Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriff’s deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Published: 05/25/18
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Published: 05/25/18