Wednesday, November 22, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: Southwest's Tampa-to-Havana flights begin Dec. 12; deputy fired after arrest; family of girl killed in hit-and-run seeks 'justice'; Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for literature

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Starting today, Southwest Airlines will begin selling $59 one-way tickets for daily flights from Tampa International Airport to Havana's José Martí International Airport. The initial flight takes off Dec. 12. It will be the first commercial flight in more than five decades between the cities. There also will be one to two daily connecting flights to Havana from Tampa through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

PINELLAS DEPUTY CHARGED WITH PAWNING DUTY GUN, STEALING DRUGS

A Pinellas County sheriff's deputy has been arrested, accused of selling his duty gun to a pawn shop and stealing a 100-count bottle of hydrocodone that was intended to be destroyed. Steven Jared Smith, 32, was fired Steven Jared Smith, 32, was fired when deputies arrested him, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said today. Smith, who had been with the agency since 2012, faces charges of grand theft and possession of a controlled substance.

TEEN KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN WAS HEADED HOME FROM WORK

A family's grief mixed with anger today as they wondered how a driver could run down a person then drive away. Ashley Perdomo, 17, a senior at Hillsborough High School, was killed Wednesday while crossing Hillsborough Avenue in Town 'N Country, investigators say. "Yo quiero justicia," her mother, Mercedes Concepcion, says. "I want justice." The family urges anyone with information to come forward.

[Vince Bucci/Invision/AP]

Bob Dylan, shown in 2015, has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The Swedish Academy cited the American musician for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

BOB DYLAN WINS NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE

American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature today. The Swedish Academy cited Dylan for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

HARSH REMINDER ON 'LOCKER ROOM' BANTER? WORKPLACE HARASSMENT'S STILL COMMON

Since the release of a 2005 video featuring Donald Trump's infamous and crude remarks about women, several other women have come forward with stories of inappropriate behavior. Tampa Bay, like most major metros, has plenty of legal claims made by women employees who have been badgered, belittled, touched and threatened in their jobs at businesses big and small. One recent encounter is described in a complaint filed in August with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by an employee at Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg. Times business columnist Robert Trigeaux tells her story.

WASTEWATER OFFICIAL FEARS RETALIATION FOR OPPOSING MAYOR'S 'NARRATIVE'

In an email, an official with St. Petersburg's Water Resources Department says a highly scrutinized report regarding the Albert Whitted treatment plant was widely circulated, even though the mayor and city council say they never saw the report. Now, in the Oct. 7 email to Chris Guella, the city's human resources director, Steven Marshall writes, "I am in fear of losing my job due to retaliation for revealing information and supporting documents that are contrary to the story that is being presented by the Administration." Two officials were recently placed on unpaid leave and another has sought federal whistleblower protection in the city's sewage scandal.

CAMPAIGN DEVOLVES INTO UGLY FIGHT OVER TREATMENT OF WOMEN

Already deeply divisive, America's campaign for president is quickly devolving into an ugly fight over who has treated women worse: Donald Trump, whose White House bid is floundering, or former President Bill Clinton, who isn't on the ballot. On Wednesday, the New York Times and Palm Beach Post reported stories about three women who allege Trump inappropriately touched them. Separately, a People magazine reporter wrote a first-person account of being attacked by Trump.

TAMPA CITY COUNCIL QUESTIONS DOT OFFICIALS ABOUT TBX

The Florida Department of Transportation updated Tampa City Council today on the Tampa Bay Express road project, including potential community enhancements the state hopes to make once it is built. DOT spokesman Ed McKinney says the agency had not yet done an economic impact study of the controversial project, but agreed to do so.

VIDEO: PREVIEWING THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND

Times sportswriters Matt Baker and Joey Knight preview this weekend's USF-UConn, Florida-Mizzouri, FSU-Wake Forest and Miami-North Carolina games in their weekly Spanning the State video.

[Times files]

This is Randy Wayne White's fourth book in a series about Hannah Smith — an offshoot of his bestselling 23-book series about Sanibel resident Marion "Doc" Ford, a marine biologist with a shadow career in black ops.

BOOK REVIEW: WHITE'S 'SEDUCED' A TALE OF CITRUS, PYTHONS AND INTRIGUE

In his latest novel, Seduced, Randy Wayne White wastes no time getting the story into high gear. By Page 7, southwest Florida fishing guide Hannah Smith is gazing down at a dead man, who is naked except for a Stetson placed "strategically over his pelvis."

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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