News at noon: St. Petersburg police change tactics for MLK Day following last year's controversial strategy; family marches to demand answers in death of teen struck by Hillsborough deputy’s car; and more

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Published January 18

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

St. Petersburg police change tactics for MLK Day following last year's controversial strategy

St. Petersburg officials promise that officers will take a more discreet approach on Monday when patrolling Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities. Last year, community members expressed outrage at the tactics used by the St. Petersburg Police Department to patrol the after-party and parade. Some said the yellow police tape and an abundance of police cruisers bordered on “police containment” and made St. Petersburg streets resemble “military-type zones.” There were no arrests, but residents said the lack of communication from police ahead of time about the more aggressive strategy left them taken by surprise. This year, officers will be less visible during the after-party.

Family marches to demand answers in death of teen struck by Hillsborough deputy’s car

Scores of demonstrators took to the streets Thursday night demanding answers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office to questions about a collision that killed a 15-year Tampa boy as he was crossing a street. An undercover deputy was behind the wheel of the car that hit him. Chanting "Justice for Josiah," the boy's family, friends and others marched about two miles from the site of the crash at N Florida and E 124th avenues to the Sheriff's Office's District 1 substation on N 20th Street. Josiah and a 14-year-old friend were trying to cross Florida Avenue about 6:30 p.m. when the crash happened. The undercover deputy was driving an unmarked sedan north on Florida and had the green light to cross the intersection with E 124th Avenue, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Andrew Gillum, as he mulls future political plans, heads to Harvard

Andrew Gillum, the former Tallahassee mayor who narrowly lost in the race for Florida governor last year, is heading to Cambridge as he mulls his political future. The Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics announced Thursday that the former Democratic gubernatorial nominee will be one of ten fellows during the upcoming spring semester. His colleagues will include former U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va. and fellow Floridian and former U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who also narrowly lost his race last year to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Gillum, Comstock and Curbelo will be among six "resident" fellows who hold office hours while they reside on campus and lead an eight-week study group (though not for credit) on "a particular subject according to their experience, interests, and expertise."

The story behind Andrew Beck’s viral sign language video

As Andrew Beck studied sign language at the University of Texas, he began to see the easy-to-miss inconveniences the deaf community faces. So when the former Longhorns tight end and Plant High alumnus learned the family he was about to meet at a New Orleans hospital last month was deaf, he had a chance to do something small to help. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound football star entered the room and saw a little boy with cars on his shirt and stars on his pants playing on his screen in bed. Beck started signing. The conversation wasn’t deep. But for 57 seconds, a family with a sick child connected with a complete stranger in their own language. “That’s what made it so special to me,” Beck said. And to the almost 2.5 million people who have watched it.

Tampa's Country Megaticket: Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts, more

Live Nation has unveiled the lineup for its 2019 Country Megaticket, a bundle of tickets to five concerts at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre that can be purchased as early as next week. Leading the way: Florida Georiga Line, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts and Chris Young, with one more act to be announced in the future. As for that TBA on Aug. 2? You know who just happens to have that weekend open on his calendar? Luke Bryan. It might not be him, of course, but at the moment, it's as good a guess as any. Here's the full lineup by date, with some openers still to come.

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