Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Supreme Court rules FL death penalty unconstitutional; State legislature in session; Lottery winners among us; Catch an Allegiant flight to New Orleans; MLK Day ideas; Creed's Scott Stapp opens up

The Supreme Court has just ruled that Florida's system for sentencing people to death is unconstitutional because it gives too much power to judges — and not enough to juries — to decide capital sentences.

As the Florida Legislature kicks off its regular session this morning, follow along with our live blog

To come up to speed:

* Here are five issues and five people to watch  during the 60-day session (along with a video roundup of key topics)

* Steve Bousquet highlights five things happening today.

* and here's a preview of Gov. Rick Scott's State of the State speech coming up next.

In national politics: Politifact gets you up to speed before President Obama's last State of the Union address.

A Syrian suicide bomber detonated a bomb in a historic district of Istanbul popular with tourists Tuesday morning, killing at least 10 people and wounding 15 others.

Mardi Gras, anyone? Allegiant Air announced twice-weekly St. Pete-Clearwater flights to New Orleans starting June 3.

Wednesday's Powerball drawing, worth more than $1.5 billion, has Tampa Bay residents lining up for tickets and dreaming of embarrassingly large yachts. But somebody's going to beat the odds, and plenty of times, that somebody has been one of our Tampa Bay neighbors.

Step aside, Publix. The three remaining Albertsons grocery stores in Florida — in Largo, Altamonte Springs and Fort Lauderdale — will be remodeled this year and converted into Safeway stores.

You have three whole days to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year. Why not do something a little different? In reflection on his life, here are 10 off-template ways to spend your MLK weekend — and maybe learn a little bit about the man himself in the process.

In the past week-plus, Jane Lynch has hosted the People's Choice Awards, unveiled the season premiere of her NBC game show Hollywood Game Night and debuted of her new CBS sitcom Angel From Hell — all of this as she prepares for a run of live concert dates. Lynch calls in from the road and shows why she's Hollywood's busiest woman.

As the singer of Creed, one of the most successful yet critically maligned rock bands of the 25 years, Scott Stapp had always been a target for derision. He spoke with Tampa Bay Times Music Critic Jay Cridlin about his recent troubles and a recent viral video of his paranoid breakdown.

Tampa resident Michael Connelly's acclaimed series of novels about Harry Bosch, a Los Angeles police detective, became a television series last year on Amazon, with Connelly as a hands-on executive producer.

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
Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

DAYTONA BEACH – No, Bubba Wallace did not win the 60th running of the Daytona 500.But you wouldn't have known that after seeing his emotions after he placed second – the highest finish ever by a black driver in the Great American Race.Wal...
Updated: 4 hours ago
After Irma evacuation gridlock, new energy for Interstate 75 options

After Irma evacuation gridlock, new energy for Interstate 75 options

OCALA — In mid-2016, a regional task force that spent almost two years exploring ways to improve safety on a crowded Interstate 75 decided to take a conservative approach: make changes to the highway rather than build or expand other roads. Then Hurr...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

DAYTONA BEACH – As Austin Dillon celebrated his Daytona 500 win Sunday, he couldn't help but remember the time he was standing there, in Victory Lane, 20 years ago this week.He was 7 then, and his index finger jutted into the air triumphantly t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said.How the 19-year-old turned into a man now arrested and charged with 17 co...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Open-mic night at Pilars is a hot spot for Disney talent

WINTER GARDEN — At the end of the day, when the tourists are gone, Disney performers head out to their favorite spot to keep on singing after their shifts are over. Every Thursday, they perform at open-mic night at Pilars, a Winter Garden martini bar...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

FORT LAUDERDALE — Pot smokers aren’t the only law breakers able to get a second chance in South Florida. Underage adults buying alcohol, those stealing property worth less than $300 and people nabbed for trespassing, loitering or disorderly conduct a...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Facebook turns to postcards to snuff foreign ads

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook will soon rely on centuries-old technology to try to prevent foreign meddling in U.S. elections: the post office. Baffled in 2016 by Russian agents who bought ads to try to sway the U.S. presidential campaign, Facebook’s...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

TALLAHASSEEAhundred students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will travel to Tallahassee for a march on the state Capitol on Wednesday in the first organized protest of their #NeverAgain movement.Their demand: that Florida legisl...
Updated: 6 hours ago
EPA chief Pruitt cancels visit to Israel

EPA chief Pruitt cancels visit to Israel

WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has canceled a nearly weeklong trip to Israel, agency officials confirmed Sunday.Pruitt, who had been scheduled to leave this past weekend for an extensive tour of the Mideast al...
Updated: 6 hours ago
As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

PARKLAND — On the Sunday after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost 17 of its own, a minister in Parkland implored his flock not to let the horrific shootings lead them away from their faith."Our world is broken, but Jesus is not," the Rev. Eddi...
Updated: 6 hours ago