Thursday, July 19, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: Surgeon general labels youth 'vaping' a public health threat; major improvements at Port Tampa Bay; City Council going after developer over Chinese drywall; how to rent a reindeer

In a report being released Thursday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy acknowledged a need for more research into the health effects of "vaping," but said e-cigarettes aren't harmless and too many teens are using them. Federal figures show that last year, 16 percent of high school students reported at least some use of e-cigarettes — even some who say they've never smoked a conventional cigarette. While not all contain nicotine, Murthy's report says e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco-related product among youth.

MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS PLANNED FOR PORT TAMPA BAY

Port Tampa Bay will spend $1.4 billion over the next 15-20 years on expansion and improvements, CEO Paul Anderson said today. Among the planned capital improvements: A new petroleum complex, expanded container terminal and gateway rail at the Interstate 4 corridor. Stay with tampabay.com for a complete story later today.

COUNCIL LOOKS INTO LEGAL CLAIM AGAINST DEVELOPER OF HOMES WITH CHINESE DRYWALL

While a Hillsborough County rescue plan to rehab four government-subsidized homes marred by Chinese drywall is already under way, Tampa City Council still wants to go after Michaels Development Co., the firm that built Belmont Heights Estates. City council members recently voted for staff to look into whether the city has any legal action it can take against the New Jersey firm. It also plans to write letters to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson urging that Michaels, an affordable-housing developer, get no other federal contracts because of their refusal to help the families who were stuck living in toxic homes for roughly nine years.

HOW DO YOU RENT A REINDEER IN FLORIDA? IT'S COMPLICATED

[CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]

Reindeer are in demand around the holidays. They're also extremely rare, very expensive, subject to regulations that can make them illegal and moved around by a secretive handful of people. On top of that, they command a stars' pampered treatment on arrival. And if you find yourself in need of a reindeer in Florida, there's literally one guy you can call: Dargan Watts.

THE LATEST FROM ST. PETERSBURG CITY COUNCIL MEETING

The St. Petersburg City Council is set to meet at 3 p.m. Follow Charlie Frago at @CharlieFrago for updates.

DAVIS, LEWIS JOIN CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER AT UNIVERSAL

Universal Orlando has announced its first wave of Harry Potter film stars set to attend its fourth Celebration of Harry Potter in January. Fans will have to perfect their "swish and flick" for Warwick Davis, who played Professor Flitwick and Griphook. Also announced was Matthew Lewis, who played the argyle-sweater-wearing Neville Longbottom. More film stars are expected to be announced later.

RAYS ADD TO BULLPEN OPTIONS WITH RULE 5 PICK

The Rays added a candidate for a spot in their bullpen, selecting right-hander Kevin Gadea from the Mariners in today's Rule 5 draft. Gadea, 22, has only pitched as high as Class A, but the Rays believe the converted infielder has a chance to make the jump to the big leagues, as he has to stay on the roster.

SALUTING 'GREENERY,' A COLOR OF BOLD CHANGE

Amid social, political and environmental tumult around the world, the Pantone Color Institute has plucked fresh and zesty "greenery" as the color of the year for 2017. The vibrant green with yellow undertones is an answer, of sorts, to bruising 2016, signaling a yearning to rejuvenate, and to reconnect to both nature and something larger than oneself, said Laurie Pressman, the institute's vice president.

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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Rays place Wilson Ramos on DL for potential extended absence, seek replacement

Rays place Wilson Ramos on DL for potential extended absence, seek replacement

ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays made the inevitable move Wednesday of placing catcher Wilson Ramos on the disabled list while still looking for a replacement.Ramos, 30, strained his left hamstring Saturday in Minnesota, which forced him out of Tuesda...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Must-see golf history with Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome

Must-see golf history with Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome

Thursday is history.There is no way around it, even for Brittany Lincicome, who loves finding her way around it. That's just her. She played with boys growing up, neighborhood football and basketball, baseball — and golf. I remember when she wa...
Updated: 5 hours ago
At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

ST. PETERSBURG — Linda and Jack Miller braved the humidity at Demens Landing on Wednesday night for a simple reason:"Treason," said Linda Miller, 66.The St. Petersburg couple joined more than 100 protesters toting signs, pins and megaphones at the "T...
Updated: 6 hours ago
An all-or-nothing All-Star Game

An all-or-nothing All-Star Game

WASHINGTON — Tuesday's All-Star Game was exciting, dramatic, historic — and perfectly representative of the 2018 season, what with the unprecedented power show, display of blazing arms creating a fan club (25 strikeouts), and the emotion ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Deputies: Masked shooter wounds Dunedin woman in home invasion

DUNEDIN — Deputies are searching for a black-clad gunman who shot and wounded an 18-year-old woman during a home invasion attack Wednesday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.The shooting was reported at about 1:03 p.m. at 1144 New Yor...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Hernando deputies: Cave diver fails to resurface at the Eagle’s Nest

Hernando deputies: Cave diver fails to resurface at the Eagle’s Nest

WEEKI WACHEE — A diver exploring the Eagle’s Nest, a notoriously dangerous underwater cave, failed to resurface from a Wednesday night dive, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.The person was free diving, according to the Sheriff’s Offi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket company shot a capsule higher into space Wednesday than it’s ever done before. The New Shepard rocket blasted off from West Texas on the company’s latest test flight. Once the booster separated, t...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Wed., July 18, midday:308730160e_SRit11605Wed., July 18, evening:227903781e_SRit60091LottoWed., July 18:...
Updated: 7 hours ago
SEC media days: No answers on Alabama quarterback battle

SEC media days: No answers on Alabama quarterback battle

ATLANTA — Alabama coach Nick Saban had little to say Wednesday about the biggest topic of the offseason.Who will be the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts?"I think the number one thing that you will want to ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
New board members at CareerSource Pinellas press for answers

New board members at CareerSource Pinellas press for answers

CLEARWATER— New board members at a troubled job placement center received a call for oversight Wednesday — something all but absent in recent years at the agency."Question, question, question," said CareerSource Pinellas board chair Jack Geller durin...
Updated: 8 hours ago