Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

News at Noon: Suspects arrested in break-ins; official says Lochte's story made up; decisive primary ahead; Bucs, Jags work out

Three men have been arrested in a string of South Tampa home burglaries that date to late March and mainly targeted expensive jewelry. Police recently released a surveillance video of one of the robbers in action, but it wasn't until one of them used a stolen credit card that investigators were able to identify the group, police said.

BRAZIL POLICE OFFICIAL: LOCHTE MADE UP STORY ABOUT ROBBERY

A Brazilian police official says American swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio. The official says the swimmers were confronted by a security guard at a convenience doors after they broke a locked bathroom door. The official says two of the swimmers with Rochte told investigators the story was fabricated.

PRIMARY WILL DECIDE DOZENS OF FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE RACES

It's called a primary, but the election on Aug. 30 could be a defining moment for the Florida Legislature. Across the state, primary races soon to be decided by a relative handful of voters may determine whether the state Senate stays on its moderate course or shifts to the right as new battles loom over abortion, education, guns and the environment.

GREG AUMAN | Times

Bucs cornerback Alterraun Verner talks with Jaguars coach Gus Bradley on way to this morning's practice in Jacksonville.

BUCS, JAGUARS KEEP ON WORKING

The Bucs continue their workouts with the Jaguars today ahead of Saturday's preseason game in Jacksonville. Keep up with the day's activities from Tampa Bay Times beat reporters Rick Stroud and Greg Auman.

UBER TO START USING AUTONOMOUS CARS WITHIN WEEKS

Ride-hailing service Uber says it will start hauling passengers with self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh in next several weeks. The company says the autonomous Ford Fusions will have human backup drivers but will transport passengers just like normal Uber vehicles.

APPLICATIONS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FALL TO 262,000

Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that layoffs are scarce and employers are likely hiring at a solid clip. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have remained below 300,000 for 76 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970.

Times photo illustration

THE ART OF POLITICS

Pablo Picasso said, "Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth." Think on that for a second. Apply it to our current season. We are mired in a presidential election that, with each passing day, seems to get more colorful. How do the rhetoric and endless slog of information get to us — really get to our hearts and minds? Via the very things our writers explore in this special package. These stories are not about policy. They're not about right and wrong. They're about red and blue, and so much more.

PROSECUTOR WHO CHARGED ZIMMERMAN COULD LOSE RE-ELECTION

Angela Corey, the Jacksonville prosecutor who failed to win a second-degree murder conviction against George Zimmerman after he shot Trayvon Martin, is up for re-election. Polls have shown Corey trailing two fellow Republican opponents, and the race in recent weeks has taken a brutish turn amid a flurry of negative television ads.

ON CITY HALL, PARTISAN POLITICS AND ... UH ... SUNFLOWERS

Critics have grumbled about St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman making his office more overtly partisan than his predecessors. So it's no surprise a move by Kriseman and City Council to give $531 in taxpayer money to the Pinellas Democratic Party for landscaping was called "horrifying" by the county's Republican Party chairman.

Washington Post

The Rio de Janeiro skyline rises behind Ipanema Beach.

TOURISTS REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIT IN AT RIO'S BEACHES

Cariocas, as Rio residents are called, may seem casual and carefree, their city a paradise for the no-shirt, no-shoes traveler. But residents have their beach-life rituals. American tourists in for the Olympics see their floss-sized bikinis and snug sunga shorts, but how do Brazilians see us?

TAMPA RESIDENT BARTOLETTA WINS OLYMPIC GOLD

Two-time world champion Tianna Bartoletta finally has an Olympic gold medal, the Tampa resident winning the long jump final with a career-best jump of 23 feet, 6¼ inches late Wednesday.

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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High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 6 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Fri., Dec. 15, midday:01 563 0000e_SRit95765Fri., Dec. 15, evening:12 287 1492e_SRit04851Fantasy 5Fri., Dec. 15...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is very little these days that can dampen the mood of Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise, whose Gators knocked off reigning national champion Stanford in Thursday’s NCAA semifinals and face Nebraska tonight for the title. Not...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Updated: 9 hours ago