Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

News at noon: Tampa Bay home prices continue to soar; an historic St. Petersburg house is for free, with one catch; no Trump charges vs. Clinton; and where's Pam Bondi?

Tampa Bay home prices continued to soar in October, with Hillsborough County recording its biggest year-over-year gain since January. Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties also showed dramatic increases as buyers vied for an exceedingly tight supply of single-family homes — Pasco had less than a three-month inventory.

DEVELOPER OFFERS HISTORIC ST. PETERSBURG HOME FOR FREE, WITH ONE CATCH

LARA CERRI | Times

This home at 758 3rd Ave S. in St. Petersburg is a 111-year-old house linked to Elder Jordan, the former slave who built what is now known as the Manhattan Casino and after whom the Jordan Park housing project is named. A developer that plans to put up eight townhomes on the site will give away the two-story house - supposedly in very good condition for its age - to anyone who will move it.

In its 111 years, the two-story Victorian house a few blocks south of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg has amassed an intriguing history. It was built for a Methodist minister wounded at the battle of Gettysburg; might once have been home to local African-American leader Elder Jordan; and hosted winter visitors during the city's early boom years. In later decades, it again became a single-family house so well maintained that the property appraiser's office says it has an effective age of just 44 years. And now it can be yours for free, with a catch.

TRUMP WILL NOT PURSUE CLINTON INVESTIGATIONS, CAMPAIGN MANAGER SAYS

President-elect Donald Trump has decided that his administration will not pursue criminal investigations related to former rival Hillary Clinton's private email server or her family foundation, his campaign manager said Tuesday. Trump's apparent decision, conveyed by campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe, would be an extraordinary break with political and legal protocol, which holds that the attorney general and FBI make decisions on whether to conduct investigations and file charges, free of pressure from the president.

AS THE LEGISLATURE ORGANIZES, WHERE'S PAM BONDI?

It's a big day in the Capitol as the state House and Senate elect leaders and organize for the 2017-2018 term — big enough that Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and most of the Florida Cabinet are on hand. But one member of the Cabinet isn't here: Attorney General Pam Bondi. A Bondi spokeswoman did not reply to multiple emails asking about the attorney general's whereabouts.

LANE DEGREGORY: PARENTS, BE GRATEFUL FOR DISHES AND LAUNDRY

Ryland and Tucker DeGregory watch their mom Lane DeGregory through the back window of their rented RV in May 2006. Now, she misses these moments.

For 20 years, Lane DeGregory's two sons were her world. But now her nest has been empty now for three months, ever since her youngest left for college. Though she has enjoyed more nights out with friends, more weekends home with her husband, she's been mourning the huge hole where her two boys once were. So this holiday season, she reminds you to be thankful for these simple gifts.

TRANSPORTATION LOOMS LARGE AS HILLSBOROUGH COMMISSIONERS SWORN IN

Recently elected county commissioners were sworn in Tuesday during an investiture ceremony. As the new board was seated, each commissioner highlighted their agenda for the coming year, and there was a persistent nod to the continuing need to address the county's gridlock and crumbling roads.

TAMPA VETS WHO SERVED UNDER MATTIS LAUD HIM AS CHOICE FOR DEFENSE SECRETARY

[Washington Post]

Ret. Gen. James Mattis walks out after a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster Township, N.J., on Saturday.

In James Mattis, President Donald Trump would get a defense secretary beloved by his troops and respected by his peers, a man as comfortable with books as he is with bombs, and most importantly, a man who would not hesitate telling the president the truth. Those are the opinions of Tampa-area men who served under Mattis, a retired Marine general and former commander of U.S. Central Command who interviewed with Trump during the weekend for the top job in the Department of Defense. Mattis, who declined comment for this story, was widely popular during his time in Tampa, where he was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base from 2010 until he retired in 2013, soon after speaking his mind to President Barack Obama about Iran.

REVIEW: DWAYNE JOHNSON LIFTS OTHERWISE PLACID 'MOANA' ON HIS CHARACTER'S BEEFY SHOULDERS

Just when the South Seas vibe of Disney's Moana is getting too placid for comfort, Dwayne Johnson (at least his voice) does a cannonball in the pool, Steve Persall writes. We can now agree that Johnson is not only the Sexiest Man Alive but also our strongest, lifting Moana on his character's beefy shoulders, carrying it like other hits before. No movie left behind.

HERE'S HOW YOU SHOULD WATCH 'GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE' ON THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

Gilmore girls (and guys), we are in unprecedented territory. The original WB show Gilmore Girls ran from 2000 until 2007, which means you probably did not binge the episodes on a streaming service. But just after midnight Thursday, Netflix will bestow upon Gilmore fans six hours of brand new content. Watching the new episodes requires focus, dedication and probably lots of coffee. There are a couple of ways you can go about it.

CANNON FODDER PODCAST: PREVIEWING BUCS-SEAHAWKS

Times beat reporters Greg Auman and Rick Stroud break down the Bucs' upset of the Kansas City Chiefs and preview this week's game against the Seattle Seahawks in our latest Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

JESUIT'S ANTHONY 'HOUND DOG' NELSON ALWAYS ON THE HUNT FOR QUARTERBACKS

Jesuit junior defensive lineman Anthony Nelson, who is 6 feet 1, 215 pounds, is slightly undersized for a typical defensive lineman. But that hasn't been much of a detriment. He leads the team with 13 sacks and also has 21 quarterback hurries, both team highs. As a sophomore he showed signs of what was to come this season. Despite being a reserve, he still had eight sacks. Jesuit plays Immokalee on Friday in the Class 5A region final.

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