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News at noon: The Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck; Bucs' Lovie Smith fired; Bolin execution at 6pm; Epic Powerball fail; Cheesegrater building demolition; New Rays stadium talks; Lightning podcast

Phoebe Jonchuck 2014. Phoebe was 5 years old when she was murdered by her father January 7. Her father dropped her from the Dick Misener Bridge just before midnight on January 7, 2015. [Photo courtesy of Melody Dishman]

Phoebe Jonchuck 2014. Phoebe was 5 years old when she was murdered by her father January 7. Her father dropped her from the Dick Misener Bridge just before midnight on January 7, 2015. [Photo courtesy of Melody Dishman]

A year ago, John Jonchuck drove to the top of a bridge, held his 5-year-old daughter Phoebe over the side and let go. It was a tale that rocked a community, especially when the public learned that for years, police had documented violence between the girl's parents, and child protection workers had visited their home five times. Seven times, people called the abuse hotline, fearing for her safety. And still, no one stopped it. Read how the fall of Phoebe Jonchuck began long before that January night in 2015.

Players and fans are shocked at the firing of Bucs head coach Lovie Smith. The Bucs went 8-24 in Smith's two seasons at the helm. Follow our live coverage the surprising decision after a 6-10 season that ended with a four-game losing streak. Here's what our writers, Bucs players and fans have to say about it.

Owners of a prime block in downtown St. Petersburg have reached what they call a "historic agreement'' that could finally free "The Cheesegrater Building" property for redevelopment. After much discussion, the only sticking point is whether the city will approve demolition of the buildings, including one that housed the 1920s-era Pheil Hotel and movie theater.

Serial killer Oscar Ray Bolin Jr. brutally murdered three women in the Tampa Bay area in 1986. With his execution looming for later tonight, one survivor of Oscar Ray Bolin Jr. recounts her ordeal.

Times reporter Charlie Frago( @CharlieFrago) is at the St. Petersburg City Council meeting where council members are exploring options for a stadium outside of downtown.Look for the story on BayBuzz soon.

Dreams of getting rich overnight crashed the Florida Lottery website late Wednesday and into the morning Thursday. How a tech problem caused no fun (or $$) for anyone last night.

Florida's manatees have been on the federal endangered species list since the first endangered species list was created in 1967. Now, federal officials say it's time to take them off — or rather, take them down a notch, changing their status to merely "threatened."

A few film favorites have stood out to critics as contenders for this year's Golden Globes. On the tube, USA's summer TV breakout hit "Mr. Robot" is most likely to take home a Golden Globe for its outstanding first season. When awards season hits, The Feed media blog has your pop culture bases covered.

Today, a fresh Lightning Podcast comes out. Listen as Joe Smith talks about Drouin's trade request and what it could mean for the team.

More in the Lovie Smith firing: One day after the Bucs fired head coach Lovie Smith, the team released four of the team's top six defensive assistants, including defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

The Bucs' decision to fire coach Lovie Smith came Wednesday night as the team weighed the risk of losing offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to another team, and all signs point to him being the team's next coach after the interview process is completed.

News at noon: The Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck; Bucs' Lovie Smith fired; Bolin execution at 6pm; Epic Powerball fail; Cheesegrater building demolition; New Rays stadium talks; Lightning podcast 01/07/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2016 12:47pm]
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  1. Bar review: Cheap drinks do fine at the Joint in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits

    The Tyrone area of St. Petersburg is a little light on drinking spots, so the locals must have been happy when a long-running neighborhood spot — formerly Donk's Sports Tavern and Double J's Sports Bar — reopened earlier this year as the Joint.

    Patrons sit at the bar in the Joint in St. Petersburg.
  2. Local Craft Beer of the Week: Fireberry Tea Ale, Sea Dog Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Clearwater's Sea Dog Brewing Co. doesn't get enough credit. Most craft beer drinkers familiar with the near-ubiquitous Sea Dog and Shipyard brands, which have been brewed in Maine since the early '90s, erroneously conclude that the Clearwater location is more of the same. But this location, opened in 2013, features its …

    Justin Grant/Special to tbt*
  3. Epilogue: Snooty, 69, a breed apart from other manatees (w/video)

    Wildlife

    New York City has the Statue of Liberty. San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. St. Louis as the Arch.

    And for 68 years, Bradenton had Snooty.

    Aquarium curator Carol Audette touches noses with Snooty the manatee in 2001 at the South Florida Museum. Snooty was 53 then. [Times 2001]
  4. Verizon is back: Unlimited data is boosting subscriptions

    Energy

    After posting surprising losses among cellphone subscribers earlier this year, Verizon is back. The wireless carrier said Thursday that it has added 358,000 phone subscribers over the past several months, blowing analyst expectations out of the water and showing that its unlimited data plans are helping to keep …

    Verizon said Thursday that it has added 358,000 phone subscribers over the past several months, blowing analyst expectations out of the water and showing that its unlimited data plans are helping to keep customers loyal.
(Associated Press]
  5. Director: Jameis Winston is most charismatic 'Hard Knocks' QB

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs' Hard Knocks life has already begun. HBO and NFL Films' behind-the-scenes documentary series of an NFL training camp — this season featuring the Bucs — started filming even before training camp began. That means Matt Dissinger, the show's director, is already the hardest working …

    Jameis Winston (3) lifts a victorious arm after the Bucs beat the San Francisco 49ers in October at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times ]