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News at noon: The State Fair opens today; Dem debate preview and live fact-checking; Controversial shooter drill by Tampa PD; Antifeminist group cancels meetup; St. Pete YMCA building plans; Lightning podcast; 'Hail, Caesar!' review

The Florida State Fair opened today, and it is filled with firsts. It is the first state fair in the country. It is featuring the first Black History Month exhibit and an oval-office replica with dresses of First Ladies. Find information about events, parking and dining at the fair.

Before a mock "active shooter" demonstration by Tampa police on Wednesday, Senior Cpl. Jared Douds told a crowd of hundreds that mass shooting perpetrators come from a variety of backgrounds. But, to many, the drill itself sent a different message. A Tampa police officer pretending to be the shooter wore a scarf that, according to the group, reinforced mistaken perceptions about Muslims.

Who is a real progressive? Tonight's face-to-face meeting between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is rooted in an intensifying debate over who understands the great divide between rich Americans and everyone else.A Democratic debate viewer's guide.

PolitiFact reporters are on the ground in New Hampshire to see the candidates and analyze their statements first hand. Follow along here.

Even as Hillary Clinton has stepped up her rhetorical assault on Wall Street, her campaign and allied super PACs have continued to rake in millions from the financial sector, a sign of her deep and lasting relationships with banking and investment titans.

The worldwide "tribal gathering" of a controversial antifeminist group Return of Kings has been canceled, but a protest of the group and its values will go on.

Today, the family of the 14-year-old Riverview boy who died two years ago while trying to cross Interstate 4 after he was kicked out of the Florida State Fair filed a lawsuit.

Airport officials say two tires under the left wing of an Allegiant Air airplane blew out during a landing at a Pennsylvania airport. Also, a single Allegiant Air aircraft made four emergency landings within a little more than a month late last year, part of a series of maintenance problems the airline contended with in 2015.

A La Carte Pavilion, a popular Tampa Bay party site, will soon no longer be a venue for weddings, charity events and other functions.

The redeveloper of downtown St. Petersburg's former YMCA building envisions sweeping changes for the historic building. South Florida developer Nick Ekonomou, whose purchase of the boarded-up said he will erect a nine-story luxury rental apartment complex and garage behind the building at 116 Fifth St. S.

According to Film Critic Steve Persall, Hail, Caesar! is what happens when that book is dumped open, its contents fluttering into randomness. Why he thinks the Coen brothers can't keep this movie together.

Matt Baker on national signing day: What recruiting history tells us about next year's national champion.

In our Lightning Strikes podcast coming this afternoon, beat writer Joe Smith talks about the stretch run of the season and interviews NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk about Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Drouin and the Lightning's plans at a new goaltender.

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.

News at noon: The State Fair opens today; Dem debate preview and live fact-checking; Controversial shooter drill by Tampa PD; Antifeminist group cancels meetup; St. Pete YMCA building plans; Lightning podcast; 'Hail, Caesar!' review 02/04/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2016 3:45pm]
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  1. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  2. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  3. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  4. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  5. At College World Series, the save goes to an LSU dad/doctor

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The father of LSU pitcher Jared Poche' helped revive an 87-year-old man who was slumped on the TD Ameritrade Park concourse with no pulse during Game 1 of the College World Series finals.

    UF’s Tyler Dyson delivers against LSU in Tuesday’s late CWS Game 2. Go to tampabay.com/sports.