Saturday, July 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: Trump campaign shake-up; Social Security Administration backtracks; Vinik supports light rail; FHP probes cat deaths

Donald Trump's campaign got another shake-up this morning, adding Breitbart News' Stephen Bannon as CEO, a man the campaign heralded for his combative style, and elevating Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager. Paul Manafort will remain as chairman. The Associated Press is reported that Manafort helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party's efforts to influence U.S. policy.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION GETS THE MESSAGE

The Social Security Administration says it is reversing a recently enacted policy to require a cellphone number from Americans who wished to manage their benefits on the agency's website. The plan was to enhance online protections by sending a text message each time a user logs in. That was a problem for some older folks who don't text message and don't plan to. "Our aggressive implementation inconvenienced or restricted access to some of our account holders," said Mark Hinkle, an agency spokesman.

VINIK: 'WE'VE GOT TO THINK ABOUT LIGHT RAIL'

"Beyond the bus" was the theme of Tuesday's transit presentation — but it didn't go as far as trains. Only Lightning owner Jeff Vinik waded into the issue, showing support for light rail while other speakers deflected issue. "... We have to explore using the CSX lines. That doesn't mean it's the only answer, but it does mean it's something we need to strongly consider," he said.

[FHP via Twitter]

Firefighters and Florida Highway Patrol troopers rushed to the Howard Frankland Bridge on Sunday morning to rescue a cat stuck on the highway above Tampa Bay. The cat wedged itself under a wheel well.

INFO ABOUT CATS ON BRIDGE COULD LEAD TO $5,000 REWARD

After discovering at least six dead cats on the Howard Frankland Bridge since mid-May, the Florida Highway Patrol helped rescue a live one this month. And while that kitten, Whiskers, has happily found a new home with the family of the woman who saw her fall from a moving truck, FHP is still asking one big question. Who's behind all these strange and troubling cat happenings?

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT HEALTH OF CLINTON, TRUMP

Is Hillary Clinton suffering from epilepsy? The aftermath of a stroke? Dementia? Is Donald Trump a narcissist? A sociopath? Something worse? The Internet is peppered with videos and articles questioning the physical and mental health of the two major candidates. Is any of this true? PolitiFact looks into it.

FLORIDA REPUBLICANS BEG RNC TO CUT OFF TRUMP SUPPORT

Several Republicans with ties to Florida have joined an open letter to Reince Priebus pleading with him to abandon RNC support for Donald Trump "and focus the entirety of the RNC's available resources on preserving the GOP's congressional majorities.

COMPARING 2016 TO PAST ELECTIONS ON TRUTH-O-METER

PolitiFact has been fact-checking the presidential candidates since 2007, and through July 2016 has amassed a library of more than 950 fact-checks of the major party presidential nominees. So what does the data show?

HILLSBOROUGH WILL HOLD COMMUNITY-POLICE WORKSHOPS

Amid a national outcry against police shootings of black men and the targeted killings of police officers in cities like Dallas, Hillsborough County wants to take steps to prevent a similar incident. During the next 12 months, Hillsborough will hold seven workshops -- four for adults, two for youths, and a leadership retreat.

RAYS GO FOR SWEEP WITHOUT DUFFY

The Rays look to sweep a three-game series with the Padres this afternoon at Tropicana Field. They'll do so without recent addition Mark Duffy, who left Tuesday's 15-1 victory after the third inning due to soreness in his previously strained left Achilles. Duffy said this morning he was still "sore" but "not concerned" about it being an ongoing problem but part of the end of the recovery from the injury he sustained in mid-June while with the Giants. Follow the Times Twitter for updates from the game.

CHARLIE CRIST'S HOUSE FOR SALE

The Pass-A-Grille house of former Florida governor and current congressional candidate Charlie Crist is on the market for $1.29 million. That's nearly $400,000 more than Crist and his wife, Carole, paid a year ago. The house is one of 37 single- family homes on the market for at least $1 million in the St. Pete Beach-Treasure Island area. In the last six months 16 have sold for $1 million or more, nine of them in less than three months.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Suspended about 135 feet in the air, Ports America Engineering Department Manager Dietmar Reuten sits at the controls of a gantry crane and demonstrates how to operate it during a tour of one of two new $24 million container gantry cranes at Port Tampa Bay.

A VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE PORT

Two 300-foot tall Post-Panamax gantry cranes, recently assembled at Port Tampa Bay, are 15 stories taller than the three gantry cranes the port purchased used more than a decade ago and can handle twice the load. Port officials hope they ultimately help attract bigger ships to Tampa. Check out photos and video, and see what it's like to operate one.

GARTH BROOKS SHOW SET FOR ORLANDO

We're still a long way from Garth Brooks returning to Tampa after three planned shows at Amalie Arena were canceled last summer due to the Stanley Cup playoffs. But here's the next best thing: Garth is coming to the Amway Center in Orlando on Oct. 8.

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.

Comments
Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest Rays player is also nearly the oldest.With All-Star C Wilson Ramos on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Tampa Bay turned to veteran Adam Moore, 34, as the new backup catcher behind Jesus Sucre. Only reliever...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

ST. PETERSBURG — New York Yankees god and former Tampa resident Derek Jeter, who was once going to save the Rays (or so we thought), was at Tropicana Field on Friday night. The Captain had the gall to show up as Miami Marlins chief executive of...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Dolphins owner: Actually, we haven’t decided whether to levy anthem penalties

Dolphins owner: Actually, we haven’t decided whether to levy anthem penalties

Times wiresThe NFL can't seem to get away from the divisive national anthem issue.The latest developments this week assure that, despite the league's wishes, the debate about how to handle players who kneel during the anthem to protest police violenc...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

ST. PETERSBURG –The Rays rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, but their rally came up short as the Marlins held on for a 6-5 win at Tropicana Field.Tampa Bay's bullpen gave up five runs in the seventh, and that was too...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier left Friday's game in the fifth inning when an injury to his right foot that has bothered him since April flared up with the worst pain he's encountered this season.Kiermaier called the injury a "severe bone bruise" an...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Greg Auman’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Marlins game

Greg Auman’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Marlins game

Nathan Eovaldi bounced back nicely following an eight-out, eight-run outing last week vs. the Twins. He lasted six innings, gave up one run and struck out eight. Take away the Twins game and Eovaldi has allowed three earned runs in his past four star...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Shooting outside McDonald’s in South Tampa leaves man in critical condition

Shooting outside McDonald’s in South Tampa leaves man in critical condition

TAMPA — Tampa police are investigating a shooting that occurred Friday night at a McDonald’s restaurant at 3515 S Dale Mabry Highway.Police responded around 7:30 p.m. after a man was shot around a dark grey Dodge Charger in the back corner of the res...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Pasco sheriff: Woman faked kidnapping attempt on her daughter to frame former business partner

Pasco sheriff: Woman faked kidnapping attempt on her daughter to frame former business partner

HOLIDAY — The mother of a 12-year-old girl was arrested Thursday after authorities said she faked a kidnapping attempt on her daughter in an effort to frame a former business partner.After the mother was taken into custody, detectives said she tried ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sheriff’s Office warns of IRS phone scams in Pinellas County

Sheriff’s Office warns of IRS phone scams in Pinellas County

Beware of callers saying they’re with the IRS and demanding payments, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office warned Friday.According to a news release from the agency, scammers have been phoning residents across the county this week and trying to trick...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier leaves game with foot discomfort

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier leaves game with foot discomfort

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who missed two months earlier this season with a thumb injury, left Friday night's game against the Marlins with what the team described as "right foot discomfort."It wasn't immediately clear when the injury occurred,...
Updated: 7 hours ago