Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

News at Noon: Trump discusses conflicts; man freed after confessing to 37-year-old killing; Airbnb does well during title game; 'Sully' talks about Miracle on Hudson

President-elect Donald Trump, at a news conference today, says intelligence agencies will have a "tremendous blot on their record" if they leaked a report claiming top intelligence officials told him about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had about him. Trump also says he plans to put all his business assets in a trust and hand control of his company to his two adult sons and a longtime business executive to allay concerns about conflicts of interest.

DECADES AFTER STRANGLING, MAN ADMITS GUILT BUT GOES FREE

Nathan Bigbee pleaded guilty in Hillsborough Circuit Court last week to killing a woman 37 years ago, but his plea deal didn't send him to prison. Instead, it set him free. Bigbee admitted guilt to a reduced charge of manslaughter in exchange for a lesser sentence: three years in prison, plus five years probation. But with credit for time served, plus gain time awarded based on 1979 rules, the remainder of Bigbee's prison sentence has expired.

COLLEGE TITLE GAME BEEFS UP AIRBNB BUSINESS IN AREA

Airbnb, the online room booking and home sharing service, said that rooms booked in Tampa Bay for the College Football Playoff National Championship generated $1.9 million in economic activity around Tampa Bay. Tampa generated $1 million and Pinellas around $900,000 in economic impact due to Airbnb bookings, according to a press release.

BEFORE VISITING AREA, 'SULLY' TALKS MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON

Nothing about the date clicked with Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger when he accepted an invitation to visit St. Petersburg on Jan. 15. But eight years ago Sunday, Sullenberger piloted a crippled US Airways flight to a safe water landing on the Hudson River. Sullenberger talked with the Times about the anniversary of a miracle, what he wishes Clint Eastwood's movie did better and "the importance of our common humanity," which he'll speak about Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater.

RUBIO POINTEDLY ASKS TILLERSON: 'IS VLADIMIR PUTIN A WAR CRIMINAL?'

During a confirmation hearing, Sen. Marco Rubio aggressively questioned Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson over Russia policy and said it was "discouraging" that Tillerson would not label Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTING SOUNDS A RETREAT FROM U.S., TAMPA BAY

The venture capital industry staged a sharp national pullback in its investments to business startups in the last quarter of 2016, with last year overall posting a decline from VC investing in 2015.

POLK SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR ACCUSED OF STEALING MORE THAN $100,000

A Polk County charter school employee is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from The Schools of McKeel Academy, according to a Sheriff's Office arrest report. Deputies say Ginger Collins, a former administrator, used the funds to pay bills, buy new clothes and furniture and even a prom dress and fake eye lashes.

ST. PETE BEACH RESTAURANT CREATES TRUMP TOWER BURGER

Regardless of what emotions course through you about the big day on Jan. 20, here's one way to celebrate or drown your sorrows (while seriously messing up those resolutions). Boulevard Burgers & Tap House on St. Pete Beach has created the Trump Tower Burger. Crafted to capture the traits of Donald Trump and his empire, this burger stacks double patties for Trump Tower's imposing height, onion straws that simulate Trump's famous wispy locks and good old American cheese ("make American cheese great again").

LIGHTNING'S STAMKOS ON ST. LOUIS: PERFECT MENTOR, FRIEND

Marty St. Louis, whose No. 26 jersey will be retired on Friday, hasn't worn a Lightning sweater in nearly three years. His accomplishments may seem like ancient history, but you can still see his lasting impact on the current Lightning, especially captain Steven Stamkos.

SELFIE TIME: FREE MONSTER TRUCK DISPLAYS AROUND AREA

Before Monster Jam invades Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, you can see and take pictures with the 10,000-pound beasts at a variety of locations around Tampa Bay on Thursday, and it's free.

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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Forecasters: Increased likelihood for tropical system to form in gulf, soak Tampa Bay

Forecasters: Increased likelihood for tropical system to form in gulf, soak Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The National Hurricane Center has raised the chance that a low pressure system moving up through the Caribbean will become a tropical system as it enters the gulf in the next 3-5 days.Thursday morning, the hurricane center bumped up ...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Lightning’s season is over; latest on Bayshore street racing death; soggy Memorial Day could curtail concerts; Hooper pays tribute to Lee Roy Selmon’s

The Daystarter: Lightning’s season is over; latest on Bayshore street racing death; soggy Memorial Day could curtail concerts; Hooper pays tribute to Lee Roy Selmon’s

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The rain is back, and it won’t let up through the Memorial Day weekend. Blame Invest 90L, the low-pressure system brewing in the Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center predicted...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

ST. PETERSBURG — The increased competition in the IndyCar Series was on display during qualifying for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.Two fan favorites (Pippa Mann and 2013 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe) couldn't crack th...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Largo considers rate hike for trash, recycling

Largo considers rate hike for trash, recycling

LARGO — Residents may see the first trash and recycling rate hike in more than a decade next year as the city faces changes in the global recycling landscape and rising costs.The potential 20 percent increase, which would bring the rate for residenti...
Published: 05/24/18
St. Petersburg City Council throws wrench into Housing Authority’s Jordan Park plans

St. Petersburg City Council throws wrench into Housing Authority’s Jordan Park plans

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council rejected a request from the St. Petersburg Housing Authority for a letter the agency said would help it proceed with a $43 million makeover of Jordan Park.There’s also a question about whether the housing authority, ...
Published: 05/24/18
What’s bringing that new $50 million boutique hotel to Ybor City? It’s not just the local history

What’s bringing that new $50 million boutique hotel to Ybor City? It’s not just the local history

TAMPA — The historic charm of Ybor City is only part of the reason developers will break ground today on a $50 million boutique hotel on E Seventh Avenue.Two other key factors are Tampa’s larger business climate and the hospitality market in particul...
Published: 05/24/18
Two vacant lots in the ‘heart’ of St. Petersburg. Why does one look so much nicer?

Two vacant lots in the ‘heart’ of St. Petersburg. Why does one look so much nicer?

ST. PETERSBURG — When several old buildings on the 400 block of Central Avenue were demolished two years ago, the owners were required to attractively fence and landscape the property. The reason? To avoid having an unsightly vacant lot in the "heart...
Published: 05/24/18
Joe Henderson: With chaos the norm on Interstate 4, back roads are looking more inviting

Joe Henderson: With chaos the norm on Interstate 4, back roads are looking more inviting

In the past couple of months, I have had to travel about 25 miles from the bucolic burg of Brandon to Lakeland several times.I take Interstate 4 because it is the most direct route.I may have to rethink that strategy, though, especially with Memorial...
Published: 05/24/18