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News at noon: Trump has magic number; Dr. Beach's Top 10 list; watching the tropics; FBI director in Tampa; stuck in traffic; gator on a runway; bourbon shortage

A Caladesi Island morning. The beach at the Caladesi Island State Park was named by Dr. Beach as one of the Top 10 beaches of 2016.  [Photo by Brian Bigler]

A Caladesi Island morning. The beach at the Caladesi Island State Park was named by Dr. Beach as one of the Top 10 beaches of 2016. [Photo by Brian Bigler]

Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign.


With Marco Rubio's recent high profile events and defense of the need for Zika funding, it's impossible not to wonder whether he is positioning himself to run again for the job he dismissed as virtually irrelevant while running for president. His spokesman responds.

Four of the five Florida Republican candidates for U.S. Senate have called for VA Secretary Robert McDonald to lose his job after McDonald was forced to apologize for comparing VA waiting lists to lines at Disneyland.


Three Florida beaches, including Caladesi Island State Park, made Dr. Beach's annual list of the Top 10 Beaches. Click here to learn which beach was No. 1.


National Hurricane Center forecasters say an area of low pressure over the Atlantic Ocean has a 50 percent chance of growing into a tropical storm by the weekend — and a 70 percent chance over the next five days.


In a speech to the Special Operations Forces Industries Conference in Tampa, FBI Director James Comey says the U.S. military and its contractors must continually adapt to evolving threats from the Middle East like the Islamic State.


A five-vehicle crash snarled traffic this morning on the Howard Frankland Bridge southbound out of Tampa. One car was left hanging on the barrier wall at the edge of the bridge.


Frantzesco Kangaris/PA Wire

See that gator in the foreground? That's actually three human models painted to look like a gator. It was done by British Airways as a promotion for Florida travel.

Recently tourists on board a British Airways flights preparing to takeoff for a trans-Atlantic flight bound for Florida got a bit of a shock while taxiing on the runway at Gatwick International Airport just outside of the capital London: an alligator on the runway. Well, sort of. As it turns out, the gator was actually three elaborately painted human models, but it was enough to make everyone onboard crane their neck at the windows of the aircraft. Watch the video of them being painted.


Thanks in part to the popular television drama, bourbon shed its image as your granddad's drink a few years back. Even though the series ended in 2015, the luster hasn't worn off. Bourbon remains particularly popular with a hipster millennial crowd and is gaining a rabid following abroad. But all that demand coupled with a shortage of wood for the barrels in which bourbon soaks has created a shortage. And ars and liquor stores throughout Tampa Bay are scrambling to manage their inventory until production catches up.



Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov, center, and right wing Nikita Kucherov go through security as they enter the arena for the morning skate hours before Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at the Console Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

The Lightning, as resilient as it has been, predictably exuded confidence leading up to tonight's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Penguins. Follow the action tonight in our live blog.


"Put your ass on the chair." That, Harry Crews wrote, is "the great, grand secret of writing." Ted Geltner's new biography, Blood, Bone, and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews, shows us just how well he took his own advice — and just how hard it was to do, giving readers a fair and fascinating look at an enormously complex and talented writer Read our review from Colette Bancroft.


If any one trend has shaped pop music this decade, it has been the rise of electronic dance music in America. DJs are all over the pop charts, all over the festival landscape, even all over the Grammys. You might have Skrillex or Diplo on your workout mix as we speak. So the time feels right for a book on the formative days of American EDM. And it's hard to think of an author more qualified than Moby, the brainiac songwriter-producer and one of this country's first, and most successful, big-name DJs. But our critic Jay Cridlin says he wound up feeling Moby's memoir Porcelain was "frustratingly incomplete."


"Seeing Bloodline return to Netflix on Memorial Day weekend is nothing short of perfection," writes Piper Castillo. "For me, visiting Islamorada, the real-life location for the show, over this three-day weekend was a childhood tradition on par with Santa on Christmas Eve." She says returning to the Keys for a visit, this time with a daughter and husband, is as magical as ever.

News at noon is a weekday feature from Check in Monday through Friday for updates and information on the biggest stories of the day.

News at noon: Trump has magic number; Dr. Beach's Top 10 list; watching the tropics; FBI director in Tampa; stuck in traffic; gator on a runway; bourbon shortage 05/26/16 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2016 1:01pm]
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  1. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.

  2. NFL rewards Tampa Bay's track record, preparation with another Super Bowl


    Tampa Bay got lucky on Tuesday.

    We are getting a Super Bowl. We are getting a Super Bowl that we weren't supposed to get. We're getting a Super Bowl that we once were told we wouldn't get.

    Then came good luck.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 

Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
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    Rick Baker kicked off a fundraiser Tuesday night at the Morean Arts Center making light of his 40-minute announcement speech two weeks ago on the steps of City Hall.

    Rick Baker speaks at a fundraiser at the Morean Arts Center Tuesday
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    Brandon Russell, a private first class assigned to Company C of the 53rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Pinellas Park, has been in the Florida National Guard since February, 2016.

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