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News at noon: Uptick in Marine suicides; Madeira Beach cop-related shooting; Mississippi flooding continues; Zillow report on Tampa Bay homes; Bucs Quarterback report

Volunteers form a human chain as they help load sandbags Tuesday in St. Louis. Flooding across Missouri has forced the closure of hundreds of roads and threatened homes. [Associated Press]

Volunteers form a human chain as they help load sandbags Tuesday in St. Louis. Flooding across Missouri has forced the closure of hundreds of roads and threatened homes. [Associated Press]

A 29-year-old former Marine corporal slipped out of his parents' house while they were asleep three weeks ago and drove to his favorite fishing lake in the Rockies. Under the bright mountain stars, Tyler Schlagel kindled a small campfire. When the flames grew high, he threw his military journals into the fire, then shot himself in the head. Schlagel's death Dec. 9 was the 14th suicide in his military unit since the group returned from a bloody tour in Afghanistan in 2008.

A Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputy shot a man who tried to grab the deputy's gun during a traffic stop near John's Pass early Wednesday. Near the intersection of Gulf Boulevard and 129th Avenue W, police stopped a woman suspected of driving under the influence. Passenger Dylan Tompkins-Holmes, 26, caused a disturbance and was handcuffed. He then grabbed for Deputy Tim Virden's gun. In the struggle, Virden shot Tompkins-Holmes in the leg and stomach.

Federal officials were monitoring 19 vulnerable levees on the rising Mississippi River and its tributaries, warning that hundreds of homes in Illinois and Missouri could be threatened by a rare winter flood that already forced the partial closure of interstate highways and widespread evacuations.

A new report from Zillow shows the value of all of the homes in Tampa Bay combined is $232 billion, which is more than the Gross Domestic Product of some small countries and is a higher value than other big cities like Orlando and Las Vegas. But it's also less than a third of the value of Apple. See how else the number compares.

Weird things happen everywhere there are human beings, of course, but more weirdness happens in the Sunshine State and it tends to be weirder. For proof that this is a fact, look no further than a few of the stories that happened here in 2105: stories with headlines like "Deerfield Reptile Store Owner Hits People With Pet Dragon"and "Alleged FIU Foot Sniffer Arrested."

Questions are swirling around Marcus Mariota's future. And they have nothing to do with his right knee. In other QB news: if Jameis Winston throws for 283 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, he will be the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in a single season.

News at noon: Uptick in Marine suicides; Madeira Beach cop-related shooting; Mississippi flooding continues; Zillow report on Tampa Bay homes; Bucs Quarterback report 12/30/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 12:29pm]
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  1. Richard Spencer coming to town? What UF can learn from other schools

    College

    With Richard Spencer's controversial visit to the University of Florida quickly approaching, some UF and Gainesville police officers boarded a plane bound for Berkeley.

    Thousands of people, many of them college students, gather for a vigil on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 16 -- four days after a Unite the Right rally that led to clashes and the death of a woman. In advance of an appearance Thursday at the University of Florida by white nationalist Richard Spencer, the school is looking at what happened in Charlottesville and other venues where controversial speakers have visited. [Jason Lappa | The New York Times]
  2. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
  3. Today he secures Bucs games; 30 years ago he played in them

    Bucs

    TAMPA —- Whenever the Bucs play a home game, Sankar Montoute is on hand to supervise more than 50 officers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on duty at Raymond James Stadium.

    Sankar Montoute, who oversees Homeland Security for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, was a replacement player for the Bucs during the 1987 strike. 
Montoute, who had a sack and interception in the same NFL game, oversees the 50-plus officers who work at Bucs games, most of whom have no idea he played. [Times files (1987)]
  4. Florida woman weighing 325 pounds charged with killing girl by sitting on her

    Crime

    PENSACOLA — A 325-pound (150-kilogram) Florida woman is charged with killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as punishment.

    This Oct. 14, 2017 photo made available by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Fla., shows Veronica Green Posey under arrest. Posey is charged with killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as punishment. Posey, who weighs 325 pounds, first punished the girl with a ruler and metal pipe before sitting on her for at least 10 minutes. [Escambia County Sheriff's Office via AP]
  5. Girl, 8, got on 'tippy toes' to peer over cruise ship railing, then fell to her death

    Accidents

    MIAMI — A family cruise to paradise turned into a nightmare on Saturday, when an 8-year-old tumbled over the inner railings of a ship and fell to her death.

    Friends and family mourn Zion Smith, the 8-year-old girl who fell to her death aboard a Carnival cruise in Miami this weekend. [Image from Facebook]