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News at Noon: VA agrees to pay for robotic legs for veterans; Disney to use metal detectors; Trigaux column; Tonight the force awakens; Lightning podcast

While ReWalk Robotics service engineer Tom Coulter, right, looks on, paralyzed Army veteran Gene Laureano smiles as he walks using a ReWalk device Wednesday in Bronx, N.Y. The Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to pay for robotic legs that could allow scores of paralyzed veterans with spinal cord injuries to walk again. [Mel Evans | Associated Press]

While ReWalk Robotics service engineer Tom Coulter, right, looks on, paralyzed Army veteran Gene Laureano smiles as he walks using a ReWalk device Wednesday in Bronx, N.Y. The Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to pay for robotic legs that could allow scores of paralyzed veterans with spinal cord injuries to walk again. [Mel Evans | Associated Press]

The Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to pay for robotic legs that could allow scores of paralyzed veterans with spinal cord injuries to walk again. Many veterans are elated at the news that they will no longer have to pay out of pocket for the $77,000 powered exoskeleton called the ReWalk.

Visitors to Walt Disney World's four theme parks in Florida were met with metal detectors at the park entrances Thursday morning as part of new security measures, and other theme parks, including SeaWorld and Universal, also have installed metal detectors recently, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

A family and community are reeling at news that the 20-month-old boy who was struck by an SUV in Clearwater last night has died. Check back for updates on the driver and family.

Two 17-year-olds have been killed in the past three days in St. Petersburg. Early this morning, Tyler Lord was found in an alleyway, just two houses away from where he lived. Police officers in the area heard shots, and then received a call from someone who'd walked into the alley and seen Lord on the ground, where he died shortly after. Detectives have been working around the clock trying to find new information, Previtera said, while simultaneously attempting to locate a man who shot Gabriel Wallace, 17, on Tuesday afternoon.

One St. Pete company is capitalizing on a niche market, reporting a 14 percent jump in revenues to $5.2 billion last quarter. Known for its agility, much of Jabil's business success has been from its diversification from medical instruments, defense and package design to wearable technology and home sensors.

Congratulations, Safety Harbor. There's now a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer living in your midst. Cheap Trick member Robin Zander, who has lived in Safety Harbor for more than 22 years, was announced as part of the Rock Hall of Fame's 2016 class of inductees.

Is the Force strong with you? Will you be there when the Force awakens in theaters? The Tampa Bay Times will be there, too! Don't choose the dark side – follow our live blog for everything Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

A long time ago in a galaxy not so far way, the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo and crew continued after the death of the Emperor and the destruction of the second Death Star. No, we're not talking about The Force Awakens. We're talking about the Star Wars books that came before it.

Otters at the Tampa Aquarium have been dreaming of a white Christmas, and they'll get it! Get details on the otters' upcoming romp in the snow here.

Steven Stamkos may be out of the mania in Toronto, but his contract saga seems far from over. Listen to today's Lightning Strikes Podcast and find out some of the options for captain Stamkos, in the final year of his current deal, who doesn't have an extension as Christmas approaches.

The Bucs play tonight in St. Louis. Find out what to expect from the Rams' offense with the Bassinger Scouting Report and follow along later tonight with the live game blog.

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: VA agrees to pay for robotic legs for veterans; Disney to use metal detectors; Trigaux column; Tonight the force awakens; Lightning podcast 12/17/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2015 11:49am]
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