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News at noon: Veterans Day tributes; St. Pete murder investigated; fact-checking the debate; and movies, music and football

In honor of Veterans Day: Read about a group of friends' odyssey to make sure this Vietnam War hero was remembered by his alma mater, the University of Florida.

Plus, imagine you are strapped into the backseat of his F-18 Hornet blasting along at 700 mph. Now imagine you have a bunch of camera equipment and you have to make a stunning photo. Meet the military photographers who fly with Blue Angels.

Tomorrow, former Army Capt. Florent Groberg will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan. Watch as he describes the day he tackled a suicide bomber and saved lives.

Police continue to investigate the death of Lennie Acostas, the 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed Tuesday night near Wildwood Park. They say they believe his home was intentionally targeted.

Seven of the nine people believed killed when a small business jet crashed into an Ohio apartment building were employees or executives in Pebb Enterprises, a real estate developer based in Boca Raton, the firm confirms.

Did you watch the Republican presidential debate last night? Our PolitiFact team tells you which candidates' claims wilt in the cold light of day. Also, if you're into politics, you should sign up for the PolitiFact email newsletter.

The money race for two dueling solar power groups is heating up fast. In October alone, the supporters of one constitutional amendment seeking solar power regulations raised $2.3 million, about half from the state's largest utility companies, including Tampa Electric Co. and Duke Energy.

As if rising income inequality in this country isn't already a front burner debate, now we learn that Tampa again ranks in the top 10 "most unequal" larger cities in America. Read more to find out where we sit on the list.

Times movie critic Steve Persall says The 33, the movie about the rescue of the Chilean miners, has a disappointing lack of depth for a movie about being trapped 2,400 feet below.

The Beach Boys' sweet and deceptively simple songs have long transcended generations, appealing to both parents and children in ways few artists ever have. Pop music critic Jay Cridlin talks with Al Jardine and his son Matt in advance of the group's show Tuesday at the Mahaffey Theater.

Half a season isn't enough to tell us whether Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota — the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in this year's NFL draft — will become a franchise quarterback like Bledsoe, Manning or McNabb. But both of their pro careers are off to encouraging starts. Check out this week's comparison of the two.

News at noon: Veterans Day tributes; St. Pete murder investigated; fact-checking the debate; and movies, music and football 11/11/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 11:50am]
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  1. Florida beats LSU, wins first College World Series title

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Florida scored four runs in the eighth inning to pull away from LSU, and the Gators beat their SEC rival 6-1 Tuesday night to complete a two-game sweep in the College World Series finals for their first national title in baseball.

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five after a run scores.
  2. Fatal crash closes westbound lanes on Park Boulevard N in Pinellas Park

    Accidents

    Westbound lanes on Park Boulevard N are closed at 62nd Way N in Pinellas Park following a fatal crash late Tuesday night.

  3. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman and Baker pull no punches in first forum

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  4. Wildlife officers look for answers in gopher tortoise deaths while reward money piles up

    Wildlife

    The blood had already pooled when the bodies were found, bashed and beaten. One was dead. The other was still gasping, but it was too late.

    A gopher tortoise emerges from a bush to feed on vegetation on Thursday in 2016 at the Moccasin Lake Environmental Education Center in Clearwater. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating the deaths of two tortoises that were beaten and their shells broken in Manatee County. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]