Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Viral Facebook post; Florida Legislature; ferry service talk; MLB Hall of Fame ballot, circus comes to town

On the day he died, Matthew DeRemer was ready to move forward. At 10:06 a.m. on New Year's Eve, he typed a message to friends on Facebook. The last year had been challenging, but he was ready for 2016.

Ten hours later, he was dead, killed by an alleged drunken driver. Now that Facebook post has gone viral.

The Florida Legislature made history in 2015 for all the wrong reasons. They start fresh Tuesday in an unusually early election-year session. We'll soon find out if the debacle of 2015 was an aberration or the new normal in Tallahassee. In our For a Better Florida coverage, we look at five areas of concern.

Meanwhile, the state Senate today is renumbering all 40 of its districts to comply with a judge's order, and in doing so keeps alive the goal of a Pasco senator, Republican Wilton Simpson, to be Senate president in 2020.

Mayors Bob Buckhorn of Tampa and Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg are set to meet today at Tampa City Hall to talk about a proposal to create a ferry service between the two cities' waterfronts.

A transportation hub for rail and buses near the West Shore area is one step closer to becoming a reality now that the Florida Department of Transportation has purchased the land. FDOT announced Tuesday that it closed on the Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Airport and Charley's Steakhouse property.

Inspired by a stronger-than-ever RV market and interstate expansion dreams, Seffner-based Lazydays — one of the top RV dealers in the country — raised $56 million in a recent land sale to help fund future growth.

As Marc Topkin shares his baseball Hall of Fame ballot, he says putting the X in the box next to Ken Griffey Jr.'s name was one of the simplest and most obvious decisions in his 10-plus years of voting on candidates.

Jonathan Drouin reported to AHL Syracuse Tuesday morning for practice. And, as expected, Drouin, 20, said very little on his November trade request, which became the talk of the hockey world after agent Allan Walsh made it public Sunday.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus made it to town today, with the parade of animals. Before heading to the show, here are five things to know.

Steve Persall writes in his review: The Revenant is what 3-D and IMAX promise without either surcharge, a movie immersing viewers in its brutal beauty, making the screen seem uncommonly larger. The popular term is "pure cinema" and this, my friends, is it.

COMING THURSDAY

A year ago, John Jonchuck drove to the top of a bridge, held his 5-year-old daughter Phoebe over the side and let go. He must have been crazy. It was the only thing that made sense. He loved his daughter. And yet, for years, police had documented violence between the girl's parents, and child protection workers had visited their home five times. Seven times, people called the abuse hotline, fearing for her safety. And still, no one stopped it. Watch the trailer video here.

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.

..

Comments
The Daystarter: CareerSource used credit cards to boost hiring totals; report says Winston suspension coming; Hedman wins Norris Trophy; get ready for Pride

The Daystarter: CareerSource used credit cards to boost hiring totals; report says Winston suspension coming; Hedman wins Norris Trophy; get ready for Pride

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Today is also the official start of summer, not that anyone will be able to tell. It will be hot and muggy with just a 30 percent chance of rain heading into Friday, according to 10We...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Romano: Intrigue behind all those manicured lawns

Romano: Intrigue behind all those manicured lawns

I’ve always thought homeowners associations had a lot in common with cops.People love to complain about them and often accuse them of abusing their power. And yet as soon as a neighbor paints his house a hot shade of fuchsia, you’re screaming for the...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Daniel Ruth: Florida should consider taking back its outsourced foster care services

Daniel Ruth: Florida should consider taking back its outsourced foster care services

We hear a great deal about how government is the source of all evil, a wasteful, incompetent coven of lazy paper-pushing bureaucrats.That is why the heavens open and the angels sing and all is right with the world whenever we can wrest away various s...
Published: 06/21/18
A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay home sales while prices keep rising

A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay home sales while prices keep rising

Tampa Bay’s two largest counties showed anemic home sales in May as prices continued to rise due to a tight supply. In Pinellas, sales of single-family home plunged nearly 12 percent from the previous May, the second-worst showing in a year. P...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Lucky’s Market is considering a move in to the old Albertsons box space in Clearwater, according to preliminary plans filed with the city. Lucky’s master broker, Rick Lewellyn, was listed on an agenda as discussing renovating the existing property wi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

CLEARWATER —The city’s proposed $79.7 million overhaul of the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training facilities depends on getting $40 million in bed taxes from Pinellas County.But records show even if county officials wanted to bankroll the Phillies...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 7 hours ago