Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

News at noon: Voting and voting irregularities; ferry crossing; missing man; bike share; restaurant openings, college football; and Game 6 of the Series

Republicans are maintaining their advantage over Democrats in mail ballot returns in Florida as total ballots cast, by mail and early voting, breaks 4 million. Republicans make up 40.4 percent of the total and Democrats 40 percent.

In a worrisome story, the Seminole County supervisor of elections Mike Ertel says the absentee ballots of five voters in three homes in Spring Valley were stolen and then fraudulently submitted with votes cast by someone else, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

REMINDER: Hillary Clinton will be at Pasco-Hernando State College East Campus, 36727 Blanton Road, Dade City, at 3 p.m. today. Bill Clinton attends a get-out-the-vote event at 6:30 p.m. at Thomas "Jet" Jackson Recreation Center at Wildwood Park, 1000 28th St. S., in St. Petersburg.

GREAT DAY FOR A BOAT RIDE

The Cross-Bay Ferry departed on its first voyage today from the Vinoy Basin in St. Petersburg. But that trip was only for elected officials, transportation leaders, business groups and other designated "VIPs." The general public will have to wait until Friday to test out the region's latest transportation option.

A PUZZLING DISAPPEARANCE

A 3-year-old boy was found stranded on a small island in the middle of the Alafia River on Monday. Searchers also found the Jet Ski the boy was riding with his father pulled up on the island's southern bank along with the father's wallet and an adult-sized life jacket. But William "Billy" Morris III, a 38-year-old father of three, was nowhere to be found.

BIKE SHARE PROGRAM BEGINS

SAMANTHA PUTTERMAN | Times

On Tuesday, St. Petersburg rolled out its new bike share program with Coast Bikes with the arrival of 100 bicycles spread out in 10 hubs around the waterfront and downtown area. The bikes, which have already been implemented in Tampa, costs about $8 per hour to rent.

St. Petersburg is offering residents another way to navigate its busy downtown streets. The Coast Bike Share Program rolled out Tuesday morning with 100 green demo bikes spread across 10 hubs along the city's waterfront and Central Avenue corridor, according to the company's website.

MORE WOMEN OPT TO 'GO FLAT'

Béatrice de Géa for the New York Times

"It's a tremendous amount to put your body through, and it's not like we're going to get our breasts back," said Rebecca Pine, 40, who decided against reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy.

While plastic surgeons and oncologists aggressively promote breast reconstruction as a way for women to "feel whole again" after mastectomies, some doctors say they are beginning to see resistance to the surgery. Patients like Bowers are choosing to defy medical advice and social convention and remain breastless after breast cancer. They even have a name for the decision to skip reconstruction: They call it "going flat."

NOVEMBER RESTAURANT OPENINGS

As the weather teases us with its fickle promise of cooler temperatures, the Tampa Bay restaurant scene also brings us slightly more promising culinary ventures. This month, be on the lookout for a new kava bar in St. Petersburg, a hipper version of a mom-and-pop soda fountain drugstore in Seminole Heights and a chicken and waffles food truck in Ybor City.

FIRST COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS

Tonight will give us our first glimpse of which teams have the best shot at coming to Tampa for the Jan. 9 national title game at Raymond James Stadium. Here's what to expect. Also, Joey Knight and Matt Baker are planning to do a Facebook Live event after the rankings are unveiled. You can join them here.

THERE'S SOMETHING MAGIC ABOUT A GAME 6

There is something about the World Series and Game 6s, writes Martin Fennelly. There's a Game 6 tonight in Cleveland. Cubs and Indians. The My Curse Is Bigger Than Your Curse showdown, with the Indians up 3-2, one win away. Still. Don't count out the Cubs. Don't count out anything. It's a Game 6.

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.

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