Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: Who bought the top 25 McMansions last year; NYC crane collapses; Search for Missouri couple ends; Julian Assange gets UN approval; Jobs report; Rays stadium search continues in Tampa; Barry Manilow review

Of the 25 most expensive properties sold last year, nine went to people who work in one particular industry. Can you guess what it is?

At 8:25 this morning, a crane collapsed in the Tribeca neighborhood of lower Manhattan. One person died and two others were seriously injured when the crane crashed down, smashing the roofs of parked cars.

In the Florida Panhandle, the search for a Missouri couple suspected in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended in a shootout early this morning. Blake Fitzgerald died and Brittany Nicole Harper was taken to a local hospital, according to a statement from the local sheriff.

Noela Rukundo played along with the scheme after her husband had ordered a team of hitmen to kill her. She sat outside her own funeral and waited for her husband to exit. Then she jumped out and surprised him.

A United Nations human rights panel has sided with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his long-running battle with Swedish and British authorities. The UN said he should be allowed to walk free immediately and compensated for the years he has lost.

Even as the overall economy is struggling in areas such as manufacturing, Friday's Labor Department report showed that the U.S. job market remains resilient, adding 151,000 jobs in January alone.

In the Republican Presidential primary race, Marco Rubio has moved into second place in New Hampshire, according to a poll released Friday morning. What a second place finish in New Hampshire could mean for Rubio.

Today, Florida House and Senate leaders will roll out gambling bills that would allow the Seminole Tribe to add craps and roulette at its casinos. The bills will also potentially eliminate dog racing and most horse racing and open the door for slot machines in Palm Beach County.

A dozen nurseries are challenging the way Florida awarded licenses to grow and dispense medical marijuana to critically ill patients. These groups are stalling efforts to get the drug available, a conflict that could take months to resolve.

Today, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and County Commissioner Ken Hagan scheduled to meet with Tampa Bay Rays executives to discuss the team's search for potential stadium sites in Hillsborough County. It was January 2010 when Hagan started talking about making sure the Rays stay in the Tampa Bay area. But it wasn't until last month that the team got the permission it needed from the St. Petersburg City Council to expand its search for potential stadium sites without violating its lease at Tropicana Field.

Every year the Times workplace survey finds that benefits and perks play a commanding role in the minds of employees of what constitutes great place to work. In this metro area, these perks typically range from on-site gyms, free or subsidized meals at work to liberal policies to engage in community service.

We all know Florida has a legendary case of the crazies. As with all good legends, over time, it can be tough to sort the myths from the truth. Can you pick out the bogus headline in the True Florida Quiz?

The maestro, the money and the "Great Gatsby": the story behind Mark Sforzini's unfinished opera.

Each song sounds like an end-of-the-night embrace, all sap and schmaltz and see-you-when-I-see-you as the credits start to roll. It's a Barry Manilow signature and was not missing from his concert last night at Amalie Arena.

While Cam Newton is the talk of Super Bowl 50, another NFC South quarterback is getting plenty of attention this week in San Francisco, and he's a local name. What Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could offer as a candidate for not one but two Rookie of the Year awards.

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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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: 9 minutes 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: 11 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 homes sales while prices keep rising

A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay homes 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. Prices, t...
Updated: 13 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: 14 minutes 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: 21 minutes 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: 22 minutes 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: 6 hours ago