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News at noon: Winter storms approach; Killer Mike speaks at USF; Florida citrus by the numbers; Top 50 restaurants; Drouin suspended

Traffic moves slowly along a road in Alcoa, Tenn. As the South and East braced for a nor'easter with the potential for significant snowfall by week's end, snow began to blanket much of Kentucky and Tennessee and contributed to at least one traffic-related death Wednesday. [Tom Sherlin  | Daily Times via AP]

Traffic moves slowly along a road in Alcoa, Tenn. As the South and East braced for a nor'easter with the potential for significant snowfall by week's end, snow began to blanket much of Kentucky and Tennessee and contributed to at least one traffic-related death Wednesday. [Tom Sherlin | Daily Times via AP]

Today we found out that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely approved the fatal poisoning of a former KGB operative-turned-British intelligence agent at a post London hotel. Details on the case and what the findings mean for future Russia-UK relations.

With more winter weather approaching, people throughout the east coast readied themselves for blocked roads, power outages and canceled flights.

Michael Render, a.k.a. Killer Mike, came to the University of South Florida last night and urged students to get off campus, "find a child that does not look like you" and mentor them. The Grammy-winning artist of Run the Jewels fame got started as a musician, but his influence has spread to the realm of politics and social justice.

At a time when agriculture is dormant in most of the country, winter is prime time for the citrus groves of Florida. Not only a massive export for the state, if you take a drive down the back roads, you'll see where the industry comes to life.

The grand opening of St. Petersburg's new Pier and sweeping promenade may seem a distant two and a half years away, but planning for this massive project will be determined over the coming months. Check back this afternoon as the City Council will consider an initial $318,030 architecture and engineering contract for the newest phase of the project, the 21-acre Pier Approach that will link the Pier to the city's humming waterfront.

A beloved retired Tampa Police detective battling cancer is back home after friends and colleagues rallied to help cover the cost of his trip from Puerto Rico. Tampa police Lt. Ruth Cate started a Go Fund Me page for the cost of the flight and the medical bills to come. In the last five days, 358 people have donated nearly $42,000.

Want to know who has Tampa Bay's best burgers? Where can you find the bay area's best pizza? Here are the restaurants that made the cut for this year's Top 50 Restaurants of Tampa Bay.

Busch Gardens will be serving Meat Loaf at its second annual Food & Wine Festival. Kenny Rogers, Huey Lewis and Lynyrd Skynyrd, too. The music lineup for the March and April festival is out, and the big names are accompanied by excellent dining options and deals for Fun Card holders.

Jonathan Drouin, the Lightning's No. 3 overall draft pick in 2013, was suspended indefinitely without pay by the team after he failed to report for AHL Syracuse's game in Toronto. Sports columnist Tom Jones explains why a denied trade does not equal sympathy from the league or fans.

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: Winter storms approach; Killer Mike speaks at USF; Florida citrus by the numbers; Top 50 restaurants; Drouin suspended 01/21/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2016 1:10pm]
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    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

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    Blogs

    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

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    Blogs

    Today's total solar eclipse is, of course, a social media event as much as it is a natural phenomenon. Twitter even rolled out an #eclipse hashtag that automatically adds an eclipse emoji.

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    Space

    Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

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    Space

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    The moon covers the sun during a total eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, near Redmond, Ore.  [Ted S. Warren | Associated Press]