Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

Starsof theseason

rare bipartisan agreement on federal budget

Congress and President Barack Obama approve a massive tax and spending package to fund the government through next September. Nation, 2A

Rubio misses vote on budget bill

A day after suggesting he might try to hold up a massive spending deal, Sen. Marco Rubio skips it to campaign. Nation, 2A

Solar Choice group halts campaign

Floridians for Solar Choice has shut down its petition-gathering effort for a constitutional amendment to allow looser rules on solar energy. Local, 1B

Lejeune benefits to start slowly

It will take at least a year for the VA to formulate regulations enabling Camp Lejeune veterans to receive automatic benefits for diseases linked to contaminated drinking water. Local, 1B

FAA reprimands Allegiant Air

The agency scolds the airline for an emergency landing at a closed airport in Fargo, N.D. Business, 6B

Bucs' secondary is porous again

Rams quarterback Case Keenum hit 14 of 17 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Prior to that, he had one touchdown pass all season. Sports, 1C

Lightning can't hold off Capitals

Washington, down by three at one point, scores four times in the third to beat Tampa Bay 5-3. Sports, 1C

'The Hateful Eight' to show in 70mm

The Quentin Tarantino Western will be featured in the rare projection format at the AMC Veterans 24. Etc, 2B

Coming Sunday

'Definition of insanity'

Florida spends millions making sure that mentally ill people accused of minor crimes go to court, but the state has nothing to show for it. Read part four of the Tampa Bay Times/Sarasota Herald-Tribune yearlong investigation of Florida's mental hospitals in Sunday's Times or at tampabay.com.

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Tampa lawyer accused of soliciting sex from inmate at Pinellas jail

Tampa lawyer accused of soliciting sex from inmate at Pinellas jail

A Tampa lawyer is accused of offering an inmate at the Pinellas County jail money in exchange for a sex act after exposing himself to her, according to arrest reports. Andrew B. Spark, 54, faces charges of soliciting for prostitution, exposure of sex...
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Land O’Lakes teacher charged with felony child abuse

LAND O’LAKES — A special needs teacher at Oakstead Elementary School was arrested and charged with felony child abuse after she struck and kicked a 15-year-old child in her care over the weekend, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.Christine Ketel...
Updated: 23 minutes ago

Deputies seek suspects who fired shots into crowded Northdale nightclub

TAMPA — Hillsborough County deputies are searching for the suspects who fired shots inside a crowded nightclub in Northdale early Monday morning.According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies patrolling the area heard shooting coming...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Another reason to buy a home in Tampa Bay? Down payments are lower here

Another reason to buy a home in Tampa Bay? Down payments are lower here

Homebuyers in the Tampa Bay area don’t have to shell out as much on downpayments as buyers in many other places. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the median downpayment for a bay area home in the quarter ended in September was $13,750 compare...
Updated: 1 hour ago

First-Citizens Bank & Trust acquires Tampa-based HomeBancorp

TAMPA — North Carolina-based First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. is acquiring Tampa-headquartered HomeBancorp, which operates HomeBanc. First Citizens Bank will pay $15.03 per share in cash, a Monday release said, and the deal is expected to close by mid...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Ruth: The CDC’s seven dirty words

Do you suspect the paper-pushers who run the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were channeling their inner George Carlin? You’re [email protected]!^&$ right they were!Years ago, the late comedian delivered a brilliant routine on the seven dirty words ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Video: Chick fil-A feeds thousands of hungry travelers stranded in Atlanta airport

Video: Chick fil-A feeds thousands of hungry travelers stranded in Atlanta airport

Chick fil-A is normally closed on Sundays, but it made an exception for the thousands who were stranded at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The travelers were left in the dark following a power outage that forced cancellation of mor...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Pete woman killed in crash while trying to avoid dog on I-275

TAMPA — A St. Pete Beach woman was killed Monday morning on Interstate 275 when she was struck from behind by a semi-trailer while attempting to avoid striking a dog that had run onto the highway.The crash occurred around 10:45 a.m. on I-275, north o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Pete-Clearwater airport expects holiday parking crunch, so consider arranging a ride

St. Pete-Clearwater airport expects holiday parking crunch, so consider arranging a ride

CLEARWATER — With passenger traffic picking up on Monday and expected to stay strong through Dec. 29, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport says it could run out of parking spaces, so passengers should consider making arrangements to be dropped o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The government admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories.

The government admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories.

For decades, Americans were told that Area 51 didn’t really exist and that the U.S. government had no official interest in aliens or UFOs. Statements to the contrary, official-sounding people cautioned, were probably the musings of crackpots in tinfo...
Updated: 2 hours ago