Monday, August 13, 2018
News Roundup

The Morning Watch: Officials say they were 'unfairly targeted' in St. Petersburg sewage probe

Here's what's new around the bay area this morning.

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The latest 7-day forecast

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The latest Tampa Bay-area radar

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Feels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area

GOOGLE EXPRESS DELIVERY SERVICE LAUNCHES IN FLORIDA AND TAMPA BAY TODAY

Google is the latest tech company jumping on the online delivery bandwagon in Tampa Bay. Google Express will launch today in Florida and nine other states as part of a nationwide expansion. Google Express allows users to order items from stores like Costco, Whole Foods Market, PetSmart, Kohl's and dozens of other brands with a phone app or laptop and have it delivered in two days.

OUSTED ST. PETERSBURG SEWER OFFICIALS AT CENTER OF PROBES SAY THEY HAVE BEEN UNFAIRLY TARGETED

Ousted senior St. Petersburg officials released statements late Monday, with the city's former public works administrator claiming Mayor Rick Kriseman threw them to the wolves to save his own skin during the city's ongoing sewer crisis. Mike Connors, who officially retired last year as public works administrator after a series of miscues involving sewage overflows, offered an impassioned defense of Steve Leavitt and Tom Gibson, two high-ranking officials in charge of sewer issues who were placed on unpaid leave last month by Kriseman.

DEATH PENALTY UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDS PINELLAS RETRIAL OF EX-JABIL EXECUTIVE IN 2008 DOUBLE MURDER

After a Florida Supreme Court ruling that the state must now have unanimous juries sentence defendants to death, the state and defense are grappling with how to move forward in the case involving former Jabil executive Patrick Evans. Last November, his conviction and death sentence for the 2008 murders of his estranged wife and her friend were overturned, and now the case is scheduled for retrial Oct. 31. Once again, the prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

WITH TWO WEEKS TO GO, HOW DOES 2016 COMPARE TO PAST ELECTIONS IN FLORIDA?

Polls in Florida show Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump. But beware 2012. Times Washington Bureau Chief Alex Leary takes a look back,/a> at how 2008 and 2012 transpired, and what lessons we might learn in 2016.

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA STUDENT ADMITS TO TAKING NEWSPAPERS REFERENCING ALLEGED RAPE

Staffers of the University of Tampa's newspaper, the Minaret, think last week's front-page story referencing an alleged rape at a University of South Florida fraternity sparked the theft of $1,300 in papers. A student turned himself in on Monday and admitted to the theft, UT officials said. His case was forwarded to the school's internal student conduct process.

Courtesy of the Shala family

Elhame Shala, left, and husband Raif greet former President Bill Clinton after his speech on Oct. 11 in Safety Harbor.

NEARLY TWO DECADES LATER, ALBANIAN FAMILY THANKS BILL CLINTON FOR HELPING BRING THEM TO AMERICA

In 1999, the Shala family met former President Bill Clinton when he visited their refugee camp after war had pushed them out of Kosovo. Soon they were on their way to the United States, to Safety Harbor, and this month Raif and Elhame Shala finally got to thank the man who they say saved their entire family.

INTERVIEW: JENNIFER WEINER TAKES ON NEW GENRES WITH KIDS' BOOK, MEMOIR

When bestselling author Jennifer Weiner appears Wednesday at the Schaarai Zedek luncheon in Tampa, she'll be talking about her new books — both of them. Since 2001, Weiner has published 12 novels for adult readers, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes and Who Do You Love? But now she has switched gears this year and published her first book for kids, and she discusses the transition with book editor Colette Bancroft.

FENNELLY: TIME TO GET EXCITED ABOUT THE BUCS? MAYBE

Okay, so maybe columnist Martin Fennelly was the only one waiting for the Bucs to arrive from San Francisco to One Buccaneer Place at 2:38 a.m. Monday morning following their win against the 49ers. It may be too early for welcome parties, but this was still an impressive win nonetheless, Fennelly writes.

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Find A Friend: Paddington the Black Cat

Find A Friend: Paddington the Black Cat

Sweet! Friday (Aug. 17) is National Black Cat Appreciation Day. Love has no color, but Paddington and his black kitten siblings are all ready to celebrate. There are lots of reasons to adopt a black cat — and you’ll never need a lint brush during bla...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Habitat for Humanity says it plans to buy back mortgages sold to house flipper

Habitat for Humanity says it plans to buy back mortgages sold to house flipper

TAMPA — Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County said Monday that it will seek to immediately buy back 12 mortgages that it had sold to a Tampa company with a history of flipping foreclosed houses. The announcement came a day after the Tampa Bay T...
Updated: 5 hours ago
WWE star, Pasco resident Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart dies at 63

WWE star, Pasco resident Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart dies at 63

WESLEY CHAPEL — Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, a former star with World Wrestling Entertainment who was known for his maniacal laugh, long goatee beard and powerhouse moves, died on Monday. He was 63.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said Mr. Neidhart fel...
Updated: 5 hours ago
What’s in the way of the Rays’ rebuild

What’s in the way of the Rays’ rebuild

So here's the good news.The Rays are 60-58 after taking two out of three in Toronto. Their so-called "tanking'' plan isn't really a total tank job after all. Call it a rebuilding project, and this rebuilding project looks way ahead of schedule. Not o...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Shooter charged with manslaughter in Clearwater stand your ground case

Shooter charged with manslaughter in Clearwater stand your ground case

Frustration and anticipation have packed the roughly three weeks since Michael Drejka shot Markeis McGlockton in a convenience store parking lot in a case that has reignited the debate over Florida’s stand your ground law.And on Monday, it took a dra...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Hillsborough School District will speed up lead testing, following Times investigation

Hillsborough School District will speed up lead testing, following Times investigation

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District said Monday it will accelerate how quickly it is testing school drinking and cooking water for lead.The announcement came several days after the Tampa Bay Times reported that the district didn’t disclos...
Updated: 7 hours ago
How prosecutors decided to charge Michael Drejka, shooter in controversial stand your ground case

How prosecutors decided to charge Michael Drejka, shooter in controversial stand your ground case

Prosecutors on Monday decided to charge 48-year-old Michael Drejka with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton, a major development in a case that has drawn national scrutiny over Florida’s stand your ground law.CHARGES FILED: Shoot...
Updated: 7 hours ago
What they’re saying: Reaction to the arrest of Michael Drejka in Markeis McGlockton shooting

What they’re saying: Reaction to the arrest of Michael Drejka in Markeis McGlockton shooting

The arrest of Michael Drejka in the controversial shooting of Markeis McGlockton drew loud approval Monday as a welcome development for family, advocacy groups and local elected officials in Florida.CHARGES FILED: Shooter charged with manslaughter in...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bulls secondary brimming with Hillsborough talent

Bulls secondary brimming with Hillsborough talent

Based on the daily scrimmage periods open to media, the Bulls appear poised to brandish a predominantly Hillsborough County secondary in 2018.Senior Mazzi Wilkins (Plant) and sophomore Mike Hampton (Hillsborough) appear set at the starting cornerback...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Stand your ground now means we must read the mind of an accused killer

Stand your ground now means we must read the mind of an accused killer

Today, the liberals are doing a victory dance.And the conservatives are resting easier.Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe has done them all a huge favor by bringing a manslaughter charge against convenience store shooter Michael Drejka.You s...
Updated: 8 hours ago