Saturday, August 18, 2018
News Roundup

The most-read stories on in 2016

As the year comes to a close, we're looking back on the top trending stories and blog posts from our website. Here are the 10 most-read items from 2016 on

1. Marco Rubio warming up to Donald Trump

A month after Sen. Marco Rubio dropped out of the presidential race and a contentious primary that saw no love lost between him and then-candidate Donald Trump (remember the "little Marco" and tiny hands insults), readers paid attention when Rubio said publicly that Trump's performance had "improved significantly."

2. At Tampa Bay farm-to-table restaurants, you're being fed fiction

Times food critic Laura Reiley's multi-part Farm to Fable investigation exposed the way that restaurants in Tampa Bay failed to back up claims their ingredients were local, sustainable and farm-to-table, showing that "local" veggies came from the grocery store, "gulf shrimp" came frozen from India and other misleading claims. While Farm to Fable stories looked at farmers' markets, case studies and chain restaurants, it was Part One of the series, focusing on popular, local restaurants, that was most widely read.

3. Pulse nightclub shooting: choice and chance

This harrowing, interactive 3-D map of the Pulse nightclub shows "how chance and choice collided" inside the Orlando building on the night that gunman Omar Mateen killed or wounded more than 100 people. Some ducked for cover. Some ran for an exit. Some shut themselves into rooms. In the spray of bullets, lives hinged on which way they turned, who fell in front of them, where they chose to hide.

A story using a 3-D map to illustrate the path the gunman took at the Pulse nightclub was one of the year's most read.

4. Trump fans boo, walk out on Amy Schumer show in Tampa

Several stories about Amy Schumer and Tampa were among this year's most read, including a post on the Tampa diss included in her new book and critic Jay Cridlin's review of her performance at Amalie Arena, but it was a post on The Buzz politics blog that expanded on one part of that review — when Donald Trump supporters walked out when Schumer started talking politics — that attracted national attention.

5. Thousands of people flew Allegiant last year thinking their planes wouldn't fail in the air. They were wrong.

This yearlong investigation found that Allegiant Air's planes were four times as likely to break down in mid-flight as other major U.S. carriers. The investigation also showed that the Federal Aviation Administration could have cracked down on Allegiant in the wake of high-profile incidents and a near-accident, but did not.

6. Tampa buddies form mother of all Powerball pools

When the Powerball jackpot rose to a record-breaking $1.5 billion, plenty of people started pools to combine their resources for a greater chance of winning, but none could match the one started by Tampa residents Ryan McGuinness and Shane Krugman. They raised $146,000 for 73,000 Powerball tickets and attracted attention from around the country.

7. Democrats object to Chick-fil-A voter registration drive

In October, the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections held a series of voter registration drives as part of the lead-up to the November election, but controversy erupted among Pinellas County democrats when Deborah Clark decided to hold them at nine local Chick-fil-A locations. The fast-food chain is known for putting faith ahead of profits and supporting conservative causes.

A voter drive turned into controversy when the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections chose to hold it at Chick-fil-A restaurants.

8. Tampa Bay Walmarts get thousands of police calls. You paid the bill.

A Tampa Bay Times review of records showed that police were called to local Walmarts thousands of times in a single year, far more than anyplace else, and at a considerable cost to local taxpayers. The story led to questions about the stores' drain on public resources and if there is a better way to handle minor disturbances and petty thefts.

9. Top 50 Restaurants of Tampa Bay 2016

Food writer Laura Reiley's roundup of her top restaurants in categories such as casual, upscale, pizza, brunch and Asian fusion, with star ratings, price information and the ability to search by location and cuisine type, was well-read throughout the year.

10. LGBT pride flag raised after Orlando shooting 'unbearable' for Christian employee, Hillsborough commissioner says

A pride flag waving outside the Hillsborough County center was meant to be a sign of respect for the victims of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub, but became a controversy when county commissioner Stacy White's letter stating that the flag "will be nearly unbearable" for a Christian employee to walk past was published on the Bay Buzz blog.

More of the year's most-read stories:

11. St. Petersburg couple active in business and civic leadership die in murder-suicide, police say

12. The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck

13. 11 places to see Christmas lights in Tampa Bay

14. Orlando man accused of throwing Pinky the flamingo to her death at Busch Gardens

15. Warren Sapp bit in arm by shark while lobstering

Preseason football: Hillsborough 29, East Lake 23

Preseason football: Hillsborough 29, East Lake 23

TAMPA — When moving on to your third football program in four seasons, it helps to have a familiar face on the scene to help make things click faster.For Hillsborough quarterback Charlie Dean, fresh from playing for Tampa Catholic last fall, that per...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Romano: A fresh start for Florida to protect abused children

Romano: A fresh start for Florida to protect abused children

The worst job in Florida is available, once again.Mike Carroll has announced his pending resignation as secretary of the Department of Children and Families, giving someone else the privilege to be an underfunded, second-guessed punching bag. For no ...
Published: 08/18/18
Putting a face to the name: Picture of Marine killed in Vietnam one of the missing

Putting a face to the name: Picture of Marine killed in Vietnam one of the missing

Private Ruben Bell Jr. has a name, a rank, a hometown, five service medals and several living family members. For 50 years, though, he has remained a ghost.Bell enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1967, when he was 19, and arrived in Vietnam that De...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Yeah, but …Every Jameis Winston-Marcus Mariota debate is full of them.Winston has completed more passes (939), gained more passing yards (11,636) and thrown more passing touchdowns (69) before his age 24 season than any quarterback in NFL histo...
Updated: 8 hours ago
It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

BOSTON — David Price heard about the recent reunion of the Rays' 2008 American League championship club that he played a big role on as a small part of, and he had a few questions.What players were there? How did it go? Did second baseman Akino...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Rays journal: A 3-0 first-inning lead turns into a loss to powerful Red Sox

BOSTON — Scoring three runs in the top of the first inning is typically a good start toward a victory.But not so much at cozy Fenway Park.And definitely not against these red-hot Red Sox.Facing their AL East rivals for the first time since late...
Updated: 9 hours ago
From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE — Ten thousand blue leis were distributed to Titans fans for the NFL draft on the day their team picked Marcus Mariota.The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner wasn't even at Nissan Stadium for the party, which drew a crowd of 20,000. But the w...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Preseason football: Clearwater Central Catholic 24, Wiregrass Ranch 14

Preseason football: Clearwater Central Catholic 24, Wiregrass Ranch 14

WESLEY CHAPEL — Clearwater Central Catholic, held to 11 yards rushing in the first half, turned on the power game behind senior Casey Levy, whose 120-yard performance helped carry the visiting Marauders to a 24-14 win at Wiregrass Ranch.Levy’s lone t...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Preseason football: Tampa Bay Tech 54, Brandon 6

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech earned all the momentum it needed heading into next week’s sizable test at Armwood.The Titans powered by visiting Brandon 54-6 in a preseason classic on Friday night. The game was cruising along until a 20-minute lightning dela...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Preseason football: Tampa Catholic 36, Robinson 15

TAMPA — First-year Tampa Catholic coach Jeris McIntyre hasn’t named a starting quarterback yet, but Dylan McCain shined in his job interview Friday, running a Crusader offense that scored 22 points in the second half on the way to a 36-15 preseason v...
Updated: 10 hours ago