Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

Threat of Zika brings Gov. Scott to Tampa

TAMPA — With Florida still drying out from Tropical Storm Colin, Gov. Rick Scott met here Thursday with local health and mosquito control officials to discuss their efforts to keep the Zika virus at bay.

The whistle-stop visit, which included Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip, comes as Scott is renewing efforts to get more federal funding to help Florida prepare for a potential Zika outbreak.

More than 170 Florida residents have contracted the virus after traveling abroad. But there is concern that the onset of mosquito season will increase the risk of the virus being contracted from insect bites in Florida.

Scott earlier this month sent the White House an extensive list of preparedness items that local health departments and mosquito control boards say they need.

The biggest expense on that list will be to pay for more workers to spray for mosquitoes. More insecticide and mosquito netting are also needed, Scott said.

"Especially when we have an active case, you're going to want to blanket the area," Scott said. "It can't be done by aerial. It has to be done by being there."

Scott is scheduled to discuss those requests with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"What I'm hopeful for is they will tell us how they will be funding our request," Scott said. "The federal government needs to show up and do their part."

Scott's visit to Tampa coincides with another effort by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., to boost funding for local mosquito control efforts. Nelson said Thursday he has filed a bill that would provide an additional $130 million per year in grant funding to local mosquito control boards working to eradicate the species of mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus. It would also provide additional funds for public health laboratories for testing.

The Zika virus is transmitted by mosquito bites but can also be sexually transmitted. It has been linked to birth defects. Nationwide, more than 1,700 cases of the virus have been reported.

Florida Department of Health officials have urged Floridians to drain standing water at least weekly to deny mosquitoes a breeding ground. Residents and visitors are also advised to use bug repellents when outdoors.

Comments
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: 12 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: 1 hour 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: 2 hours ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cameron, a&#...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Eight passengers who were aboard a Southwest Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of its engines blew apart filed suit Wednesday against the airline, Boeing and the companies that manufactured the eng...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Tesla sued a former employee Wednesday, accusing the man of hacking the automaker’s computer systems and stealing company secrets, shedding light on what chief Elon Musk had suggested was the work of a secretive internal saboteur.But the employee, Ma...
Updated: 3 hours 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: 4 hours 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: 4 hours ago