Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

DayStarter: The heat wave continues; the Legislature wraps up today, Trump snags another endorsement and the Grand Prix fires up in downtown St. Petersburg

It will be another balmy March day today, according to 10Weather WTSP, with temps in the upper 80s, before the clouds roll in for Saturday, bringing a chance of rain that will increase into Sunday.

• Waking up and wondering about the Republican presidential debate? Or maybe you skipped this one because you were expecting banter you'd expect to hear from fourth-graders at recess than presidential candidates? Then you missed out — this one was a pleasantly civil , substantive discussion on the issues. But who told the truth? Who didn't? PolitiFact has a full report this morning.

• Several reports say Ben Carson, who suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination last week, plans to endorse Donald Trump this morning at a news conference at Mar-a-Lago, the luxury Palm Beach club owned by the Republican front-runner. We'll be watching the wires for the latest announcements.

A 3-year-old girl and her neighbor were shot yesterday, police said, by someone who pulled up in front of their home on 10th Avenue S in St. Petersburg, fired and then sped away. Mayor Rick Kriseman angrily addressed the shooter, who was still being hunted last night. "To the person who did this, who is a coward and would shoot a child, we're going to find you. … We're going to prosecute you, and we're going to put you away."

• Remember that controversial plan Tampa General Hospital board members had to pay themselves $15,000 to $30,000 a year? Never mind.

• As the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg returns to town, you might be thinking about how IndyCar drivers cope with the possibility of a horrific, life-threatening wreck. Driver James Hinchcliffe nearly bled to death — he lost 14 pints of blood — in an accident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Matt Baker asked how you can get back in a race car after an experience like that. But as it turns out, for these drivers speed is the fastest cure. Meanwhile, follow our Grand Prix live blog all weekend for a window on the action on and around the track. And while you're downtown, you'll need to refuel Here's our guide to the new restaurants in downtown St. Petersburg since last year's Grand Prix.

• Former first lady Nancy Reagan will be laid to rest next to former President Ronald Reagan after a private funeral that begins at 1 p.m. today (Florida time). Here are details about the service, including a list of notable guests.

• The 60-day legislative session is expected to come to a close this afternoon with lawmakers approving a record $82.3 billion budget and sending it to Gov. Rick Scott's desk. Follow the latest — and some last-minute wrangling over undecided bills — on The Buzz, our state politics blog.

• The Rays' spring training season continues today with another game in Lakeland against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yesterday's game was a 5-1 win for Tampa Bay in a power display that included Desmond Jennings' first spring home run.

This 32,000-square-foot home is hard to miss if you're driving on N Dale Mabry near Busch Boulevard. It's the biggest in Hillsborough County and will be home to cardiologist and philanthropist Dr. Kiran Patel. Join real estate reporter Susan Taylor Martin for a video walk-through of the under-construction home with Patel.

• See what business columnist Robert Trigaux has to say about a new rule that took effect this month aimed at ending the anonymity of people who buy real estate via anonymous shell companies.

• Tonight's free show by glam-rockers the Struts at Jannus Live is one of this week's five best things to do under $5.

Plan your weekend with the help of our critics and entertainment writers — and what a big weekend it is, between the Grand Prix and the Gasparilla Music Festival, not to mention the boat show at the Trop, water parks opening for the season and some new stage shows. It's all there.

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Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  — The Russians finally have a gold medal at the  Olympics, thanks to a 15-year-old who beat the fellow teen who inspired her to become a figure skater.Alina Zagitova won one of the Games' spotlight events Frida...
Updated: 1 hour ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 22

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Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

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Eight days after mass shooter Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward’s top cop on Thursday revealed a stunning series of failures by the sheriff’s department.A school campus cop heard the gunfire, rushed ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
A case for wild flamingos calling Florida their home

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Updated: 4 hours ago

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Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Associated PressSTARKE — An inmate convicted of raping and killing a college student decades ago screamed and yelled "murderers!" three times, thrashing on a gurney as he was being put to death Thursday. The governor’s office said Eric Scott Branch, ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor and the police chief came to Northeast High on Thursday to warn students about the dangers of circulating rumors of school safety threats on social media.While they were there, one of those unfounded rumors popped up on Fac...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Administrator Haley Loeun fired from CareerSource jobs centers

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Haley Loeun, a top aide to the embattled leader of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards, was fired Thursday from her $130,000-a-year position as business services director.Loeun came under criticism after the Tampa Bay Times reported that employ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

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TAMPA — Across Interstate 4 from Ybor City’s nightlife, another part of the historic neighborhood has an odor less nostalgic — and much less pleasant — than cigar smoke and roasting coffee beans.V.M. Ybor, named after the Spaniard who founded the cit...
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Mattis expected to back allowing transgender troops to stay in the military

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WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to propose to President Donald Trump that transgender members of the U.S. military be allowed to continue serving despite the president’s call last summer for a ban on all transgender service, acc...
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