Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

The DayStarter: The gyrocopter pilot learns his fate, Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 and our 'Farm to Fable' writer does a Reddit AMA

The humidity returns on Thursday, according to 10Weather WTSP, before the tail end of the system that dumped all the rain in Texas rolls in on Friday. Highs today above 80.

• Gyrocopter pilot and Ruskin campaign funding protestor Doug Hughes will find out today how much time he'll be doing in federal prison. Hughes' sentencing follows his guilty plea for flying his one-man aircraft to the U.S. Capitol about a year ago.

• Remember how torrential rains last summer swamped St. Petersburg's sewer system? Today, starting at 8 a.m., the St. Petersburg City Council will hear a long-awaited report about how to fix it.

• Queen Elizabeth II has been served by 12 prime ministers, starting with Churchill; navigated the decline of the British Empire; braved the tragedies of her family and the nation; and, on Sept. 9, edged out Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in British history: 64 years now. The queen, who turns 90 today, is lauded for having the stiffest upper lip in the realm. Our All Eyes photo gallery looks back at her historic reign.

• Have you read Times food critic Laura Reiley's local foods Farm to Fable investigation yet? Curious about what's happened since publication? Want to know more about the reporting process? Want advice on how to find out if your food is what it's advertised as? Join us this afternoon at 3 p.m. as she hosts a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) — she'll take your questions and questions from Redditors across the globe.

• If you've ever easily found your way around Tampa International Airport, thank graphic designer Jane Doggett. Doggett, 86, has designed some of the biggest "wayfinding" systems, and is considered a legend in the world of graphic design. "I was in the right place at the right time," she tells Times art critic Lennie Bennett. "We innovated a lot. … We got the airlines to agree to one typeface (instead of using their logos on airport signs). One of them said, 'That's socialism.' It was consolidation."

Gov. Rick Scott will hold a formal bill signing ceremony this morning in Tampa for a new law intended to expedite the testing of rape kits. The event at FDLE's regional operations center begins at 9 a.m.

• Punk legends NOFX will sign books today at an indie Tampa bookstore before they take the stage in Ybor. But first singer and bassist "Fat Mike" Burkett talked to pop music critic Jay Cridlin about the punk scene's destructive early days.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including Boston-based ska-punk group Big D and the Kids Table at State Theatre and comedian Pablo Francisco at the Improv in Tampa.

• It's time to plan your weekend! Find suggestions from our critics and writers including a guide to Clearwater's Sugar Sand Festival.

• The Lightning take on the Red Wings at 7 p.m. in Tampa's Amalie Arena for Game 5 of their first round NHL Playoffs series. The Bolts lead the best-of-seven series 3-1, and could send the Wings back home to Detroit for good. TV coverage will be on Fox Sports Sun; listen on the radio to 970-AM. But whatever happens, the mentally tough Lightning have shown they won't crack, writes our sports columnist Tom Jones. To get ready for tonight, check out beat writer Joe Smith's latest Lightning Strikes podcast this afternoon at tampabay.com/lightning.

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St. Petersburg police sergeant demoted after throwing bullet at fellow officer

St. Petersburg police sergeant demoted after throwing bullet at fellow officer

ST. PETERSBURG — A long-tenured St. Petersburg police sergeant and executive vice president of the local police union is being demoted to the rank of officer after he threw a bullet at another sergeant while on duty, the department said Wednesday.Jam...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

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Updated: 19 minutes ago
Thefts from cell towers in Ruskin, Gibsonton interrupt service, deputies say

Thefts from cell towers in Ruskin, Gibsonton interrupt service, deputies say

Lost phone signal recently?The culprit might be a Ruskin man who stole thousands of dollars of equipment that had powered Verizon and T-Mobile towers, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The theft interrupted cell tower signals on ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Train strikes stalled semi, out spills frozen chicken, beef and fish

LAKELAND — Residents got some frozen treats the hard way Wednesday morning, hours after a CSX train struck a semitrailer truck, splitting it in half and spilling its load of frozen beef, chicken and fish onto the roadway.The train was traveling from ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

TAMPA — So, this is Christmas.The Bucs are having an awful season. There is no way around it. Star receiver Mike Evans isn’t having a great year, either, not nearly as many catches or touchdowns as last season, when he was selected for the Pro Bowl.S...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Highlands County students hurt when semi hits school bus

Four Highlands County school children and their bus driver were injured Wednesday morning when their school bus was struck by a semitrailer truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place just before 8 a.m. on U.S. 27 and Lake Pla...
Updated: 1 hour ago

When to see the Geminid Meteor Shower light up Tampa Bay (w/video)

Folks around Tampa Bay will be treated to quite the light show Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.And it has nothing to do with Christmas.The Geminid Meteor Shower will produce as many as 120 meteors per hour.The best time to view? We hope yo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Goodman: The night Alabama woke up America

Goodman: The night Alabama woke up America

After weeks during which the people of Alabama were prejudged as incapable or unwilling to decipher right from wrong, they proved themselves by blazing a new path to virtue.They defied tradition. They defied political party. They defied the elites wh...
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Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp vehemently denied allegations that he sexually harassed a female employee when he worked at the NFL Network during a radio appearance this afternoon in Miami."Ain’t no #MeToo," the former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer said on the And...
Updated: 1 hour ago