Saturday, June 16, 2018
News Roundup

DayStarter: Rain clouds rolling in, Gawker's founder appears on 'The View' and our latest Lightning podcast

• The clouds start rolling in today with a chance of rain later in the afternoon in some areas, according to 10Weather WTSP. It'll be warm today, but a front approaching tomorrow should bring cooler temps and more rain.

• The University of South Florida paid a former athletic director and assistant football coach $626,000 more than the state's legal limit for compensation, according to a report released yesterday by Florida's auditor general. In 2014, USF paid former athletic director Doug Woolard $610,000 — $100,000 more than Woolard's annual salary and $415,000 beyond what the director should have legally received, according to the audit.

• A second attacker is suspected of taking part in the bombing this week of a Brussels subway train and may be at large, according to Belgian and French media reports, amid growing signs that the same Islamic State cell was behind the attacks in Brussels and bloodshed in Paris last year. The chief suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was summoned to court in Brussels on Thursday morning after his arrest last week in the Belgian capital. His lawyer said Abdeslam is not fighting extradition to France, which wants him to face potential terrorism charges.

• A Tampa lawyer has his own harrowing story to tell about the attacks in Belgium. Determined not to miss his long flight back to Florida, John Ovink stepped to the counter of the Starbucks in the Brussels Airport and ordered his usual: medium coffee, black. The Tampa immigration attorney was on the tail end of a six-day trip to visit his father in the Netherlands. It was midnight, and he wanted to check in about three hours before a 7:30 a.m. flight to Orlando, so he cracked a book and settled in for a long night. His flight departed shortly after 8 a.m. About that same time, two explosions ripped through the terminal, one of them outside the very Starbucks where Ovink spent so many hours that morning.

• Gawker founder Nick Denton will be on the set of The View today, a last minute scheduling change producers made after professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) sat with the show's hosts yesterday to talk about his sex tape trial. Denton's interview will serve as a rebuttal to Bollea's comments about Gawker and their journalistic standards.

• Tampa International Airport plans to release design details of its new "automated people mover" cars this morning. The people mover is part of the airport's $953 million renovation. Follow business reporter Alli Knothe on Twitter (@KnotheA) to get updates, then check tampabay.com/money for a full story around lunchtime.

• A federally funded effort in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis to combat extremist recruitment has been slow to start since it was announced a year and a half ago. Few local programs have been directly created by the "Countering Violent Extremism" pilot initiative, with officials in those cities just starting to distribute more than $500,000 in Department of Justice grant money to jumpstart new local efforts. The furthest along appears to be Minneapolis, where officials point to at least one newly created but still not operational effort: a privately financed mentorship program working with youth in the city's sizeable Somali community, which has produced extremist recruits over the years.

• "Until They Are Home" is one of the most sacred vows of the U.S. military, yet Washington has long suspended efforts to look for 5,300 American GIs missing in North Korea whose remains are potentially recoverable. The countries' abysmal relations suggest that no restart is coming soon. In the meantime, possible remains and recovery sites are being lost as North Korea works to improve its infrastructure with construction projects.

The top things to do today around Tampa Bay today include the Florida Orchestra having a laugh with some classically fun works like The Typewriter at its Listen and Laugh concert, and a not-so-kid-friendly, moonlit puppet show.

• It's time to plan your weekend! It's a big one, with Easter, the Tampa Pride parade, Batman v. Superman opening and a slew of fan-favorite comics in town.

• Later this morning, read about the lineup options versatile corner-outfielder-slash-first-baseman Steve Pearce gives the Rays. Find the story at tampabay.com/rays.

• Check out beat writer Joe Smith's latest Lightning Strikes podcast this afternoon at tampabay.com/lightning.

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