Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

The DayStarter: Authorities say an EgyptAir hijacker is 'in love,' the Florida Cabinet looks for a new insurance boss — and new plans for the Straz

Gear up for some rain. 10Weather WTSP forecasters predict a soggy, gray day, thanks to the front parked over Tampa Bay from about 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tomorrow, at least, should be a little drier.

• An Egyptian man hijacked an EgyptAir plane Tuesday and forced it to land in Cyprus, where most passengers were eventually allowed to get off, though four crew members and three passengers remained on board with the hijacker, Egyptian and Cypriot officials said. The man's motivation was unclear, but Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the hijacking was "not something that has to do with terrorism" and a Cyprus government official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the man "seems (to be) in love."

• As the number of victims in the Brussels suicide attacks rose to 35, Belgian police released a video of a mysterious man in a dark hat seen in the company of the bombers who attacked Brussels Airport, indicating that he is still at large. The video's release came as a Belgian magistrate also ruled that a man arrested during police raids that followed the March 22 attacks who had been thought to be the man in the dark hat could be released. The Belgian magistrate ruled that new evidence uncovered by investigators revealed there were no grounds to keep Faycal C. in custody and he was released, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office said.

• The Florida Cabinet meets at 9 a.m. in Tallahassee where priority No. 1 will be choosing the state's next insurance commissioner. Pinellas County resident Jeffrey Bragg and state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, will both be interviewed and a vote is expected as well. Follow Times staff writer Jeremy Wallace on Twitter (@JeremySWallace) for the latest.

• This morning, leaders with Tampa's Straz Center will offer a look at the latest version of their master plan for the future. A version they discussed a year ago proposed that more events and activities should be held outside, next to the Hillsborough River. Richard Danielson gave readers a glimpse of those plans, and will cover this morning's event. Follow him on Twitter (@Danielson_Times) for updates.

• The Hillsborough County School Board meets at 3 p.m., and this Times story about Hillsborough Superintendent Jeff Eakins telling 13 of the district's top administrators to re-apply for their jobs might come up. Follow reporter Marlene Sokol on Twitter (@Marlenesokol) to follow today's discussion.

• Focusing on treatment for tens of thousands of people addicted to opioids, President Barack Obama will participate in a panel discussion today moderated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta.

• Argentina's government celebrated yesterday's decision by a U.N. commission that expanded the South American country's maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean by 35 percent — including the disputed Falkland islands and beyond. The Argentine foreign ministry said that its waters had increased by 0.66 million square miles. The decision will be key in its dispute with Britain over the Falklands. Argentina lost a brief, bloody 1982 war with Britain after Argentine troops seized the South Atlantic archipelago (which Latin Americans call the Malvinas).

• Hundreds of Islamic extremists who earlier violently protested in Islamabad over the hanging of a man who killed a secular governor continued their demonstrations in Pakistan's capital today, despite warnings from the government targeting extremists. The protesters are demanding Pakistan strictly enforce Sharia, or Islamic law, after the hanging of a police officer who killed Gov. Salman Taseer in 2011. The group also demands a Christian woman named Aasia Bibi, who is accused of blasphemy and who Taseer supported, be hanged. The sit-in continued despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's overnight warning that his government will fight extremists after Sunday's suicide bombing that targeted Christians gathered for Easter in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore, an attack that killed 72 people. More than 300 suspects have been detained in the past 48 hours, a security official said. Another official also confirmed nearly 300 arrests and said most of those detained were suspected to belong to outlawed militant and extremist groups.

• Our barfly checked out the spring break scene at The Shipwreck in Clearwater Beach, and he found a colorful, upbeat beach dive popular with locals and tourists venturing off the beaten path.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including a free inline speed skating class and a comedic musical mystery at the Straz Center.

Comments
It’s Earth Day. Here are 11 stories about how climate change affects Florida.

It’s Earth Day. Here are 11 stories about how climate change affects Florida.

Happy Earth Day, Florida!In the spirit of the holiday that recognizes our planet’s clean air, water and land, here are 11 stories the Tampa Bay Times has published about how climate change affects the Sunshine State.1. The Florida keys have to elevat...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for ‘joke’ gun photo

Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for ‘joke’ gun photo

Former NFL kicker Jay Feely, who was born in Odessa and starred at Tampa Jesuit, has apologized for a photo he intended as a joke, showing him holding a gun as he poses with his daughter and her prom date."Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Florida man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

Deputies: Florida man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

ST. PETERSBURG — A man punched a 13-year-old girl inside a RaceTrac convenience store on Saturday, knocking her unconscious as her parent pumped gas outside, Pinellas deputies reported.Kolbe Wayne Smith, 27 and of St. Petersburg, now faces charges of...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe path for wildlife across Interstate 4

Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe path for wildlife across Interstate 4

The original Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition in 2012 was inspired by how the Florida black bear roamed — and the space it needed to do so successfully. In 2010, expedition team member Joe Guthrie conducted research through the University of Kent...
Updated: 2 hours ago
4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A man wearing nothing but a coat stormed a Waffle House restaurant in Tennessee before dawn Sunday and shot four people to death, according to police, who credited a customer with saving lives by wresting a weapon away from t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Class 8A-4 at Strawberry Crest Tuesday: No. 1 Wharton vs. No. 4 Wiregr...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Teen killed in crash remembered as

Teen killed in crash remembered as "always smiling and laughing"

WEEKI WACHEE — Seth Leathers was on his way to play basketball at his church when he was killed Wednesday in a car crash on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill, according to family friend Laurie Pike.Leathers, 16, was the passenger in a car driven by his friend G...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

After a two-hour weather delay Saturday evening at USF, the remote local threat of lightning finally dissipated.The postseason intensity never did.For the second consecutive night, the UCF-USF baseball series delivered, this time with the Bulls (25-1...
Published: 04/22/18
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Published: 04/22/18