Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

DayStarter: A Go Hillsborough vote, Ben Folds in St. Pete and new home sales figures

Enjoy today's low humidity and comfortable temperatures before rain chances begin tomorrow and ramp up when a cold front moves in Friday, according to 10Weather WTSP.

• Today, Hillsborough County commissioners are set to vote on a list of projects that would be funded by the proposed half-cent sales tax increase known as Go Hillsborough. Proponents hope settling on a list will quell criticism that the county doesn't have a concrete plan for spending money from the sales tax increase. The commission will also vote on the $40 million renovation of George M. Steinbrenner Field that would keep the New York Yankees in Tampa for spring training through 2046. Follow Steve Contorno on Twitter (@scontorno) for updates.

• Homes in the Tampa Bay area have been increasing value over the last year or so as the supply of homes for sale has shrunk. Figures released this morning will show if that trend is continuing. Check mid to late morning at tampabay.com/money for a full report.

• Sen. Marco Rubio continues to block a South Florida judicial nominee he recommended to the White House and has likely killed her chances of being confirmed — but he refuses to say why. On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee takes up five nominees and Mary Barzee Flores is not among them. Rubio, through a spokesman, declined to explain why he has not submitted a so-called blue slip for Barzee Flores, whom Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson jointly recommended for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District. "I have spoken with Rubio and he said he's not going to return the blue slip," Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times.

• President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia as he opens a trip that also will take him to Britain and Germany. In Saudi Arabia, he is expected to push for greater cooperation and military backing in the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

• We'll be breaking down the NFL draft position by position leading up to next Thursday's first round. This morning look for beat writer Greg Auman on the linebackers at tampabay.com/sports.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including Spamalot, this year's American Stage in the Park production.

• His brainy piano-pop trio Ben Folds Five broke through in the mid '90s to become a modern incarnation of Billy Joel or Randy Newman. Before his show tonight at the Mahaffey, pop music critic Jay Cridlin talked to Ben Folds about letting his musical muse meander to the worlds of a cappella and symphonic collaborations, like tonight's show with chamber-pop ensemble yMusic.

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Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

PHILADELPHIA — Not even a coat of Crisco on light poles across the city could keep Philadelphia Eagles fans from scaling new heights in celebrating their team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years and setting up a rematch with the AFC champion N...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Hillsborough County deputies are searching for the driver who seriously injured a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash in Dover on Monday morning.Deputies say the suspect was driving a Toyota Camry that is now missing part of its right front air dam afte...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

TAMPA — Next victim, please.Shouldn't we just start penciling the Patriots into the Super Bowl before every season?It would save us a lot of time.Mind you, the rest of the NFL is fighting Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and this foregone conclus...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater police investigate taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

Clearwater police investigate taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

CLEARWATER — Investigators are searching for a suspect in a taxi carjacking Monday morning near Crest Lake Park.Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw said the taxi was taken about 7:40 a.m. and abandoned a few blocks away. No one was injured, Shaw sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Woman, 35, struck and killed while walking across SR 60 in Valrico

VALRICO — A 35-year-old Thonotosassa woman was struck and killed by a car while walking across State Road 60 west of Mount Carmel Road on Sunday night, the Florida Highway Patrol said.Brandi Eckelstafer was walking south across SR 60 just after 8 p....
Updated: 2 hours ago

Hooper: Deal with sea-level rise or prepare to be inundated

When fans again flock to Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard for the annual Gasparilla Festival on Saturday, I hope they ask a question: Will the floats need flotation devices in 2035?Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Astrid Caldas and Kate Cell, members of the Union ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

The Daystarter: PolitiFact Florida analyzes prison costs; breaking down the Super Bowl matchup; free dental clinic services in high demand; Arrrrr you ready for Gasparilla?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• We’ll have a mild and sunny start to the week, with highs in the upper 70s, according to 10Weather WTSP. A weak cold front brings a chance of rain on Tuesday and slightly coo...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Police: 2 IEDs detonated at a Florida mall, no injuries

LAKE WALES — Police say two improvised explosive devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.Lake Wales police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze tells news outlets that at 5:22 p.m., the Lake Wales Fire ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
St. Pete spilled 266,000 gallons of waste into Smacks Bayou

St. Pete spilled 266,000 gallons of waste into Smacks Bayou

ST. PETERSBURG — It may be a new year but the city finds itself still dealing with an old problem: spilled sewage.The city announced Thursday that two spills at its Northeast sewage plant at 1160 62nd Ave. NE had been contained.But the release — with...
Updated: 9 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

Advocates of Florida prisoners protested outside of the Florida Department of Corrections in Tallahassee on Tuesday, demanding answers to questions of alleged price-gouging in prisons across the state.Protesters from dozens of grass roots organizatio...
Published: 01/22/18