Saturday, December 16, 2017
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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Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital early Saturday afternoon.Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on Gunn Highway...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Two airmen and an object that ‘accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen’

Two airmen and an object that ‘accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen’

The following recounts an incident in 2004 that advocates of research into UFOs have said is the kind of event worthy of more investigation and that was studied by a Pentagon program that investigated UFOs. Experts caution that Earthly explanations o...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Are UFOs real? A Pentagon program tried to find out

Are UFOs real? A Pentagon program tried to find out

WASHINGTON — In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find. Which was how the Pentagon wanted it. For years, the program inve...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning battling a fire at a W Waters Avenue strip mall, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the two-alarm blaze started in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply at 2:45 a.m. The store is in...
Updated: 4 hours ago
CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

Trump administration officials are forbidding officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.Polic...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Jones: Tony Dungy didn’t leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

Jones: Tony Dungy didn’t leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

It is and always will be the greatest debate in Tampa Bay sports history.Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy?You don’t even need to say anything more than that. Bucs fans already know what you’re talking about.Gruden or Dungy?Who was most responsible for the on...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? Why the debate rages on

Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? Why the debate rages on

TAMPA — Bucs coach Jon Gruden did not win the Super Bowl with Tony Dungy’s team. Don’t believe me? Ask Dungy. "It wasn’t. They did a great job. They took it and tweaked it," Dungy said. "The same way I got a great (Colts) tea...
Updated: 7 hours ago
She was about to celebrate her 94th birthday — and ended up in the back of a police car

She was about to celebrate her 94th birthday — and ended up in the back of a police car

Two days before her 94th birthday, Juanita Fitzgerald was arrested and hauled off to jail.The Eustis woman’s crime?She was being evicted and had fallen behind on her rent, WFTV 9 News reported. Instead of vacating her home at the National Church Resi...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

A Democratic candidate hoping to flip a hotly contested congressional seat in Kansas has dropped out of the race after allegations that she sexually harassed a male subordinate resurfaced amid her campaign.Andrea Ramsey, 57, who was running to unseat...
Updated: 7 hours ago