Wednesday, January 17, 2018
News Roundup

Morning briefing: Expect rain and a look at how Gasparilla, while technically free, can sure set you back some doubloons

Don't forget the umbrella. It looks like we're in for a rainy day, according to 10Weather WTSP, with the strongest thunderstorms expected late morning, early afternoon. Temperatures will dip a bit.

• Federal and state law officers arrested the leaders of an armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge during a traffic stop along a highway in Oregon's frozen high country that prompted gunfire and left one man dead.

• One person died in a traffic accident early this morning when a car and a semi collided near an elementary school in north St. Petersburg.

• The NFL says it is conducting a comprehensive review of allegations that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had human growth hormone delivered to his house. There's no timetable to complete the investigation, but it's not expected before Denver plays Carolina in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. League spokesman Brian McCarthy says the inquiry, which began weeks ago, involves reviews of records, interviews and coordination with other agencies.

• Tampa's annual Gasparilla parade has always been touted as a free community event. But as the event's profile has been elevated and the crowds have grown, some say Gasparilla has evolved into a corporate-sponsored behemoth that is pricing some locals out of the fun. Watch for Katie Mettler's story this morning at tampabay.com.

• Apple reported results for its fiscal first quarter yesterday that showed iPhone sales rose less than 1 percent from a year earlier, the slowest year-over-year growth rate ever for the device, which accounts for about two-thirds of the company's revenue. Apple also issued a sales forecast that signaled that the sluggishness would continue, with the company projecting its first revenue decline in more than a decade. The results and guidance reflect how Apple is grappling with becoming a maturing tech company.

• Another busy day is shaping up in Tallahassee. Lawmakers are laying out a tax cut plan; taking up a bill to regulate the controversial gas drilling method known as "fracking;" considering ways to let ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft operate in Florida without intervention from local governments; and tackling how to fix the state's death penalty system after the U.S. Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional. Keep up with the action at tampabay.com/politics.

• One area job-recruiting group is broadening its traditional focus of recruiting big out-of-state companies. The Tampa/Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. will start reaching out to young, entrepreneurial companies to encourage them to stay and grow. Why? The EDC wants to help attract and keep the best and brightest talent in shifting economic times. Read the story this morning at tampabay.com/money.

• President Barack Obama speaks Wednesday at a ceremony honoring the Righteous Among the Nations at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, a signal that his administration and the Israeli government are trying to move beyond the tensions created by the Iran nuclear deal. The ceremony comes on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and is held by Israel to recognize individuals who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis. This is the first time the official ceremony has been held in the United States.

• Secretary of State John Kerry concludes his world tour with a stop in China on Wednesday, after visits to Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Laos and Cambodia. North Korea is expected to be a focus of his discussions with the Chinese in the wake of Pyongyang's claim that it conducted a hydrogen bomb test on Jan. 6. For these and other national and international stories, visit tampabay.com/news/nationworld.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay, including blues guitarist Ana Popovic at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre.

The Lion King is playing an extended run at Tampa's Straz Center for the Performing Arts now through Feb. 14 and even our jaded performing arts critic Andrew Meacham says he became more forgiving of what he expected would be just a kiddie show "by the sheer force of imagination and technical proficiency" of the production.

• The Lightning plays its last game before the All-Star break against … Toronto! Follow beat writer Joe Smith on Twitter (@TBTimes_JSmith) for all the action and a healthy taste of Steven Stamkos speculation.

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