Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

The DayStarter: Special Ops forces will rescue Tampa's mayor from a hostage situation that doesn't involve pirates — and our Deal Divas visit Juxtapose

If you liked Tuesday's weather, we should be in for more of the same today, according to 10Weather WTSP. Highs near 90 and dry save for a stray shower.

• The legal battle between professional wrestler Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea and Gawker Media resumes in a St. Petersburg courtroom at 9 a.m. In 2012, the website Gawker posted a video of Bollea having sex with the wife of his former best friend, Tampa DJ Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. In March, a Pinellas County jury awarded Bollea $140 million — $115 million in compensatory damages for having his privacy violated and another $25 million in punitive damages. Gawker will ask for a new trial and the hearing is expected to last all day. Follow Anna Phillips on Twitter (@annamphillips) today for updates.

• Meanwhile, the world learned yesterday that Bollea had a secret financial backer in his legal fight. Peter Thiel, a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, helped fund the case brought by the wrestler, Terry Gene Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, against Gawker, said a person briefed on the arrangement who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and one of the earliest investors in Facebook, privately agreed to help pay the expenses of Bollea's legal team, the source said.

• Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is set to participate in a combat capability demonstration that U.S. and international special operations commandos will stage at 1:30 p.m. outside the Tampa Convention Center as part of the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference taking place in Tampa this week. Early indications are that Buckhorn will start the exercise as a hostage but will end it in a more, um, empowered role. (Think mayor with a machine gun.) Follow photographers James Borchuck (@jborchuck) and Luis Santana (@LuisSantana) on Twitter to see what's going on out there.

• In a year in which Florida could again be key in deciding who's the next president, 67 county election supervisors are holding their summer conference in Clearwater this week on the home turf of Pinellas Supervisor Deborah Clark, who promotes voting by mail more than in any other county. Today's schedule includes panels on how to reach out to voters and how election technology is changing.

• Over the last year, several companies that feature cutting-edge technology aimed at consumers have launched in the Tampa Bay area while eschewing some of the more high-profile cities across the country. Grocery delivery service Shipt and alcohol delivery service Drizly (both of which use an app) and online car buyer/seller Carvana all saw Tampa Bay as a perfect spot. Find out what they saw in Tampa Bay.

• President Barack Obama wraps up his three-day visit to Vietnam and travels to Japan for the Group of Seven summit and a visit to Hiroshima.

• Focus will be on the long, long lines for travelers at American airports, as the head of the Transportation Security Administration, Peter Neffenger, will testify before the House Homeland Security Committee. The delays led to the ouster of the agency's top security official this week.

• Our Deal Divas and a trade magazine give some love to the boutique shop Juxtapose, which has locations in Hyde Park Village in Tampa and Sundial in St. Pete. The shop was named one of the top 50 retail stores for 2016, and a great place to pick up unique gifts, the Divas report.

• From our food editor: Blueberries and salmon are in season and now you can pair them with this recipe. Find more ideas today at tampabay.com/food.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including Say Anything at the Ritz Ybor and the Ramones guitarist C.J. Ramone in St. Petersburg.

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SOCom leader wanted to toss Google exec from car. Because he was right.

SOCom leader wanted to toss Google exec from car. Because he was right.

TAMPA — Standing in front of an audience of several thousand scientists, data wonks, geospatial intelligence analysts and other big thinkers, Army Gen. Tony Thomas drew some laughs when he talked about the time he felt the urge to toss Google CEO Eri...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
The last cigar factory in Tampa keeps rolling

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YBOR CITY -- History lives here, inside the J.C. Newman Cigar Co.Machines manufactured in the 1930s are still used to pack and roll the cigars, and the sights and smells are throwbacks. Tobacco bits litter the weathered wooden floor, and a pungent od...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
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Let’s discuss biosolids waste. I promise, it won’t be gross or boring.No, this is more of a how-did-we-lose-money-again bedtime story.Our tale begins around 2006 when St. Pete officials began exploring a biosolids project. The city was eventually goi...
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The Daystarter: Federal court blocks challenge to Florida’s system of restoring felon voting rights; what goes on in that pink house?; Lightning playoff run drives business

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Updated: 1 hour ago
The Iron Nun still going strong at age 88

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Updated: 1 hour ago
Long wait at Wingstop ends in brawl, hot oil and 2nd degree burns

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TAMPA — A customer visited Wingstop on Sunday night to pick-up his order. What happened next was off-menu:Robert Williams said he suffered second-degree burns on his back and legs after a Wingstop employee threw hot oil on him during a scuffle.Willia...
Updated: 7 hours ago
FHP identifies driver in crash that killed

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TRINITY — Friends said what they’ll remember the most about Lillia Morris is that she was always smiling.The 17-year-old Mitchell High School junior was killed Tuesday when a sport-utility vehicle ran a red light on State Road 54 and slammed into the...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Berlin stands against anti-Semitism; Toronto attack highlights misogynistic vitriol; inventor convicted of killing Kim Wall; more in world news

Berlin stands against anti-Semitism; Toronto attack highlights misogynistic vitriol; inventor convicted of killing Kim Wall; more in world news

Germany‘Today, we all wear kippa’ Germans of various faiths donned Jewish skullcaps and took to the streets Wednesday in several cities to protest an anti-Semitic attack in Berlin and express fears about growing hatred of Jews in Germany and across E...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Palm Harbor artist’s mural unveiled at Oldsmar’s Sheffield Park

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OLDSMAR — Palm Harbor artist Noelle Stillman made a splash in Oldsmar when her colorful mural was unveiled during a recent ribbon cutting at Sheffield Park.The piece, titled Native Balance, was the second public art project for the North Pinellas Cul...
Published: 04/26/18
Parents are buzzing about Pinellas’ newest magnet school

Parents are buzzing about Pinellas’ newest magnet school

ST. PETERSBURG — If the crowds that showed up for two open houses last week are any indication, the Pinellas County school district may have hit on a recipe that could finally turn around one of its most struggling schools.The two events drew more th...
Published: 04/26/18