Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

37 killed in fire at Russian psychiatric hospital

Moscow

37 killed in psychiatric hospital fire

A predawn fire swept through a Russian psychiatric hospital Friday, killing 37 people, Russia's top investigative agency said. Authorities had long warned that the mostly wooden building dating to the 19th century was unsafe. It was the second such deadly blaze in less than five months, underlining the widespread neglect of fire safety standards in Russia. The fire in the one-story hospital in the village of Luka, about 280 miles northwest of Moscow, erupted about 3 a.m. Friday and quickly engulfed the structure, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

Baghdad

Series of attacks claims 33 lives

A bomb hidden inside an air conditioner exploded Friday at a Sunni mosque packed with worshipers northeast of Baghdad, the deadliest in a series of attacks in Iraq that killed 33 people, officials said. The blast in the village of Umm al-Adham on the outskirts of Baqubah, a former insurgent stronghold, left the green and white walls of the mosque spattered with blood. Debris was strewn across the tiled floor. Police said at least 30 people were killed and 45 wounded.

Boston

Tsarnaev's friends plead not guilty

Three friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty Friday to charges they hindered the investigation into the deadly attack. Authorities allege that the friends went to Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth three days after the bombings. The friends — Robel Phillipos, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov — are accused in an indictment of removing several items from the room, including Tsarnaev's laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks.

Tuscaloosa, ala.

All-white sororities drawing scrutiny

Several prominent leaders in Alabama weighed in Friday on allegations that all-white sororities passed over two prospective black members because of pressure from alumnae, and in one case, an adviser. Paul Bryant Jr., the president pro tem of the board of trustees and the son of legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, said the school does not support the segregation of any organization. Gov. Robert Bentley, an alumnus, reiterated that fraternal organizations should choose members based on their qualifications, not race.

Elsewhere

NEW YORK: Michael Bloomberg, dissatisfied with his potential successors and unsure his political blessing would help anyone, ruled out making an endorsement for New York City mayor.

PHILIPPINES: Muslim rebels who have laid siege to the port city of Zamboanga for six days agreed to a cease-fire Friday to allow negotiations with the government but continued to hold more than 100 hostages, local media reported early today.

Times wires

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Dade City man killed in early morning hit-and-run, police say

Dade City man killed in early morning hit-and-run, police say

A Pasco County man was struck and killed in an apparent hit-and-run early Saturday, police said.Thomas Michael Burdeshaw, 53, who lived on Sundance Drive in Dade City, was hit about 1:45 a.m. on the 36000 block of Blanton Road, police said.Witnesses ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police searching for person who shot a man to death in Largo

Police searching for person who shot a man to death in Largo

CLEARWATER — Police are looking for a person who shot and killed a man late Friday at the Melrose on the Bay apartments on Bolesta Road. Ricardo Guzman, 32, called 911 just before midnight and told the operator he had been shot, said Lt. Randall Chan...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Motorcyclist dies after crash on Memorial Highway

Motorcyclist dies after crash on Memorial Highway

TAMPA — A motorcyclist driving north on Memorial Highway died after he crashed into a guard rail late Friday, police said."The man failed to negotiate a curve in the road and struck a guard rail," said Lt. Brett Owen. "No other vehicle was involved i...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

TAMPA — Shaquem Griffin wakes up knowing each day will be better than the last and barely unable to wait until tomorrow."It's just a whirlwind,'' Griffin said.On Thursday, he will walk the red carpet with his family, including his twin brother,...
Updated: 5 hours ago
After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

TAMPA — Confronted in late 2017 with reports of misconduct by substitute teachers hired through a contractor, Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins said he would ask tough questions and demand answers. He had his lawyer, Jeff Gibson, ...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

LARGO — Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal.What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate."I just felt so disrespected and violated," said Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip, was shot and...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

DUNEDIN — After losing a four-run lead thanks to a bad sixth inning, it would have been easy for Clearwater Central Catholic to fold against Dunedin in the final of the 49th annual Dunedin Spring Tournament. But quality relief pitching from Gar...
Published: 04/20/18