Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

Muggles take note: Diagon Alley opens at Universal Studios today

Diagon Alley, the highly anticipated Harry Potter expansion at Universal Studios in Orlando, finally opens to the public Tuesday. But will its signature ride be working? The ambitious Escape From Gringotts ride is an entirely new kind of 3D attraction, with newly invented spins on the roller coaster experience with a car that tilts and weaves in tandem with the action on screen. The ride broke down during a media preview a few weeks ago and wasn't available during some of the soft opening days last week. For Potter fans, the magical theme is now set across both Universal parks, with a Hogwarts Express train taking guests (with a two-park ticket) from London's wizard shopping district, where Harry buys his school supplies, to his school in Hogsmeade that opened in 2010 in the Islands of Adventure park. Movie designers have again created an authentic feel in Diagon Alley, and there's a dragon atop Gringotts that breathes real fire toward the crowd below. Huge crowds are expected for the opening weeks; to make the most of a visit, check out our insider tips at tampabay.com/things-to-do. Single-day tickets to one Universal park start at $96, and two-park tickets are $136 for adults. Check universalorlando.com for Florida resident deals. Toll-free 1-800-837-2273. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

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Video released of suspect in sexual assault of Pasco woman, 71

Video released of suspect in sexual assault of Pasco woman, 71

NEW PORT RICHEY— Pasco County deputies have released surveillance video of a suspect in the home invasion and rape of a 71-year-old woman on Monday morning.On Monday, deputies said a woman was checking on a home at 7437 Heather St. for the homeowner ...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Young child struck by vehicle in Tampa

Young child struck by vehicle in Tampa

TAMPA — A young child was injured after being struck by a vehicle Thursday morning, according to police.The crash involved a pedestrian and a vehicle near Myrtle Street and Serena Drive around 7:45 a.m., police said.The child sustained non-life threa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition cancelled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under Preside...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: After hottest day of the year, record heat to continue across Tampa Bay

Forecast: After hottest day of the year, record heat to continue across Tampa Bay

Updated: 2 hours ago
Most Americans say Trump, Congress not doing enough to stop mass shootings, Post-ABC poll finds

Most Americans say Trump, Congress not doing enough to stop mass shootings, Post-ABC poll finds

More than 6 in 10 Americans fault Congress and President Donald Trump for not doing enough to prevent mass shootings, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with most Americans continuing to say these incidents are more reflective of probl...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Daystarter: Survey reveals bipartisan support assault weapons ban; St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race returns to difficult climate; commandos come to Palm Harbor; Bucs address pass rush woes

The Daystarter: Survey reveals bipartisan support assault weapons ban; St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race returns to difficult climate; commandos come to Palm Harbor; Bucs address pass rush woes

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• For the latest legislative coverage from Tallahassee, keep checking The Buzz, which is updated throughout the day by the reporters of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.• We...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Romano: Until the Parkland shooting, lawmakers ignored requests for school safety funds

Romano: Until the Parkland shooting, lawmakers ignored requests for school safety funds

His words and his pleas are similar to what we’ve heard from others in recent days.Kids deserve to feel safe when they walk into a classroom in Florida. More security is needed. More boots on the ground would be helpful. Mostly, more money must be de...
Published: 02/20/18
Today: Senate to put its own stamp on Florida education proposals

Today: Senate to put its own stamp on Florida education proposals

The massive education measure known as House Bill 7055 has received plenty of attention during the legislative session, with its emphasis on decertifying teachers’ unions and using state-backed scholarship programs to steer kids away from public scho...
Published: 02/20/18
Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

After national headlines and a public outcry over the deaths of 14 people at a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, nursing homes across the state are working to comply with new rules requiring them to have back-up power.But the process ...
Published: 02/20/18
Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

A California-based company that promises to bring limited on-site car maintenance directly to you — from an oil change to a fill-up — has picked Tampa Bay as its next pit stop."Anything that your car needs, we’re going to bring to you," said Nick Ale...
Published: 02/20/18