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News at noon: Officials hid FAA investigation warning of 'potential tragedies' from the public; Trump to Comey: Better hope there are no 'tapes' of talks; retirees have big plans for medical marijuana industry; testing Publix's new meal kits

Two maintenance personnel work on the panel of a Allegiant Air MD-80 tail section at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas in October. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
Two maintenance personnel work on the panel of a Allegiant Air MD-80 tail section at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas in October. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
Published May 12, 2017

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

AN FAA INVESTIGATION WARNED OF 'POTENTIAL TRAGEDIES'. OFFICIALS HID IT FROM THE PUBLIC

Before a jet's pilots nearly lost control of their plane as it hurtled down a Las Vegas runway, it flew for weeks with a problem that could have killed everyone on board. It never should have happened, according to a report by the Federal Aviation Administration inspector who reviewed the August 2015 incident. AAR Aircraft Services, part of North America's largest aviation maintenance company, had improperly recorded its work, skipped maintenance steps and bungled critical inspections on the Allegiant Air plane, he found. Two former FAA officials who reviewed the full investigation at the Times' request said the inspector's findings were alarming and should have triggered a larger investigation into AAR.

TRUMP TO COMEY: BETTER HOPE THERE ARE NO 'TAPES' OF TALKS

resident Donald Trump, in an apparent warning to his fired FBI director, said today that James Comey had better hope there are no "tapes" of their conversations. Trump's tweet came the morning after he asserted Comey had told him three times that he wasn't under FBI investigation. The president's morning Twitter comments again raised the specter of Richard Nixon, who secretly taped conversations and telephone calls in the White House during the Watergate investigation that ultimately led to his downfall.

TRUMP CONTRADICTS WHITE HOUSE ON REASONS FOR FIRING COMEY

Contradicting previous White House explanations, President Donald Trump has declared he had planned to fire FBI Director James Comey all along, regardless of whether top Justice Department officials recommended the stunning step. His assertions came as Comey's temporary replacement joined in, contradicting other administration statements on the snowballing controversy.

CITIZENS CEO HELPED BOSS SELL HIS BUSINESS, THEN GOT $100,000 IN RAISES

The chief executive of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. assisted the chairman of Citizens' board in selling his company at a time when that board member was granting raises to the CEO. Citizens chief executive Barry Gilway confirmed he acted as a go-between for Christopher Burr Gardner, who was trying to sell his long-time Winter Park insurance agency, and a Chicago businessman who became its buyer.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED AS CAR STRIKES HIM IN TAMPA

A Tampa man died after he was struck by a car early this morning as he attempted to cross W Waters Avenue, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Deputies say Falcon Ramos had a green light at the intersection when Ivan Martinez walked south from the north shoulder, directly into the path of the Altima.

RETIREES ON ST. PETE BEACH HAVE BIG PLANS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY

While Florida politicians have butted heads over how to regulate the growing medical marijuana industry this year, Tom Murphy and Michael Welch have been busy working behind the scenes to try to ensure their company gets a piece of it. Murphy, 71, and Welch, 79, are two of the founders of Gulf Coast Canna Meds, a burgeoning medical marijuana company in St. Petersburg that wants to distribute cannabis products to patients in Florida.

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STUDY: TAMPA BAY IS NATION'S SECOND-BEST AREA FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS

For first- time homebuyers, you can't beat the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas.Despite steadily rising prices, both are relatively affordable compared to the West Coast and Northeast at a time when nearly half of all buyers are first-timers, a new Zillow report says.

WILL PUBLIX'S NEW MEAL KITS RIVAL BLUE APRON AND HELLOFRESH?

First it was grocery delivery with Instacart. Next it was adding Starbucks kiosks inside some stores. Now Publix Supermarkets is piloting a new meal kit program, similar to what consumers see from popular online companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, with individualized portions for meals.""We are very much in a testing phase at these two stores, but it is going very, very well so far, said Brian West, a spokesman for Publix. The Times' Justine Griffin put his assessment to the test, trying out a kit for the first time on Wednesday night.

SOUTHWEST FLIGHT FROM TAMPA TO NASHVILLE DIVERTED TO ATLANTA

A Tampa Southwest flight bound for Nashville had to make an unplanned landing in Atlanta this morning.

FIRE AT ST. PETERSBURG APARTMENT COMPLEX DESTROYS BUILDING, DISPLACES FAMILIES

A massive fire Thursday night destroyed a building in an apartment complex and forced several families to be displaced. The blaze in building 10 at the Enclave Apartments, 9100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr St. N. was first reported at 10:55 p.m. The eight units inside the building are a total loss, 10News WTSP reports, and at least three families with small children are among those left homeless Friday morning.

BICYCLIST STEALS TARPON SPRINGS CITY TRUCK WITH KEYS STILL IN IGNITION

A Tarpon Springs city pickup truck was stolen by a bicyclist while it sat unattended with the keys in the ignition in a Lowe's parking lot, according to the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

JIM MCELWAIN ON RED TURF, CHEAP HOTELS AND MORE

Even with 2,000 words, Matt Baker didn't have enough space to share everything he wanted on Florida Gators football coach Jim McElwain's time in the Big Sky Conference. Here are a few things that didn't make the final cut.

'YOU ARE PADDLE BOARDING NEXT TO APPROXIMATELY 15 GREAT WHITE SHARKS'

"You are paddle-boarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks," Deputy Brian Stockbridge announced via a loudspeaker. Stockbridge was in a helicopter, flying off the coast of Dana Point in Orange County, Calif., at about 2 p.m. local time on Wednesday. And, indeed, swimming in the Pacific Ocean below and clearly visible from the air, were several great white sharks. "They are advising you exit the water in a calm manner," Stockbridge added. "The sharks are as close as the surfline."

News at noon is a weekday feature from tampabay.com. Check in Monday through Friday for updates and information on the biggest stories of the day.

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