News at noon: We tried Burger King's meatless Impossible Whopper; Drag Queen Story Hour draws protesters. We went inside.; and more

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
Published August 14
Updated August 14

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

We tried Burger King’s meatless Impossible Whopper so you don’t have to.

Living a meat-free life on the go just got a little easier.

After test runs in select cities, Burger King rolled out its plant-based burger collaboration with Impossible Foods, the Impossible Whopper, late last week in Tampa Bay.

Impossible Foods released the Impossible Burger a few years ago. It’s a completely meat-free patty that’s supposed to look and taste just like the real thing. And, for the most part, it does. Side-by-side, it’s difficult to tell the difference at first glance.

Drag Queen Story Hour in St. Petersburg draws protesters. We went inside.

As people argued in front of Community Cafe, Naomi Wright pulled up behind the building in a Jeep Compass and slipped in the back door unnoticed. She wore a glamorous floral gown and earrings the size of small chandeliers. A girl asked if she’d come in her limousine. “I wish,” she thought.

She’d traveled from Tampa with apprehension and excitement. Growing up one of the oldest in a large family, she had a lot of experience caring for children and was excited to take her turn at story hour.

A monthly Drag Queen Story Hour has been going on at Community Cafe, a private business in what’s been called one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in America, since September. Religious protesters, many from a small fundamentalist church in Pasco County, have been there from the start.

Some months, those protesters outnumbered the children inside. Other times it was vice-versa.

PolitiFact: There’s no evidence that the Clintons were involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s death

It wasn’t long after Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a Manhattan jail cell Aug. 10 that conspiracy theories started to bloom.

Some social media users baselessly speculated that Epstein, an American financier indicted on sex trafficking charges, was killed at the behest of Hillary and Bill Clinton. Others linked his death to President Donald Trump. And still others falsely claimed that Epstein never died at all.

None of those claims are backed by available evidence — and some are rooted in decades-old, long-debunked conspiracy theories. But social media posts promoting them have amassed tens of thousands of shares on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

One of Bayshore Boulevard’s earliest mansions can be yours for $2.995 million

By 1912, Tampa already had a big-city feel. The lavish 500-room Plant Hotel welcomed guests from New York and Boston. Steam-powered streetcars chugged between downtown Tampa and Ybor City. Maas Brothers Department Store displayed the latest fashions.

As the city’s population more than doubled between 1900 and 1912, swelling to about 40,000, Bayshore Boulevard was becoming Tampa’s premier address. So the Tampa Times took note when a prominent resident, W.E. Dorchester, decided to build a mansion in what was then called "Suburb Beautiful.''

Today, scores of mansions and condo towers line Bayshore Boulevard, but the house Dorchester built for his wife and three daughters still stands out. It went on the market this month for $2.995 million.

Water Street Tampa starts construction on Marriott Edition hotel and condos

Construction is underway on the Tampa Edition Hotel & Residences, a 27-story tower at Water Street Tampa and the third of three major Marriott projects planned for the $3 billion project, developers said Wednesday.

The tower, which is going up at the northwest corner of Channelside Drive and Water Street, across the street from Amalie Arena, will include a rooftop pool with an adjacent indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant, large spa and fitness center, a second more intimate restaurant next to the hotel lobby and retail spaces designed to draw visitors and create activity on the street.

The Edition is scheduled to open in the spring of 2021 with 172 guest rooms topped by 37 cross-branded condominiums on floors 10 through 27.

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Contact Dinorah Prevost at dprevost1@tampabay.com. Follow @dprevost1.

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