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Top 5 at noon: House panel rejects ban on assault weapons; players union files grievance against Rays; and more

Old buildings in Ybor City fall under the bulldozer as part of the federally funded urban renewal program in 1965. New construction was supposed to replace them soon afterward but it would take decades for that to happen. [Times archives]
Old buildings in Ybor City fall under the bulldozer as part of the federally funded urban renewal program in 1965. New construction was supposed to replace them soon afterward but it would take decades for that to happen. [Times archives]
Published Feb. 27, 2018

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

FLORIDA HOUSE PANEL REJECTS BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS

For a second day, a Florida legislative committee rejected a ban on assault weapons in the state that has had multiple mass shootings in the past two years. The House Appropriations Committee also voted along party lines to create a first-of-its-kind school marshal program under which trained teachers will carry guns on campus. Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, called the marshals "the last line of defense" in the schools.

PLAYERS UNION FILES GRIEVANCE VS. RAYS, 3 OTHER TEAMS OVER REVENUE-SHARING SPENDING

The baseball players union is more than curious about why certain teams, such as the Rays, aren't spending more money. So the union filed a grievance to Major League Baseball against four teams — the A's, Marlins, Pirates and Rays — claiming they have failed to comply with rules of how they spend their revenue sharing money, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

RAYS STADIUM MIGHT BE THE ANSWER TO YBOR CITY IDENTITY CRISIS

The Tampa Bay Rays like Ybor City for a new ballpark. So do political and business leaders working to make it happen here. The project would pour hundreds of millions of dollars or more into an area centered on the district's southwest corner. And it would open yet another chapter in the story of efforts to find a lasting identity for Ybor City, the area of just under a square mile stretching roughly from Nebraska Avenue east to 22nd Street, from Interstate 4 south to Adamo Drive. Paul Guzzo has the details.

5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE BLOCKBUSTER NEW YORKER PROFILE ON NRA'S MARION HAMMER

The Trace's Mike Spies published a story in the New Yorker's March 5 issue that outlines how the National Rifle Association's Marion Hammer dominates Tallahassee. Spies spent a year interviewing key legislative players and combing through thousands of pages of emails between Hammer and state officials that he obtained via public records requests. Here are Kirby Wilson's five biggest takeaways from the blockbuster story.

THE STATE YOU'RE IN: FLORIDA TRIES TO HALT MONKEY BUSINESS

Here's a regulation you won't find anywhere but Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently decreed that it is now illegal to feed wild monkeys. Wild monkeys are not, of course, native to Florida. Yet about a hundred of them live in Silver Springs State Park. The story of how they got there is a classic Florida tale of a plan gone awry. Read more from Craig Pittman.

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