1. News

Top 5 at noon: Hurricane Florence brings catastrophic flooding to Carolinas; a desperate place left far behind in Rick Scott's economy; and more

Ocean waters rushes down Hwy 12 in Frisco, N.C., on Hatteras Island as the effects of Hurricane Florence breach the dune line on Thursday. [Steve Earley /The Virginian-Pilot via AP]
Published Sep. 14, 2018

Here are the latest headlines and updates on

Hurricane Florence delivered a slow-motion assault to the coast of North Carolina early Friday, with catastrophic storm surge and torrential rains that will continue for days. The center made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, that pushed water inland for miles and screaming winds that destroyed buildings in its path. As of 7:35 a.m., top winds were holding at 90 mph — that's just a Category 1 hurricane — and moving west at 6 mph. But some communities were already submerged in more than six feet of water as the storm drenched the coast. Seventy people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders were hoping to be rescued.

Former President George W. Bush will hold two fundraisers today for Gov. Rick Scott's Senate campaign, including a luncheon in Tampa. So we asked Scott what he thinks about of the of the lasting legacies of Bush's presidency: the Iraq War. Does Scott think it was a mistake? Scott's response was … well, just read it. After eight years dealing mostly with domestic issues, Scott is now running for the Senate, where he will have a role in charting the foreign policy of the U.S. government and military.

Gov. Rick Scott talks endlessly about a booming economy that has added nearly 1.6 million jobs in his eight years in office, and an unemployment rate that has plummeted to 3.7 percent. But there's another Florida that Rick Scott rarely talks about. Jackson County, an hour west of Tallahassee, is one of three dozen counties that has fewer jobs today than it had in 2011, the year Scott took office on a promise to turn around the state's economy and produce jobs. Not only has Jackson not turned around, but things have worsened in the Scott years, according to the school superintendent, a prominent retired judge and the editor of the local newspaper.

Eddie Quezada fled Cuba to the United States for a better life. Years later, Quezada told neighbors he made the journey as part of the Mariel boatlift, the mass emigration in 1980. He made a living as custodian, first in Texas and then in Tampa. Quezada was a living a semi-retired life in a modest cottage in the University Square area when, police say, a 21-year-old woman from down the street hacked him to death with a machete during Labor Day weekend. "He survived (the emigration)," friend Freddy Ortiz said, "and this is how he dies."

One of the most popular features of Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream, the annual scarefest that opens next Friday, is that you never know when a ghoul will show up next to you on the roller coasters. Earlier this summer, the Tampa theme park filmed a commercial for Howl-O-Scream that followed along as a zombie and two actors rode together on SheiKra, one of Florida's most frightening roller coasters. The footage shows an attractive couple looking terrified as the ride makes its signature 90-degree drop. Terror turns the man's stomach and he projectile vomits on camera. It isn't fake.

Sign up for our News at Noon email newsletter here


  1. Check for the latest breaking news and developments.
    The shooting happened on the 5100 block of Matanzas Avenue, police said.
  2. Check for the latest breaking news and updates.
    Charges in the incident are pending, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
  3. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talks to reporters in Tampa on Aug. 21. Delays in his filling vacancies on the state's five water management district boards have twice led to those agencies canceling meetings to levy taxes and set budgets, which one expert said was unprecedented. OCTAVIO JONES   |   TIMES  |  Times
    Vacancies lead to canceling two agencies’ budget meetings.
  4. Jessica Stoneking, Seven Springs Elementary School art teacher, and a group of kindergarten children enjoy a colorful floor rug during instruction time.  The rug is one of the many flexible seating options art students have in Stoneking's class. Gail Diederich
  5. President Donald Trump listens to music by military musicians during a State Dinner in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) AP
    Allies of Joe Biden, the early front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary, seized on the developments to portray him as the candidate Trump least wants to face next fall.
  6. Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil says religious leaders must be empathetic to the needs of families members of those who die by suicide. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Attitudes have evolved with understanding about mental illness
  7. Rabbi Reb Tuviah (Paul Schreiber) is rarely seen without his guitar. He will sing at the upcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services at Temple Beth David in Spring Hill. Paul Schreiber
  8. Joshua Michael Nichols, 21, was arrested by Pasco County Sheriff's deputies on Saturday in connection to the early morning shooting death of an unidentified man during an argument outside a Spring Hill home. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office] ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    One person is in custody. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
  9. Yesterday• Pasco
    Dr. Rao Musunuru, MD, received his third “Paul Harris Award.” the highest recognition from the Rotary Club, on Aug. 15. The pin was presented to Dr. Musunuru, a nationally-recognized cardiologist, by Rotary 6950 District Governor Allen Collins in recognition of his humanitarian and philanthropic services to the people of Pasco County and the State of Florida for nearly 40 years. Pictured: Dr. Rao Musunuru, MD, (left) and Rotary 6950 District Governor Allen Collins. Jemith Rosa/Hudson Rotary Club
    News and notes about your neighbors
  10. A Lancaster County Sheriff's deputy walks around the Old Skool Sports Bar and Grill, the scene of a shooting early in the morning, north of Lancaster, S.C. on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.  Lancaster County Sherriff's Office said in a statement that the agency was investigating a fatal shooting that also injured several people.  (Jessica Holdman/The Post And Courier via AP) JESSICA HOLDMAN  |  AP
    Two adult males were shot and killed.