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News at noon: Deputies pull woman from submerged car near Tampa; what experts predict for Tampa Bay's real estate market in 2019; and more

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments
Published Jan. 1

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

DEPUTIES PULL WOMAN FROM SUBMERGED CAR NEAR TAMPA

A Florida sheriff's dive team pulled a woman to safety early on New Year's Day after another driver cut her off on Interstate 4 and her vehicle wound up upside down in a muddy ravine. Amanda Antonio, 33, called 911 at 3:48 a.m., telling dispatchers the water was rising in the foggy darkness near Tampa, said Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokesman Danny Alvarez. A deputy eventually spotted the rear of her car sticking out of waist-deep muddy water, Alvarez said. He calmed Antonio and kept her in an air pocket until the sheriff's dive team members arrived to help.

HERE ARE FLORIDA'S NEW LAWS, EFFECTIVE TODAY

Minimum-wage workers will get a pay raise, businesses will get a break on insurance bills and a few new laws will take effect today as 2019 begins in Florida. Minimum-wage workers will start earning $8.46 an hour today, up from $8.25 an hour in 2018 — and more than a dollar above the $7.25 federal minimum wage. Florida's minimum wage ticks up each year because of a 2004 constitutional amendment that ties the rate to inflation. Also, businesses across the state will begin to see lower workers' compensation insurance rates. Regulators have approved an overall 13.8 percent decrease in workers' compensation rates for 2019. The decrease follows a 9.5 average rate reduction in 2018.

WHAT FOUR EXPERTS PREDICT FOR TAMPA BAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET IN 2019

Trade wars, interest rates, extreme weather — all these factors and more could affect residential real estate in the Tampa Bay area this year. Will we see the same trends as in 2018, when prices rose due to a relatively scant supply of available homes? To get some answers, we spoke with four experts — a Tampa Bay home builder; a top executive with an online real estate service; a vice president of Coldwell Banker; and a Tampa appraiser who had some interesting comments on how the popularity of HGTV's Fixer Upper with Joanna and Chip Gaines has affected Tampa Bay's market.

WHY IS JASON LICHT STILL THE BUCS' GENERAL MANAGER?

The return of Bucs general manager Jason Licht gives Times sports columnist Martin Fennelly a sinking feeling about this franchise. Five awful, dysfunctional seasons and Licht not only keeps his job, but he's in charge. That's appalling, Fennelly writes. Obviously, Licht must have convinced the Glazers that a 5-11 team should have been an 11-5 team, that the team he built, the personnel he chose, deserved better coaching. Fennelly isn't saying the Bucs should have kept Koetter. But this should have been a package deal.

LOW CARB? LOW FAT? WHAT THE LATEST DIETING STUDIES TELL US

Bacon and black coffee for breakfast, or oatmeal and bananas? If you're planning to try to lose weight in 2019, you're sure to find a fierce debate online and among friends and family about how best to do it. It seems like everyone has an opinion, and new fads emerge every year. Two major studies last year provided more fuel for a particularly polarizing topic — the role carbs play in making us fat. The studies gave scientists some clues, but, like other nutrition studies, they can't say which diet — if any — is best for everyone.

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ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Authorities found 29-year-old Sharee Bradley stabbed to death on Aug. 5. The chief says she had three children; the 12-year-old and 3-year-old were found safe, but Nevaeh had disappeared. Sumter Police Department/Facebook
    DNA from the remains found Friday has been matched to Nevaeh Adams, Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark told reporters.
  2. Cars back up at a Tampa intersection last October, not long before Hillsborough County voters approved a one-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. This week, local officials detailed how the money would be spent, if the tax survives a legal challenge before the Florida Supreme Court. URSO, CHRIS  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Local governments have plans for $527 million in projects. But the Florida Supreme Court would need to clear the way.
  3. FILE - In this Sunday, April 22, 2018, file photo, a statue of a chained man is on display at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings, in Montgomery, Ala. Facing an impeachment inquiry that he and supporters claim is illegal, President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, that the process is a lynching. Some Republicans agree, but the relatives of actual lynching victims don’t. BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Made in a tweet that drew backing from some Republican supporters including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Trump’s claim was ill-informed at best and racist at worst, they said.
  4. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Damien Wiggins Jr. was found with a gunshot wound in the parking lot of a vacant business on Haines Road.
  5. FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2018 file photo, Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz listens during a status check on his case at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. As his death penalty trial draws closer, a hearing is set for school shooting defendant Cruz in the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people. The hearing Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, likely concerns the setting of timelines leading up to the planned January trial of the 21-year-old Cruz. AMY BETH BENNETT  |  AP
    The hearing Wednesday likely concerns the setting of timelines leading up to the planned January trial of the 21-year-old Cruz.
  6. FILE - This undated file photo released by the FBI shows 3-year-old Kamille McKinney, who police say has been missing since she was abducted while attending a birthday party on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Birmingham, Ala. Investigators searching through garbage found the body of McKinney, who was missing more than a week, and authorities are charging two people with murder, police said Tuesday, Oct. 22. AP
    The child, known as “Cupcake” to relatives, vanished while outside a birthday party on Oct. 12. Investigators know of no link between the suspects and the girl or her family, police say.
  7. An aerial view as police forensic officers attend the scene after a truck was found to contain a large number of dead bodies, in Thurock, South England, early Wednesday Oct. 23, 2019. Police in southeastern England said that 39 people were found dead Wednesday inside a truck container believed to have come from Bulgaria. UK POOL  |  AP
    “We are in the process of identifying the victims, however, I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process," Essex Police Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said.
  8. A top U.S. diplomat, William Taylor, departs the Capitol after testifying in the Democrats' impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE  |  AP
    Democrats said they were shocked and disturbed by what they heard. A look at the key takeaways from Taylor’s statement, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
  9. A Florida black bear (not this one) was found at a Marion County school and removed. CARLTON WARD JR  |  Carlton Ward Jr
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. Weeki Wachee Springs main entrance VAUGHN HUGHES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    From its iconic mermaids to its signature statue, Weeki Wachee Springs will be considered for historic designation.
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