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News at noon: 'Gumbo' of blue-green algae stinks up Manatee and Sarasota beaches; who pays for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods?; and more

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Published May 15

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'Gumbo' of blue-green algae stinks up Manatee and Sarasota beaches

Last year, when a persistent Red Tide algae bloom touched all three of Florida's coasts, Southwest Florida had to put up with it the longest. The toxic algae stuck around Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee county beaches for months on end, driving away tourists and depositing dead fish galore on the shore. Now a new algae bloom is threatening some of those same beaches. It's not Red Tide. It's a type of blue-green algae known as "Lyngbya," which has long caused problems in the state's springs. It might give swimmers a rash, but it doesn't kill anything but your appetite.

PolitiFact: Who pays for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods? You do

President Donald Trump has slapped China with a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of goods and floated the possibility of tariffs on $325 billion in additional Chinese goods. China, meanwhile, prepared to impose retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion in American products. Trump's repeated message is that Americans shouldn't worry about the economic impact of his tariffs, couching his claim by saying it's "mostly," "really," "largely" or "ultimately" paid for by China. Despite the hedging words he uses, experts told us the president is wrong to offer that sort of assurance.

Yet another golf club to close as owner shutters the Links in Hudson

The Links Golf Club needs a facelift. Instead, it will be getting a funeral. Owner Matthew Lowman announced he is shuttering the course, pro shop, restaurant and driving range on June 10 after failing to entice surrounding neighbors to invest in club memberships. The 6,256-yard, par-72 course needs substantial renovations, including improved greens and tee-boxes, cart paths, a pump station and maintenance equipment, Lowman said in an April 22 letter announcing the closing.

Why Avisail Garcia and the Rays have been such a good fit

The Rays checked out several hitters during the offseason, getting into talks with Nelson Cruz and DJ LeMahieu, among other free agents, and exploring trade options big and small. When none of those deals happened for various reasons, they ended up signing Avisail Garcia in mid-January for a relative bargain rate of $3.5 million with some incentives. It was a bit of a gamble, as he was coming off knee surgery following a down year with the White Sox that led to him being non-tendered. And that has worked out pretty well, to say the least.

Six amazing, unconventional tiki bars in Tampa Bay

A good tiki bar evokes a sense of whimsy and wonderment as you're downing Mai Tais and Pain Killers. It should make you feel like you're waiting out a storm in an exotic port stripped of time and place — grateful for the shelter, but also just a little dark and devious. They come in all shapes, sizes and spirits. Some of them double as laid-back beach bars. Others sneak up and and surprise you in sleek restaurants and trendy drinking districts. Here are six of Tampa Bay's best and most unconventional spins on the traditional tiki bar.

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  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.