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News at noon: Port Tampa Bay welcomes its biggest container ship ever; U.S. News & World Report ranks Tampa Bay's public high schools; and more

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Published Jun. 12

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on

Port Tampa Bay welcomes its biggest container ship ever

The CMA CGM Dalila, the largest container ship ever to call at Port Tampa Bay, passed under the Sunshine Skyway bridge Wednesday morning en route to a berth at Port Tampa Bay. The 1,096-foot-long vessel is the first container ship to arrive from the CMA CMG Group, a global shipping company based in Marseilles, France. The shipper's Pacific Express 3 added Tampa as a weekly stop on a route that includes calls in China, Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea, then, after passing through the Panama Canal, Houston, Mobile, Ala., New Orleans and Miami.

For the first time, U.S. News ranked all public high schools in Tampa Bay

The annual Best High Schools Rankings by U.S. News & World Report have a new wrinkle this year. The digital news and information company now ranks public high schools within each metropolitan area. The organization measured schools using six factors, including college readiness as measured by 12th-graders who took and passed AP and IB exams, math and reading proficiency, graduation rates, and the performance of black, Hispanic and low-income students. Here's how it turned out.

In Tampa Bay, penthouses aren't just for those at the top anymore

Back in the days when people dressed up to take a plane trip or dine in a fine restaurant, "penthouse'' meant something unique and special. It was the luxurious, one-of-a-kind abode on the very top floor of a building, a private aerie whose occupants were literally above it all. No more. As a growing number of buyers choose condo living in Tampa Bay and other major metro areas, there's been a proliferation of places marketed as "penthouses.''

9 things you didn't know about Tampa strip clubs

Twenty years ago, the city of Tampa went to war against strip clubs. The fight is often remembered by a 13-hour city council meeting that was followed by hundreds of stripper arrests in the months that came after. While researching this bizarre chapter of Tampa's history, we came across all sorts of interesting facts. They didn't quite fit into our story, but were too intriguing not to share. Here's what we learned.

USF students seeking new answers to historic questions about Safety Harbor park

Odet Philippe has been credited with introducing citrus farming and cigar rolling to Tampa Bay, serving as chief surgeon of Napoleon's army, and receiving a treasure chest from a pirate whose illness he cured. Now, an anthropology professor and his students at USF hope to get to the bottom of at least one of the questions Philippe left behind: What was the layout of the sprawling waterfront plantation he established in what is today the community of Safety Harbor?

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  1. Jamie Harden of Creative Sign Designs and Maryann Ferenc of Mise en Place discuss priorities for the Tampa Bay Chamber for the coming year. Harden is the outgoing chairman of the chamber. Ferenc is the incoming chairwoman. RICHARD DANIELSON | Times
    Leadership of the organization, formerly the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, also says it could have handled its recent name change better.
  2. Michele Arceneaux, former president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, speaks during a press conference against three proposed toll roads in the Florida Capitol on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. LAWRENCE MOWER  |  Lawrence Mower
    The announcement came as the Florida Chamber of Commerce touted the proposed roads.
  3. The snow park in Pasco County will be known Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park and is scheduled to open in November 2020. Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park
    The park in rural east Pasco anticipates opening in November 2020.
  4. Workers repair a broken pressurized sewer line along 62nd Avenue N. JAY CONNER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private sewer pipes have always been the responsibility of property owners. Now if city officials notice a problem, they can force a homeowner to make repairs.
  5. Richard Taormino is accused of beating and raping a woman in an abandoned mobile home park, according to St. Petersburg police. [Pinellas County jail] Pinellas County jail
    Richard Taormino, 44, faces three counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon and one count of kidnapping.
  6. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Her truck hit two trees and caught fire, troopers said. She was airlifted to a hospital but died of her injuries.
  7. Stephen Ailing, 54, faces a battery charge. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    Stephen Ailing, who faces a battery charge, teaches music at Sunray Elementary in Holiday.
  8. Artist Tamara Gerkin created this mural in 2004 on what was then The Karl Reef, located  at the corner of Main Street and Grand Boulevard in downtown New Port Richey. New owners of opened as Bourbon on Main and painted over the mural to the consternation of some local residents. Times Files
  9. Kelsey Joseph Aromola, 27, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, attempted burglary of an occupied structure and domestic battery after deputies say he attacked a neighbor with a meat cleaver. The neighbor was trying to call 911 after witnessing a domestic battery, deputies said. Pinellas County Jail
    The neighbor was calling 911 after witnessing him committing a domestic battery, deputies said.
  10. A grave marker in Tampa's Oaklawn Cemetery for a lynching victim.
A group of local elected officials, historians, pastors and civil rights leaders want a historic marker memorializing all the county’s lynching victims. Paul Guzzo
    “A good community does not run from its history,” said Tampa City Councilman Luis Viera, who supports a memorial.