Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
WHAT RICK SCOTT, OTHERS SAID ABOUT THE GROVELAND FOUR (NON) PARDONS
The Groveland Four, the four black men wrongly accused of rape in 1949 and summarily murdered, tortured or wrongly imprisoned, is one of the ugliest episodes of racism in Florida's history. The case is so bad that books have been written about it, and last year Florida's Legislature voted to ask the state's Clemency Board — led by Gov. Rick Scott — to posthumously pardon them. Yet more than a year has gone by without the board taking up the Legislature's request, and the agenda for Scott's final Clemency Board meeting, which has been postponed, doesn't include the Groveland Four.
STEAL HOLIDAY DECORATIONS AND YOU COULD WIND UP ON FACEBOOK
Holiday decorations sprouting from lawns and porches make easy targets for thieves who are inexplicably compelled to make off with manifestations of holiday cheer. But with the ubiquity of surveillance cameras, crimes like last Wednesday's elf-napping on the 500 block of S Oregon Avenue are often captured on video, and law enforcement agencies are happy to push the evidence out on social media platforms.
WILL FLORIDA BOARD OF EDUCATION ACCEPT A DESANTIS APPOINTEE AS COMMISSIONER?
The pieces appear to be falling into place for former Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran to become the state's next education commissioner. Don Gaetz, considered a leading contender for the post, announced he didn't want the job and said he anticipated Corcoran's appointment. Pam Stewart, the current holder of the job, resigned effective Jan. 8 — the same day Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis takes his oath of office. Corcoran and the DeSantis campaign have done nothing to stop the spreading talk of Corcoran in charge. But there's this: Florida statute authorizes the State Board of Education, not the governor, to name the commissioner. And the State Board has conducted national searches to fill the seat in past years.
IN PASCO APARTMENT BOOM, A QUESTION LINGERS: HOW MANY IS TOO MANY?
Pasco County’s high-growth corridor is attracting more than single-family homes, restaurants and retail outlets. Nine luxury apartment complexes — two already leasing to residents, two that remain under construction and five more that are proposed — will bring more than 2,500 multifamily units to the county’s southern tier from Odessa to Wesley Chapel. But not everyone is enamored with the possibility of more high-end multifamily housing along the heavily traveled State Road 54 and SR 56 corridor.
BUCS ROUNDTABLE: THE DO-OVER TAMPA BAY WISHES IT HAD
The Bucs are 5-7, have lost four games by one score and basically gave away a win at home against Washington. So we asked our Bucs coverage team this question: If the Bucs could have one do-over this season, what would it be? Here are their responses. And while we're on the subject of the Bucs, which player has been the team MVP so far this season? In a season in which the Bucs have changed quarterbacks three times, produced stretches of historically great offense and historically bad defense, there have been some defining individual performances.