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News at Noon: MacDill families get help fighting mold contamination; St. Pete Mayor and Rays to meet over Montreal idea; and more

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Florida's GOP mostly mum on 'Send her back!'

Florida Republican leaders were mostly silent Thursday when asked about a "Send her back!" chant at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump. But once the president disavowed the chant, some GOP elected officials spoke out against it. Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose successful campaign last year was bolstered by the endorsement of Trump, did not comment on the president's Sunday tweet and the subsequent chant. Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican who chairs the Republican Party of Florida, did not respond to requests for comment.

Tampa Bay Rays, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to meet for first time over Montreal idea

City leaders and Tampa Bay Rays' senior leadership are set to meet on Tuesday, the first time the parties have formally communicated since the team's announcement last month that it wishes to explore playing home games in Montreal. Kriseman has previously said the team has not yet asked for permission to explore the Montreal proposal, which would have the team playing spring home games in the Tampa Bay region while the weather is milder and then finish the season in Montreal once temperatures have risen in Quebec.

Defense budgets include protections for military families fighting mold contamination

Families living in private housing at MacDill Air Force Base and at bases across the nation stand to gain new protections against mold contamination under a proposed national defense budget for 2020. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed defense bills including new provisions to better protect families living in private on-base housing.

Florida man sentenced to 13 years in prison for murdering a teen, setting her body on fire

A 70-year-old Florida man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering a teenage girl, dumping her body in a trash bin and burning it. Armando Botell of Miami struck a plea deal Thursday with the approval of Romina Fernandez's parents.

Will Thurman-Pacquiao stand up to these memorable Tampa Bay-tinged bouts?

We polled some experts, among them former Tampa Bay Times columnist and boxing writer John Cotey, Tampa native and former Tampa Tribune college sports editor and Tampa Bay boxing historian David Alfonso, and Tampa native and longtime boxing ring announcer Mark Beiro, to see where the Clearwater native's performance for the WBA super welterweight title will fall among the all-time best bouts with area ties.

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Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at Follow @danuscripts.