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Friday, Dec 15, 2017
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Top 5 at noon: Trump tweets, McCain return set stage for health bill vote; dead man's mother says Pasco deputies mishandled shooting; 21 fun places to escape the heat; and more

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

TRUMP TWEETS, MCCAIN RETURN SET STAGE FOR HEALTH BILL VOTE

President Donald Trump urged Republicans to "step up to the plate" for today's crucial Senate vote on their bill eviscerating much of the Obama health care law. The stage was set for high drama, with Sen. John McCain returning to the Capitol to cast his first vote since being diagnosed with brain cancer.

DEAD MAN'S MOTHER SAYS PASCO DEPUTIES MISHANDLED SHOOTING

The mother of a man shot to death by deputies believes authorities were too quick to fire their weapons and used unnecessary force in dealing with her son. Deputies shot Steve Steele, 47, after he charged at them with a knife in his hand the night of July 13, according to the Sheriff's Office. The shooting occurred in a trailer behind the home of his mother, Elsie Williams, 72, who contends the situation was mishandled.

FIANCEE: CLEARWATER DRIVER IN TRUCK TRAFFICKING CASE HELPED PEOPLE

When a long-haul truck driver from Clearwater called his fiancee Sunday from a jail more than 1,000 miles from home, he had only a few minutes to describe the gruesome events that led to him being charged with a crime in which he could face the death penalty. Darnisha Rose said James Matthew Bradley Jr., who she described as a generous person, claimed he had no idea how so many people — maybe 90 or more — came to be crammed inside his pitch-black trailer in the Texas heat, taking turns to breathe through a hole in the wall. Rose defended her fiance as a good man who would always try to help people in need, though she acknowledged he has a criminal history.

FLORIDA'S JOBLESS RATE LOOKS GREAT, BUT 25 OTHER STATE RATES LOOK EVEN BETTER

No debate here: Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop — even as more people move to Florida and enter the workforce. What's not to like? The trick, of course, Times business columnist Robert Trigaux writes, is to gauge where the Sunshine State stands in comparison to the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the nation as a whole.

21 FUN PLACES TO ESCAPE THE HEAT AND CHILL INDOORS IN TAMPA BAY

A simple walk down the street this summer can feel like it takes years. With the humidity and the Florida sun blazing, no amount of time feels like enough to cool off in summer. To help you regulate, our critics and writers came up with a few places that encourage lingering for just a few more minutes.

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