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All Eyes photo gallery: Gov. Mike Pence campaigns in Clearwater

Republican Vice President candidate Gov. Mike Pence hands out candy while greeting supporters during a rally Monday, Oct. 31, 2016 in Clearwater. Pence spoke to supporters at a hangar at St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport.

CHRIS URSO | Times

Republican Vice President candidate Gov. Mike Pence hands out candy while greeting supporters during a rally Monday, Oct. 31, 2016 in Clearwater. Pence spoke to supporters at a hangar at St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport.

If his campaign plane skidding off the runway in New York last week didn't faze Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a power outage at his rally in Clearwater on Monday night couldn't either.
When the lights and microphone went out inside a hangar at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, Pence got his hands on a megaphone and continued to make his case for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, delivering lines that had the crowd chanting "U.S.A.!" and "Drain the swamp!"

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Photo gallery: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Oakland Raiders

Fans wait for the start of a football game between the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Fans wait for the start of a football game between the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016.

View a gallery of images from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they take on the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 30 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. 

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Photo gallery: University of Florida vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Florida Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio (14) hugs Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart after the Gators' 24-10 victory over the Bulldogs at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Florida beat Georgia 24-10.

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Florida Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio (14) hugs Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart after the Gators' 24-10 victory over the Bulldogs at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Florida beat Georgia 24-10.

View a gallery of images from the University of Florida Gators as they take on the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday, Oct. 29 from EverBank Field in Jacksonville.

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Photo gallery: President Barack Obama campaigns for Hillary in Orlando

President Obama takes the stage before speaking at a Hillary Clinton campaign rally at the University of Central Florida in Orlando on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. He encouraged voters to cast their ballots early.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

President Obama takes the stage before speaking at a Hillary Clinton campaign rally at the University of Central Florida in Orlando on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. He encouraged voters to cast their ballots early.

President Barack Obama campained Friday for Democratic hopefull Hillary Clinton during a rally at the University of Central Florida in Orlando

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Photo gallery: University of South Florida Bulls vs. Navy Midshipmen

Navy Midshipmen fullback Shawn White (31) avoids the tackle by South Florida Bulls defensive back Hassan Childs (22) in the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Friday, October 28, 2016.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Navy Midshipmen fullback Shawn White (31) avoids the tackle by South Florida Bulls defensive back Hassan Childs (22) in the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Friday, October 28, 2016.

View a gallery of images from the University of South Florida Bulls as they take on the Navy Midshipmen Friday, Oct. 28 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

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MegaCon begins Friday in Tampa and runs through the weekend

Brandon Tano, of Miami Beach, waves while waiting in line to get to the MegaCon convention Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 at the Convention Center in Tampa. The MegaCon convention boasts over 100,000 square feet of shopping, a place to watch professional comic artists compete in sketch duels and a horror film festival.

CHARLIE KAIJO | Times

Brandon Tano, of Miami Beach, waves while waiting in line to get to the MegaCon convention Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 at the Convention Center in Tampa. The MegaCon convention boasts over 100,000 square feet of shopping, a place to watch professional comic artists compete in sketch duels and a horror film festival.

This weekend the Tampa Convention Center will be filled with geeks, cosplayers, comic book lovers and plenty of Whovians celebrating all the great things about living in the nerddom. In its first year in Tampa Bay MegaCon is expecting about 30,000 people to stream through the convention center doors dressed up as their favorite fandom characters.

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All eyes photo gallery: Buccaneers vs. 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston (92) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the first half of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston (92) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the first half of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016.

View a photo gallery from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. 

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All eyes photo gallery: Lightning vs. Colorado

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman (6) goes down hard at the start of the game against the Colorado Avalanche during first period action at Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (10/20/16)

DIRK SHADD | Times

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman (6) goes down hard at the start of the game against the Colorado Avalanche during first period action at Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (10/20/16)

The latest news updates on the Tampa Bay Lightning from Tampa Bay Times beat reporter Joe Smith, as well as photographs from the Times' Dirk Shadd.

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The Times' Steve Madden and 'Drawlloween'

"I guess Drawlloween has been a thing on Instagram for a while," writes Times artist Steve Madden, "but I didn't know anything about it until an artist I follow, @mabgraves, started something called #mabsdrawlloweenclub, where she lists a Halloween-related hashtag for each day of October and asks people to draw something related to that."

Here are Madden's entries, with the related prompts:Full Story

All Eyes photo gallery: The Obamas host final state dinner

Former racing driver Mario Andretti shows his racing themed socks as he and Barbra Andretti-Curto arrive for the state dinner Tuesday at the White House.

Alex Brandon | Associated Press

Former racing driver Mario Andretti shows his racing themed socks as he and Barbra Andretti-Curto arrive for the state dinner Tuesday at the White House.

"Bittersweet" was the word of the night, the one often used to describe President Barack Obama's final State Dinner.

"We saved the best for last," he said Tuesday as he welcomed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, to the White House.

He wasn't joking.

The final gala meant everything was big or bigger, from the personality of the guest chef (Mario Batali) who collaborated on the menu to the size of the white tent (huge) on the South Lawn where the soiree was held, to the guest list (nearly 400 people).

Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said it's "a little sad" that it's Obama's last State Dinner. But to make the occasion even more memorable, he said: "For tonight only, I pronounce my name 'Canoli,' not 'Connolly."

Michelle Obama's hairstylist, Johnny Wright, also described the moment as "bittersweet," but he was still excited to have been invited. The first lady also invited her makeup artist, Carl Ray; her trainer, Cornell McClellan; and Meredith Koop, who helps Mrs. Obama with her wardrobe.

"I'm excited that it's the last State Dinner, so it's a bittersweet thing," said actress-comedian Alexandra Wentworth. "I love the Obamas." …

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Suffering a way of life

Homes destroyed or badly damaged by Hurricane Matthew in in western Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016. As Haiti picks through the detritus left by Matthew, more bodies are turning up every hour; some estimate that more than 800 people died in the storm, with as many as 30,000 homes destroyed and some areas still completely unreachable.

Logan Abassi/MINUSTAH via The New York Times

Homes destroyed or badly damaged by Hurricane Matthew in in western Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016. As Haiti picks through the detritus left by Matthew, more bodies are turning up every hour; some estimate that more than 800 people died in the storm, with as many as 30,000 homes destroyed and some areas still completely unreachable.

Haiti is always in a state of misery. Unstable politics and economic suffering are everyday ills. Even nature brings pain to bear on the island. In 2010, an earthquake dealt a devastating blow. And Hurricane Matthew swept across the island last week with catastrophic effects. These images show the desolation and ruin in a country that can thrive only on hope.

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Photo gallery: Florida State University Seminoles vs. Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes fans react after the kick was block by Florida State Seminoles causing them to lose the game 20-19 Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Miami Hurricanes fans react after the kick was block by Florida State Seminoles causing them to lose the game 20-19 Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

View a gallery of images from the Florida State University Seminoles as they take on the Miami Hurricanes Saturday, Oct. 8 from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. 

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Photo gallery: University of South Florida Bulls vs. East Carolina Pirates

South Florida Bulls linebacker Danny Thomas (53) and his teammate defensive back Hassan Childs (22) celebrate a defensive stop in the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, October 8, 2016.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

South Florida Bulls linebacker Danny Thomas (53) and his teammate defensive back Hassan Childs (22) celebrate a defensive stop in the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, October 8, 2016.

View a gallery of images from the University of South Florida Bulls' as they take on the East Carolina Pirates Saturday, Oct. 8 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

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Photos: Hurricane Matthew's impact across the state, and Tampa Bay

Beach visitors watch the surf kick up on Sunset Beach, Treasure Island early Friday, 10/7/16,  as the winds from Hurricane Matthew blow from the northwest.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Beach visitors watch the surf kick up on Sunset Beach, Treasure Island early Friday, 10/7/16, as the winds from Hurricane Matthew blow from the northwest.

Half of Florida's east coast is still bracing for Hurricane Matthew's destructive path, 120 mph winds and up to 10-foot-high storm surges.

While Fort Pierce and South Florida largely dodged a major hit, Gov. Rick Scott reminded Floridians on Friday morning that the storm is not over.

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Whipping winds prompt officials to close Clearwater Beach to swimming

JIM DAMASKE | Times

The two flags together being launched by the lifeguard means water closed to public.  (October 7, 2016) Jim Damaske | Tampa Bay Times

High winds from Hurricane Matthew forced Clearwater officials to close Clearwater Beach to swimmers on Friday morning.

Conditions deteriorated, with waves rising to 3-5 feet and winds whipping at between 35-40 mph, prompting lifeguards to raise the double red flags indicating the beach was off-limits, officials said.

The two flags together being launched by the lifeguard means water closed to public.

Jim Damaske | Tampa Bay Times

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