Monday, November 19, 2018
News Roundup

The Daystarter: Recount-ageddon is here: Rick Scott sues Broward County; red and blue armies of lawyers are on their way; and more on the Florida recount

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.

• Not much rain today, but warmer-than-usual temperatures according to the National Weather Service. The highs will be in the 80s. But a cold front will roll in on Saturday. It won’t bring much rain (just 10 to 20 percent) but highs will be in the upper 70s and Sunday will see it warm back up into the 80s.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including the opening day of Ribfest, Rick Springfield and Simple Minds.

• It’s time to plan your weekend! Our critics and writers have laid out their top picks on our Weekend Planner page

• The Florida recount took a dramatic turn when Gov. Rick Scott filed suit against Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes over the county’s delay in completing its count of the votes from the midterm election. Scott sued as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, not in his capacity as governor of Florida, though he announced the lawsuit at an extraordinary press conference at the Governor’s Mansion.

• Meanwhile, as the recount takes shape, a legion of red and blue lawyers is preparing to descend upon Florida, reports Steve Bousquet, as Florida Republicans and Democrats gear up for a historic recount of three statewide elections.

• Two days after Florida’s election, a U.S. Senate seat remains in limbo, the governor’s race moved to within recount range and the Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner assumed a narrow lead. Welcome to recount-ageddon as Steve Bousquet explains that, even in a state notorious for recounts, Florida is still heading into uncharted territory.

• How do recounts work in Florida? Kirby Wilson explains how recounts would work ballots will be tabulated in all the races facing a recount across the state.

• Nicole "Nikki" Fried may have a fighting chance at being the Democrat’s last hope for a statewide seat. The Fort Lauderdale attorney and lobbyist is leading Republican challenger Rep. Matt Caldwell by 2,841 votes as of Thursday evening, according to the Division of Elections. At the start of the day, she trailed Caldwell by about 4,000 votes.

• Meanwhile Howard Altman reports that the Hillsborough County Canvassing Board started its process for reviewing ballots for likely recounts, which could affect the statewide recounts and the tight Florida Senate District 18 battle between Janet Cruz and Dana Young.

• Call it the rainbow wave. A record number of LGBTQ candidates ran for office at all levels across the nation, and many prevailed. Florida saw 28 LGBTQ candidates run since the primaries, reports Ashley Dye, which includes winners like Gulfport’s Jennifer Webb, a lesbian who won the formerly Republican seat in Florida House District 69.

• For the latest on the Florida recount and all things politics, keep checking The Buzz all day every day.

• For the latest education coverage, make sure to check The Gradebook.

• For the latest business news, check out the Times

business section.

• Columnist Ernest Hooper writes that Trinity Cafe has moved under the umbrella of Feeding Tampa Bay and that will make the two anti-hunger organizations even better at helping feed the Tampa Bay community and its veterans.

• The Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County rejected proposals from two nonprofits who wanted to take over a taxpayer–funded literacy program for disadvantaged children in southern St. Petersburg. Mark Puente reports that one of the groups that was rejected was supported by Pinellas County Commission Chairman Ken Welch, which planned to hire his wife.

• A 50-year-old elementary school principal was arrested Thursday after deputies said he stole money brought to school by a 9-year-old student with a mental disability, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Connerton Elementary School principal Edward John Abernathy, of Land O’Lakes, is accused of stealing $900, deputies said.

• It’s been a year now since four friends acquired Beer Can Island from a nearby marina that used the property for dumping dredged spoil. It’s also been a year since their story began to spread, bringing a wistful look to the eyes of tropical dreamers everywhere. Since then, they have made a few changes. Paul Guzzo has the update.

• Two homeowners are suing their own town of Redington Beach over beach access, reports Kathryn Varn, highlighting the ongoing confusion sparked by a new state law making it harder for local governments to guarantee public rights to Florida’s sand.

• A new episode of our Life of the Party podcast just went up, in which we aim to keep you caught up just enough on pop culture and oddball stories to get by and be an interesting dinner date. Today we are talking to an award-winning photographer about how to take photos at parties.

• The Bucs enter Sunday’s home game against Washington with just one takeaway in their last five games: and that was a recovery off a punt fumble. At the mid-season point, Eduardo Encina writes that Tampa Bay’s defense is searching for ways to create takeaways and level out what has become the worst turnover differential in the NFL.

• The latest Bucs news is just a few clicks away. Check out the Tampa Bay Times coverage all season long. And on @Twitter follow Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD and Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard for the latest updates.

• After five-plus seasons, Tyler Johnson knows what to expect from Nikita Kucherov, even if Kucherov was a late-game addition to his line. The two combined for the winning goal against the Islanders on Thursday with less than two minutes to play. "I’ve played with ‘Kuch’ enough that I felt like it was coming on me," Johnson said after the 4-2 win at Amalie Arena. "He made a heck of a play right through the guy, and luckily I was right there."

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