The Daystarter: Steve Yzerman’s stunning departure from the Lighting; Florence’s shifting track; Pinellas fights back against Red Tide

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman announced Tuesday that he is stepping down. Assistant general manager Julien BriseBois will take over. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman announced Tuesday that he is stepping down. Assistant general manager Julien BriseBois will take over. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published September 12 2018
Updated September 12 2018

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

• The usual rain showers will arrive a tad later than usual today. Forecasters say there’s a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain arriving starting in the 6 p.m. window, according to the National Weather Service. Highs, as usual, will be in the low 90s.

• As you head out for your morning commute, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including a food truck rally in downtown Tampa and the Rays game has a ticket deal for seniors.

• Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 hurricane rapidly approaching the Carolinas and forcing a hurricane warning on 300 miles of coastline, but with its track shifting a bit to the south. Meanwhile Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac are also churning in the Atlantic. That’s why it’s a very good idea to start reviewing the Tampa Bay Times hurricane preparedness tips: Track the storm here, read our 2018 hurricane guide, keep track of storms with our live radar, download our weather app and sign up for weather alerts.

• Recent forecast models predict that most of Florida will be spared from the brunt of Hurricane Florence. But Tampa Bay utilities are planning to head straight into what will be the most-affected areas to help in the aftermath. Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. are both sending fleets to the Carolinas.

• It was one of the most shocking days in Lightning history: General Manager Steve Yzerman announced Tuesday that he was stepping down after eight seasons building one of the best units in the NHL and columnist Tom Jones explains why that’s bad news for fans.

• Columnist Martin Fennelly, on the other hand, writes about new Lightning GM Julien BriseBois, who has spent eight years working under Yzerman. BriseBois helped build Tampa Bay into a contender, Fennelly explains, and now he has to take the team all the way to the Stanley Cup.

• The national media was in Tallahassee on Tuesday to witness the state’s slow process for restoring rights to convicted felons. Gov. Rick Scott and the cabinet heard from about 90 felons during the five-hour meeting but Steve Bousquet reports they only restored the rights of a handfull of people. A packed crowd showed up for Tuesday’s hearing thanks to the HBO program Last Week Tonight with comedian John Oliver.

• The sound of silence was stunning in the Rays clubhouse after Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat without the E-40 rap that had become a sound track over the last month as they’d put together a streak of winning 12 straight home games. "It is a little weird,’’ manager Kevin Cash said. "But, you know what we can start another one here, we can get going. The guys have played really, really well.’’ Certainly, he’s right. Not only had the Rays posted the dozen W’s at home, but they’d won eight of their last nine and 17 of 20.

• Who is backing the strong mayor referendum in Clearwater? Tracey McManus breaks down the political contributions at and explains who is donating how much to pass the Nov. 6 referendum that would change the way Clearwater is governed.

• Red Tide is still afflicting Pinellas County. But Craig Pittman explains how the counterattack started Tuesday, when a contractor started removing tons of smelly dead fish as quickly as possible from Redington Shores. But the area may see even more problems from Red Tide.

• Caitlin Johnston reports that officials discovered what may be the first two bird deaths due to Red Tide at Clearwater Beach.

• For the latest Red Tide developments, make sure to check

• Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves will travel to see noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews today, seeking a second opinion on a shoulder injury that the Bucs fear could be season-ending. At the very least, the Bucs will likely be without both starting cornerbacks for Sunday’s home opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. Cornerback Brent Grimes did not accompany the team to New Orleans due to a groin injury he suffered last week.

• From our food editor: How to be a good host: 7 tips to follow for casual and fancy dinners alike.

• So columnist Sue Carlton has an interesting pick for the next president of the University of South Florida: What about former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio?

• Check out "This is Not a Selfie," an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg that examines the history of the self-portrait. It’s a visiting exhibit from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and it’s a stunner, says our reviewer.

• Hear that purring? Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming next month to bring a fan convention full of unapologetic cat-bliss.