It's Marty St. Louis Night tonight when the Lightning retire then raise his No. 26 to the Amalie Arena rafters before facing the Blue Jackets. The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Follow our live blog for complete coverage of the pregame festivities. Then stick around for our live blog of the game against Columbus, led by former Bolts coach John Tortorella. Faceoff is slated for 8 p.m.
IN EARLY GOP WIN ON HEALTH CARE REPEAL, CONGRESS OKAYS BUDGET
Ascendant Republicans drove a budget through Congress on Friday that gives them an early but critical victory in their crusade to scrap President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The vote trains the spotlight on whether they and Donald Trump can deliver on repeated pledges to not just erase that statute but replace it.
MORGAN ON POSSIBLE RUN FOR GOVERNOR: 'NOT NECESSARILY FIRED UP'
Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan isn't a candidate for public office and says he's still not sure he'd ever be one, but he sure was talking like one today in a speech to the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola.
WEEKEND BRINGS FULL SLATE OF MLK CELEBRATION EVENTS
As we head into Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, excitement is high in St. Petersburg for the return of the high-stepping Florida A&M marching band at Monday's parade. The MLK Dream Big Parade features Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston as grand marshal. This weekend also brings some top hip-hop shows. Check out the Times' list of MLK events scheduled this weekend in the Tampa Bay area.
FEDERAL REPORT: CHICAGO POLICE VIOLATED CIVIL RIGHTS FOR YEARS
The Justice Department announced the results of a yearlong investigation into Chicago's police, and determined the department has been violating the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and shooting people who did not pose immediate threats. The report blamed "systemic deficiencies" within the department and the city, including insufficient training and a failure to hold bad officers accountable for misconduct.
PASCO HOPES TO BUILD FORENSICS ANTHROPOLOGY RESEARCH LAB
Pasco County is seeking to become home to a proposed statewide forensic anthropology research and training center. The center, if legislators and Gov. Rick Scott agree to the $4.3 million price tag, would be built on 4 acres of county-owned land in Land O'Lakes near the Pasco County Detention Center and become the seventh such facility in the country. The project is a proposed partnership with the Sheriff's Office, USF and Pasco-Hernando State College
HIGGINBOTHAM DEPARTURE STIRS POT OF POTENTIAL SUCCESSORS
Al Higginbotham's announcement this week that he won't seek re-election to his countywide District 7 Hillsborough County Commission seat set off a flurry of chatter among local politicos about who might run for what in next year's elections. But the chatter expanded because starting in 2018, Hillsborough will see three years of elections that could sharply alter its cast of political characters.
TRAFFIC UPDATES TO GET HOME SAFELY
As you head out for your evening commute, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.
WARM AND DRY THROUGH THE WEEKEND AND ON MLK DAY
Warmer than usual temperatures continue to roll into Tampa Bay and will extend throughout the weekend and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, forecasters said. Tonight is expected to be mild and partly cloudy. Sunny skies and highs near 80s are forecast for the weekend into Monday, with very little chance of rain. For more forecast information, go to the Times' weather page.
MUSIC PLANNER: SUNSHINE FESTIVAL RETURNS, AND MORE
You know your music festival is doing all right when one of your performers just got back from winning a Kennedy Center Honor … and she's billed fourth. That's no disrespect to the legendary Mavis Staples — Saturday's Sunshine Music Festival at Vinoy Park is just that deep. For details on that event and other concerts coming up, check out Jay Cridlin's Music Planner.
TAMPA BEVERAGE COMPANY EXPANDING HEADQUARTERS
Beverage producer and distributor Cott Corp., one of Tampa's largest headquartered companies, plans to expand in Hillsborough County. The expansion will create 60 new jobs and invest $800,000 in the local community.
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