Daystarter: Jane Castor is Tampa’s new mayor, and it wasn’t close; Tampa couple’s HGTV dreams come true; grading Bucs GM Jacon Licht’s NFL Drafts

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.
Published April 24
Updated April 24

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

• Expect another sunny day, but just a bit warmer. The bay area will wake up to lows ranging from the upper 50s inland to the mid 60s along the coast. Highs will reach the low to mid 80s with no real rain chance of rain but a nice, light breeze, according to the National Weather Service. Nighttime temps will drop to the low to mid 60s.

• It costs money to produce quality journalism. Please support the Tampa Bay Times by buying a digital subscription to Florida’s best newspaper and its redesigned website tampabay.com.

• The 2019 Tampa elections are over, and here’s everything you need to know:

TAMPA MAYOR: Jane Castor is Tampa’s next mayor, making history as the first openly gay mayor in the city and region’s history. Charlie Frago reports that her race against David Straz wasn’t even close.

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1: Joseph Citro scores easy council win over Walter L. Smith II

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 3: John Dingfelder heads back to Tampa City Council in big win over Stephen Lytle.

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5: Orlando Gudes the likely winner over Jeffrey Rhodes

AT WHAT COST: David Straz spent $345 per vote — and lost by nearly 25,000 of them

LIVE BLOG: Catch up with the Times’ Election Day live blog.

RESULTS: Get the latest results in Tampa’s city elections.

• Two Tampa Bay Times reporters were named finalists for a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for their stories exposing major problems in the heart surgery unit at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. Read the series “Heartbroken” by Deputy Investigations Editor Kathleen McGrory and investigative reporter Neil Bedi.

• Heartbroken: Johns Hopkins promised to elevate All Children’s Heart Institute. Then patients started to die at an alarming rate.

• Warning signs were ignored: State, federal officials missed warnings at All Children’s heart unit.

• Reputation, not results: Johns Hopkins wrote the rules on patient safety. But its hospitals don’t always follow them.

Florida could have fined All Children’s millions for late reports. It went with $4,500.

All Children’s works to restore faith, but families struggle to forgive.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including alt-rockers The Church performing the Palladium, an orchestra coffee concert comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall and Nathan Turner visits Oxford Exchange.

• Tampa’s Brian Kleinschmidt and Mika McGee-Kleinschmidt got their own HGTV show about building homes by tearing one down. Columnist Ernest Hooper explains how the Tampa husband-and-wife team landed their own HGTV show 90 Day Dream Home, which debuts Saturday at 10 p.m.

• All roads lead back to ... Pasco County? The man wearing the bunny suit in the downtown Orlando brawl that went viral has links to the bay area: The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says 20-year-old Antoine McDonald is a “person of interest” in a carjacking and two armed robberies in Pasco County — and he’s wanted in New Jersey in connection with a vehicle burglary last fall.

• More than a year after last year’s Valentine’s Day school shooting attack in Parkland that shocked the state and blurred party lines in the state Capitol, the Florida Senate passed a follow-up bill that has become increasingly partisan because of its expansion of a program that would allow classroom teachers to be armed. Samantha Gross reports that it succeeded on a 22-17 vote — with just one senator, Sen. Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican from Miami, crossing the political aisle to vote with Democrats.

Carlton: St. Pete, keeping it real: Can this thriving city build tall buildings and still hang on to its essential funkiness? What do we do about chains coming in? “That was the big fear,” says the mayor, sipping. “The rents would go up and they’d force the little guys out and the chains would come in.” Officials turned to other cities to see how they handled this but couldn’t find a fit for St. Pete.

• The Clearwater Beach Municipal Marina will be overhauled. The city will spend $15 million on the project over the next five years, it will use computer-aided design to configure slips, floating concrete docks, and utility lines to ensure the best financial and physical operation of the marina, said Ed Chesney, the director of the city’s Marine and Aviation Department.

• The Florida Legislature is in session. The Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau has the latest coverage from the state capital at the The Buzz.

• A new Star Wars comic book is being released today from Marvel that will lay the groundwork for the new Disney theme park land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening in Orlando in August. The series puts the park’s food and gift shops into the universe of Han Solo and Chewbacca.

• We’ve got some new restaurant openings, everything from bagels and bowls to a late-night cookie shop (and delivery service).

• Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri fired and arrested one of his own jail deputies after an internal inquiry found he forced an inmate to do push-ups as punishment then kicked the inmate when he got tired, reports Kathyrn Varn.

• St. Petersburg City Council member Darden Rice won’t say if she’s running for mayor in 2021. But her political committee Friends of Darden Rice has collected more than $30,000 since its inception in January, according to state campaign finance records. “There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to people early on and reaching out to people as early as possible,” Rice told Times reporter Josh Solomon. So why is incumbent St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, who is term-limited, so upset?

• Who wants to live where the old Sears used to stand? WestShore Plaza’s owners have purchased nearby lots for $4.3 million as part of its plans to create a mixed-used development in place of, and surrounding, the former Sears, reports Sara DiNatale.

• The City Commission recently approved an agreement with the John’s Pass Village Association to continue the Seafood Festival for another year. The city will control and get revenue from parking during the event, while picking up the direct costs, up to $8,500, associated with supporting it.

• Lane DeGregory podcast: Recently on the podcast, we tackled a question from a college journalism student who asked for five reasons to go into our profession. After that podcast, friends and colleagues provided their own reasons.

A fire early Wednesday morning at the Puzzanghera Law offices has closed all lanes on S Missouri Avenue in Clearwater.

• Check out the Times online Business page for the latest on the economy, jobs, real estate, retail and workplace culture.

• For the latest education coverage, make sure to read The Gradebook. And check out the Gradebook podcast as education reporter Jeffrey Solochek leads a weekly discussion about Florida education.

• The Times online Arts and Entertainment page tells you everything you need to know about what to do, see, eat and experience around town.

Anyone who buys a ticket to the Delicious Disney dinner series is welcomed inside. This dinner series set in Walt Disney World’s most exclusive neighborhood tells a story through whimsical dishes. For usually around $349, you can get a taste of Golden Oak, and the Disney fanaticism found inside its well-manicured grounds.

• Parks and Recreation has not been tracking complete profits and losses of city-related events in Coachman Park. The city auditor will now analyze the divison’s cash handling and practices.

• Check out the Times photo and video channels for the most compelling visuals.

• Read the Tampa Bay Times online Sports page with the latest news about the Lightning, Bucs, Rays, Bulls, Gators, Noles and high school sports. Times sportswriter Rick Stroud has the latest reaction and analysis from the whole team via our Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast.

• Five years into his tenure, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had lost twice as many games as they won. Most general managers don’t survive results like that. But Bucs general manager Jason Licht has. But how much talent has Licht acquired for new coach Bruce Arians to use in 2019? And how will Licht do when the NFL draft starts Thursday? To figure that out, Thomas Bassinger and the Times put together database of all of Licht’s draft picks since 2014. The results: Licht’s draft record is not good and it’s gotten worse.

• Bucs coach Bruce Arians isn’t pleased about his team’s schedule — which includes a seven-week stretch through the middle of the season in which the Bucs won’t play a game at Raymond James Stadium — and he made his opinion known Tuesday, reports Eduardo A. Encina.

• The NFL draft is Thursday. What will the Bucs do? Keep up with the latest offseason changes by following the Times’ Bucs page which is just a click away at tampabay.com. For the latest team news on @Twitter, follow Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD and fellow beat writer Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard.

• Bucs head coach Bruce Arians might have been excited after his first day at voluntary minicamp Tuesday, but columnist Martin Fennelly doesn’t quite share that excitement: Bucs defensive tackle and Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy wasn’t there, as he and the Bucs appear to be soon parting ways. Fennelly writes that the McCoy situation means the Bucs have somehow bungled what they couldn’t bungle.

• Where do the Lightning go being swept out of the first-round of the NHL Playoffs. Check out the Times throughout the offseason to see how Tampa Bay puts the pieces back together and follow beat writers Diana C. Nearhos at @dianacnearhos and Mari Faiello at @faiello_mari.

Local legend Mark Murchie “Froggy” passes the torch to his son. Froggy had spent 25 years of demolition derby, behind the wheels of beat-up Buick Centuries and Chevrolet Impalas, conduits of cathartic joy. He’d racked up a wall full of trophies and earned a reputation as a showman from central Florida up through the Carolinas.

The Seahawks, winners of 17 straight, are big on learning “more about the world around them”. Nelson Garcia, the Sunlake High coach says there is far more to life than softball. “I want the girls to get involved and learn more about the world around them,” Garcia said. “I encourage them to come together and help a cause.”

• Now that spring football is over, a few random thoughts as we count down the days until kickoff. Plus, a far-too-early prediction on the Gators-Hurricanes game in Orlando on Aug. 24.

• Get the latest Rays’ news from Marc Topkin and follow him throughout baseball season on @Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

• All the Bulls news you can use is right here from Times beat writer Joey Knight. Follow him on Twitter for the latest at @TBTimes_Bulls.

Get the latest on the Gators and Seminoles this spring from Times college football beat writer Matt Baker and follow him on Twitter at @MBakerTBTimes.

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