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Morning Watch: Australia plane crashes into mall; legislator questions food stamps for candy; live at 'stand your ground' hearing; David Cassidy has dementia

A view from the tarmac at Melbourne's Essendon Airport is seen after a charter plane leaving the airport crashed on Feb. 21, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. The charter plane was carrying 5 people when it crashed near the DFO Melbourne Shopping Centre at around 9am this morning. Emergency services are on scene. [Michael Dodge | Getty Images]

A view from the tarmac at Melbourne's Essendon Airport is seen after a charter plane leaving the airport crashed on Feb. 21, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. The charter plane was carrying 5 people when it crashed near the DFO Melbourne Shopping Centre at around 9am this morning. Emergency services are on scene. [Michael Dodge | Getty Images]

The latest news and developments to help you get ready for the day ahead.

AUSTRALIAN PLANE CRASHES INTO MALL, KILLING 4 U.S. TOURISTS AND PILOT

An Australian pilot and four American tourists on a golfing vacation were killed when a light plane crashed in flames into a shopping mall shortly after takeoff in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said. The five were on a twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air that crashed about 45 minutes before the Direct Factory Outlet mall in suburban Essendon was to open, Police Minister Lisa Neville said.

SHOULD FOOD STAMPS BE USED TO BUY SODA AND CANDY? A TAMPA BAY LAWMAKER SAYS NO

Should people who get food stamps in Florida be allowed to buy candy and soda with them? A newly-elected Tampa Bay legislator says no, and he's pushing to change state law to prevent it. Republican Rep. Ralph Massullo of Lecanto is one of 24 GOP freshmen in the state House and represents parts of Hernando and Citrus counties on the North Suncoast. He's also an industrial engineer and a dermatologist who says that something has to be done about the rising rates of obesity in the U.S., especially among children.

MCMASTER, TRUMP'S NEW NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, A SOLDIER-SCHOLAR

President Donald Trump has chosen as his national security adviser a soldier-scholar who fought in both Iraq wars and published an influential book that called out the U.S. government for "lies" that led to the Vietnam War. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster would remain on active military duty while leading the National Security Council, White House officials said Monday.

DAVID CASSIDY, HEARTTHROB STAR OF 'THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY,' REVEALS HE HAS DEMENTIA

[Associated Press (2009)]

David Cassidy, best known for his role as Keith Partridge on "The Partridge Family," said in an interview with People magazine that at 66 years old, he is suffering from dementia. "I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming," Cassidy told People.

David Cassidy, best known as the well-coiffed heartthrob who starred in the 1970s series The Partridge Family, watched his family members succumb one by one to dementia. Now, one of Cassidy's biggest fears has come to fruition. In an interview with People magazine published on Monday, he announced that at 66 years old, he is suffering from dementia.

PASCO STUDENTS AGAIN CAN OPT OUT OF LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS

After a year hiatus, Florida's program allowing students at persistently low performing public schools to choose higher achieving nearby schools with space is again available. Jeff Solochek explains what this could mean for Pasco County students.

LIVE: CURTIS REEVES 'STAND YOUR GROUND' HEARING

Curtis Reeves, the man accused in the fatal 2014 shooting in a Wesley Chapel movie theater, is in court again today for a hearing to determine if he should be immune from prosecution under Florida's "stand your ground" law. Stay with tampabay.com for live coverage from the courtroom.

PINELLAS MAN SHARES CONNECTION THROUGH DRUMS

To many of those who come to PARC, Steve Turner's drum circles are the part of the month they look forward to the most, Jewelie Boyce, the day enrichment coordinator said. Turner, 44, remembers drumming on the side of the family coffee table growing up in Oldsmar and telling his dad he wanted to be a drummer when he grew up. His dad bought him his first drum at 4 and he's been drumming since.

TIME FOR SEFFNER CHRISTIAN TO DEFY RECENT HISTORY?

For the fifth straight season, the Seffner Christian Crusaders face Miami Country Day at the state tournament in Lakeland. The past four seasons have not gone as planned. They go at it again in the Class 4A state finals on Wednesday.

FIVE IDEAS FOR ALMONDS: ALMOND CAKE, ALMOND-HERB SAUCE, ALMOND-CRUSTED FISH

[iStockphoto]

It's important to take cooking inspiration where you can find it. It's easy for food editor Michelle Stark to get into a rut, cook the same old stuff for dinner each night and leave her creative cooking muscles to languish. So when she stumbles on something that really inspires her, she usually take a deep dive. Today, she delves into all things almonds.

PORT CHARLOTTE REPORT: MEDIA TRAINING, MORE LIVE BP ON TAP

We're expecting quippier quotes today — or actually we're not — from the Rays today as they'll have their annual media training session,/b> before today's workout. Once they take the field, expect a similar routine, with work on individual and team defense and then live batting practice. Marc Topkin will have all the details.

Morning Watch: Australia plane crashes into mall; legislator questions food stamps for candy; live at 'stand your ground' hearing; David Cassidy has dementia 02/21/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:57am]
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