Monday, June 25, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: DeVos vote today; February restaurant openings; business thrives for consenting couples; travel ban in court

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

SENATE SET TO CONFIRM EDUCATION SECRETARY DEVOS BY NARROW MARGIN

The Senate is poised to confirm President Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary by the narrowest possible margin, with Vice President Mike Pence expected to break a 50-50 tie. The vote planned around noon comes an all-night speaking marathon by Democrats on the Senate floor, in a show of opposition to the nominee, Betsy DeVos.

STATE, FEDERAL LAWYERS SQUARE OFF IN COURT OVER TRUMP TRAVEL BAN

State and federal lawyers will argue before a panel of federal appellate court judges today in the pitched fight over President Donald Trump's travel and refugee ban that could reach the Supreme Court. The federal government maintains the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the United States, while states suing Trump say his executive order is unconstitutional.

FEBRUARY RESTAURANT OPENINGS IN THE TAMPA BAY AREA

February is the month for lovers, and the case remains true for food lovers in the Tampa Bay area. This month, in addition to a few grand opening parties, look for whiskey-infused syrup at a St. Pete coffee bar, a healthy quick-casual concept in Tampa from a former Buccaneer and a craft burger assembly line in Wesley Chapel.

'IT'S NOT SODOM AND GOMORRAH,' BUT BUSINESS THRIVES ON CONSENTING COUPLES

[CHRIS URSO | Times]

Andrew and Susan Harrow are commercial property landlords who six years ago agreed to take over a tenant's failing but promising adult business, now called Eyz Wide Shut.

Eyz Wide Shut, a big purple building without windows in an industrial area on East Adamo Drive in Brandon, is divided in half, each with separate entrances — a nightclub on one side and on the other, a motel licensed by Hillsborough County where each week. Dozens of couples and a handful of singles spend $15 to $85 to get into the "couples' playground for the sexually adventurous."

HOUSE TARGETS 23 'FLAWED' INCENTIVES FOR PERMANENT ELIMINATION

The suddenly endangered Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida are getting all the attention, but a House plan to overhaul state economic development programs would wipe 23 specific incentives off the books, Steve Bousquet writes. The House bill is an assault on Gov. Rick Scott's taxpayer-funded tool kit to attract jobs, as a House analysis says the incentives Scott supports are "impediments to normal market forces, operating in a manner where government selects winners and losers."

SUGAR GROWERS TO STATE: NO SALE ON OUR FARMLAND SOUTH OF LAKE OKEECHOBEE

Sugar cane growers and other farmers who own some of the largest parcels of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area say they won't willingly sell their land to build a water-holding reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, setting up a possible stand-off in the power struggle over the future of Everglades clean-up.

HARAMBE-SHAPED CHEETO SELLS FOR NEARLY $100K

[Fat Kid Deals via Twitter]

A Harambe-shaped Cheeto was found in a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and sold on eBay for nearly $100,000.

A Cheeto that resembles the shape of Harambe, the famous-turned-cult gorilla who was killed last year at the Cincinnati Zoo, sold on eBay overnight for $99,900. The internet, promptly, reacted as expected.

GRADEBOOK PODCAST: KURT BROWNING ON OVER-TESTING AND 'HIGH STAKES-NESS'

Tampa Bay Times education writer Jeff Solochek talks about Florida's high-stakes school accountability system with Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning. Recently, Browning was one of several superintendents to tell lawmakers that the state has gone too far, with an over-emphasis on testing that robs schools of time and resources. Listen to their lively 10-minute discussion in the latest Gradebook podcast.

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Tampa man faces murder charge in hit-and-run that killed father during family bike ride

Tampa man faces murder charge in hit-and-run that killed father during family bike ride

TAMPA ó A Tampa man faces charges , including premeditated first-degree murder, following his arrest Sunday night in a hit-and-run that killed a father and left his 3-year-old son seriously injured while on a family bike ride earlier in the afternoon...
Updated: 1 minute ago
The Daystarter: Arrest made in New Tampa hit-and-run; who will pay for their name on proposed Rays park in Ybor?; Rays complete series sweep of Yankees

The Daystarter: Arrest made in New Tampa hit-and-run; who will pay for their name on proposed Rays park in Ybor?; Rays complete series sweep of Yankees

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today. † • We’ll have another wet day to start the week, with widespread afternoon and evening thundershowers, according to 10Weather WTSP. High temperatures should top out near ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hooper: Michelle Obamaís 2016 clarion call needs to be heard today

When they go low, we go high.Those words drew an astounding amount of applause when then First Lady Michelle Obama delivered them at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.Yet some people treat the statement as merely the basis of a good meme, inste...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Woman killed by lightning strike on Siesta Key

Woman killed by lightning strike on Siesta Key

A woman was killed Sunday afternoon in a lightning strike on Siesta Key.According to the Sarasota County Sheriffís Office, deputies responded after receiving a call around 2:15 p.m. of a person struck by lightning in the 6000 block of Midnight Pass R...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Former Alabama star and Bucs defensive end Keith McCants was arrested in St. Petersburg early Monday morning and is facing a felony charge of possession of crack cocaine, according to arrest records.McCants, 50, was arrested by the Pinellas County Sh...
Updated: 2 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: Republican PAC misleads in ad about Sen. Bill Nelsonís record on Social Security, Medicare

PolitiFact Florida: Republican PAC misleads in ad about Sen. Bill Nelsonís record on Social Security, Medicare

A new ad portrays Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson as a career politician who doesnít have the backs of senior citizens.The New Republican PAC, which is backing Gov. Rick Scott in Floridaís closely watched Senate race, released a 30-second ad criticizing ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What name would a new Rays stadium carry? Itís a multi-million dollar question

What name would a new Rays stadium carry? Itís a multi-million dollar question

TAMPA ó Yankee Stadium, Fenway and Wrigley are ballparks whose names are woven into the lore of Americaís national pastime.Petco Park and Guaranteed Rate Field? Not so much.The trade-off for that clunky corporate handle is typically an annual payout ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The pros and cons of Tom Jurich as potential USF AD candidate

The pros and cons of Tom Jurich as potential USF AD candidate

Former Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has emerged as a legitimate candidate to take over USF, as our Joey Knight reported late last week.Despite the chatter around USF and in the industry, I'm skeptical; I wouldn't be surprised if the Bulls'...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Visit St. Pete-Clearwater partners with HSN to turn shoppers into tourists

Visit St. Pete-Clearwater partners with HSN to turn shoppers into tourists

Valerie Stupís toes are in the sand at Clearwater Beach. Guy Yovan is spotting dolphins near Johnís Pass. Sarah Anderson is touring the Dali Museum.Usually HSNís shoppers only see their favorite network hosts inside the studio selling handbags, cookw...
Published: 06/25/18
Wondering what St. Pete is up to? Check the cityís data yourself

Wondering what St. Pete is up to? Check the cityís data yourself

ST. PETERSBURG ó Maybe you want to track your tree-trimming request. Or see what kind of water mains were worked on last month. Or check how many police calls came from downtown on a recent Thursday before 4 p.m. (The answer is 25.)Now city residents...
Published: 06/25/18