Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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

A sign posted at the door to one of 14 themed rooms at Eyz Wide Shut is seen as club owner Andrew Harrow looks on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 in Tampa. Andrew and Susan Harrow have owned the unique club for over six years. Eyz Wide Shut bills itself as a couples playground.

CHRIS URSO | Times

A sign posted at the door to one of 14 themed rooms at Eyz Wide Shut is seen as club owner Andrew Harrow looks on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 in Tampa. Andrew and Susan Harrow have owned the unique club for over six years. Eyz Wide Shut bills itself as a couples playground.

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.

Morning Watch: DeVos vote today; February restaurant openings; business thrives for consenting couples; travel ban in court 02/07/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 9:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kriseman gets 2nd police union endorsement

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is already backed by the city's largest police union, the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman has secured another police union endorsement
  2. Vision Zero strategy for safer Hillsborough roads: repaint, narrow lanes, educate

    Transportation

    TAMPA — What would it take to eliminate all traffic deaths in the county that has the most of them?

    Josephine Winiarz, left, and Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, center, help paint a bike lane on the Bullard Parkway Bridge in Temple Terrace in April. Brighter lanes to make motorists more aware are among the solutions developed to cut pedestrian fatalities [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Blue Jays: Looking to make it 2 in a row

    Blogs

    Coming off Sunday's win over the Mariners - just their fourth in the last 16 games - the Rays are looking to make it two in a row tonight as they take on the Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series.

    The teams played last week in Toronto, with the Blue Jays taking three of four.

    RHP Chris …

    Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.
  4. Commissioner Manfred to visit Trop Wednesday for Rays-Blue Jays

    Blogs

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is slated to be at the Trop on Wednesday.

    And so is Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg.

    And they are scheduled to meet with the media.

    But before you get excited - or riled up - know it's not to make any big announcement on the stadium or the overall future …

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is slated to be at the Trop on Wednesday.
  5. Bucs running back's gamble pays off for his mom

    Bucs

    TAMPA — When Peyton Barber decided to leave Auburn after his sophomore year, with only one season as a starting running back, it was a risky decision, one he hoped would let him help out his family back home in suburban Atlanta.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber (43) takes the field with an American flag before a preseason game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times