Saturday, September 22, 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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For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, with Meadows in the lineup

For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, with Meadows in the lineup

After a crushing defeat Thursday and Friday's bounceback win, the Rays take on the Blue Jays again today, first pitch 4:07.OF Austin Meadows, who made an impressive showing coming off the bench on Friday gets his first start today in rightfield. Mead...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Football: Tampa Bay Tech 28, Hillsborough 27

Football: Tampa Bay Tech 28, Hillsborough 27

TAMPA — The decision was made as soon as Hillsborough got the ball back. Trailing by a touchdown with just over four minutes remaining against Tampa Bay Tech, the Terriers had the ball on their own 6-yard line.They hadn't been able to move the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Football: Clearwater 34, Mitchell 7

Football: Clearwater 34, Mitchell 7

TRINITY — What at first looked like a defensive stalemate between Clearwater and Mitchell quickly turned into a rout.Clearwater had revenge on its mind Friday night after a 45-28 loss to Mitchell last year during the the regular season. The Tor...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pinellas Park man killed in rollover crash near Feather Sound

Pinellas Park man killed in rollover crash near Feather Sound

ST. PETERSBURG — A 47-year-old Pinellas Park man died Friday night after his pickup truck veered into oncoming traffic, rolled over and ejected him, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Troopers said the crash took place at 7:15 p.m. at Feather So...
Updated: 3 hours ago
USF’s Kitija Laksa begins play in FIBA Women’s World Cup

USF’s Kitija Laksa begins play in FIBA Women’s World Cup

Before resuming her assault on USF's record books, Kitija Laksa will try to make history with her homeland.A native of Riga, Latvia, Laksa begins play with her native country this morning in the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Spain.Latvia is ma...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Football: Largo 35, Countryside 0

Football: Largo 35, Countryside 0

LARGO — The offense was relentless and merciless Friday night, but that has been the case a lot recently. Largo is scoring points in bunches and getting contributions from everyone. Add in a defense that has been smothering, as well as a special team...
Published: 09/22/18
How do you explain active shooters to a first-grader? For educators, school safety is a ‘work in progress.’

How do you explain active shooters to a first-grader? For educators, school safety is a ‘work in progress.’

Active assailant. Run-hide-fight. Barricade the classroom. The language of preventing a shooting like the one this year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is often filled with terms that can stir up fear in students, often out of necessity.But f...
Published: 09/22/18
Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Andrea Gebbia grew up in Carrollwood, and now she is bringing the family business to the neighborhood of her youth.In late fall, Joe and Son’s Olive Oils is slated to open a second location."I feel so blessed having the ability to grow my...
Updated: 2 minutes ago

Two acclaimed authors to speak about water at USF St. Petersburg

Pulitzer Prize winner and University of Florida professor Jack Davis thinks people need to humble themselves more toward water."The water doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the water," he said. "Without water, humanity would not exist, life would not...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Franklin on Twiggs restaurant opens in former downtown Tampa Pita Pit location

Franklin on Twiggs restaurant opens in former downtown Tampa Pita Pit location

DOWNTOWN — After a falling out with the Pita Pit corporate offices, Andrew Turek, the former owner of the SoHo location sold the property to Shula Burger and decided to open a new eatery and market called Franklin on Twiggs in the former downt...
Updated: 1 hour ago