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Morning Watch: Hurricane season could have been much worse for Tampa Bay

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With 15 named storms, including the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in 11 years and a Category 5 monster that buzz-sawed up the east coast, emergency management officials say they're relieved the bay area didn't get hit harder this season. Of the three storms that touched or landed in Florida and caused local emergency management operations centers to activate — Tropical Storm Colin and hurricanes Hermine and Matthew — the Bay area received glancing blows.

ROMANO: A MESSAGE FOR THE MORONS ON OUR ROADS

Three times in the past nine months, tow truck operators have been killed while working on roads in Tampa Bay, John Romano writes. Statistically speaking, that's an outrageous number. Realistically, tow truck drivers say it isn't necessarily shocking. Passing drivers have a legal, moral and commonsense obligation to exercise greater care when passing a tow truck at work on the side of the road — not to mention it has been the law since 2002. That's our legal responsibility.

CANDIDATES FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT NARROWED TO 3, ALL WITH CONSERVATIVE CREDENTIALS

Gov. Rick Scott's goal of reshaping the Florida Supreme Court drew closer Monday as the nominating commission controlled by the governor interviewed 11 candidates and nominated three who demonstrated they are judicial conservatives.

FRENCH LIAISON TO CENTCOM HAS CONFIDENCE IN BROADER COALITION TO FIGHT ISIS

Even as Iraqi forces are bogged down in a bloody fight to recapture Mosul from the so-called Islamic State, a new coalition is being formed to take on the Sunni jihadi group when it finally loses control of the Iraqi city it captured two years ago.

EAGLE HIT BY CAR, NURSED BACK TO HEALTH, SET FOR RELEASE IN CLEARWATER

The American Bald Eagle that was injured after it was struck by a car in Clearwater on Oct 5. will be released into the wild today at Lake Chautauqua Park. The bird has recovered after it underwent surgery on its right wing at Busch Gardens.

An American bald eagle struck nursed back to health after it was hit by a car while feeding in the road will be released back into the wild this morning at a Clearwater park. Owl's Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife, Busch Gardens and Nature World Wildlife teamed up to treat the eagle after it was struck Oct. 5 on Countryside Boulevard, next to the Westfield Countryside Mall.

WALL OF WEAPONS APPEARS TO BE MISSING AFTER ROBBERY AT TAMPA GUN STORE

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating a brazen smash-and-grab burglary at a gun store early Tuesday. The suspect or suspects smashed the entire glass facade of the Tampa Arms Company, 4023 W Waters Ave., and stole several guns. The store is in the Northwest Plaza about a half mile west of North Dale Mabry Highway.

COLUMN: SPENDING TIME WITH LOVED ONES IS THE BEST GIFT

Stuff can be a good gift option, especially when said stuff is particularly useful or speaks to the heart of a person, entertainment editor Stephanie Hayes writes. But memories can be better than the coolest beer koozie. You can't buy time, but you can buy time with someone. That's what our holiday gift guide is all about this year.

 Motorists pass through standing water from Tropical Storm Hermine on Wednesday afternoon, August 31, 2016 along Bayshore Blvd in Tampa.  [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Motorists pass through standing water from Tropical Storm Hermine on Wednesday afternoon, August 31, 2016 along Bayshore Blvd in Tampa. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]

Morning Watch: Hurricane season could have been much worse for Tampa Bay 11/29/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 9:16am]
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  1. Joe Maddon: What my time in Tampa Bay meant — and still means — to me

    The Heater

    Editor's note: The Rays next week in Chicago will meet up for the first time with former manager Joe Maddon, who is in his third year leading the Cubs after nine with the Rays. In advance of the Tuesday-Wednesday series, we asked Maddon to share his thoughts in a column on what his time in Tampa Bay meant to …

    Joe Maddon waits to greet B.J. Upton after Upton's home run in Game 2 of the ALCS in 2008 at Tropicana Field. [Times files (2008)]
  2. First WannaCry, now cyberattack Petya spreads from Russia to Britain

    Business

    Computer systems from Russia to Britain were victims of an international cyberattack Tuesday in a hack that bore similarities to a recent one that crippled tens of thousands of machines worldwide.

    A computer screen cyberattack warning notice reportedly holding computer files to ransom, as part of a massive international cyberattack, at an office in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.  A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across Europe.
[Oleg Reshetnyak via AP]
  3. Pinellas sheriff's corporal had racist, sexist, pornographic content on his cell phone

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A Pinellas County sheriff's corporal resigned recently after an investigation into an alleged extramarital affair revealed a trove of racist, sexist and pornographic images on his personal cell phone.

    Shawn Pappas, 46, resigned as a training division corporal from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office after an investigation revealed a trove of offensive images and videos on his phone. This photo was taken as a screenshot from one of the videos released by the Sheriff's Office that Pappas filmed while on duty. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine reflects on the news from the Congressional Budget Office analysis that could imperil GOP leaders' hopes of pushing their health care the plan through the chamber this week, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [AP photo]
  5. Review: Dan Auerbach, Benjamin Booker plumb the past for inspiration on new albums

    Music & Concerts

    It didn't take Benjamin Booker long to get lumped in with the greats. The Tampa-raised singer-songwriter's 2014 self-titled blues-punk debut brought widespread acclaim, not to mention an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, a tour with Jack White and sessions with Mavis Staples.

    The cover of Benjamin Booker's new album "Witness." Credit: ATO Records