Saturday, August 18, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: John Morgan a strong candidate for governor?; Debra Lafave's new life's story; Mahaffey naming rights for $100K a year; how to get by in Cuba

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

INSIDERS POLL: MORGAN WOULD BE STRONGEST CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR

Unpredictable, politically incorrect, pugnacious, and very, very rich. Yes, it sounds like President Donald Trump, but it also describes personal injury lawyer John Morgan, who is mulling a run for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018. Among more than 170 of the most experienced and plugged in Florida politicos, a plurality thinks he'd be the Democrats' strongest candidate.  Here's the full results of our Florida Insider's Poll.

A NEW BIOGRAPHY OF DEBRA LAFAVE

Joe Zuniga figures he was the right person to tell the story of an attempt at a new life by Debra Jean Beasley Lafave — the blonde, blue-eyed, middle-school teacher who had sex with a 14-year-old student in 2004. Debra LaFave: A Crown of Beauty for Ashes is Zuniga's first book, . born of the acquaintance he struck up with LaFave a decade ago through his sister. He believes in second chances.

BILL EDWARDS HOPES TO SELL NAMING RIGHTS TO EVERYTHING INSIDE, AROUND MAHAFFEY THEATER

The name on the outside of the Mahaffey Theater isn't changing, but the names of nearly everything inside and around it is up for sale. St. Petersburg City Council members heard the details of a plan on Feb. 2 to  sell naming rights to a dozen spaces on the 98,000-square-foot performing arts venue.

QUESTIONS OVER DEATH OF KIM JONG UN'S HALF BROTHER

It looks like a perfectly staged assassination, straight out of the pages of a spy novel: Kim Jong Nam, the estranged, exiled half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, falls ill at a Malaysian airport, complains of being sprayed with some sort of chemical, and drops dead. But, as with many things about the motives of cloistered North Korea, the unknowns currently far outweigh the certainties.

PLANNING A VISIT TO CUBA? YOU BETTER FIND A GUY TO HELP YOU

[Photo from Diane Persall]

Anyone traveling on their own in Cuba needs to "know a guy."

Could be a woman, but enterprising locals typically offer a guy. Looking for a casa particular, a comfy room rented by friendly, licensed homeowners? Someone knows a guy to make it happen. Want to spin backward through time and Havana in a vintage automobile? Guys arrange that, too.  Steve Persall writes about his recent visit to the island nation.

CAN CHRIS SALE DO FOR THE RED SOX WHAT DAVID PRICE COULD NOT?

Chris Sale wants to win. He said that Tuesday during his press conference following his first official workout as a Red Sox. Repeatedly. "I've said it 157 times," Sale said. That's an exaggeration, but he used the word often when talking about the offseason trade that brought him from the Chicago White Sox to Boston and about joining a team that dealt two top prospects for the left-handed pitcher to, well, win.

RUMOR IS TOP DOG AT WESTMINSTER

Quite a rally for Rumor, and German Shepherds, too. Rumor was crowned America's top dog Tuesday night when, a year after a near miss, she came out of retirement to win best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.

Comments
Preseason football: Hillsborough 29, East Lake 23

Preseason football: Hillsborough 29, East Lake 23

TAMPA — When moving on to your third football program in four seasons, it helps to have a familiar face on the scene to help make things click faster.For Hillsborough quarterback Charlie Dean, fresh from playing for Tampa Catholic last fall, that per...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Romano: A fresh start for Florida to protect abused children

Romano: A fresh start for Florida to protect abused children

The worst job in Florida is available, once again.Mike Carroll has announced his pending resignation as secretary of the Department of Children and Families, giving someone else the privilege to be an underfunded, second-guessed punching bag. For no ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Putting a face to the name: Picture of Marine killed in Vietnam one of the missing

Putting a face to the name: Picture of Marine killed in Vietnam one of the missing

Private Ruben Bell Jr. has a name, a rank, a hometown, five service medals and several living family members. For 50 years, though, he has remained a ghost.Bell enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1967, when he was 19, and arrived in Vietnam that De...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Yeah, but …Every Jameis Winston-Marcus Mariota debate is full of them.Winston has completed more passes (939), gained more passing yards (11,636) and thrown more passing touchdowns (69) before his age 24 season than any quarterback in NFL histo...
Updated: 6 hours ago
It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

BOSTON — David Price heard about the recent reunion of the Rays' 2008 American League championship club that he played a big role on as a small part of, and he had a few questions.What players were there? How did it go? Did second baseman Akino...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Rays journal: A 3-0 first-inning lead turns into a loss to powerful Red Sox

BOSTON — Scoring three runs in the top of the first inning is typically a good start toward a victory.But not so much at cozy Fenway Park.And definitely not against these red-hot Red Sox.Facing their AL East rivals for the first time since late...
Updated: 8 hours ago
From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE — Ten thousand blue leis were distributed to Titans fans for the NFL draft on the day their team picked Marcus Mariota.The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner wasn't even at Nissan Stadium for the party, which drew a crowd of 20,000. But the w...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Preseason football: Clearwater Central Catholic 24, Wiregrass Ranch 14

Preseason football: Clearwater Central Catholic 24, Wiregrass Ranch 14

WESLEY CHAPEL — Clearwater Central Catholic, held to 11 yards rushing in the first half, turned on the power game behind senior Casey Levy, whose 120-yard performance helped carry the visiting Marauders to a 24-14 win at Wiregrass Ranch.Levy’s lone t...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Preseason football: Tampa Bay Tech 54, Brandon 6

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech earned all the momentum it needed heading into next week’s sizable test at Armwood.The Titans powered by visiting Brandon 54-6 in a preseason classic on Friday night. The game was cruising along until a 20-minute lightning dela...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Preseason football: Tampa Catholic 36, Robinson 15

TAMPA — First-year Tampa Catholic coach Jeris McIntyre hasn’t named a starting quarterback yet, but Dylan McCain shined in his job interview Friday, running a Crusader offense that scored 22 points in the second half on the way to a 36-15 preseason v...
Updated: 8 hours ago