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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.

John Morgan speaks at the Marijuana Business Conference in Orlando in 2016. [Michael Auslen | Times/Herald]

John Morgan speaks at the Marijuana Business Conference in Orlando in 2016. [Michael Auslen | Times/Herald]

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 02/15/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 9:26am]
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