Here's what's new this morning.
President Donald Trump says he will order an investigation into voter fraud. The president tweeted early Wednesday that the measures will affect those registered to vote in more than one state, "those who are illegal and even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)."
GOV. SCOTT TO PITCH $618 MILLION IN TAX CUTS DURING TAMPA STOP
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, brushing aside a more pessimistic outlook on the state's financial situation, wants state legislators to slash taxes by $618 million in the coming year. During stops in Tampa, Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale, Scott on Wednesday will tout a tax cut package he's asking the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature to pass this spring. It will be a key part of spending recommendations that he will release in the next few weeks.
MULBERRY SINKHOLE DISRUPTED MOSAIC PLANS TO RAISE GYPSUM STACK, EXPAND MANATEE MINING
[JIM DAMASKE | Times]
The massive sinkhole that swallowed a radioactive pool of water from a Mulberry phosphogypsum stack last August opened at an inopportune time for the company that owned the site. The Mosaic Company, the largest phosphate company in the world, was planning to expand both its Mulberry stack in Polk County and its mining operation in nearby Manatee County when the contaminated water drained into the aquifer.
CARLTON: IN A CITY'S BATTLE WITH THE HOMELESS, A PARK DISAPPEARS
A nice thing about Tampa's urban neighborhoods is that somebody actually thought about parks, columnist Sue Carlton writes. A tall black metal fence recently sprouted around a park that was once open green space next to a big law firm just north of downtown. Placards warn "NO TRESPASSING KEEP OUT,'' and every entrance is padlocked. Gone is the welcoming city sign that said "Phil Bourquardez Park."
MIAMI GIRL, 14, HANGS HERSELF WHILE STREAMING IT LIVE
For two hours, Nakia Venant broadcast from the bathroom of her Miami Gardens foster home, eventually fashioning a homemade noose from her scarf. The live feed ended abruptly. Nakia, a petite 14-year-old with long hair and a sweet smile, killed herself overnight Sunday while live-streaming the event. Administrators with the Florida Department of Children & Families would offer little detail Tuesday about Nakia's death, other than to confirm that both child welfare administrators and the Miami Gardens Police Department were investigating the suicide death of "a child … in the care of a foster family."
MADEIRA BEACH DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENTS DOWNSIZED
It is likely that several new hotels will open their doors in Madeira Beach in a few years, but the path to that new development continues to be rocky. A lawsuit challenging the city's rejection of a referendum petition, dismissed in court in November, has been reinstated and will go forward.
PRESERVE'S CONSERVATION CEMETERY OFFERS FAMILIES A 'GREEN' END-OF-LIFE ALTERNATIVE
With today's typical funeral and burial process, the natural process of returning to dust is impeded, while cemeteries have become "landfills" polluted with toxins from embalming fluids, steel caskets and concrete vaults. Green burials offer a sustainable alternative, but the choices are minimal. There are only a handful of "hybrid" cemeteries in Florida that offer both natural and traditional burials, and even fewer conservation cemeteries that work toward protecting the land. eartwood Preserve Conservation Cemetery in Pasco County is one of them.
REVIEW: 'Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING' SPOTLIGHTS THE ORIGINAL JAZZ AGE FLAPPER
Based on the 2013 novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, the show moves through the turbulent life of Zelda, played out in the salons of Montgomery and speakeasies of New York City. Read Chelsea Tatham's review here.
FLORIDA'S TASK: KEEP IN-STATE RECRUITS, STARTING WITH TAMPA BAY
MONICA HERNDON | Times
Jim McElwain's recruiting plan starts with locking down the state of Florida. If McElwain is serious about that — and making Florida a legitimate College Football Playoff contender — reestablishing a pipeline from Tampa Bay to Gainesville is a good place to start. However, local stars have simply chosen to go elsewhere, Matt Baker writes.
Like the highly touted prospects before them, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota will be linked together forever. We'll critique their throws, parse their words, debate their leadership. Every so often, we'll ask, "Who is better?" In 2015, the answer was Winston. This season? Mariota didn't just catch up to him — he passed him by, at least in the ways we can measure. To find out how, Tom Bassinger dives into the numbers.