Florida is key to the image Donald Trump is peddling to the world. It's home to the most potent symbol of his wealth and accumulation, his Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago. It's the site of one of the first golf courses he ever built. It's studded with the sort of glitzy condo buildings and high rises he wants his name on. But for every totem here that showcases his power and savvy, there's also an episode that reveals his limitations.
FATAL POLICE SHOOTING OF BLACK MAN SPARKS PROTESTS IN CHARLOTTE
All lanes of Interstate 85 in Charlotte, N.C., were reopened early today but still littered with some rocks and glass after a night of protests over an officer-involved shooting of an African-American man in the city's University City area. The officer was also African-American. Twelve officers were injured Tuesday night in a series of clashes, and reports were coming in this morning of motorists being hurt and their vehicles damaged by protesters.
DETAILS EMERGE ON 'CROSS-BAY FERRY'
Commuters will cruise between the downtowns of St. Petersburg and Tampa this fall at 33 mph on a 55-foot, 147-passenger catamaran under plans unveiled this morning for what has been formally dubbed the "Cross-Bay Ferry." The vessel is scheduled to arrive in late October, with an inaugural VIP launch trip in early November.
MORE SCRUTINY FOR TRUMP FOUNDATION
Donald Trump's foundation continues to find trouble in Florida. Now, questions of self-dealing have arisen following a report that Trump used the charity to settle a lawsuit stemming from an 80-foot flag pole he erected at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. This, day after the Washington Post reported Trump used $100,000 of foundation money to give to a charity for veterans. Democrats are now calling for an investigation.
[JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times]
'LOWEST 300' READING PROGRAM ENTERS FIFTH YEAR
The Legislature has mandated that the 300 elementary schools with the lowest performance on state language arts tests add one hour of reading instruction to their daily schedule. After 2013-14, the number of Tampa Bay schools on the list grew. Educators insist it's not just the time that matters, but also how they spend it.
CHECK OUT THE NEW AND ADJUSTED FLIGHTS AT TIA
WestJet, a Canadian airline, is testing out a new direct route between St. John's International Airport and Tampa International Airport next spring. It's one of several new or adjusted routes coming to Tampa International over the next several months that involve flights to Panama, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Akron-Canton, Ohio.
FENNELLY: MARTIN INJURY NOT A GOOD SIGN
Bucs running back Doug Martin reportedly will miss about three weeks due to a hamstring injury. This hammy deal shouldn't be major, but is this the start of one of those seasons, the kind that never gets on track, writes columnist Martin Fennelly.
SCOTT, CABINET AGREE TO SET COMMUTE SENTENCE OF CRIME FAMILY MEMBER
Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet today ended the 24-year prison sentence of a mob informer whose testimony helped convict members of the Gambino and Gotti crime families. Acting on an extraordinary request by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa, the four state officials commuted the sentence of Kevin Bonner, who is in the federal witness protection program.
CLINTON TO STOP IN ORLANDO TODAY
Hillary Clinton will campaign this afternoon in Orlando, five days before the first presidential debate with Donald Trump. The event will be at Frontline Outreach Center. Doors open at noon. The event begins at 2 p.m.
ARE PIZZA VENDING MACHINES TAKING OVER FLORIDA?
Vending machines featuring pizza are relatively new to the U.S. market, and companies are using Florida as test kitchens. If you're hankering for such a pie, the closest one to Tampa Bay is a Mobil Mart on S Florida Avenue in Lakeland. But don't fret. Machines should start popping up locally in January.
JAMEIS WINSTON LAWSUIT TRIAL DELAYED UNTIL APRIL
The trial in the sexual battery lawsuit against Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has been pushed back a month. Attorneys for Winston and his accuser, Erica Kinsman, asked for an extension on discovery in the case, now rescheduled for a jury trial starting April 3, according to court records.
PRESIDENTIAL TV AD SPENDING IN FLORIDA HITS $47 MILLION
Hillary Clinton and allies have spent $37.7 million on TV ads in Florida so far, blowing past the $9.2 million from Donald Trump and supporters, including the super PAC led by Gov. Rick Scott. Yet the race is a dead heat.
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