The predicted path of Hurricane Matthew is teetering toward Florida's east coast, setting the stage for what could be the highest-impact storm to reach the state since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. It's unclear whether Matthew — which is headed for the southern Bahamas — will glide along Florida's coast, or hit the state directly by Friday morning. A "tiny change" in the hurricane's path could mean catastrophe stretching from Jacksonville to Jupiter, said Ruskin-based National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Noah. Hurricane warnings or watches are out along the state's east coast, and Polk, Highlands and Sumter counties are under tropical storm warnings. Forecasters say the Tampa Bay area would be largely spared, likely seeing some gusty conditions Thursday and Friday.
• Gov. Rick Scott says he is worried there haven't been enough evacuations yet in advance of the storm: "My biggest concern is people don't take it seriously enough. This could turn, and are we going to be ready?"
• When a hurricane or tropical storm threatens any part of Florida, state-run Citizens Property Insurance suspends writing new policies or adding coverage to existing policies throughout the state. For Citizens — which has about 103,000 Tampa Bay area policies — that suspension went into effect at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
• Matthew is affecting this week's sports schedules. Friday's UCF-Tulane game in Orlando has been moved to Nov. 5. No announcements have been made regarding the state's other games. Florida hosts LSU at noon Saturday, and USF hosts East Carolina at the same time. Miami hosts Florida State on Saturday night.
• Check out the Times' live blog for the latest updates on forecasts, closings and schedule changes related to the storm.
FLORIDA SEES HISTORIC SURGE IN VOTING BY MAIL
Florida is on pace to set a new record for voting by mail , as nearly one of every four voters will make their choices at home, weeks before election day. bout 2.6 million ballots are flooding mailboxes this week, a figure that could nearly double by Nov. 8, when total turnout could approach 9 million. But there's a downside: Casting a ballot at home requires voters to take simple steps to prevent fraud, and a surprising number of them get it wrong and their votes are not counted.
[OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
PARENTS CONCERNED AS DAY CARE AT MOFFITT CLOSES
Moffitt Cancer Center has announced it is shutting down its day care center at the end of the year while it builds a new and bigger facility, putting the families of roughly 90 children in limbo as they seek alternate arrangements. Parents expressed concerns they would not be able to place their children in comparable care situations during the gap between the shutdown and the opening of the new facility in 2018.
SHERIFF'S OFFICE RELEASES NAME OF MAN FATALLY SHOT BY DEPUTY
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the man fatally shot by a deputy Tuesday in Riverview. Isaias Salgado, 31, of Winter Haven attacked veteran Deputy Stuart Gray with a brick, prompting Gray to shoot him about 4 p.m., the Sheriff's Office says. Col. Donna Lusczynski says Salgado was involved in a three-vehicle crash, fled and attempted to carjack three vehicles and break in to several vehicles and houses in the area. Salgado was trying to enter an occupied home when Gray arrived, Lusczynski says. Salgado saw Gray, picked up a brick and attacked the deputy, Lusczynski says.
STUDY LINKS BIRTH CONTROL TO DEPRESSION
A new study suggests those who use birth control — especially teenage girls — may be at a significantly higher risk of experiencing depression, confirming what some women say they've been feeling for years: that their hormonal contraceptives make them sad. It's the first study to conclude there might be a link between birth control and depression, the study's author says.
ANALYSIS: IS IT TIME FOR FISHER TO LEAVE FSU?
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher would be wise to look to the past again in the coming weeks as he ponders his future and the potential allure of returning to LSU. If he's honest with himself, history will guide him to a tough conclusion. Times college sports reporter Matt Baker takes a closer look.
DADE CITY RETIREMENT FACILITY SURRENDERS LICENSE, CLOSES
The troubled Edwinola assisted living facility in Dade City closed its doors Sept. 30 after the owner voluntarily relinquished its operating license to the state. The landmark building, which once held more than 200 residents, sat empty and for sale this week. The Agency for Health Care Administration was in the process of revoking the Edwinola's license, AHCA press secretary Shelisha Coleman said, when the facility agreed to surrender it.
[LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
BUCS QUARTERLY REPORT: HIGHS AND LOWS
The NFL season is a quarter of the way complete and the Buccaneers are 1-3. They have a Pro Bowler sidelined by injury on both sides of the ball and their quarterback's turnovers problems have resurfaced. With a Monday night game at Carolina looming, the Times looks at the moments to remember and moments to forget so far this season.
INVESTIGATORS KEEP FERNANDEZ TOXICOLOGY RESULTS CONFIDENTIAL
Investigators probing the death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and two friends likely now know whether the three men were drinking the morning that the former Alonso High standout's boat slammed into a jetty off Miami Beach. They just aren't saying.
TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL COMING TO AMALIE ARENA NEXT YEAR
Country music superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill announced plans for a 65-city tour kicking off next spring, and hitting Tampa's Amalie Arena on Oct. 20, 2017. Yes, that's more than a year away, but at least you have plenty of time to RSVP.
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