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News at noon: Open-carry and FL budget up for discussion; Rand Paul drops out of presidential race; Madoff ABC miniseries; Plan your weekend; Signing day live blog

On left: Time Magazine Cover featuring Dali, December 14, 1936. On right: Time Magazine Cover featuring Disney, December 27, 1937. Dare to Dream: Disney & Dali Architects of the Imagination. A special exhibition at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg Tuesday afternoon (01/26/16). [DIRK SHADD | Times]

On left: Time Magazine Cover featuring Dali, December 14, 1936. On right: Time Magazine Cover featuring Disney, December 27, 1937. Dare to Dream: Disney & Dali Architects of the Imagination. A special exhibition at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg Tuesday afternoon (01/26/16). [DIRK SHADD | Times]

Under a provision tacked on to a controversial open-carry handguns proposal, Florida's 160 lawmakers could inconspicuously pack heat in the state House and Senate chambers and legislative meetings. The plan is expected to pass the Florida House today.

The House also will vote today on legislation to ban so-called sanctuary cities, in which local governments don't cooperate with federal orders to detain undocumented migrants.

The state budget will be discussed today, and you can add the influential voice of Senate Appropriations Chairman Tom Lee, R-Brandon, to the list of Republicans howling about Gov. Rick Scott's proposal — and its heavy reliance on higher property tax bills.

The Republican field of presidential hopefuls is smaller now that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has dropped out. Meanwhile, six former Florida House speakers and the current one are featured in a New Hampshire newspaper ad urging voters to pick Jeb Bush over Marco Rubio, "a tremendous political talent" but "not the best choice to serve as Commander-in-Chief."

President Barack Obama's first visit to a U.S. mosque comes as Muslim-Americans say they're confronting increasing levels of bias in speech and deeds. Obama is scheduled to visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore today. Its campus contains a mosque and school that runs from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Allegiant Air's new chief operating officer says the airline has completed an internal report showing recent allegations raised about the airline's Sanford maintenance operation by a former mechanic were unfounded, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Business leaders gathered early this morning at a Port Tampa Bay cruise terminal as police carried out an active shooter drill. Mass shootings, while rare, can happen almost anywhere, and Tampa PD say they're worth preparing for.

Robert Trigaux takes a look at ABC's Madoff miniseries that starts tonight, and he says Floridians should be particularly interested. Based on courtroom lists of swindled investors, the Miami Herald estimated that one in five of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi victims lived in Florida.

In a shape-shifting exhibition at the Dalí Museum, Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí are shown in side-by-side comparisons to advance the thesis that, improbable as it might sound, they were Surrealist kindred spirits.

Plan your weekend:

EAT: Head into Fat Tuesday with these Tampa Bay Cajun favorites

LISTEN: Barry Manilow bids farewell, Diana Ross returns, Bryson Tiller's on the rise

FAIR: Renaissance Festival, Masters of Illusion, Undy Run

Top things to do in Tampa Bay today: Shatner's one man show, fashion reception, Europe is in Pinellas Park, The Lion King and more.

National Signing Day got off to a rousing start this morning, as Florida State picked up commitments from five-star recruits Brian Burns (defensive end, Plantation American Heritage) and Levonta Taylor (cornerback, Virginia Beach Ocean Lakes). Florida flipped four-star wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, who had orally committed to Houton. And USF pulled off a surprise of its own,landing Wharton High School wide receiver DeVontres Dukes.

After all was said and done, four-star Tampa Catholic wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers stuck with the school he originally committed to more than a year ago, signing with Auburn before a group of his family, classmates and ESPN cameras. For the latest news, as well as photos, video, stories and more, follow our live blog.

Boston University researchers say former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, the late NFL and Super Bowl MVP who died last July, had the brain disease CTE.

News at noon: Open-carry and FL budget up for discussion; Rand Paul drops out of presidential race; Madoff ABC miniseries; Plan your weekend; Signing day live blog 02/03/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 12:00pm]
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