President Barack Obama welcomed his successor, Donald Trump, to the Oval Office today, a symbolic start to the transition of power to the nation's 45th president. First lady Michelle Obama met privately in the White House residence with Trump's wife, Melania, while Vice President Joe Biden prepared to see Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Also on Trump's schedule was a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to discuss the GOP legislative agenda. Trump traveled to Washington from New York on his private jet, breaking with protocol by not bringing journalists in his motorcade or on his plane to document his historic visit.
LAW ENFORCEMENT TO KEEP WATCHFUL EYE FOR LOCAL TRUMP PROTESTS
While Donald Trump's election prompted protests across the country on Wednesday night — including a gathering in Ybor City — local law enforcement officials say they are not overly concerned but will continue to remain on alert. About 100 protestors gathered Wednesday night around 7:30 p.m. in Ybor City, and another demonstration is scheduled for tonight in downtown Tampa.
OKEECHOBEE MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST WAVE OF PERFORMERS
Kings of Leon, the Lumineers, Wiz Khalifa and Usher performing with the Roots are among the biggest names dropped today for the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, scheduled for March 2-5, near Okeechobee, about a 2½-hour drive from Tampa. Whether you like rock, hip-hop or EDM, you might find something that will convince you it's time to go camping.
Will Vragovic | Times
DREAM FULFILLED FOR LATEST ADDITION TO PLANT HIGH QB LINEAGE
From Robert Marve to Aaron Murray, Phillip Ely to John Few, Plant High has produced highly touted quarterbacks as if they were part of an assembly line. After a three-year apprenticeship, Dane Frantzen joined their ranks, leading the Panthers to their first undefeated regular season since 2006. It's a role he has wanted since elementary school, and he was not shy about letting folks know.
HENDERSON: OUTLAW, DON'T 'RESTRICT,' TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
Florida needs to put teeth into its darned-near-useless "restriction" on texting while driving, writes columnist Joe Henderson. This issue isn't red or blue, he writes, and it's time Tallahassee stopped inventing cockamamie reasons to avoid dealing with a problem that, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, was a factor last year in more than 45,000 crashes in the state resulting in 214 deaths.
FLORIDA POLITICOS TRY TO EXPLAIN THE ELECTION
The Buzz blog reached out to our Florida Insider Poll politicos and asked if anyone cared to weigh in on the stunning election results.
DEMOCRATS FACE A POWER OUTAGE — AND AN IDENTITY CRISIS
The biggest stain on Barack Obama's political legacy may turn out to be the devastation of the Democratic Party on his watch. Democrats have been shut out of power in Washington, D.C., and their ranks have been devastated in state houses across the country. And for the first time in a quarter-century, there will be no one named Clinton in the Oval Office or on deck. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are also moving offstage. That is certain to set off a struggle for the soul and direction of the party — and give an opening for other leaders to fill the void in a party with a thin bench.
REVIEW: 'PIGEON TUNNEL' A MEMOIR THAT READS LIKE A SPY NOVEL
John le Carré's new book has everything you'd expect from a le Carré novel: starchy Brits, tough Russians, foreign landscapes, lost causes, financial chicanery, self-delusion, deceit and betrayal. But here's the thing: le Carré's new book is not a novel. It's his life — or, at least, the version he's willing to tell of his life.
LESLIE FARRELL | Special to the Times
TRAVEL: NEW MEXICO IS AN OVERLOOKED LAND OF ENCHANTMENT
When it comes to determining in which country New Mexico is located, believe it or not, confusion often reigns. Is it in the United States or is it in Mexico? Sometimes people from outside the state don't know where it is — and yet, for people who find their way there, New Mexico will be an unforgettable vacation destination.
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