USF looks to be in the hunt for a new football coach after Willie Taggart reportedly has accepted an offer at Oregon. USF has yet to confirm Taggart's move, but a team meeting is set for 1:30 p.m. today. In the meantime, speculation has already begun regarding who might take over for Taggart, including Lane Kiffin, Charlie Strong and even Greg Schiano, who resurrected Rutgers' program before spending two less-than-successful years as the Bucs' coach.
FACEBOOK LIVE DISCUSSION 'PRICE VINEGAR'S LAST STAND' AT 12:15 P.M.
Tampa Bay Times staff writer Lane DeGregory and photographer Eve Edelheit will discuss their latest story, Prince Vinegar's Last Stand, live on Facebook at 12:15 p.m. today. The story explores right-to-die issues and whether we actually know when it is time to go. Join the discussion at tampabay.com/facebook.
HISTORY CENTER TRIP TO HAVANA LEADS TO FAMILY REUNIONS
Last week, Henry Valenti, 72, became the first member of his family in the United States to visit Cuba in 60 years. He was in Havana as part of a Tampa Bay History Center delegation that traveled to see the island whose culture is so ingrained with their own city's. But Valenti, a docent with the history center, also went in hopes of tracking down a cousin he had never met because of the decades of tension between the two countries.
PANTHER ROAD KILL IN FLORIDA REACHES GRISLY NEW HIGH
A driver has run over a Florida panther in Collier County, breaking the mark for how many of the endangered cats have been killed by vehicles. The record is now 31. The carcass was discovered Wednesday morning. The driver who killed it did not stick around to answer questions about how it happened.
DISNEY TURNS EPCOT'S ICON INTO 'STAR WARS' DEATH STAR
Epcot's iconic Spaceship Earth was turned into the Death Star for a one-night stunt Monday for the release of new Star Wars film Rogue One. Check out the video. It's pretty cool! Meanwhile, Disney theme parks are getting on the Rogue One bandwagon, adding scenes and props from the movie to Disney Hollywood Studios shows and shops.
LIGHTNING FACEBOOK CHAT WITH BEAT WRITER JOE SMITH
Tune in at 1:30 this afternoon as Times beat reporter Joe Smith goes live from Amalie Arena, where the Lightning will play the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. Send in your comments and questions during the live feed, and Joe will try to answer as many as possible. Go to facebook.com/TampaBayTimesSports.
VINCENT JACKSON IS BUCS' MAN OF THE YEAR
A knee injury ended his season two months ago, but for the fourth year in a row Bucs wide receiver Vincent Jackson has been honored as the team's Man of the Year and nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Jackson continues to lead the team's community outreach efforts with his Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, which works with military personnel and their families.
EDUCATION LEADER CHARLIE REED IS DEAD AT 75
Charlie Reed, an outspoken leader of Florida's higher education system who left for a similar post in California in 1998 and returned to Tallahassee, has died. He was 75 and was one of the nation's most widely respected educational leaders.
FIRE DESTROYS YACHT IN APOLLO BEACH
Fire investigators are looking for what sparked a blaze that destroyed a 60-foot yacht that was up for sale in Apollo Beach. The yacht was docked in a bayou at 6649 Dolphin Cove Drive when it caught fire Tuesday just before midnight, officials say. No injuries were reported.
REPORT: FLORIDA PRIVATE-SECTOR JOB GROWTH SLOWS IN NOVEMBER
Florida is still adding private-sector jobs but at the slowest pace in seven months. The state grew by a net 14,400 private-sector jobs in November, according to a report by payroll processor ADP. That's the lowest number posted since April and far off the pace during the height of the recovery, when it was adding more than 20,000 jobs a month.
RAYS' CASH TALKS ABOUT WINTER MEETINGS
At his winter meetings media session, Rays manager Kevin Cash couldn't say much about any moves the Rays have made (reaching agreement with C Wilson Ramos, pending a physical) or may make (adding an outfielder or trading a pitcher), he did have a pretty good line about the Red Sox acquiring former White Sox ace Chris Sale.
SCOTT KEELER | Times
FROM HAMILTON TO DYLAN, GIFT BOOKS WITH CONTENT
Every year, a few books seem like viable candidates for a place under the Christmas tree. Times book editor Colette Bancroft offers up some gift books that might strike a chord with someone on your list.
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