Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

The Daystarter: Parents vs. Pepin in land swap squabble; live from 'stand your ground' hearing; hit-and-run crashes on rise; most popular school vanity plates

• As you head out for your morning commute, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.

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The latest Tampa Bay-area radar

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The latest 7-day forecast

• After a warm morning, high thin clouds will build and highs again will surpass 80, according to 10Weather WTSP. This is ahead of a front that will bring some much-needed rain on Wednesday into Thursday.

• Located on an idyllic 22-acre plot off Race Track Road, the Bakas Equestrian Center offers horse riding for mentally and physically disabled children and adults, helping them develop balance and coordination. But now the land, owned by Hillsborough County, is at the center of a tug-of-war between parents and the well-connected owner of one of Florida's largest beer distributors, Tom Pepin. Christopher O'Donnell has the details.

• Curtis Reeves, the man accused in the fatal 2014 shooting in a Wesley Chapel movie theater, is in court again today for a hearing to determine if he should be immune from prosecution under Florida's "stand your ground" law. Stay with tampabay.com for live coverage from the courtroom.

• State troopers will use the home of a 13-year-old hit-and-run victim to highlight a rise in the number of crashes statewide where motorists drive off leaving victims behind. A news conference is scheduled today at 10:30 a.m. at the Ruskin home of Cameron Fuller, who was riding his new Christmas bike on New Year's Eve when he was hit by a green 2002 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Jorge Soria, the Highway Patrol said.

• Which state school has the most specialty license plates in Tampa Bay? The winner may not be a big shock, but you might be surprised at who came in No. 2.

• Sickles takes on Bartow and St. Petersburg plays Tampa Bay Tech in today's Class 8A region semifinals. Here's what you need to know.

• For more than a year, whenever a "recess mom" has come to the Florida Capitol and pleaded with lawmakers, they have told stories of their child's lack of access to daily recess — offering anecdotes from their child's school or school district to showcase the inequities of unstructured playtime offered in Florida's public schools. But if lawmakers need official, solid evidence of the disparities in school recess, they need look no further than the findings of their own research analysts.

• St. Petersburg College leaders are putting the finishing touches on the job description for the school's new president, but first they want to hear from the community. Tonight, the public is invited to weigh in on the attributes SPC's next leader should have. The forum begins at 6 p.m. at SPC's Midtown Center in St. Petersburg.

•The Hillsborough County School Board will approve boundaries today for its next new school, Warren Hope Dawson Elementary, in Riverview. The plan affects surrounding schools Collins, Sessums, Boyette Springs, Summerfield, Stowers and FishHawk Creek. This year's fourth graders can remain where they are. Dawson is expected to serve 853 students when it opens in August. The board meeting begins at 3 p.m.

• Follow business reporter Justine Griffin on Twitter at @SunBizGriffin beginning at 9:30 a.m. for updates from Port Tampa Bay's board meeting.

• Reporter Justine Griffin will be broadcasting live on Facebook at 11:30 a.m. from inside the Sprouts Farmers Market store in Carrollwood, which opens to the public on Wednesday. This is the first store Sprouts is opening in the Tampa Bay market. Tune in to facebook.com/tampabaycom/ for the sneak peek.

• The Tampa Sports Authority will meet with Forest Hills residents tonight to outline its plans for eradicating a nematode infestation at Babe Zaharias Golf Course. On the table is the use of Curfew, a fumigant that sparked protest by the course's neighbors eight years ago because of its classification as a potential carcinogen. The TSA stopped using the controversial chemical until last year, and some residents who live near the course are promising to fight its deployment at Babe Zaharias. Follow Times reporter Steve Contorno from Tuesday's meeting.

•Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay

• Check out our new food feature, We Tried That. Today, a non-vegan reporter tried vegan grab-and-go from Cider Press Cafe in St. Pete.

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Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

It’s human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 2 hours ago
In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

TAMPA — Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriff’s deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 6 hours ago