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The DayStarter: Sunny skies, cool temperatures; a new day for Bright House subscribers; a Mother's Day weekend and Lightning playoff games

Enjoying the cool weather we've had of late? There's more to come today. With a low of 64, temperatures should climb to the mid 70s by this afternoon, according to 10Weather WTSP. The weather clears up even more over the weekend, with mostly sunny skies on Mother's Day.

• But if you spend Friday and Sunday indoors watching hockey, that'll be just fine. The Tampa Bay Lightning face the New York Islanders for Game 4 in New York. On Sunday, the team returns to Amalie Arena for Game 5. Heading into today's game, the Bolts are up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. For updates, follow tampabay.com/lightning — and watch for updates all day long in our live blog.

• It's expected that Bright House Networks, the largest telecom provider in the Tampa Bay area, will merge with Charter Communications in the near future. The Tampa Bay area is still smarting from the last cable and Internet takeover in this area, which occurred April 1, when Frontier Communications took over Verizon's Florida assets — there were all kinds of problems in that merger, including people who lost service for days and even weeks. So our reporter William R. Levesque asks: What can Bright House customers expect? Smoother sailing? Or something similar?

• One business owner likens them to zombies from the Michael Jackson Thriller music video. Homeless people in downtown Tampa are succumbing to an abundance of spice, responding with seizures and erratic behavior. Cops and paramedics are seeing more of it, and it is consuming public resources like never before. Dan Sullivan's story hits our website later this morning.

• Here are the top things to do around Tampa Bay today, including the Florida Orchestra playing the music of the Police (so you can wear that dress tonight) and the Sunset Music Series in Dunedin's Weaver Park brings in the DeLei'ed Parrots to help us wind down from the week.

• In the latest installment of our series, The Florida Voter, the Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau takes an in-depth look at voter fraud and whether it really is a serious problem. Some politicians say it is, but Steve Bousquet and Michael Auslen found that the record from law enforcement speaks for itself: Voter fraud cases rarely are prosecuted, and convictions are hard to come by.

• In a series of stories coming to tampabay.com today, the Times pays tribute to the Tampa Tribune's 121 years of service to Tampa Bay.

• Ahead of Mother's Day, Michelle Duhamel promises to become the mom she should have been all along. But it took losing everything for the 47-year-old to see the truth. This morning, Lane DeGregory tells her story on our website.

• Now that SeaWorld has announced it will phase out its famous Shamu killer whale shows, how will the theme park lure visitors, especially with so much competition from young wizards and Jedi knights at other Orlando theme parks? It will be an uphill battle, says Times business columnist Robert Trigaux. Read his full column later this morning at tampabay.com/money.

• Thousands of students will graduate from the Tampa Bay area's major colleges and universities this weekend, starting with the University of South Florida's commencement ceremonies this morning at the Sun Dome — the first of six today and tomorrow. Also Saturday, the University of Tampa will hold its commencement at Amalie Arena and St. Petersburg College grads will walk at Tropicana Field. USF St. Petersburg has two ceremonies Sunday afternoon and evening at Mahaffey Theater. Watch for Times photo coverage today on our All Eyes photo blog.

• Last-minute shoppers, we have ideas for things to do with Mom this weekend for Mother's Day that are not brunch. More like rock climbing, concerts and craft beer.

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) beats New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) making the score 2 to 0 during first period action of game two of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Amalie Arena last week. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) beats New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) making the score 2 to 0 during first period action of game two of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Amalie Arena last week. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

The DayStarter: Sunny skies, cool temperatures; a new day for Bright House subscribers; a Mother's Day weekend and Lightning playoff games 05/06/16 [Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2016 8:20am]
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