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The Morning Watch: Less talk and more action on sewage issues. St. Petersburg City Council urges mayor

St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Reclamation Facility, bottom, which was closed by city officials in April 2015. That decision has played a key role in the city's sewage crisis. City officials said they wanted to reopen the plant, but on Thursday backtracked on that idea while briefing St. Petersburg City Council. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Reclamation Facility, bottom, which was closed by city officials in April 2015. That decision has played a key role in the city's sewage crisis. City officials said they wanted to reopen the plant, but on Thursday backtracked on that idea while briefing St. Petersburg City Council. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Here's what's new around the bay area this morning.

NO MORE TALK: COUNCIL TELLS MAYOR'S STAFF IT'S TIME TO FIX ST. PETERSBURG SEWAGE MESS

After two hours of peppering the city's top sewage official with questions, St. Petersburg City Council members said they're tired of Mayor Rick Kriseman's administration flip-flopping on how to solve the sewage crisis. The council said it wants the city to come up with an action plan — even if it costs taxpayers' money.

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Feels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area

JUDGE FEARS 25,000 VOTERS WON'T BE ELIGIBLE FOR NOV. 8 ELECTION

A federal judge is demanding an explanation from state officials at a hearing today about a backlog in the number of newly registered voters who haven't been verified in time so they can vote in Florida's election. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker has been tracking the number of unverified applicants, which on Thursday was nearly 25,000 out of 125,000 who registered during a weeklong extension the judge granted after Hurricane Matthew this month.

GHOSTLY WARNING: DEAD GANGSTER MA BARKER DOESN'T WANT HER HOUSE MOVED

Donald J. Weiss has quite a ghost story to tell. The 63-year-old retired police patrolman from upstate New York moved to Ocala several years ago and visited the house where gangster Ma Barker had been killed. What he found, Lane DeGregory writes, was truly spooky.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Xavier Johnson, 17, found his life altered forever in May 2015; when a tubing accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury. After emerging from a three-week coma, the Sunlake High football player was unable to walk or speak. Confined to a wheelchair, he began a rigorous regimen of physical therapy and now is back to school part time, where he enjoys socializing in the commons area between classes. Here, Johnson (center) cavorts with friends, Andrew Riddle, 18, (left) and Eddel Edouard, 17 (right).

BACK AT SCHOOL, SUNLAKE HIGH STUDENT SEEKS NORMALCY AFTER TUBING ACCIDENT

Once a top athlete and honor student at Sunlake High School, Xavier Johnson, 17, found his life altered forever in May 2015, when a tubing accident on East Lake resulted in a traumatic brain injury. After emerging from a three-week coma, the Sunlake football player was unable to walk or speak. This fall, however, Johnson can be found in another important place: the classrooms and common areas of Sunlake High, where he is taking two classes.

WHAT TO WATCH AND LISTEN TO THIS WEEKEND

Halloween tends to bring out the spooky and scary across the airwaves, but those who prefer not to opt for terror can take comfort in The Great Pumpkin. From 'Good Girls Revolt' on Amazon to The History Chicks podcast, we guide you through the weekend offerings.

STATE IN A SNAP: GATORS ON THE GROUND, FSU LINE LIMITS AND MORE

The ground game seems especially pivotal in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The team with the most rushing yards has won 10 consecutive games in the Florida-Georgia series. The victor has outrushed the loser 2,119-929 in that span, and the Gators have rushed for at least 200 in each of their last four wins in the series. Look for UF to get sophomore Jordan Scarlett involved early. Matt Baker sizes up this weekend's matchups.

The Morning Watch: Less talk and more action on sewage issues. St. Petersburg City Council urges mayor 10/28/16 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2016 9:25am]
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  1. Coquina Key Neighborhood Association to hold forum for District 6 council candidates

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Coquina Key Neighborhood Association is inviting residents to meet the crowded field of candidates running for St. Petersburg's City Council District 6 at a forum Monday evening.

    International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement-affiliated City Council candidate Eritha "Akile" Cainion pauses between answers during a forum at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront earlier this month. The Coquina Key Neighborhood Association plans to hold another forum on Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Coquina Key Neighborhood Association Clubhouse, 3850 Pompano Drive SE. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. Lake Tarpon bass tournament still going strong after nearly 40 years (w/video)

    Outdoors

    Matt Smith, left, and Gary Muchler, work to bring a large mouth bass into Smith's bass boat with only minutes to spare while fishing off Dolly Bay in Lake Tarpon during the Lake Tarpon Tuesday Night Bass Fishing Tournament on Tuesday (7/18/17). The fish sealed second place for the duo.
  3. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Snooty the manatee's death prompts outpouring of support, petition to move Confederate monument

    Wildlife

    BRADENTON — The South Florida Museum aquarium remains closed Monday and tributes continue to pour in following the shocking death of Snooty, the beloved manatee who captured the hearts of …

    Four-year-old Katie Blair pays her respects to Snooty at a makeshift memorial in front of the museum on Sunday. Katie and her family has visited the aquarium to see Snooty four times this year. 
Snooty was the world's oldest living manatee in captivity and celebrated his 69th birthday Friday at the aquarium. Aquarium officials described Snooty's death as a tragic accident and is being investigated. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]

  5. Clearwater mansion that sold at record price is back on the market for $19.75 million

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Less than four months after it sold for a record $11.18 million, the waterfront Century Oaks estate is back on the market — for $19.75 million.

    The historic Century Oaks estate overlooking Clearwater Harbor, which sold for $11.18 million four months ago, is back on the market.
[Courtesy: Coastal Properties Group
]