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The Morning Watch: Orlando to purchase Pulse nightclub and turn it into memorial

Jerry Perez, center, puts a rose on a photo of Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, one of the victims killed in the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, on July 12. Perez and friend Christopher Johnson, left, came to pay their respects at the club where a shooter killed 49 people. Perez attended drama school with Jean Carlos Mendez Perez in Puerto Rico. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times] 


Jerry Perez, center, puts a rose on a photo of Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, one of the victims killed in the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, on July 12. Perez and friend Christopher Johnson, left, came to pay their respects at the club where a shooter killed 49 people. Perez attended drama school with Jean Carlos Mendez Perez in Puerto Rico. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]

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

LIVE NOW: TAMPA BAY VOTES ON ELECTION DAY 2016

Millions of Americans have voted and millions more will go to the polls today. Interest in this unprecedented election has never been higher. Here we will provide the latest updates on the national campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the races in Florida, and anything else you need to know as you cast your vote.

ORLANDO TO BUY PULSE NIGHTCLUB, TURN IT INTO MEMORIAL

The city of Orlando has announced plans to purchase the Pulse nightclub and eventually convert the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history into a memorial. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that the city has reached a deal to buy the gay nightclub for $2.25 million.

[Libby Baldwin | Times]

For $125, buyers can have their names or messages engraved on one of two paver sizes and name their location -- anywhere between the History Center and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

NEARLY 2,000 ARE SHARING THEIR MESSAGES WITH TAMPA RIVER WALK PAVERS

The Tampa River Walk brings a new holiday tradition to town — ordering a granite paver as a gift to honor a loved one, advertise a business, even ask for a hand in marriage. As many as 350 of the chiseled memorial messages were ordered during the holidays last year for installation along the River Walk — the scenic, 2.4 mile stretch of concrete and trees flanking the east side of the Hillsborough River from the Tampa History Center north to the Ulele restaurant.

COLUMN: 8 TIMES YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY HAVE YOUR PHONE TAKEN AWAY

Meanwhile, at Friday's show, you won't be able to tweet live dispatches detailing Morgan's fresh glow. That's because you'll have to hand over your cellphone to an attendant, who will lock it in pouch designed by a company called Yondr. You'll keep your phone on you in the locked bag all night, but you won't be able to use it during the show. Entertainment editor Stephanie Hayes says it seems like a good time to review moments when phones should definitely be locked away.

ST. PETERSBURG MAN HAS RIBBON FROM GRANDMOTHER'S FIRST TIME VOTING IN 1920

Roy Jones has collected some historic items over the decades — some old coins here, a dollar bill from a Titanic survivor there. But with the presidential election looming, the 62-year-old St. Petersburg resident is looking to one valuable family heirloom as a reminder of the importance of the right to vote.

INTERVIEW: TRACY MORGAN IS BACK TO LAUGHS AFTER HIS ACCIDENT AND COMA

(Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

Tracy Morgan Performs During New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall on November 5, 2016 in New York City.

Life has completely flipped for Tracy Morgan, who performs Friday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. In 2014, he and some friends were returning from a gig in Dover, Del., when a Walmart semitrailer truck collided with their bus, killing one passenger, injuring several others and putting Morgan into a coma. Morgan and the others settled with Walmart for millions, but for a while, his comedy career looked very much over.

HARRY POTTER FANS CRY OUT AGAINST JOHNNY DEPP CAST IN 'FANTASTIC BEASTS'

Johnny Depp is joining the cast of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" – and fans aren't happy about it. The Nov. 2 announcement by Warner Bros. was met with outcry from Harry Potter fans around the globe, who are criticizing author JK Rowling and Hollywood for rewarding Depp with a major role in a family-friendly franchise amid allegations from his ex-wife, Amber Heard, that he physically abused her during their 15-month marriage.

The Morning Watch: Orlando to purchase Pulse nightclub and turn it into memorial 11/08/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 9:06am]
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