Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

The Morning Watch: Trop redevelopment, marijuana on city councils' agendas

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

10News WTSP

Feels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area

10News WTSP

The latest Tampa Bay-area radar

TROP DEVELOPMENT, MARIJUANA AMONG MEETING TOPICS TODAY

• The St. Petersburg City Council has a busy day ahead. Council members will get a update on the city's sewage issues, hear the latest plans for redeveloping the 85-acre Tropicana Field site and vote on whether to grant historical preservation protection to Block 25, or the downtown area around Jannus Live. It's one of the original commercial centers in the city and now home to restaurants, clubs and bars. Follow Charlie Frago at @CharlieFrago for updates.

• The Tampa City Council meets at 9 a.m. and is scheduled to consider a 180-day moratorium on granting permits for medical marijuana dispensaries inside city limits. The pause is meant to give city officials a chance to craft rules regulating the location and operations of such facilities if Florida voters pass Amendment 2.

• At 6 p.m., the Tampa Downtown Partnership will launch the Downtowner, a set of electric shuttles that will carry commuters and visitors around downtown Tampa for free. The Downtowner will run seven days a week — 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Users will be able to summon the shuttles with an app. Officials will mark the start of the service shortly before 5 p.m. with a news conference at 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., followed by a public reception nearby.

HOW TO REPLACE THE PHEIL BUILDING

After being largely dormant and encased in a steel shell for 50 years, an entire block of booming downtown St. Petersburg is now being demolished by a crane and wrecking ball. But what will be built in its place? Mayor Rick Kriseman prefers office space, but the developer may have other designs.

THE BUZZ'S FLORIDA CONGRESSIONAL VULNERABILITY RANKINGS, OCTOBER EDITION

It's been six months since the Buzz last handicapped the most vulnerable congressional seats in Florida. Since then, the list of House-seat battlegrounds in the state — and the intensity of several key races — has only grown. Here are the seats we're keeping an eye on and how vulnerable the incumbent party is to losing the seat on Election Day.

A LOOK AT THE FLORIDA HOUSE DISTRICT 67 RACE

Democrat David Vogel is going head-to-head with Republican incumbent Chris Latvala for the District 67 seat of the Florida House of Representatives, saying he feels a "social responsibility" to represent Pinellas County's Democratic voters. A longtime lawyer who moved to Clearwater two years ago, Vogel says that when no other Democrat stepped up to challenge Latvala in the race, he decided he had no choice but to do it himself. Read Megan Reeves' story for more on the race.

AMC

They woke up like this.

'THE WALKING DEAD' SEASON 7 PREVIEW: TEACHING US HOW TO SAY GOODBYE

The Walking Dead has come a long way since Rick Grimes gasped to life on our TV screens in 2010. Almost 160 issues and seven seasons later, there's no end in sight for The Walking Dead. Its upcoming season is gearing up to be its most brutal and bloody yet, Chelsea Tatham writes.

NEW CLEARWATER FIRE CHIEF PLEDGES TO BRING VISIBILITY, HIGHER MORALE

With Clearwater Fire & Rescue already owning a reputation as being one of the more efficient departments in the bay area, newly appointed Chief Scott Ehlers will be tasked with turning around the more cultural, and very public, issues of staff misconduct and low morale. Learn more about Ehlers and what he has in store for Clearwater.

JULIA CHILD'S GREAT-NEPHEW ON HIS NEW BOOK, 'THE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA'

Alex Prud'homme, a journalist and the great-nephew of Julia Child, co-wrote his great-aunt's 2007 memoir, My Life in France. Now, Prud'homme has written The French Chef in America, which is described as the story of Child's "second act." We caught up with Prud'homme during the tour for his latest book; on Nov. 12 he comes to the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Steven Stamkos, who says he practices shooting from this tough angle, scores past Panthers goalie James Reimer to force OT.

STAMKOS SAYS OF SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE GOAL: NO BIG DEAL

A lot went into one of the best shots of Steven Stamkos' career, and the biggest goal of the Lightning's young season, as shown in this photo. Joe Joe Smith writes that Stamkos is one of a handful of players who can convert that shot, and probably the only one who actually practices it. But it might not have been possible without the net-front presence of Alex Killorn, who distracted goalie James Reimer, or the timely on-the-tape pass by defenseman Victor Hedman.

BUCS, NFL'S EAST COAST TEAMS AT DISADVANTAGE WHEN TRAVELING WEST

Will Tampa Bay be able to shake off the jet lag when it takes on the 49ers late Sunday afternoon in San Francisco? The coast-to-coast trip has been an obstacle for previous Bucs teams. Tom Bassinger breaks down the Bucs' West Coast woes.

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Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

PLANT CITY — Plant City softball coach Ashley Bullion is 4-for-4 after Thursday night.Four years at the helm, four district titles.The latest championship came in a 4-1 victory over East Bay in the Class 8A, District 6 final, a victory highligh...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Recent momentum carries Mitchell past Sunlake

LAND O' LAKES — Despite being on the wrong end of two lopsided outcomes to Sunlake during the regular season, recent events gave Mitchell hope in its Class 7A-10 district final rematch with the Seahawks.Just two days prior, the Mustangs be...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Robinson makes it 10 straight wins vs. Jefferson

TAMPA — For the Robinson softball team, the perfect 10 was complete.The top-seeded Knights defeated No. 2 Jefferson for the 10th consecutive time Thursday and claimed their fifth district championship in a row, a 12-2 five-inning victory in the...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Itís April, so Chamberlain is winning

TAMPA — Coach Bob Diez and his Chamberlain Chiefs have always believed in this motto: "Be good in April."This is their season.The Chiefs added another Class 7A-8 district title Thursday against Gaither with a 7-0 victory.With the win, the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: East Lake is aggressive from the start

TARPON SPRINGS — If strong pitching and defense are the bellwethers of a deep playoff run, consider East Lake ready.Playing second seed Pinellas Park on Thursday night for the Class 8A-7 title, the host Eagles (22-3) used that philosophy to mak...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft: Chargers take FSUís Derwin James with No. 17 pick

NFL draft: Chargers take FSUís Derwin James with No. 17 pick

Former Florida State safety Derwin James fell farther than expected Thursday in the first night of the NFL draft before being chosen by the Chargers with the No. 17 overall pick.James became the fifth former Seminoles defensive back ever drafted in t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft: Patriots pick Lakewood alum Isaiah Wynn at No. 23

NFL draft: Patriots pick Lakewood alum Isaiah Wynn at No. 23

Lakewood High alumnus and former Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn was drafted No. 23 overall Thursday by the Patriots.Wynn becomes one of the highest drafted offensive linemen in Tampa Bay history and the first Pinellas County player to go in th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

TAMPA — Vita Vea loves to tell the story about the trip he took to French Polynesia with some University of Washington students and the group coming upon some enormous rocks."So over there, their strongman competition is they have a tradition w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

TAMPA — The selection of Vita Vea is a move the Bucs made for the present and the future. While Gerald McCoy remains a dominant defensive tackle, he turned 30 in February and is due to make $12.3 million this season and $13 million in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs GM Jason Licht has assembled enough talent to win

Bucs GM Jason Licht has assembled enough talent to win

TAMPA — Another busy offseason. Another first round of the NFL draft. Another interesting night.And, through it all, Bucs general manager Jason Licht has looked pretty darn good.He spent the past couple of months patching his offensive line, sp...
Updated: 1 hour ago