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The Morning Watch: While nation protests, Trump transition begins during White House meeting with Obama

People hold signs as they listen to speakers at a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. [Associated Press]

People hold signs as they listen to speakers at a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. [Associated Press]

Here's what's new this morning.

We'll be keeping an eye on Washington as President Barack Obama welcomes Donald Trump to the White House, marking the transition of power. This comes amid nationwide protests over Trump's victory that began Wednesday night.

FLORIDA'S HISPANIC VOTER SURGE WASN'T ENOUGH FOR HILLARY CLINTON

South Florida, that blue electoral island separating the rest of the state from the Caribbean, was supposed to hand the nation's biggest political prize — and therefore the presidency — to Hillary Clinton. However, Donald Trump took Florida, in spite of record Miami-Dade and Broward turnout and a Hispanic voter surge across the state. The two developments, revealed in demographics of voters casting early ballots, had suggested an insurmountable Hillary Clinton advantage in a state Trump simply could not lose.

THE HOME OF THE $7 ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT PASTA SUPPER IS AT STAKE

Who knew that inside the nondescript building offering $7 all-you-can-eat pasta suppers a mutiny was brewing? The Grand Lodge of Florida, Order Sons of Italy in America has had enough. The statewide organization has filed a lawsuit against the spaghetti-dinner stalwarts on 34th Street S, the Sons of Italy of St. Petersburg. The disagreement apparently started two years ago, when the local group, whose Monday pasta offerings beckon passers-by, severed its ties with the Grand Lodge of Florida and consequently, the national "Supreme Lodge."

HENDERSON: LAWMAKERS SHOULD OUTLAW, NOT 'RESTRICT,' TEXTING AND DRIVING

[Associated Press]

A police officer speaks with a motorist about texting while driving while patrolling on his bicycle. Florida allows ticketing for the violation but only as a secondary offense and with a fine of just $30.

Rep. Richard Corcoran, designated speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, sounds serious about cleaning up things in Tallahassee. Among other things, he wants to ban the practice of state representatives receiving text messages from lobbyists while in session. While he's at it, Joe Henderson writes, Corcoran should use his bully pulpit to finally put some teeth in Florida's darned-near-useless "restriction" on texting while driving. This issue isn't red or blue and it's time Tallahassee stopped inventing cockamamie reasons to avoid dealing with this.

REVIEW: USF'S JAY HOPLER, UP FOR NATIONAL BOOK AWARD, STUNS WITH POETRY

When the National Book Awards are announced Nov. 16 at a gala ceremony in New York, poetry lovers in the Tampa Bay area can root for a local. Jay Hopler, a creative writing professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, is one of five finalists for the award for poetry for his new book, The Abridged History of Rainfall.

OKEECHOBEE MUSIC FESTIVAL LINEUP TO BE ANNOUNCED

We expect news this morning on the lineup for the Okeechobee Music Festival . Last year's inaugural festival drew tens of thousands of fans to South Florida for a weekend of music by Mumford and Sons, Kendrick Lamar and others. Who will headline this year? Find out at 11 a.m. on our Soundcheck blog.

HUGO ZACCHINI, WHO WOWED CROWDS AS HUMAN CANNONBALL, DEAD AT 88

[Times file]

Hugo Zacchini had a museum of circus memorabilia, including the capes he made and wore when he was shot from giant cannons. He died on Oct. 30 at the age of 88.

For nearly seven decades, members of the Zacchini family donning leather suits and superhero capes stuffed themselves into the barrel of a cannon that launched them high into the air at a speed of over 90 mph before landing in a net. The last of the Zacchinis to as serve as a human cannonball was Hugo Zacchini. On October 30, he died in his Tampa home at the age of 88.

BROOKS, LYNCH SURPRISED BY BUCS' DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES

Bucs fans may have noticed the juxtaposition in Thursday night's 43-28 loss to the Falcons of the current team's defensive failings — Atlanta never punted — and the presence of several Bucs defensive greats on hand as John Lynch was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor. Former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks, on hand with fellow Pro Football Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Tony Dungy and others, also picked up on just how poorly the defense played Thursday,/b>, and talked about it during his weekly radio appearance on 620 WDAE.

'THE YUCKS' ... REVISITED

Bad Bucs football is bad for business. Unless you're author Jason Vuic, who has written a book chronicling the first two awful seasons of the Bucs called "The Yucks.'' Check in around lunch time for columnist Tom Jones' review. And speaking of Vuic, he'll be appearing at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading Saturday at USF St. Petersburg. Check for the schedule of authors here.

LIGHTNING'S ONDREJ PALAT HOPES PANTHERS GAME IS SPARK HE NEEDS

The goal Ondrej Palat scored Monday likely didn't make many highlight reels, but the Lightning wing will take it. For Palat, 25, it was just his second goal of the season and first in 10 games. And Palat hopes his performance in Monday's 3-1 loss, including a season-high seven shots on goal, could be the spark he needed heading into tonight's game against the Islanders at Amalie Arena.

The Morning Watch: While nation protests, Trump transition begins during White House meeting with Obama 11/10/16 [Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2016 9:02am]
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