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What you need to know for Christmas weekend

Why not check out a movie after the presents are opened? Times movie critic Steve Persall liked Will Smith in "Concussion," which he likened to "Erin Brockovich," with shoulder pads. [Melinda Sue Gordon/Columbia Pictures]

Why not check out a movie after the presents are opened? Times movie critic Steve Persall liked Will Smith in "Concussion," which he likened to "Erin Brockovich," with shoulder pads. [Melinda Sue Gordon/Columbia Pictures]

• You never know, just maybe you looked out the window this morning and saw snow, and then stepped outside to find little reindeer prints on your roof. But chances are it will actually just be racing toward the mid-80s again and overcast, according to 10Weather WTSP. Merry Christmas just the same.

• Looking for a good read today after opening the presents? Check out the final installment of our Failure Factories series on the Pinellas County public school system.

• And after that, well, there are still plenty of things to do if you want to get out of the house today, from St. Petersburg Bowl fun to a reunion of the area's best indie musicians in Ybor.

• But wait, there's more: From the beaches to swims with manatees, we have a dozen oh-so-Florida ways to spend the holidays in our weekend planner.

• Columnist Tom Jones ranks the top 10 local sports stories of the year this morning at tampabay.com/sports.

• Thomas Bassinger studies the film and produces this week's scouting report on the Bucs game against the Chicago Bears. Look for it at tampabay.com/bucs.

What you need to know for Christmas weekend 12/25/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 24, 2015 9:31pm]
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  1. Tampa man crashes into parked cars, gate at the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque

    Crime

    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Shaun H. Urwiler, 42, was arrested July 16 for intentionally driving his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November

    Blogs

    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system

    Testing

    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.

    Crime

    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]