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The DayStarter: Warm and windy, Sophia Loren visits Ruth Eckerd — and are bay area home sales being used to park illicit cash?

Actress Sophia Loren holds her Oscar for her performance in the film "Two Women". Undated photo from Times files.

Actress Sophia Loren holds her Oscar for her performance in the film "Two Women". Undated photo from Times files.

After some patchy fog this morning, today should be sunny and windy with highs in the mid to upper 80s, according to 10Weather WTSP. A cold front Saturday brings some rain into the mix, but it should dissipate by the afternoon. And Sunday should give us a break from recent humidity, with sunny skies and highs in the mid 70s.

• Cash sales of expensive homes have come under scrutiny in New York City and Miami as authorities suspect people are using them to park ill-gotten cash. With some recent high-profile cash purchases of million dollar homes in Tampa Bay, real estate reporter is there much of that happening here? Read real estate reporter Susan Taylor Martin's full report this morning at tampabay.com/money.

• Tourism records have been shattered left in right in Tampa Bay and Florida, but something has some tourism officials worried: Donald Trump. Tourism boosters are hearing from foreign travel agencies that some international travelers will be be scared away from the U.S. if Trump keeps gaining momentum in the presidential race. Read about the issue this morning at tampabay.com/money.

• You've seen Chris Archer broadcasting postseason baseball games, chatting up the president and his wife in Cuba and even pitching for the Rays. How Archer is becoming one of the faces of baseball this morning at tampabay.com/sports.

• Film legend Sophia Loren will sit down for a Q&A tonight in Clearwater, but first our film critic Steve Persall created this portrait of her fame told in photos.

• It's time to plan your weekend. From the Rays home opener to a celebrity-studded film festival to a teen violin virtuoso, check out our Weekend Planner page to narrow your choices.

• Her broadcasting career includes covering the Billboard Latin Music Awards and toiling through Hurricane Ike, but after a 14-year hiatus, Cristina Puig never imagined she would head up Tampa Bay's most-watched Spanish news program..

The DayStarter: Warm and windy, Sophia Loren visits Ruth Eckerd — and are bay area home sales being used to park illicit cash? 04/01/16 [Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2016 10:50am]
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  1. Pasco delays Irma food distribution after problems elsewhere

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Pasco County has pulled the plug on a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Center that had been scheduled to open to the public on Sunday.

    Pasco County has postponed a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center on Collier Parkway and is seeking an alternative site. Last week, commissioners said they feared a repeat of the long lines of traffic that appeared outside Plant City Stadium on Oct. 9. The nutrition program for people affected by Hurricane Irma had been scheduled to come to Land O' Lakes Oct. 18 to 27.  [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Editorial: UF can set example for free speech

    Editorials

    White nationalist Richard Spencer is bringing his racist message Thursday to the University of Florida in a legitimate, if utterly repugnant, display of the First Amendment at work. As a public university, UF has little choice but to allow Spencer's speech to take place. Now the university and the broader community has …

    By responding with peaceful protests and refusing to be provoked into violence, UF and the Gainesville community can provide a powerful repudiation of Richard Spencer’s hateful message.
  3. Percussionist rocks out with a blazing triangle solo during Florida Orchestra performance (w/video)

    Blogs

    Oh, the poor triangle. It's the orchestra equivalent of a rock band's tamborine, and such easy fodder for jokes.

    John Shaw performs a triangle solo.
  4. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza

    Retail

    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  5. Andy Serkis' directing debut 'Breathe' is not so inspiring

    Movies

    After such a revolutionary acting career, Andy Serkis should be expected to make an equally inventive directing debut. Breathe is anything but that.

    Clare Foy and Andrew Garfield star in Breathe as Robin and Diana Cavendish, an English polio victim and his devoted wife, who pioneered disability rights and wheelchairs with ventilators. [Imaginarium]