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The DayStarter: It'll be cool early, then really nice; Trump arrives tonight, Publix enters new markets and the Dems' debate kept PolitiFact up late

It'll be a warm and sunny weekend with temperatures finally reaching toward 70 degrees, according to 10Weather WTSP. Valentine's Day should be full of sunshine, too, with highs in the upper 60s.

Two people died this morning in a head-on accident in the southbound lanes of Interstate 275 near the Ashley Drive exit in Tampa. State troopers said one of the vehicles was driving the wrong way.

• Did you stay up to watch the Democratic debate? Hillary Clinton, scrambling to recover from her double-digit defeat in the New Hampshire primary, repeatedly challenged Bernie Sanders' trillion-dollar policy plans and portrayed him as a big talker who needed to "level" with voters about the difficulty of accomplishing his agenda. Wonder who got the story straight? PolitiFact reporters were up late figuring it out.

• Meanwhile, investigators with the State Department issued a subpoena to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation last fall seeking documents about the charity's projects that may have required approval from the federal government during Hillary Clinton's term as secretary of state, according to a newspaper report citing people familiar with the subpoena and written correspondence about it.

• Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump visits Tampa tonight for a rally at the USF Sun Dome. The sometimes-profane Republican frontrunner promises this appearance will be rated PG-13, tops. Doors open at 5, and the event gets underway at 7. We're live-blogging Trump's return to Florida all day today.

• As Publix enters new markets in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia, the company is going up against brands it has never before competed against, like Kroger, Ingles and Wegman's. Those chains are known for their brand loyalty and customer service, just like Publix. And in these new markets, Publix has little brand recognition. But Justine Griffin says Publix seems prepared to take on new states while defending its home turf.

• Top leaders have left the University of South Florida's prized medical training center as the downtown facility undergoes a massive shake up, shifting its focus amid a sagging budget, university officials said yesterday. Deborah Sutherland, the founding chief executive officer of the Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation, known as CAMLS, told the Tampa Bay Times that her skill set was no longer needed as the university transforms the facility from a freestanding medical innovation hub to an academic partner in the new medical school USF plans to open downtown.

World of Beer is about to become an international brand. This year the Tampa-based tavern chain known for its extensive craft beer offerings will open its first overseas bar in Shanghai, CEO Paul Avery said. After that, World of Beer is headed to India and the Philippines. For Avery, a 20-year veteran of the Outback Steakhouse chain, the move to open franchisee-owned taverns overseas is the next logical step for the brand's growth.

• The Senate and House passed differing versions of a state budget yesterday but with the common theme of opposition to Gov. Rick Scott's biggest priorities. The Senate declared Scott's goal of $1 billion in tax cuts dead on arrival and "fiscally irresponsible" in the words of its top budget writer, Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon. Across the hall in the Capitol, the House showed no interest in Scott's other priority of a three-year, $250 million incentive fund to close deals with businesses that want to move to Florida. "We don't have additional funding for new incentives in this budget," said Rep. Clay Ingram, R-Pensacola.

• Here are the top things to do around Tampa Bay today, including a stop by the tour of acclaimed singer-songwriters Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins and Anais Mitchell performing at the Mahaffey. Also, nearly 150 sailboats from across North America will race in the waters off the St. Petersburg Yacht Club today.

• The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, meet in Cuba today in an attempt to reconcile their churches after centuries of estrangement. The meeting is the first between the leaders of the churches, which split during the Great Schism of 1054.

• President Barack Obama arrives in Rancho Mirage, Calif., home of the lush estate known as Sunnylands, where he is expected to get in a few rounds of golf over the weekend before hosting 10 heads of state from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

• Fifty years ago Jesse Owens witnessed history in Tampa. The track star who had thwarted Adolf Hitler's storyline for the 1936 Olympic Games came to the area to serve as honorary referee for a track and field historic meet that marked the first time Florida, Florida State and Miami had competed against the predominantly black Florida A&M. Read about it this morning at

• Plan your weekend! There's another Gasparilla parade, this time at night in Ybor. On stage, the Book of Mormon is in town, as is hitmaker Carly Rae Jepsen. Don't sit around this weekend. Find something to do in our Weekend Planner.

• And since it's Valentine's weekend, our critics and lifestyle reporters came up with some great date night ideas.

[10Weather WTSP]

[10Weather WTSP]

The DayStarter: It'll be cool early, then really nice; Trump arrives tonight, Publix enters new markets and the Dems' debate kept PolitiFact up late 02/12/16 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2016 11:42am]
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  1. Romano: Sewage is the issue in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the Pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    During the St. Petersburg sewage crisis, the city's ancient sewer system released about 200 million gallons of sewage into local watersways, spurring state and federal investigations and becoming a focal point of debate among the leading mayoral candidates. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
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  3. Police: Man tries to lure child with puppy in Polk County


    Times staff

    HAINES CITY — A man was arrested Sunday after he tried to entice a young girl into his camper to view a puppy, according to police.

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    WASHINGTON — Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump's new communications director, vowed Tuesday to purge the White House staff of disloyal aides in an effort to crack down on leaks, as another member of the press staff resigned from a West Wing reeling from an unfolding shake-up.

  5. Editorial: Coming together to reduce car thefts


    The simple, knee-jerk response to the juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas County would be to crack down on offenders with an increased police presence and stiffer sentences. Thankfully, local community leaders did not stop there. As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its 
As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its "Hot Wheels" investigation into youth car thefts, a variety of ideas from multiple directions increases the odds of actually solving the cause and not just treating the symptoms.