Saturday, May 26, 2018
News Roundup

Morning briefing: We have a rain-free Gasparilla forecast, an early look at today's state budget pitches and fact-checking from last night's debate

After two days of steady rain, the clouds should part enough to let the sun poke through Friday, according to 10Weather WTSP. In fact, it could be a nice day with highs in the 60s and lows around 50. It may be warmer on Saturday, and cloudier, but so far rain is not in the forecast for Gasparilla.

• Did you stay up to watch the final GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses? If not, we have your morning-after water cooler summary. Want to know who got their story straight? Donald Trump might not have been there, but that doesn't mean there wasn't plenty to keep PolitiFact's fact-checkers busy.

• A U.N. official said Syrian peace talks will begin in Geneva as planned today despite an ongoing boycott by the main Syrian opposition group which continues to stay away pending assurances from the U.N. chief on the implementation of Security Council resolutions related to humanitarian issues.

• Paul Kantner, an original member of the 1960s rock group Jefferson Airplane who stayed with the San Francisco-based band through its transformation from hippies to hitmakers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship, has died at age 74.

• It's a Gasparilla tradition not quite as old as dressing up as a pirate and trying to find a parking spot: losing cell phone service. That's what happens when more than 200,000 people crowd into downtown Saturday for the annual Gasparilla pirate invasion and parade. Turns out, it's hard to get service when more than 200,000 smartphone users are trying to call, text and figure out where they are. Sara DiNatale takes some time this morning to explain the problem, what Verizon Wireless and AT&T are trying to do about it — and to stay in touch without the marvels of technology.

• First, Gov. Rick Scott came out with his proposed $79.3 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Today, the Florida House and Florida Senate introduce their own proposed spending plans. And then comes the fun of sorting it all out. Follow tampabay.com/politics later today to find out how the numbers add up — and where the governor and two legislative chambers are at odds.

• We'll have an update today on the case of Veronica Faulseit, co-founder of the St. Petersburg animal rescue All Creatures Great and Small. Last spring, authorities seized more than 50 dogs and cats, a rabbit, five raccoons, ducks, other birds and an opossum from her home, alleging that she wasn't providing proper care. Faulseit was arrested on an animal cruelty charge and prohibited from having any animals at all. Now, she's fighting the legal actions against her and wants to be able to run the sanctuary.

• Tonight we find out who will be Pasco County's teacher of the year. The Pasco Education Foundation will announce the decision during an event that begins at 7  .m. at the River Ridge High School Performing Arts Center. In addition, the event — rebranded as the Staff That Are Remarkable Awards — will recognize school-related personnel, administrators and noninstructional nonbargaining staffers. The teacher finalists are Donald Blake, an electrical teacher at Marchman Technical College; Daniel Bolt, a music teacher and chorus director at Wesley Chapel Elementary; and Jenna Ferry, a social studies teacher at Gulf High. Check out tampabay.com this evening for news of the winner.

• New home construction is booming in one particular part of Tampa Bay — southern Hillsborough County. Times senior correspondent Susan Taylor Martin explains what's going on down there.

• Without incentive money from the state to help lure filmmakers to Tampa Bay, how do film officials from the bay area try to attract moviemakers here? Learn about their strategies from business reporter Justine Griffin, who was at Sundance this year. Her story will be available mid morning at tampabay.com/money.

• Remember when, in an effort to lure businesses to Florida, the state tried a branding effort that featured a necktie? The marketing campaign didn't sit well with many women and bombed. This morning, a new campaign will be revealed. Look for a story around 11 a.m. at tampabay.com/money.

• Opening today at Legoland in Winter Haven is the Lego Movie 4D, upping the ante on a new 12-minute 3D feature by adding wind, fog and water effects. We'll also tell you how you can save $15 off your admission ticket price.

Plan your weekend! We have lots of tips for navigating Gasparilla — and for avoiding it. But our critics also have recommendations for date night and things to do with the kids.

• They're the best hockey players on the planet. They're also fans. So, when he goes to play in this weekend's NHL All-Star Game, whose stick does Steven Stamkos hope he'll come home with? Beat writer Joe Smith has the scoop.

10Weather WTSP

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Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

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TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Updated: 6 hours ago
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Updated: 6 hours ago
In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

TAMPA — Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriff’s deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Updated: 7 hours ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

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The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

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Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 9 hours ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 10 hours ago