Friday, July 20, 2018
News Roundup

The DayStarter: Wet weather on tap, Emera takes over TECO and we help you find the fireworks

There's a good chance that it will be wet and nasty for at least parts of the holiday weekend starting today. Highs will hover around 90 degrees.

• Sarasota is holding events all year to celebrate John D. MacDonald, who cranked out an astonishing 76 novels and dozens of short stories, and was born 100 years ago this month. He's worth celebrating, Times staff writer Craig Pittman writes. Read Pittman's "Oh, Florida" column this morning at tampabay.com.

• Emera Inc.'s $10.4 billion acquisition of TECO Energy is expected to formally close today. The change won't be particularly conspicuous; Emera said it is keeping the TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas and New Mexico Gas names, employees and headquarters.

• There are open houses and then there are luxury open houses — like one recent showing of a waterfront estate on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard that provided new Ferraris and Maseratis for guests to test drive plus a chance to meet Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. Susan Taylor Martin gives you a glimpse inside the world of high-end real estate marketing.

• After years of buildup, the widened Panama Canal opened last week but Port Tampa Bay still finds itself struggling to see where it fits in. Here's a look at the stiff competition Tampa is facing for a piece of the Panama pie.

• It's time to party, patriot style. Here's our guide to where to find fireworks displays around Tampa Bay.

• There are plenty of other things going on around Tampa Bay for you to enjoy during the three-day weekend, too. Check out our weekend planner.

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For starters: Rays open second half at home vs. Marlins

For starters: Rays open second half at home vs. Marlins

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where the Rays come out of the All-Star break with a three-game series against the Marlins. Here's the lineup for Tampa Bay, which dropped two of three to the Marlins in Miami:Kiermaier CFHechavarria SSBauers 1BRoberts...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
USF reportedly lands Virginia Tech transfer

USF reportedly lands Virginia Tech transfer

USF reportedly has added some offensive line depth, adding Virginia Tech transfer Thomas Hopple.It appears 247Sports had the story first. Hopple, not projected to be a part of the Hokies' two-deep chart in 2018, must sit out this season per NCAA tran...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Pasco sheriff: Woman faked kidnapping attempt on her daughter to frame former business partner

Pasco sheriff: Woman faked kidnapping attempt on her daughter to frame former business partner

HOLIDAY — The mother of a 12-year-old girl was arrested Thursday after authorities said she faked a kidnapping attempt on her daughter in an effort to frame a former business partner.Tammy Steffen, 36, is charged with child neglect, filing a false po...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Watch: Florida woman brought to tears upon realizing she left her 8-month-old son in a hot car

Watch: Florida woman brought to tears upon realizing she left her 8-month-old son in a hot car

A Volusia County woman was brought to tears Tuesday after she returned to her car to see her 8-month-old son still alive and healthy after she left him inside with the windows closed.Accompanying her baby, however, was a Volusia County deputy.Meagen ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago

Authorities identify victims in Spring Hill shooting

SPRING HILL — Deputies on Friday identified three victims in a string of shootings Thursday that left the shooter and one victim dead.The shootings began in Hudson, where deputies said Theodore Antonia Parker, 59, shot at 44-year-old Tonya Haseman ar...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Florida among the top 3 states with the most income inequality

Florida among the top 3 states with the most income inequality

Florida is one of three states in the nation with the biggest income gap between the very rich and everyone else.In 2015, a family in the top 1 percent nationally had an average income of more than $1.3 million — or 26.3 times as much as the $50,107 ...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Largo woman, rescuers save beached whale on Indian Shores

Largo woman, rescuers save beached whale on Indian Shores

Times Staff Writer INDIAN SHORES — The sun had yet to rise. A strong breeze from the Gulf of Mexico cooled the otherwise warm and muggy Indian Shores beach. The surf was choppy Friday morning as Bonnie Charity began her daily walk, unlike some days w...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
No arrest in fatal shooting during argument over handicap parking space

No arrest in fatal shooting during argument over handicap parking space

CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced Friday that his agency will not arrest a man deputies say fatally shot another man during an argument over a handicap parking space.The incident falls under Florida’s self-defense law known...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Rays dream big but follow trend in plans for smaller stadium

Tampa Bay Rays dream big but follow trend in plans for smaller stadium

TAMPA — When it comes to filling a ballpark, the Tampa Bay Rays are Major League Baseball’s perennial bottom-dweller. The team has finished last in average attendance the past six seasons at Tropicana Field. As of the All-Star Game, the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays call up C Adam Moore to replace injured Wilson Ramos

Rays call up C Adam Moore to replace injured Wilson Ramos

The Rays made the easiest move to replace injure C Wilson Ramos, calling up journeyman Adam Moore from Triple-A.Moore, 34, has played parts of eight seasons in the majors, last with the Indians in 2016 and before that with the Mariners, Royals and Pa...
Updated: 3 hours ago