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DayStarter: A rainy forecast, people who buy their sofas on the Internet and free food — if you're wearing a toga

Rain is in the forecast through the weekend, with scattered storms, some of them strong, expected to move through the area today, according to 10Weather WTSP. The front that is causing them should stall out to the north of us, keeping temperatures from dipping much.

• Tampa socialite Jill Kelley is abandoning her lawsuit against the federal government over leaks in the investigation that led to the resignation of former CIA director David Petraeus. The move comes one week after lawyers for Jill Kelley had asked to withdraw from the case, citing irreconcilable differences. Kelley and her husband, Scott, sued the federal government in 2013. They alleged that federal officials violated the U.S. Privacy Act by disclosing information about them during the FBI's investigation of Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director in November 2012.

• Would you ever buy a bed, a sofa, a car — or even a house — online? Of course not, right? You want to test the sofa to see if it's lumpy, get behind the wheel of the car and certainly step inside a home you may buy. But believe it or not, business writer Justine Griffin finds that more people are buying these big-ticket items online.

• U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, goes before a panel of three federal judges at 9 a.m. to argue that the Florida Supreme Court ordered her district to be redrawn in a way that violated the federal Voting Rights Act. Follow tampabay.com/politics for the latest.

• Government number crunchers are playing catch-up. That's why, for the second time in less than two weeks, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will release monthly employment numbers. Find out the unemployment rate for February and where jobs were added and lost at 10 a.m. at tampabay.com/money

• Mary Hertzel lost 187 pounds working out faithfully for the last year at Anytime Fitness in Riverview. Her efforts had one unexpected effect: her dentures no longer fit from the weight loss in her face. The gym's owner sprang into action, raising funds to give Mary a new smile. Staff writer Chelsea Tatham has the sweet story this morning.

Today's top things to do around Tampa Bay include a free show in downtown Clearwater by the Atlanta Rhythm Section for its Blast Friday block party, Tampa Pride kickoff parties and an interactive public art installation on a Sulphur Springs playground.

• If you wear a toga to Little Greek restaurants today, you get free food. That's just one of our 5 best things to do under $5 this week.

[10Weather WTSP]

[10Weather WTSP]

DayStarter: A rainy forecast, people who buy their sofas on the Internet and free food — if you're wearing a toga 03/25/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2016 11:45am]
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  1. Plant City farmer hopes robot pickers can save strawberry industry from shrinking labor force

    Agriculture

    PLANT CITY — If current trends continue, the region's status as a major strawberry producer will depend in large part on what happens in Mexico.

    Strawberry pickers work during the daytime, when fruit is more likely to bruise. Machine pickers can work at night. The owner of Wish Farms in Plant City is developing automated pickers and hopes to see them at work on a widespread basis in five years. [Times file]
  2. Charlie Crist asking local youth for advice on how to stop deadly car theft epidemic

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is meeting with local children Wednesday night to get their thoughts on how to stop the deadly juvenile auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County.

    From left: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Congressman Charlie Crist, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway during a meeting earlier this year to discuss the car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman sells house for $3 million to new player

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman's multi-million Davis Islands home is staying in the Lightning family. Yzerman sold his 6,265-square-foot house Monday to new defenseman Dan Girardi for $3 million.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman sold for $3 million Monday to Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi. | [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  4. Hernando commissioners propose tax-rate reduction as budget talks continue

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The typical budget battle between the Hernando County Commission and Sheriff Al Nienhuis has largely been averted this summer, except for a dust-up over how the sheriff has accounted for federal inmate money. But a minor skirmish did break out this week.

    Hernando County Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes has suggested a small rollback in the proposed property tax rate for the 2017-18 fiscal year and proposes that it be equally shared by the county's operations and the sheriff.
  5. Danny Rolling killed five in Gainesville 27 years ago this week

    Criminal

    The following story appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on October 26, 2006, the day after Danny Rolling was put to death. Also included are photos covering the period from the time of the murders to the day of Rolling execution.

    Rolling Executed