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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. Tampa man crashes into parked cars, gate at the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque

    Crime

    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Shaun H. Urwiler, 42, was arrested July 16 for intentionally driving his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November

    Blogs

    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system

    Testing

    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.

    Crime

    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]