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Morning briefing: Nice today, but not tomorrow; a Powerball winner in Florida; Oscar noms; a Rays stadium vote

Expect overcast skies with highs around 70 and lows in the 50s, before it gets downright nasty on Friday, according to 10Weather WTSP.

• Three winning tickets were purchased in Wednesday night's record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot were sold in Florida, Tennessee and California, a California lottery spokesman said early today.

• British actor Alan Rickman, whose career ranged from Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company to the Harry Potter films, has died. He was 69. Rickman's family said Thursday that the actor had died after a battle with cancer. He was best known to American audiences for playing dark arts teacher Severus Snape and terrorist-slash-bank-robber Hans Gruber in the 1998 film Die Hard.

• We've barely finished tallying our Golden Globe ballots — and judging the red carpet wins and losses — and it's already time for Oscar nominations. The nominees will be announced at 8:30 a.m. by John Krasinski, Guillermo del Toro, Ang Lee and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. Here's your rundown on how to watch this morning and what to watch for.

• When Donald Trump walked into a packed, 10,000-capacity Pensacola arena last night, the crowd erupted. The GOP frontrunner for president has a bulls-eye on him more than ever this week. In Tuesday's State of the Union address, Trump was the target of veiled criticism from both President Barack Obama and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who delivered the Republican response. At tonight's Republican debate, he anticipates taking flak from his rivals while he's at center stage once more.

• Speaking of that debate, the Republican presidential candidates will gather at 9 tonight in South Carolina as Fox Business Network hosts the first GOP presidential debate of 2016. PolitiFact will be live fact-checking. Watch for a report at and follow @PolitiFact live on Twitter.

• Attackers set off suicide bombs and exchanged gunfire outside a Starbucks cafe in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, in a brazen assault today that police said "imitated" the recent Paris attacks and was probably linked to the Islamic State group. All five attackers and a Canadian and an Indonesian died in the midmorning explosions and gunfire that were watched by office workers from high-rise buildings, not far from the presidential palace and the U.S. Embassy, police said. Another 19 people were injured.

• Rick Baker couldn't do it when he was mayor. Neither could Bill Foster. Today just might be the day that St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman ends a stalemate with the Tampa Bay Rays that has dragged on for more than eight years. At 3 p.m., the St. Petersburg City Council will vote on a memorandum of understanding proposed by Kriseman that would allow the Rays to search for a new stadium site outside of St. Pete and Pinellas County. Check back at for updates and follow our live coverage.

• He's on TV so much that it's gotten a little annoying, but there's no doubt that John "Papa John" Schnatter has built one of the world's best-known pizza joints. He appeared Wednesday night at USF for a Sport and Entertainment lecture series. See what he had to say in a story that will appear at sometime around mid morning.

• The J.D. Power 2016 report on customer satisfaction is out and guess who brings up the rear among electric companies? Duke Energy Florida. Read what business columnist Robert Trigaux has to say about the rankings around mid morning at

• Here are the top things to do in Tampa Bay today, including hard-luck business stories you can learn from and Parsons Dance, athletic contemporary performances from one of the greatest dance makers of all time, David Parsons.

• It's time to plan your weekend and our critics have date night ideas like the best plays and things to do with the kids like Monster Jam and some restaurants to check out. Find them all on our weekend planner page.

• Check out beat writer Joe Smith's latest Lightning Strikes podcast this afternoon at He talks with Steven Stamkos and Steve Thomas about the 500-goal plateau, which Alex Ovechkin reached Sunday.

[10Weather WTSP]

[10Weather WTSP]

Morning briefing: Nice today, but not tomorrow; a Powerball winner in Florida; Oscar noms; a Rays stadium vote 01/14/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 14, 2016 10:35am]
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