Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The DayStarter: More nice weather; Romney takes on Trump, Tallahassee hits the home stretch, and the Strawberry Fest kicks off

It'll be another postcard-perfect Florida day, according to 10Weather WTSP, with 70-degree temperatures and blue skies.

• Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, will speak about this year's Republican presidential race at 11:30 a.m. Romney has been critical of 2016 front-runner Donald Trump on Twitter in recent weeks and has yet to endorse any of the other candidates.

• Robert Valdez, 71 and mentally ill, was sentenced to more than four years in prison. Then the judge looked for an alternative. The cover story for Floridian magazine is another installment in the Tampa Bay Times' and Sarasota Herald-Tribune's investigation chronicling life in Florida's mental health system. Catch up on the series right now at tampabay.com/mentalhospitals.

• Will sales tax holidays be trimmed back by Florida senators? Will the House pass sweeping new abortion restrictions while the Senate signs off on granting pastors immunity from lawsuits if they don't want to take part in same-sex weddings? Tune in to tampabay.com/politics for answers to these questions and more as the state Legislature hits the home stretch of its annual session.

• The remaining Republican presidential rivals face off tonight in a debate on Fox News at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. PolitiFact will be live fact-checking the debate. Follow @PolitiFact on Twitter while you watch.

• House flipping is back in style, and Tampa Bay once again is near the top nationwide. Read real estate reporter Susan Taylor Martin's full report this morning.

• Follow business reporter Justine Griffin on Twitter (@SunBizGriffin) for updates from the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority meeting. Board members are discussing the current state of the $953 million master plan starting at 9 a.m.

• Check out beat writer Joe Smith's latest Lightning Strikes podcast this afternoon at tampabay.com/lightning.

• As the Florida Strawberry Festival kicks off its 81st year of shortcake and country music today in Plant City, it again features a stellar concert lineup, including the Band Perry, Martina McBride and Trace Adkins. Pop music writer and culture critic Jay Cridlin takes a closer look at how the festival has evolved with the times. If you thinking of going, here are the highlights and deal days coming up for the berry blast.

• Deal alert! Busch Gardens has extended its deal that gets you a free Adventure Island water park pass with the purchase of a Fun Card, a savings of nearly $50 and just in time for spring break. Here's what you need to know.

• Here are the top things to do today, including four top-ranked women's soccer teams here for the SheBelieves Cup and the three-night, 21-and-older sensual art event called Nude Nite.

[10Weather WTSP]

[10Weather WTSP]

The DayStarter: More nice weather; Romney takes on Trump, Tallahassee hits the home stretch, and the Strawberry Fest kicks off 03/03/16 [Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2016 1:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]