Saturday, September 22, 2018
News Roundup

The Daystarter: Trump wraps up Florida visit amid more accusations; Southwest begins ticket sales to Cuba; and are the Lightning poised to capture another Stanley Cup?

• A few afternoon showers are possible in the area today, with temperatures in the mid-80s, according to 10Weather WTSP.

• As you head out for your morning commute, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.

• As Donald Trump finishes a three-day swing in Florida today, we talk to Trump supporters at campaign stops about the controversial video released last week. "I've heard worst stuff said by high school students in a football locker room," one man said. Watch our video.

• As Trump was campaigning, news reports surfaced saying three women — including one from Florida — accused him of groping or kissing them without their consent .

• WikiLeaks has released yet another batch of hacked emails from inside Hillary Clinton's campaign, and with them came another round of embarrassing headlines and new glimpses of internal anxiety over the candidate's weaknesses.

• For the first time in 54 years, Florida voters will have a U.S. Senate candidate from a major political party who supports ending the embargo on Cuba. Who is it, and what's going on? Read about it here.

• Southwest Airlines will release more information about its upcoming Tampa to Havana flights at a 9 a.m. news conference at Tampa International Airport. Among the details to come: Ticket prices, flight schedules and the date of the inaugural flight. It will be the first commercial service connecting the Tampa Bay region and the island nation in more than a half-century. Read about the new flights at and follow Paul Guzzo at @PGuzzoTimes for updates.

• The band is back, and the Tampa Bay Lightning has positioned itself for another Stanley Cup run by re-signing Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman. But the hit-making group could be on its last tour before some defections. Check out our Lightning page for a complete season preview.

• Scientists, peacemakers and economists have had their moment. Now it's time for a man or woman of letters to bask in Nobel glory. The Swedish Academy will reveal the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, capping this year's award announcements. As in previous years, Japanese author Haruki Murakami and Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o top Nobel betting lists ahead of the announcement. Others getting attention on betting sites include Syrian poet Adonis, Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse, Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare and American writers Joyce Carol Oates, Don DeLillo and Philip Roth.

• Reports from Florida economic development agencies and the U.S. Census bureau boast of an economic rebound in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott and business leaders tout the state unemployment rate hovering at a low 4.7 percent and how the economy is cranking out new jobs at twice the national pace. Yet in poll after poll this election cycle, voters identify jobs and the economy as their top concerns. Read about how the recession still has Floridians reeling and anxious about the election.

• Tampa City Council is set to meet at 9 a.m. and expects to hear a Florida Department of Transportation report assessing the economic impact of the Tampa Bay Express toll project on the city's redevelopment areas. But TBX opponents may have plenty to say about that. Follow Caitlin Johnston at @cljohnst for updates.

• It was supposed to be a night to shake off a little rust. But if there was any creak in the hinges of the Chick Corea Elektric Band, it didn't show. The first in a brief run of east coast dates -- and perhaps the most anticipated, considering Clearwater has been the iconic jazz fusionist's home for nearly 20 years — it was a night of impeccable musicianship and joyful improvisation. Check out Jay Cridlin's review.

• Got your mail ballot? The Tampa Bay Times editorial board continues rolling out candidate recommendations. Today, we recommend Matt Stewart and Eliseo Santana for the Pinellas County School Board. And don't miss the referendum on extending the local property tax for Pinellas schools. It deserves a yes vote.

• Another St. Petersburg employee has come forward to address the city's ongoing sewage crisis, saying he fears for his job and that several departments knew about a 2014 consultant's report that predicted the whole mess. Mayor Rick Kriseman and the City Council, however, have said they never saw that report. The sewage crisis may come up when the St. Petersburg City Council meets at 8 a.m. Follow Charlie Frago at @CharlieFrago for updates.

• Halloween season is upon us and our intrepid reporters have ventured into the haunts to let you know what to expect. The latest is the tame date night with kids in tow at Lowry Park Zoo called Creatures of the Night.

We also checked out the much-more-frightening Scream-A-Geddon in the back woods of Dade City. And in the theme parks at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream and Universal's hugely popular Halloween Horror Nights . Read on, if you dare.

• Starting today, every Harry Potter film will be released on IMAX in theaters around the country. It will be the first time ever that the franchise's first two movies, Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets, have appeared in IMAX.

• The Clearwater Jazz Holiday opens today and our pop music critic Jay Cridlin has a preview on the eclectic lineup. Read it here on our Weekend Planner page.

• Before he takes the stage tonight in Clearwater, we talked to legendary British bluesman John Mayall. His band the Bluesbreakers has included such luminaries as Eric Clapton, Walter Trout, Cream's Jack Bruce, Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and the Rolling Stones' Mick Taylor. Now 82, he's got an album coming in 2017.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including an appearance by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Kathleen Parker and the start of both the Clearwater Jazz Holiday and the Florida Birding and Nature Festival.

Football: Clearwater 34, Mitchell 7

Football: Clearwater 34, Mitchell 7

TRINITY — What at first looked like a defensive stalemate between Clearwater and Mitchell quickly turned into a rout.Clearwater had revenge on its mind Friday night after a 45-28 loss to Mitchell last year during the the regular seaso...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Football: Tampa Bay Tech 28, Hillsborough 27

Football: Tampa Bay Tech 28, Hillsborough 27

TAMPA — The decision was made as soon as Hillsborough got the ball back. Trailing by a touchdown with just over four minutes remaining against Tampa Bay Tech, the Terriers had the ball on their own 6-yard line.They hadn't been able to move the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Football: Largo 35, Countryside 0

Football: Largo 35, Countryside 0

LARGO — The offense was relentless and merciless Friday night, but that has been the case a lot recently. Largo is scoring points in bunches and getting contributions from everyone. Add in a defense that has been smothering, as well as a special team...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays bounce back big after a debacle

Rays bounce back big after a debacle

TORONTO — The way the Rays played Friday — all nine innings, lesson learned — in beating the Jays 11-3 provided the best answer on how, or even if, they could rebound from the crushing loss the night before that all but ended their ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Football: Sickles 7, Freedom 3

TAMPA — Sickles needed a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter to escape Freedom 7-3 on Homecoming and remain in the hunt for a Class 7A, District 8 title.Gryphons coach Patrick Murphy knew that facing the Patriots would be a battle. Freedom (1-...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Football: Armwood 24, Jefferson 14

SEFFNER — Armwood is becoming accustomed to winning close games.The Hawks fended off visiting Jefferson 24-14 in a defensive battle that featured a plethora of holding penalties in the second half.Armwood (3-1) earned two rushing touchdowns from juni...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Football: Plant 44, Gaither 34

TAMPA — Seventy-eight points. Eight hundred and 40 yards in total offense. Five players surpassing the century mark in yardage.When the game was over Friday, Plant had the edge in every category — including the scoreboard as the Panthers (3-1) opened...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Football: Robinson 28, Blake 25

TAMPA — Nevermind that Blake scored a go-ahead touchdown with 87 seconds left in the game.Forgive him, but part of Robinson junior Lateef Al-Shaa’ir was hoping it would happen just so it would set up a comeback.And it did.With 24 seconds left in the ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Football: St. Petersburg 23, Gibbs 6

ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg’s Aumhryaun Brown’s two touchdowns helped overcome the ejection of quarterback Tonio Shavers as the Green Devils cruised to a 23-6 win against Gibbs on Friday.As time expired during the first half, with the Green Devil...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Football: Plant City 24, East Bay 7

GIBSONTON — Plant City’s high-powered passing game gets most of the attention. But the Raiders’ defense is just as responsible for the team’s unbeaten start.In Plant City’s 24-7 road victory against East Bay in Class 7A, District 9 on Friday, the def...
Updated: 8 hours ago