Monday, November 20, 2017
News Roundup

The DayStarter: Expect more gorgeous weather, a look at plans for five failing Pinellas schools — and Wisconsin is on the clock

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Look for more San Diego weather today, cool and dry in the morning with temperatures approaching 80 later in the afternoon, according to 10Weather WTSP. Patchy fog is possible in the morning and windy later in the evening as a front approaches.

• After a layoff, we'll get some new primary results tonight. This time, Democratic and Republican voters in Wisconsin get their say. Is Donald Trump slipping? Is Bernie Sanders surging? Stay tuned to tampabay.com later tonight for answers. Or at least new questions.

• Pinellas County school officials say they plan to release details today of a new plan to turn around that are some of the lowest performing in the state. Based on previous disclosures by the district, expect a fuller explanation of a proposal to increase annual teacher pay and bonuses at the five schools by up to $25,000. The schools were the subject of five St. Petersburg schoolsa Tampa Bay Times special report that began last fall, which prompted a U.S. Education Department civil rights investigation announced yesterday.

• Former Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Alfred Schaffer pleaded guilty last year to stealing $187,284 from the Hope Children's Home, a church-based orphanage founded by his father. This afternoon, he is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court. Schaffer, 50, faces up to 20 years in prison.

• Pinellas County commissioners will mull a diversion program to impose fines or sanctions instead of arrests for certain misdemeanors. It comes weeks after Tampa decriminalized misdemeanor marijuana possession, allowing fines instead of jail time. What is St. Petersburg going to do? It looks like for now that the biggest city in Pinellas is waiting to see what the county commissioners decide to do.

• We're learning more about how the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is affecting the law of the land. With eight members instead of nine, Justice Elena Kagan says the court is working hard to avoid deadlocks whenever possible. "There is a reason why courts do not typically have an even number of members," Kagan said. "We've seen this already."

• Here are the top things to do around Tampa Bay today, including a talk by the creator of the popular "Humans of New York" blog.

• It's time to spring clean your pantry, our food editor Michelle Stark says — but instead of merely nagging, she offers some recipes to use up canned vegetables, cream of tartar, rice and more.

• Ready to buy a used car but hate going to the dealership? Business writer Justine Griffin says Carvana, an online car buying and selling website, announced today it is expanding into the Tampa Bay area. The company says customers can get a quote and financing for a used car online within minutes and have the car delivered to their door, sometimes by the next day.

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