Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Morning briefing: Tallahassee developments, a sneak peek at Laura Reiley's top restaurants and Twitter might be down for you

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Congrats, you survived one of the coldest nights the Tampa Bay area has seen in a while (near 40 degrees) — but it's not going to warm up just yet. Today's high temperatures will only reach the low 60s, 10Weather WTSP says, and tonight should be even colder.

• Twitter has only sporadically been available to users this morning, suffering technical problems that have lasted hours. The company, which has 320 million active users, tweeted that it is aware of the issue and is trying to fix it. The announcement was sent at 3:40 a.m. Tampa Bay time.

Times Political Editor Adam C. Smith is writing this morning about how U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, wants to make it illegal for members of Congress to ask directly for campaign donations. He is filing a bill, exclusively shared first with the Tampa Bay Times, that would effectively require members of Congress to campaign under restrictions similar to those facing judicial candidates. As it stands, members of Congress literally are expected to spend hours every day dialing for dollars rather than actually trying to legislate and fix problems.

• The Earth's oceans are absorbing more and more heat from a warming world, and the pace of the temperature rise is increasing with each passing decade, researchers have discovered. In the past two decades alone, the oceans have taken up more than half the increase in heat created by the world's outpouring of greenhouse gases during the entire industrial era, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have reported.

Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reporter Michael Auslen is covering a House Health Innovation Subcommittee hearing for a bill that would require abortion clinics to be licensed like hospitals. What impact the legislation would have on Florida's 65 licensed abortion clinics is unclear, but it is similar to a Texas law that Planned Parenthood says has caused 19 abortion clinics to close in that state. Follow @MichaelAuslen on Twitter at 1:30 p.m. for live developments from the hearing.

Times reporter Colleen Wright is covering a Pinellas County School Board discussion today surrounding a resolution that would "encourage" more schools to offer at least 20 minutes of recess on days when there is no physical education class. (The school district has posted a digital copy of the resolution online.) A parent petition with more than 2,300 signatures has been pushing for more, but district officials say there's only so much time in the schedule. Follow @Colleen_Wright on Twitter to keep tabs on the meeting.

• Thousands of supporters of a controversial voucher-like education program plan to rally at the Florida Capitol today, and they'll be led by a special guest: Martin Luther King III, son of the civil rights leader. The march to the Capitol begins at 10 a.m. Follow @ByKristenMClark on Twitter for coverage.

• The Hillsborough County School Board will vote this morning on a contract for 20,000 employees. This long-delayed event comes after months of tense negotiations as the district worked through fallout from the Gates-funded teacher reforms. Marlene Sokol wrote about problems with the Gates reforms in detail last month. The deal we expect to be inked this morning gives teachers their scheduled increases, retroactive to July 1. Teacher aides will see wages increase by 6 percent — but instead of retroactive pay, they'll each get a $275 bonus. Follow @Marlenesokol on Twitter.

• Every year since 2007, Times food critic Laura Reiley has chosen the best restaurants in Tampa Bay. One year, it was the 25 best places to grab a meal under $25. In past years, the area's top 50 grouped by geographic location. This year, Laura has come up with a list of 50 places (okay, technically it's 52), divided by cuisine type. The interactive multimedia presentation won't debut until Jan. 21, but head to tampabay.com/food for a teaser video of what's to come.

Today's top things to do around Tampa Bay include a talk by an award-winning National Geographic photographer, a free pipe organ concert and Herman's Hermits at Busch Gardens.

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