Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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

U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores

U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores

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 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.

Morning briefing: Tallahassee developments, a sneak peek at Laura Reiley's top restaurants and Twitter might be down for you 01/19/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 12:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. Memorial for Snooty the manatee, postponed because of Irma, to be held Sunday


    A public memorial to celebrate the life of 69-year-old Snooty the manatee will be held at the South Florida Museum on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

    Snooty , the world's most celebrated manatee, begs for another slice of apple in his pool in the Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton in 2008. Snooty was 60 then. [Times 2008]
  3. Residents wade through a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, September 22, 2017. Because of the heavy rains brought by Maria, thousands of people were evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. [Associated Press]
  4. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  5. New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, causing new alarm in a country reeling from two still-more-powerful quakes this month that have killed nearly 400 people.

    Locals play pool at a venue in Mexico City's La Condesa neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, four days after the 7.1 earthquake. The upscale Mexico City neighborhood was one of the hardest hit, with more than a half-dozen collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity. The few Condesa residents who ventured out Friday night said they were anxious for relief from an anguishing week. [Associated Press]