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The DayStarter: Rain in the forecast, troubled charter schools on the agenda — and flowers on the menu

Flowers. They're what's for dinner. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]

Flowers. They're what's for dinner. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]

There's a pretty decent chance we'll get some rain today, according to 10Weather WTSP, and that the wet stuff will linger for the rest of the week, at least in spots. Highs will be in the 80s.

• The Lightning played last night's Eastern Conference final Game 2 without heart-and-souler Ryan Callahan, but fought hard, coming back from a two-goal deficit before finally falling 3-2 in overtime. Sports columnist Tom Jones notes that the Bolts got sensational play from goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, defenseman Anton Stralman and forward Jonathan Drouin — all of whom were lineup surprises for one reason or another. But in the end, Jones says, the hurdles were just too high and a golden opportunity to take a commanding two-game lead in the best-of-seven series was lost. Game 3 will be 8 p.m. Wednesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

• The Rays responded to yesterday's frustrating loss by unloading on the Blue Jays, 13-2. Steve Pearce, Tim Beckham, Curt Casali and Desmond Jennings all homered and Tampa Bay pitching kept Toronto's normally potent bats quiet.

• The Pinellas County School Board will vote this morning on whether to begin the process closing four charter schools — Windsor Preparatory Academy, East Windsor Middle Academy, Newpoint Pinellas Academy and Florida Virtual Academy at Pinellas. Three of the schools are under contract with Newpoint Education Partners, a management company whose problems were detailed in a Tampa Bay Times report. Parents are lobbying for the schools to remain open.

• Coming this morning to tampabay.com, we'll see a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts on state debt and Florida's fiscal path.

• Follow business reporter Justine Griffin on Twitter (@SunBizGriffin) for updates this morning from Port Tampa Bay's monthly business meeting. It begins at 9:30 a.m.

• It's spring time! Our food editor Michelle Stark shows you how to work edible flowers into your meals, from salads to drinks and cupcakes.

• Hillary Clinton hopes to defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders in Kentucky's Democratic primary and avoid another show of weakness as she heads into an almost certain general-election fight with Republican Donald Trump. Democrats also vote in Oregon, where the state's demographics favor Sanders. Clinton lost to Sanders in West Virginia last week and in Indiana on May 3.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including the opening of the hit Broadway musical If/Then at Tampa's Straz Center and a lunchtime food truck fiesta in downtown Tampa.

• The creator of Chillounge nights in the parks brings his latest experiment in leisure: the Sunset Lounge Experience, an upscale evening of buffet dining on the sands behind TradeWinds Island Resort. But you have to get your tickets now for Saturday's party.

• By next spring, Dunedin's historic Fenway Hotel will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind, boutique hotel, complete with public rooms, a bar, pool and restaurant. Developers hope to revive the 1920s building as a community icon and use design as a "tip of the hat" to the city's history.

The DayStarter: Rain in the forecast, troubled charter schools on the agenda — and flowers on the menu 05/17/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 10:52am]
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  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest

    BY AMY SCHERZER

    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
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    News

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    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

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    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.