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The Daystarter: Ferry lures young professionals; discipline discussion at Hillsborough schools; and Bruno Mars is coming to Tampa

• After some early morning showers, the sun should come out, with temperatures in the mid-70s, according to 10Weather WTSP.

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The latest 7-day forecast

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Feels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area

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

• Young professionals are riding the ferry. What do they think of Tampa Bay's beleaguered transportation network? Do they think the ferry is a real solution or is it more of an entertainment option? Read reporter Caitlin Johnson's story here.

• The Hillsborough County Public Schools are improving their student discipline strategies and even making headway in narrowing a stubborn gap between black and white suspension rates, the School Board will be told today. A workshop is scheduled for 1 p.m. to discuss intervention and rehabilitation methods that began in 2015, when Jeff Eakins took over as superintendent. Follow Marlene Sokol @Marlenesokol for updates.

• Chart-topping pop superstar Bruno Mars is embarking on a gargantuan 85-date (so far) world tour in 2017, and it features a solid swing through Florida, including an Oct. 19 date at Tampa's Amalie Arena. (The other Sunshine State dates: Oct. 14 at Orlando's Amway Center, Oct. 15 at Fort Lauderdale's BB&T Center and Oct. 18 at Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena.)

• Ruskin's Phil Thompson is helping to start a program in Cuba focused on teaching skills needed to protect nature and earn a living through eco-tourism to children living around the island's Zapata Swamp National Park. Check out Paul Guzzo's story here.

• The Republican Governors Association holds its annual conference this week in Orlando and today's topic is "Leading the Change." A panel with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is the afternoon focus. Follow Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam C. Smith Adam C. Smith for coverage.

• Before his sold-out talk in Tampa on Thursday, we talked to pop culture-savvy astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. We couldn't resist the chance to ask such a smart man to explain some things, and he told us Florida will be underwater in the not too distant future and why the rise in popularity of Comic-Con gives him hope that people care about science.

• Paul Hogan, former managing editor of the Tampa Tribune, died Monday. He's remembered by those who knew him for being an "old-school" newsman, and for his work upholding journalistic values such as pressing for open government. Read more about the beloved editor here.

• Are you planning to cook for Thanksgiving? We asked the pros for their tips on large-scale meal success.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including twin pop singers Tegan and Sara and YouTube star Laci Green giving a free talk at USF. The sex education host was named one of the "30 Most Influential People on the Internet."

The Daystarter: Ferry lures young professionals; discipline discussion at Hillsborough schools; and Bruno Mars is coming to Tampa 11/15/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 6:18am]
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  1. Florida Democrats surging with grassroots enthusiasm, but 2018 reality is grim

    State Roundup

    After Donald Trump's election, so many people started showing up at monthly Pinellas County Democratic Party meetings, the group had to start forking out more money for a bigger room.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses Florida Democrats at the Leadership Blue Gala on June 17 in Hollywood, Fla. (Photo by Carol Porter)
  2. Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations?

    Real Estate

    Danny Di Nicolantonio has lived in St. Petersburg's Calais Village Condominums for 33 years. Annoyed at times by the actions, or inaction, of the condo board and property managers, he has complained to the state agency that is supposed to investigate.

    That has left him even more annoyed.

    A bill passed by the Florida Legislature would affect places like The Slade in Tampa's Channelside district, where cCondominium owners have battled a plan to convert homes into apartments.
[Times file photo]
  3. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy


    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Four questions with Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith before he helps lead the St. Pete Pride parade

    Human Interest

    A decade ago, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith was afraid to tell his friends and family he was gay.

    Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith will serve as a grand marshal at the St. Pete Pride parade on Saturday. [City of Largo]
  5. Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE — For weeks, Glenn Holland, 67, crawled out of bed before the sun rose to look for a dead man.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]