Tuesday, August 14, 2018
News Roundup

The Daystarter: Fact-checking the Rubio-Murphy debate, nice weather ahead, and a Rays stadium in Oldsmar?

• We should be in for a warm and mostly dry rest of the work week, with highs in the 80s, according to 10Weather WTSP. A front could bring rain by week's end and 50s weather in parts of the area for the weekend.

10Weather WTSP

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

• After weeks of sniping at each other on the campaign trail, Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy took swipes at each other Monday night in the first of two scheduled U.S. Senate debates before Election Day. Who told the truth? Read PolitiFact Florida's report.

• Over the last four years, education bills outnumbered nearly all other topics before Florida lawmakers. The 2017 session could offer more of the same, as the Legislature is expected to tackle keenly watched issues including recess, testing and choice. Jeff Solochek explains what this could mean this year.

• The Florida Supreme Court's decision last week to require unanimous juries for executions has thrown the state's death penalty into disarray. How might the 386 people on death row be affected? Michael Auslen explains>

• Remember when the city of Oldsmar raised its hand and said the tiny town would make a swell location for a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium and everyone was like, what? That's nuts, right? Mayor Doug Bevis doesn't think so and plans a news conference for next week to say as much, complete with architects.

• Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano writes that it's time for Florida lawmakers, after a series of court losses, to join the rest of the 21st century and finally fix the state's unconstitutional and ineffective death penalty law.

Times political editor Adam C. Smith wants you to imagine how different things could have been if Republicans had nominated Marco Rubio for president instead of Donald Trump. Instead of a nominee talking about America as if it were heaving its last, dying gasps, they would hear optimism and idealism, he writes.

• Mosaic now knows just how big the massive sinkhole is at its Mulberry plant: It's 152 feet across at its widest, and 220 feet deep — making it one of the deepest sinkholes in the state. Craig Pittman has the story of how Mosaic measured the hole and how it intends to fill it in before the start of the 2017 rainy season in May.

• Fourteen graduate students at USF in Tampa have been poring over 1930s and 1940s newspaper coverage, looking to understand what Floridians knew about the Holocaust while it was unfolding. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will use their findings in a 2018 exhibit examining American newspaper coverage of the genocide. The research exercise led to some surprising philosophical lessons for these future teachers.

• President Barack Obama tonight hosts his 13th and final White House state dinner, for Italy's prime minister. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is preparing the courses for 400.

• The Tampa Bay Partnership has unveiled a new look and leadership structure as it tries to push the Tampa Bay business community to the next level. See who's in charge and other changes.

• The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017 nominees will be announced today at 8 a.m. and our Stuck in the '80s blogger Steve Spears has a primer on the newly eligible '80s acts said to be under serious consideration, including Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson and Tom Petty as a solo artist. Read on for more. And check the Stuck in the 80s blog later today as he writes about who was nominated and who was snubbed.

• Eagles great Don Henley just announced he is coming to Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall and country fans will want to check out the lineup for the WQYK Guitar Pull returning in 2016 with Gary Allan, Josh Turner and Kane Brown among many others coming to the Mahaffey in St. Pete. You can find the latest music news and reviews on our Soundcheck blog with updates throughout the day.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including a Taste of Clearwater, an opera at the Palladium and haunted houses.

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Hillsborough schools will begin disclosing more data about lead in drinking water

Hillsborough schools will begin disclosing more data about lead in drinking water

TAMPA ­­— The Hillsborough County School District will begin publicly disclosing all locations where it finds lead in schools’ water, not just the samples that tested highest, an official said Tuesday.Detailed results from the testing lab could begin...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Bucs could use another Tony Dungy to spark culture change

Bucs could use another Tony Dungy to spark culture change

TAMPA —  It seems a little odd, but Tony Dungy is just now being installed in the Bucs' Ring of Honor, two years after his bust was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Leave it to his former team.As if it matters to this man. Dungy...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Shooter in Clearwater stand your ground case appears before judge

Shooter in Clearwater stand your ground case appears before judge

LARGO — Clad in orange jail scrubs, Michael Drejka made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon via video monitor, one day after he was arrested on a manslaughter charge in the shooting of Markeis McGlockton.The proceeding was brief and perfunct...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Deputies: Pinellas County jail inmate died during surgery

Deputies: Pinellas County jail inmate died during surgery

ST. PETERSBURG — A jail inmate died Monday while undergoing surgery, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Cesar Gonzales-Espana, 43, had suffered a medical episode at the Pinellas County jail on Saturday, the agency said, and was taken t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
State Vacuum and ‘Bernie Apestein’ may be waving goodbye to longtime location

State Vacuum and ‘Bernie Apestein’ may be waving goodbye to longtime location

For nearly 40 years, while wearing an eclectic mix of fashion, a mechanical gorilla has stood outside State Vacuum of Tampa, waving hello to Kennedy Boulevard motorists.His name is Bernie Apestein. "That gorilla has been a mainstay" said David Epstei...
Updated: 2 hours ago
MagneGas reports 200 percent hike in revenue for second quarter

MagneGas reports 200 percent hike in revenue for second quarter

MagneGas Corp., a Pinellas Park firm that makes a gas product used in metal working, reported a 201 percent spike in quarterly revenues on Tuesday. Its net loss increased from $2.2 million in the year-ago quarter to $3.5 million. Magnegas had $2.9 mi...
Updated: 2 hours ago

United KingdomCrash outside U.K. Parliament treated as terrorismPolice flooded central London streets and cordoned off the city’s government district Tuesday after a speeding car plowed into cyclists and crashed outside Parliament in what authorities...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A judge saw this video before denying stand your ground claim by Hillsborough sheriff’s son

A judge saw this video before denying stand your ground claim by Hillsborough sheriff’s son

TAMPA — George Zachary Chronister may have feared embarrassment when he used a knife to slash and stab another man during a 2017 brawl.But he wasn’t in fear for his life and well-being, a judge ruled Tuesday.Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Nas...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
After Maryland, FSU’s Walt Bell excited to be in ‘family atmosphere’

After Maryland, FSU’s Walt Bell excited to be in ‘family atmosphere’

BRADENTON — New FSU offensive coordinator Walt Bell approached reporters Tuesday morning at IMG Academy seemingly resigned to the fact two subjects would arise: the Seminoles' quarterback derby and the ugly allegations surrounding Maryland...
Updated: 3 hours ago