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DayStarter: A Go Hillsborough vote, Ben Folds in St. Pete and new home sales figures

Musician Ben Folds will perform tonight at the Mahaffey. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for T.J. Martell Foundation)

Musician Ben Folds will perform tonight at the Mahaffey. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for T.J. Martell Foundation)

Enjoy today's low humidity and comfortable temperatures before rain chances begin tomorrow and ramp up when a cold front moves in Friday, according to 10Weather WTSP.

• Today, Hillsborough County commissioners are set to vote on a list of projects that would be funded by the proposed half-cent sales tax increase known as Go Hillsborough. Proponents hope settling on a list will quell criticism that the county doesn't have a concrete plan for spending money from the sales tax increase. The commission will also vote on the $40 million renovation of George M. Steinbrenner Field that would keep the New York Yankees in Tampa for spring training through 2046. Follow Steve Contorno on Twitter (@scontorno) for updates.

• Homes in the Tampa Bay area have been increasing value over the last year or so as the supply of homes for sale has shrunk. Figures released this morning will show if that trend is continuing. Check mid to late morning at tampabay.com/money for a full report.

• Sen. Marco Rubio continues to block a South Florida judicial nominee he recommended to the White House and has likely killed her chances of being confirmed — but he refuses to say why. On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee takes up five nominees and Mary Barzee Flores is not among them. Rubio, through a spokesman, declined to explain why he has not submitted a so-called blue slip for Barzee Flores, whom Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson jointly recommended for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District. "I have spoken with Rubio and he said he's not going to return the blue slip," Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times.

• President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia as he opens a trip that also will take him to Britain and Germany. In Saudi Arabia, he is expected to push for greater cooperation and military backing in the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

• We'll be breaking down the NFL draft position by position leading up to next Thursday's first round. This morning look for beat writer Greg Auman on the linebackers at tampabay.com/sports.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including Spamalot, this year's American Stage in the Park production.

• His brainy piano-pop trio Ben Folds Five broke through in the mid '90s to become a modern incarnation of Billy Joel or Randy Newman. Before his show tonight at the Mahaffey, pop music critic Jay Cridlin talked to Ben Folds about letting his musical muse meander to the worlds of a cappella and symphonic collaborations, like tonight's show with chamber-pop ensemble yMusic.

DayStarter: A Go Hillsborough vote, Ben Folds in St. Pete and new home sales figures 04/20/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 10:58am]
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    Times Staff Writer

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