Saturday, February 17, 2018
News Roundup

The DayStarter: Trump campaigns in Florida and a proposed cross-bay ferry gets a vote in Hillsborough

Look out for stormy weather today with strong winds, heavy rain and frequent lightning, according to 10Weather WTSP. High temperatures remain in the 90s.

• The threat of the Zika virus ravaging South Florida is real. There is a way to blunt its spread. But in Key West — the gatekeeper of this technology — residents fear the cure more than the disease. Times staff writer Lisa Gartner reports on mutants and misinformation in paradise this morning.

• Donald Trump returns to Florida today for two campaign stops. He plans a town hall at 3 p.m. at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, followed by a rally at 7 p.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Follow Alex Leary (@learyreports) and Jeremy Wallace (@JeremySWallace) on Twitter for coverage.

• A proposed ferry connecting the downtowns of St. Petersburg and Tampa is up for approval at today's Hillsborough County commission meeting. Commissioners must decide if they want to commit $350,000 to the pilot project. Tampa City Council will vote on it tomorrow. The ferry would run daily between St. Pete and Tampa and if successful, it could become a permanent fixture. Follow Hillsborough County reporter Steve Contorno on Twitter (@scontorno) throughout the meeting for the details.

• From our food editor: Some dining trends we'd like to see catch on here in the Tampa Bay area. From variable portion sizes to affordable build-your-own salads, some of the popular new trends in New York and D.C. would fit right in here.

• Join our weekly photo challenge on Instagram. Each week, our photo editor will give you an assignment and ask you to share your best image inspired by the theme to your Instagram account. This week's theme is #Love. To play along, you should include the hashtags #TBTimesGram + #Love. We'll feature your photos on tampabay.com and on our All Eyes blog.

• Food critic Laura Reiley checked out the new Ox & Fields in Seminole Heights and found the devil is in the details.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay.

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Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

MUNICH — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was "incontrovertible" evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, a blunt statement that shows how significantly the new criminal charges leveled by an...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style fi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — A red heart-shaped balloon rose above crowd of several hundred people that had gathered at Williams Park on Saturday evening to mourn Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County and to protest gun violence.Below the balloon, signs ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

TAMPA — Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The Florida Orchestra performed two of his works Friday, the second of which paired the dances from West Side Story with the overture to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.The orches...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Stormy at the strip club: A porn star cashes in on presidential connection

Stormy at the strip club: A porn star cashes in on presidential connection

TAMPA — In the center of the nightclub, between the cigar case and bustling bar, a giant screen blankets the back wall. Usually, ads for drink specials and coming attractions scroll across.But Friday night, a life-size picture of President Donald Tru...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Man found dead in flaming mobile home

TAMPA — Firefighters found a man dead inside a burned-down mobile home Saturday.Tampa Fire Rescue got a call just after 4:30 p.m. that a single-wide mobile home at the 100 block of East Linebaugh Avenue was in flames.The man’s identity was not releas...
Updated: 5 hours ago
‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

Warning: This story quotes graphic material.Before he killed 17 people at a South Florida high school, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly threatened an ex-classmate who had started dating his former girlfriend, according to a report in Buzzfeed News."I’m going ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Police find dead man in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police found a dead man inside an apartment in the 5200 block of Sonora Court Friday after 3 p.m.Who the man is or how long he’s been dead is not yet clear, police said. The victim appears to have been killed in some sort of "homicidal violen...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Police up patrols at two Pinellas Park schools after Snapchat threat

PINELLAS PARK — Police said they will have a heightened presence at two Pinellas Park schools after a school shooting threat was shared on social media.A post Friday on social media app Snapchat threatened a possible school shooting Tuesday, accordin...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Prosecutor: Death penalty was ‘designed’ for cases like Florida school shooting

Prosecutor: Death penalty was ‘designed’ for cases like Florida school shooting

The 17 counts of premeditated murder against Nikolas Cruz are the type of case "the death penalty was designed for," according to the Florida prosecutor in charge of trying the confessed school shooter.But Michael Satz, the longtime Broward state att...
Updated: 6 hours ago