Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

The DayStarter: Severe weather drifts closer, mourners pack St. Lawrence Catholic Church and Trump heads to Mexico

The worst weather ahead will likely hit late Wednesday into Thursday, but we will start seeing the effects of Tropical Depression 9 early Wednesday. (Late Tuesday, the system had yet to be named a tropical storm.) Expect growing winds and showers today as the weather system gets closer to making landfall.

• At 11:30 a.m., 2,000 mourners are expected at St. Lawrence Catholic Church for the funeral of the late Monsignor Laurence Higgins. Higgins, who founded the parish, served as its pastor for 49 years and became one of the Tampa Bay area's most high-profile clergymen. Read more about his life.

[10Weather WTSP]

• Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory Holder is scheduled to be publicly reprimanded by the Florida Supreme Court Wednesday morning for his advocacy on behalf of a troubled former U.S. Army Green Beret who was in Holder's Veterans Treatment Court. Though that court emphasizes treatment over punishment, Holder acknowledged he "went too far" in his attempts to lighten the man's punishment and to get him readmitted to the University of South Florida. The judge will not speak during the disciplinary hearing in Tallahassee, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

• Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence is scheduled to hit a rally/town hall meeting in Sarasota at 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency. Times political editor Adam C. Smith will be there. Follow him on Twitter (@adamsmithtimes) for updates.

• Donald Trump will deliver a high-stakes immigration speech today in Phoenix amid intense confusion over the status of his vow to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, a potentially damaging impasse for a Republican nominee who risks alienating several voting blocs he needs to win in November. And the Washington Post reports that Trump will jet to Mexico City on Wednesday for a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, just hours before his speech in Arizona.

• In case you missed it, all this tropical storm activity moved the Bucs game up a day and postponed some parties and events in the Tampa Bay area.

• Tampa International Airport is gearing up for the next — and possibly most disruptive — phase of its $1 billion expansion. Check tampabay.com/money for details and follow business reporter Justine Griffin on Twitter (@SunBizGriffin) this morning for updates.

• The Rays are up and at it early today in Boston, looking to take the best-of-three series with a victory in a 12:35 p.m. game at Fenway (TV: Fox Sports Sun). Drew Smyly throws for Tampa Bay. Marc Topkin is dishing for the Tampa Bay Times. Meet him here for your pregame warmup and follow him on Twitter (@TBTimes_Rays) for in-game analysis.

• When their son was stillborn, a Tampa couple spent years in pain. Then they drew on a family legacy of baking to help them start to heal. Read the story behind the Silly Monkey Cookie Co. this morning.

• Food critic Laura Reiley road-tested some homegrown hangover cures. Cheetos with soy chai? Read about the remedies.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including a show by the blues trio The Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band and a free talk by the director of the National Aquarium of Cuba about their new partnership with Tampa's Florida Aquarium.

Comments
Forecast: Brutal cold arrives in Tampa Bay, but won’t stay long

Forecast: Brutal cold arrives in Tampa Bay, but won’t stay long

It’s freezing, literally. For now.The quick-moving cold blast, which has been anticipated for days, arrived with an especially frigid punch across Tampa Bay.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area The region is under a freeze wa...
Updated: 29 minutes ago

Two treated at hospital after fire at Apollo Beach home

Two elderly residents were treated at a local hospital after a fire at an Apollo Beach home early Thursday morning.Hillsborough Fire Rescue crews, responding to the 600 block of Flamingo Drive around 4 a.m., found the home fully engulfed in flames.Tw...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Tampa Bay freeze won’t last long; report describes binge drinking in FSU hazing death; Lord Stanley, meet Jose Gaspar; 15,000 ball pit balls up for auction

The Daystarter: Tampa Bay freeze won’t last long; report describes binge drinking in FSU hazing death; Lord Stanley, meet Jose Gaspar; 15,000 ball pit balls up for auction

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• The worst is behind us, but we’re not quite yet finished with the chilly weather. Last night was one of the coldest nights in years, prompting shelters to open across Tampa B...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romano: Are buses really our last gasp?

Romano: Are buses really our last gasp?

To the members of the Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area Leadership group:Listen carefully when a new plan for a rapid bus system is unveiled to you on Friday. All the benefits the supporters will tout will undoubtedly be true.A rapid bus syste...
Updated: 10 hours ago
In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In the state capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers breezed through the bullet points of a higher education bill. They skimmed past a hot-button proposal to consolidate the University of South Florida System into a single university without a peep of pushba...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

"On Nov. 3, 2017, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to 1012 Buena Vista Drive … in reference to a death investigation."So begins a charging document in the case of Andrew Coffey, the 20-year-old Florida State University student who was foun...
Published: 01/18/18
New St. Pete City Council gets to work, starting with 2018 budget

New St. Pete City Council gets to work, starting with 2018 budget

ST. PETERSBURG — The new City Council will get its first chance to weigh in on the 2018 budget on Thursday morning — and they’re likely to bring a long list of priorities to the table.In recent years, rising property values have kept city coffers flu...
Published: 01/18/18
After half a century, World Liquors sign may finally come down

After half a century, World Liquors sign may finally come down

ST. PETERSBURG — The demise of the distinctive sign has been rumored many times.This time, it’s no rumor. It looks very likely that by the end of spring the corner of 16th Street and Central Avenue will no longer be graced by World Liquors and its ic...
Published: 01/18/18
Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

After 16 years of combat and counting, the war in Afghanistan gets a happy movie ending in 12 Strong, a thick slice of patriot porn.Based on a true story, 12 Strong rightfully celebrates the first U.S. Special Forces unit battling Taliban forces shel...
Published: 01/18/18
Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and officers with Metro Development Group and Crystal Lag...
Published: 01/18/18