Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

DayStarter: It's brutally steamy out today, the Rio Olympics is becoming a disaster and Boy George is in town

It will continue to be hotter than normal during the next couple of days, according to 10Weather WTSP, with highs topping 90. The high humidity will make it feel even hotter as it has in recent days, in part because is likely to be spotty at best.

• We're less than a month away from the Aug. 5 start of the Summer Olympics and Brazil is not ready. Almost all venues are still under construction. The few projects that have been completed don't inspire much confidence. And safety is a big worry: Frequent shootouts near the Olympic arenas and on routes to them have left 76 people hit by stray bullets so far this year; 21 of them have died.

• Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. to announce that Hernando County has a new, state-of-the-art tool: text-to-911 capability. The Orlando massacre highlighted the need for people to be able to text for help in an emergency, especially if they're trapped and can't make a sound. Hernando is one of the first counties to add that capability in the Tampa Bay area. Follow Josh Solomon on Twitter (@Josh_Solomon15) for updates.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including Boy George and Culture Club performing in St. Petersburg and Little People toy characters singing at a local mall.

Have you disovered roti yet? It's a popular Caribbean flaky bread that you rip with your hands and dunk into a curry or use to sop up any extra sauce from your meal. It has found solid footing in the Tampa Bay area via a number of small restaurants owned by folks from places like Trinidad and Guyana. We check out some of the best places and also offer a recipe to make at home.

• Looking for lunch ideas? Food critic Laura Reiley reviews Zaytoon Grill, the Palestinean takeout counter that debuted recently at the edge of the increasingly packed Edge District in St. Petersburg.

• Top Lightning draft pick Brett Howden follows his brother's footsteps to the NHL. Read about the Howdens later this morning at tampabay.com/sports.

• Instagrammers, we want your photos! Our photo team hosts a weekly photo challenge on Instagram. Each week we give you an assignment and you post your best image inspired by the theme to your Instagram account. You must include the hashtag #TBTimesGram. We'll feature your photos on tampabay.com and on our All Eyes blog. This week's assignment: the color yellow. View of a gallery of last week's submitted photos here.

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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: 17 minutes 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: 9 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: 9 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...
Updated: 10 hours ago
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...
Updated: 11 hours ago
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
Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

By Sheila Mullane EstradaTimes CorrespondentMADEIRA BEACH — Voters here can either end or continue the city’s divisive politics on March 13. They will also decide how the city grows.The two commission seats that now represent pro-growth and pro-devel...
Published: 01/18/18

High school scoreboard for Jan. 17

Wednesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 62, Clearwater 52Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Dunedin 0Girls soccerPalm Harbor U. 5, Dunedin 0
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

PORT RICHEY — The first call came into emergency dispatch at 4 p.m. on Sunday from shore, reporting a ‘giant’ boat on fire in the Pithlachascotee River."It’s urgent," the caller said.Others followed quickly, one woman crying as she described from her...
Updated: 8 hours ago