Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

The DayStarter: Dry and sunny; Hulk Hogan starts his public image rehab, Hillsborough schools name a teacher of the year and Persall reviews 'BvS'

Today and tomorrow both look to be dry and sunny, with afternoon temperatures in the mid 80s, according to 10Weather WTSP. Easter weekend — not so dry.

• Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz this morning, calling on Republicans to coalesce around the Texas senator and "overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena." Bush, who declined to endorse Marco Rubio before the March 15 Florida primary, called Cruz "a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests." As as presidential candidate, Bush was the earliest target of Trump and also Trump's most vocal adversary as others — including Cruz and Rubio — took a hands off approach before joining the fight (too late, some Republicans contend).

• Hulk Hogan — er, Terry Bollea — is slated to appear on Good Morning America this morning, then meet with the women from the View to begin making the case that he's not a racist heel, now that the Gawker trial is done. Check with tampabay.com after the broadcast to get our rundown of what he has to say. You can also follow staff writer Katie Mettler on Twitter (@kemettler).

• This morning, Belgian authorities are searching for a man pictured at the Brussels airport with two apparent suicide bombers, amid growing suggestions that yesterday's bombings of the Brussels airport and subway were the work of the same Islamic State cell that attacked Paris last year. Early reports that the man, named by a Belgian newspaper as Najim Laachraoui, had been arrested seem to be inaccurate. We'll keep you up to date as we learn more. Meanwhile, one of our wire services — the Associated Press — is maintaining a running list of updates from Brussels.

• Tonight at Tampa's David A Straz Jr. Center for Performing Arts, one of these seven educators will be named Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Jeff Eakins will also name the 2016 Diversity Educator of the Year and Instructional Support Employee of the Year. The announcement happens about 9 p.m. The Tampa Bay Times' Ernest Hooper is the master of ceremonies and Marlene Sokol will live-tweet (@marlenesokol).

• Our film critic Steve Persall got a first look at the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film, and calls it a brooding, self-serious blockbuster. "If you're watching a superhero movie this weekend and smiling, it's a Marvel," Persall writes, giving a nod to DC Comics' competition. "Is being a superhero really this much of a drag?"

• The Rays' historic trip to Cubalasted a little bit longer than they had planned, as a series of delays, including a mechanical issue with one of their chartered planes, delayed their arrival in Tampa until about 5 a.m. Our Rays writer Marc Topkin was in Havana to cover the landmark trip and the action on the field — a 4-1 win over the Cuban national team.

• The Lightning is tied atop the Atlantic Division this morning after last night's 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings that wasn't as easy as the score makes it look. This one got dicey late in the second period, when the Red Wings cut a three-goal deficit to one. But unlike a third-period collapse Thursday in Dallas, the Lightning scored a clutch five-on-three power-play goal before adding two more in the third. In the end, a sold-out Amalie Arena crowd watched one of the Bolts' biggest regular season games in years — that the team hopes will kickstart a critical six-game homestand on its playoff push.

• Two new eateries, Drama Burger and Miguelito's Taqueria y Tequilas, have joined the popular and bustling stretch of Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. Our business writer Justine Griffin has details.

• Before he hits the stage in Clearwater tonight, comedy icon Don Rickles talked to Persall as he gets ready to celebrate his 90th birthday (Rickles, not Persall) with a stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall tonight. A young kid named Regis Philbin will serve as punching bag.

• Here are the top things to do around Tampa Bay today, including a visit from comic Dean Edwards and a special Easter week showing of Cecil B. DeMille's Ten Commandments.

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