Sunday, September 23, 2018
News Roundup

The DayStarter: A special report on how taxpayers pay for Walmart security, veep Joe Biden visits and a big decision on Uber and Lyft

Today should be partly sunny, though a little warmer than yesterday, with highs in the mid to upper 80s. And if you think it's humid today, just wait for the dew point to creep up as the week continues, 10Weather WTSP says.

• 16,800 calls in a year. 46 a day. About 2 calls every hour. Police across Tampa Bay respond to one place more than anywhere else: Walmart. Read the story now at tampabay.com/walmartcops.

• Vice President Joe Biden will be in town today, giving a speech at the University of Tampa on U.S. policy in the western hemisphere. The event is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Follow reporters Richard Danielson ( @Danielson_Times), Sara DiNatale (@sara_dinatale), Paul Guzzo (@PGuzzoTimes) and photographer Zack Wittman (@zack_wittman) for updates throughout today.

• There's a Public Transportation Commission meeting set for 9 a.m., and this could be a big one: the PTC's governing board will consider an agreement with Uber and Lyft that could make ridesharing legal in Hillsborough County after two years of fighting. The taxi industry has gone to court to try to remove Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist as chairman of the PTC's board. As Crist told the Tampa Bay Times: "It's going to be a circus." Follow Christopher O'Donnell on Twitter (@codonnell_Times) for updates.

• Fans sure are happy about the Tampa Bay Lightning, but with the team on its way back to the Eastern Conference finals — and possibly the Stanley Cup — it raises the question of what might happen to three upcoming events at Amalie Arena: Disney On Ice from Thursday through Sunday, and concerts by R. Kelly on May 27 and Ellie Goulding on June 2. We break it down for nervous ticket holders.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including 10-time Grammy winner George Benson in Clearwater and a screening of Blue Velvet in a cult cinema series.

• Gulfport's beloved Peg's Cantina closed late last year, and on March 8 the Fish Bar and Grille debuted in the same spot. Our food critic Laura Reiley checked it out, and found a welcome newcomer offering honest seafood in a space casual enough for sports-watching. "Oh," she writes, "and the patio is dog-friendly. It's Gulfport, after all."

• Our performing arts critic Andrew Meacham checked out Broadway Bound, which winds up its run at Tampa's Stage Works Theatre this weekend, the third and final segment of Simon's autobiographical "Eugene trilogy." While you could say Neil Simon is a safe bet, there's nothing wrong with pleasing crowds with artistic excellence .

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Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

TORONTO – Blake Snell earned his team record and majors-most 21st win on Sunday as the Rays beat the Blue Jays 5-2.The victory improved the Rays to 87-68 and kept alive their slimmest chances to make the playoffs, though perhaps for only a few ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Find A Friend: Sweet Caroline the Tabby Kitten

Find A Friend: Sweet Caroline the Tabby Kitten

Put your paws in the air like you just don’t care! Sweet Caroline thinks good times never seemed so good. A bundle of gray stripes and spots, she and her litter mates were rescued at three weeks of age. Caroline’s the most social of the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Women's Expo to feature Tampa Bay Times staffers

Women's Expo to feature Tampa Bay Times staffers

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Times presents its inaugural Tampa Bay Women’s Expo and the event will include an opportunity to meet many of its key women staff writers and editors.Susan Taylor Martin (Senior Correspondent/Real Estate) and Manag...
Updated: 1 hour ago
USF assistant VP rides AHN wave of support to success

USF assistant VP rides AHN wave of support to success

Editor’s note: Academy of the Holy Names junior Tress Jacobs spent the summer of 2018 shadowing Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper. To conclude the experience, she interviewed Academy alumnus Kim Wilmath Hill and filed this report.By Tres...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to  testify at Kavanaugh hearing

Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to testify at Kavanaugh hearing

The woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers has committed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, her lawyers said Sunday. The lawyers said some details — including whe...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Stolen smokes: Florida man gets 20 years for cigarette theft

Stolen smokes: Florida man gets 20 years for cigarette theft

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida man who stole $600 worth of cigarettes from a convenience store has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.A jury in Pensacola convicted 48-year-old Robert Spellman of burglary and grand theft in August. Authori...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

One of the dominant storylines heading into Monday Night Football between the first-place Buccaneers and the last-place Steelers will be the things we didn’t expect to see. It’s the team that usually melts down against the team that actua...
Updated: 4 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

UPDATE, 12:14: Snell takes the mound today leading the AL in wins, ERA (1.97) and opponents average (.179). … Cash noted that Snell "is in elite company now with the Rays, and he has the chance to stand alone." …  The Rays note that ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida’s new top team

Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida’s new top team

After four full weekends of college football, here's what I know:There is one great team (Alabama). There are three very good teams (Georgia, Ohio State and Clemson).After that? There are a lot of flawed teams with messy results that seem bunched tog...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputies: Driver kills Brandon cyclist, 73, in hit-and-run

Deputies: Driver kills Brandon cyclist, 73, in hit-and-run

BRANDON — A cyclist died in what authorities said is a hit-and-run crash, according to the Hillsborough County Sherrif’s Office.John Dilgard, 73, was riding a mountain bike southbound on Kings Avenue S about 12:42 a.m., the agency reported.A vehicle ...
Updated: 5 hours ago