Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

The DayStarter: Get ready for tonight's Bolts game with a live chat; also, Hillsborough sets a date for another sales tax talk

Some thunderstorms may linger into the morning, 10Weather WTSP reports, so account for potential rain during your commute. Highs should reach the low 80s.

• One February night two years ago, a Tampa police officer stopped a Chevy sedan on Gandy Boulevard after the driver turned in front of oncoming traffic. Officers said the driver had alcohol on his breath, was slurring his speech and failed sobriety tests. But a breath test registered .000. Prosecutors eventually dropped the DUI charge, but now the driver is suing the city, accusing officers of false arrest and malicious prosecution. The suit says the 73-year-old driver, who had early dementia, was too old and feeble to be able to perform field sobriety tests. Look for Tony Marrero's story later this morning.

• Hillsborough County commissioners are expected to set the date for what will be another contentious debate over whether to raise the sales tax to pay for transportation. The public hearing is tentatively set for June 9. Be sure to check our Bay Buzz blog for updates.

• Lightning beat writer Joe Smith will chat live from 1–2 this afternoon before covering tonight's game against the Penguins.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including blues-rock band Shakey Graves at St. Pete's State Theatre and a Main Street Shop Hop along Central Avenue.

• The Broadway hit If/Then continues today through Sunday at Tampa's Straz Center. Our performing arts critic Andrew Meacham talked to the Pulitzer-winning writer and composer team and found that, as in their show, fate played a big part in their success.

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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

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Updated: 15 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