Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

The Daystarter: A playground for law enforcement, Trump's transition shakeup, and where Christmas trees will light up Tampa Bay starting tonight

• Wake up to temperatures in the mid-50s early today. We can expect sunny skies and afternoon highs in the 70s through Thursday, according to 10Weather WTSP

10News WTSP

The latest 7-day forecast

10News WTSP

Feels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area

• As you head out for your morning commute, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.

• A free playground for law enforcement? That's what some are calling Dade Oaks, an abandoned public housing complex in Pasco County that is set for demolition in January. In the meantime, cops from throughout the region have been using it as a staging area for training.

• The bloodletting in President-elect Donald Trump's transition team that began with last week's ouster of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie escalated Tuesday with new departures, particularly in the area of national security, as power consolidated within an ever-smaller group of top Trump loyalists. See who's on their way out.

• It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but tonight the lights get powered up on the massive tree in Ybor City, marking the start of many, many local holiday events through the end of the year. Here are the details on that tree-lighting ceremony and some others coming up across the Tampa Bay area in the coming weeks.

• Three local government agencies are putting together a rescue package for families stuck paying mortgages on government subsidized homes blighted by toxic drywall. Hillsborough County plans to partner with the city of Tampa and the Tampa Housing Authority to rehabilitate four homes in Belmont Heights and provide temporary accommodation during the work, which could take up to six months.

• The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is set to start two days of meetings at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. The meetings start at 8:30 a.m. and the top item on the agenda for Wednesday is a discussion about the future of the Florida panther, and the FWC's rules for them and for all of its other imperiled species. Follow Craig Pittman at @craigtimes for updates.

• According to a recent consultant's report, the University of South Florida system's efforts to commercialize research discoveries and newly patented technologies is having a pretty significant impact on the state — to the tune of more than $400 million.

• After months of lawsuits, accusations and acrimony, Hillsborough's Public Transportation Commission narrowly approved an agreement for rideshare companies Uber and Lyft to let passengers use a cellphone app to summon a driver-for-hire in his or her own car. However, columnist Sue Carlton writes, there's still a lot of messiness to sort out.

• We've had a lot of big concert announcements this week. Bruno Mars is coming back to Tampa, Willie Nelson will be at the Strawberry Festival and the New Kids On the Block and Boyz II Men are bringing along Paula Abdul for their "Total Package Tour" next summer. Find all latest music news on our Soundcheck blog.

• Beauty ahead. Art critic Lennie Bennett reviews Anne Patterson's installation, "Pathless Woods," the inaugural exhibition at Ringling's new Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery of Contemporary Art.

• Food critic Laura Reiley checked out Santa Fe Mexican Grill in Largo, which in a few weeks will open another location in Pinellas Park.Read her review here on the growing empire built on heaping Tex-Mex plates.

• Cheese is a staple of many Thanksgiving recipes, but grating it can be a messy proposition. In this Food Hack video, food editor Michelle Stark shows how to keep things clean as you prepare your favorite dishes.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including Santa's Flight Academy at International Plaza and Florida Orchestra's Coffee Concerts at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

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Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

High school students from both sides of Tampa Bay will commemorate the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings on Friday, although in very different ways.In St. Petersburg, students from several schools will gather at noon at City Hall for...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Students remember Columbine; 98Rockfest is back; and the pier moves forward

The Daystarter: Students remember Columbine; 98Rockfest is back; and the pier moves forward

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• A dry cold front moved through the bay area overnight but it won’t affect temperatures much. It might be a little cooler in the North Suncoast, but that’s it. Bay area highs will stil...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
St. Petersburg celebrates with long tables and literacy

St. Petersburg celebrates with long tables and literacy

At 500 feet, this year’s Longest Table really was the longest table yet for the annual WUSF fundraiser. That’s 200 feet longer than last year. More than 1,100 supporters of the radio station ate dinner at the table stretching between the Museum of Fi...
Published: 04/20/18
Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions. The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 ...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Crabby Bill’s founder Bill Loder dies at 86

Crabby Bill’s founder Bill Loder dies at 86

LARGO — Bill Loder, who founded the Crabby Bill’s seafood restaurant in Indian Rocks Beach, died at Largo Medical Center Thursday afternoon.Mr. Loder, 86, had trouble breathing early in the day and was rushed to the hospital, said his son Matt Loder....
Updated: 15 minutes ago
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

ST. PETERSBURG — Beef jerky, mayonnaise and Altoids mints were the only edible things in view inside one of the houses. There was no running water. The refrigerator was empty. A bed sat on top of the deteriorating living room floor. Cigarette butts b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

ST. PETERSBURG — An old friend is back in the lineup.The Kiwanis of Gulf Beaches Miracle League, which champions baseball for the physically and mentally challenged, returned with a flourish Saturday morning. We're better for it."This...
Updated: 1 hour ago