Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

The Daystarter: Hillary Clinton's deep Sunshine State connections, the final presidential debate, and Hillsborough commissioners talk transportation

• Wednesday should be sunny with temperatures reaching the upper 80's, according to 10Weather WTSP.

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

• The final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is tonight at 9 in Las Vegas. PolitiFact will be live fact-checking the debate so keep PolitiFact.com open for your second-screen enjoyment. And if you want us to fact-check something, tweet @PolitiFact with #PolitiFactThis.

• Hillary Clinton's connections in Florida are about loyalty, longevity and Bill. Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam C. Smith profiles the Democratic nominee in the Sunshine State this morning on tampabay.com.

• The Hillsborough County Commission is set to meet at 9 a.m. to discuss how to spend $600 million set aside for road and safety improvements. After a failed effort to put a sales-tax referendum on the November ballot, last month the commission voted to set aside $600 million over the next 10 years for transportation. But transit advocates are expected to speak out against the plan because all the money is going to roads and none of it is going to public transportation. Follow Caitlin Johnston at @cljohnst for updates.

• Times columnist Sue Carlton discusses how even in a political world gone mad, truth in ads matters in the race between Republican State House Majority Leader Dana Young, who is squaring off against Tampa attorney and Democrat Bob Buesing for an open Florida senate seat — with strip club owner Joe Redner and Air Force reservist Sheldon Upthegrove running as no-party candidates. It's a close race that deserves a fair fight.

• The art committee for St. Petersburg's Pier project will meet at 9 a.m. to continue discussing what kind of art projects it should commission with its $400,000 budget. There will also be an update on the state of the $66 million Pier District project. Follow Waveney Ann Moore at @wmooretimes for updates.

Times food critic Laura Reiley checked out the fresh fare at D'Mexican, a comfortable and casual restaurant on the western end of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. It's in a nothing-special strip mall, but "what makes it worth reviewing is the quality of ingredients." Read her review here.

• We aren't breaking out the sweaters yet, but pumpkin patches are a sure sign of fall in the Tampa Bay area and we have loads of them sprouting up. Here's some of the ones we think are worth checking out And this weekend means we are fully into Halloween party season. Check out our Halloween page for parties, festivals, haunted houses and also stories on costume trends and "Trumpkin" pumpkins.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell and free tours of a replica of the schooner that shocked the world in 1851 by winning the first Americas Cup.

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Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

TAMPA — Mortar & Pestle, a fledgling Seminole Heights eatery with a mom-and-pop pharmacy theme, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Seacoast Bank was listed as the creditor with the largest unsecured claim: $1.4 million.The restaurant...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Column: It’s time for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to process concealed weapons licenses

It is hard to believe that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs didn’t discover for a year that an employee could not log into an account needed to see results of background checks that examined, among other things, whether applicants f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Twenty-five years ago, I was a reporter at WTSP-TV, out in the field covering Tampa Bay’s Independence Day celebrations. I expected an easy assignment talking about families and fireworks. Then the newsroom called with an urgent message: I needed to ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

Rays manager Kevin Cash's commitment to rest players and rotate playing time resulted in an unusual lineup combination for tonight's series and roadtrip finale vs. the Astros.Such as having rookie Willy Adames at second base, Joey Wendle at third, Ca...
Updated: 1 hour ago
15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

TAMPA — The contractors arriving at the Brandon home thought they were meeting with a potential customer. They were wrong.In fact, the would-be clients were undercover detectives and the contractors, lacking a license to ply their trade, left the hom...
Updated: 1 hour ago
As Border Patrol searches its buses, Greyhound is pulled into immigration uproar

As Border Patrol searches its buses, Greyhound is pulled into immigration uproar

He was a 12-year Miami resident originally from Trinidad, taken off a Greyhound bus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by U.S. Border Patrol agents in January.She was a 60-something Jamaican national who had just met her granddaughter for the first time, w...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Phil Mickelson has apologized four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the U.S. Open, saying his frustration got the best of him. The apology came Wednesday in a statement released by his ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Lucky’s Market is considering a move in to the old Albertsons box space in Clearwater, according to preliminary plans filed with the city. Lucky’s master broker, Rick Lewellyn, was listed on an agenda as discussing renovating the existing property wi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

LARGO — At least 12 families leased the same Largo home at the same time and lost as much as $4,300 each in a fraud scheme run by a couple who portrayed themselves as owners of the property, Largo police said.Police learned of the scheme Tuesday afte...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Developer proposes Sprouts Farmers Market for Land O’Lakes

Developer proposes Sprouts Farmers Market for Land O’Lakes

LAND O’LAKES – A Sarasota developer is proposing to turn a vacant Winn-Dixie store in central Pasco into a Sprouts Farmers Market or similar specialty grocer.Benderson Development filed preliminary plans Monday with Pasco County to redevelop the form...
Updated: 2 hours ago