Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

Your DayStarter: Today's weather (more rain — but free coffee), spacewalk, GOP debate and Amazon opening

Most of the rain should have tapered off overnight, but showers will likely linger through the morning with a high in the low 80s. Good news, though: WTSP 10Weather has a dry forecast for Halloween and the rest of the weekend.

• Today, the ongoing wrangling over how to carve up the Florida Senate's districts to meet court mandates is finally coming to a head — at least in the Senate. Members are expected to vote on a proposed map. From there, the issue heads to the House … and then likely back to court … and then … well, in the meantime, keep up with the latest at tampabay.com/politics and follow @MaryEllenKlas.

• Years of neglect and $100 million in budget cuts have created chaos at Florida's mental hospitals, leaving violent patients unsupervised and easily able to attack workers and other patients. A new Tampa Bay Times investigation launches online tomorrow, but you can watch the trailer video today.

Today's a good one for foodies. For coffee lovers, Kahwa is opening its eighth location and first drive-through, with local celebrity Anthony "OxiClean" Sullivan handing out java, and in Seminole Heights the much-anticipated Tampa spin on the red-hot ramen trend debuts. Later this week, new foodie-approved restaurants are coming to Gulfport (Boca Bay Grille) and Tampa (BT To Go).

• Two U.S. astronauts, Commander Scott Kelly and flight engineer Kjell Lindgren will embark on the first spacewalks of their careers outside the International Space Station for station upgrades and maintenance tasks. NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:45 a.m., with the spacewalk scheduled to begin at 8:10 a.m.

• Catch the third Republican presidential debate at 8 tonight on CNBC, featuring frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has seen a surge since the last debate. Keep your eye on @PolitiFact for live fact-checking.

• This morning at 10:30, Amazon celebrates the opening of a new fulfillment center in Lakeland that will employ 2,000 people. Follow retail reporter Justine Griffin on twitter at @SunBizGriffin for updates, then visit tampabay.com/money around noon for a full story.

Thomas Bassinger charts all the passes from the Bucs' Jameis Winston and analyzes his latest performance. Check it out on your lunch break at tampabay.com/bucs.

The top things to do today include radio-friendly hitmakers Kansas carrying on in Clearwater and an Ybor preview of Gainesville's popular punk music concert series, Fest.

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St. Petersburg police sergeant demoted after throwing bullet at fellow officer

St. Petersburg police sergeant demoted after throwing bullet at fellow officer

ST. PETERSBURG — A long-tenured St. Petersburg police sergeant and executive vice president of the local police union is being demoted to the rank of officer after he threw a bullet at another sergeant while on duty, the department said Wednesday.Jam...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Allegiant Air mechanics ask to be represented by Teamsters

Allegiant Air mechanics ask to be represented by Teamsters

Allegiant Air mechanics filed with the federal government Wednesday to be represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. If the petition is passed, the union would negotiate on behalf of the mechanics and related technicians on issues suc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

GLENDALE, Ariz — Nikita Kucherov’s toughest challenge isn’t facing Canadiens goalie Carey Price, or Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky.It comes in practice against Andrei Vasilevskiy. "I’ve been saying, I thought he was going to be the top goalie in the leag...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Thefts from cell towers in Ruskin, Gibsonton interrupt service, deputies say

Thefts from cell towers in Ruskin, Gibsonton interrupt service, deputies say

Lost phone signal recently?The culprit might be a Ruskin man who stole thousands of dollars of equipment that had powered Verizon and T-Mobile towers, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The theft interrupted cell tower signals on ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Train strikes stalled semi, out spills frozen chicken, beef and fish

LAKELAND — Residents got some frozen treats the hard way Wednesday morning, hours after a CSX train struck a semitrailer truck, splitting it in half and spilling its load of frozen beef, chicken and fish onto the roadway.The train was traveling from ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

TAMPA — So, this is Christmas.The Bucs are having an awful season. There is no way around it. Star receiver Mike Evans isn’t having a great year, either, not nearly as many catches or touchdowns as last season, when he was selected for the Pro Bowl.S...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Highlands County students hurt when semi hits school bus

Four Highlands County school children and their bus driver were injured Wednesday morning when their school bus was struck by a semitrailer truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place just before 8 a.m. on U.S. 27 and Lake Pla...
Updated: 2 hours ago

When to see the Geminid Meteor Shower light up Tampa Bay (w/video)

Folks around Tampa Bay will be treated to quite the light show Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.And it has nothing to do with Christmas.The Geminid Meteor Shower will produce as many as 120 meteors per hour.The best time to view? We hope yo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Goodman: The night Alabama woke up America

Goodman: The night Alabama woke up America

After weeks during which the people of Alabama were prejudged as incapable or unwilling to decipher right from wrong, they proved themselves by blazing a new path to virtue.They defied tradition. They defied political party. They defied the elites wh...
Updated: 2 hours ago