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Daystarter: Tallahassee, don’t tread on St. Pete’s ban on plastic straws; Florida politics may change Parkland legislation; Lightning offense shines vs. Stars

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.

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TOP NEWS

 

South Tampa lawyer known for suing nursing homes puts house on market for $11 million

The house is among a growing roster of Tampa Bay homes priced at more than $10 million.

The South Tampa mansion of attorney Jim Wilkes, who made a fortune and a national name suing nursing homes, is on the market for $11 million. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
 

Locale Market in St. Petersburg temporarily closed for health violations

The gourmet market in the Sundial shopping center was closed on Valentine’s Day night.

Katherine Plecas, 73, of St. Petersburg walks to the doors of Locale Market to read a closed sign Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 in St. Petersburg.  The sign which was posted on the entrance doors to the market read
 

Teen victims top 70 as detectives find more images recorded in Bloomingdale High changing area

Teacher Mark Ackett, 50, was charged with 311 more counts of video voyeurism and producing harmful...

Former Bloomingdale High School teacher Mark Ackett, 50, who was arrested and fired after deputies said he secretly recorded his students changing, now faces hundreds of new criminal charges in the case. The new total is 579 criminal counts. [Hillsborough County Sheriff?s Office]
 

‘They’re clearly high.’ Undercover drug operation targets U.S. 19 motel

Deputies were called out to the Rodeway Inn more than 600 times in 2018. The motel was plagued by...

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office conducted a six-month undercover narcotics operation that has so far resulted in 19 arrests for drug activity linked to the Rodeway Inn at 16405 U.S. 19 N in Largo. More arrests are expected. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
 

Family sues All Children’s after heart department death

The patient “had no idea about the turmoil within the program,” according to the lawsuit.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the former co-director of its Heart Institute are being sued for negligence during a fatal 2016 procedure. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
 

Does Tampa need a vice mayor?

The seven mayoral candidates debated that question at a Tampa Tiger Bay Club forum Friday.

Tampa mayoral candidates gather for a downtown forum in January. Friday, they discussed whether the next mayor should appoint a deputy mayor at the Tampa Tiger Bay Club. [Photo: Charlie Frago]
 

Life, liberty and the pursuit of parking

Eighty-thousand people will descend on downtown Tampa during Hamilton's 4-week run at the Straz.

Traffic is seen along W Cass Street near the intersection of Doyle Carlton Drive near the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 in Tampa. Patrons arriving for a performance of the hit Broadway show Hamilton were able to negotiate parking with limited issues. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
 

’I’m going home to a disaster’: Panhandle Republican rips Congress inaction on Hurricane Michael aid

The spending deal reached by Democrats and Republicans and signed by Trump failed to include...

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TimesFrom left: Lee Cathey, 37, Al Cathey, 71, and Charles Smith, 56, survey damage in the coastal township of Mexico Beach, population 1200, which lay devastated on Thursday (10/11/18) after Hurricane Michael made landfall on Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle. Al, sho said he is the mayor, believes 280 residents rode out the storm in their homes.
 

Tampa Bay Times introduces pay meter to support local journalism

Readers are being asked to pay for content on tampabay.com.

 
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EDITORIAL / OPINION

 

Editorial: Floridians’ unseen struggle

Even in a good economy, nearly half of Florida households scrape just to cover the basics.

Jayci Peters, left, with Feeding Tampa Bay assists a TSA employee with a box of food and personal hygiene products at a food bank set up at Tampa International Airport in January. The United Way says some 47 percent of Floridians don’t have money set aside to cover expenses for three months in case of an emergency, a number that was highlighted during the recent federal government shutdown. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
 

Nikki Fried: Delivering on Amendment 2’s promise — including smokable marijuana — requires all of Florida’s leaders working together.

As medicine, oils, tinctures, sprays and other forms of delivery have proven invaluable, but...

While sitting at her dining room table, Cathy Jordan of Parrish inhales a marijuana joint  held by her husband, Robert Jordan. Cathy was diagnosed 27 years ago with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times file photo

TOP BUSINESS NEWS

 

Payless ShoeSource to shutter all of its remaining US stores

It joins other iconic names such as Toys R Us in closing its stores.

A Payless ShoeSource store. [Associated Press (2008)]
 

What Tampa Bay area customers can expect as SunTrust and BB&T merge

The merger between the two large banks will likely take months and come with some challenges.

BB&T and SunTrust said earlier this month that they planned to merge, which would create the sixth-largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits. (Chris Urso | Times)

TOP SPORTS NEWS

 

Astros’ Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander rip Rays’ use of the opener strategy

‘I certainly wouldn’t pay for a ticket to watch a math equation,’ Cole said.

Astros pitchers Justin Verlander (left) and Gerrit Cole took aim Friday at the Rays' use of the opener. [JEFF ROBERSON | AP]
 

The Buccaneers have the most Republican-leaning NFL fan base in the country

A FiveThirtyEight poll determined the political affiliations of every team’s fans.

Republican Bucs fans outnumber Democrat Bucs fans by about 10 percent points, according to a poll commissioned by FiveThirtyEight. [Associated Press]
 

Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier joins camp

Keeping Kiermaier on the field is a key; also, Brandon Lowe is learning a new position.

Kevin Kiermaier reported to Rays camp Friday and got right to work. (MARC TOPKIN | Times)
 

How Kyler Murray can impact the Bucs’ draft

The Oklahoma quarterback could follow Baker Mayfield as a top pick, helping the Bucs’ options at...

Former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) announced his intention to focus on football, and the ripples of that news will carry through the NFL draft and perhaps to Tampa Bay. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
 

Experience has taught Rays pitcher Oliver Drake to pack light

The right-hander pitched for a major-league record five different clubs last season.

Oliver Drake throws a pitch Wednesday at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte. [TAILYR IRVINE | Times]
 
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TOP FEATURES NEWS

 

Where to shop this weekend: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, doll and bear shows

Don’t get your valentine a tired drugstore gift. We have ideas.

 

Weekend concert picks: Fleetwood Mac, Herbie Hancock, Dawes and more

Plus get details on Whigfest, the Zombies, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Copeland and other...

Fleetwood Mac, now featuring Neil Finn and Mike Campbell, will perform at Amalie Arena on Feb. 18. (Photo by PMK BNC)
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