The Daystarter: Glenn Beck reflects on Tampa; meat-free options for Thanksgiving; a caution for online shoppers

Published Nov. 21, 2018

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

• This day before Thanksgiving will be sunny with the high reaching 75, according to the National Weather Service. Tonight we should see a low around 61. Looking ahead, expect much the same weather on Thursday with slightly warmer temperatures on Black Friday and a good chance of rain on Saturday.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including a Lightning home game and a Thanksgiving Eve bar crawl, and it's not too early to plan your weekend.

• Glenn Beck is one of America's most polarizing right-wing figures. Before that, he hosted a talk show in Tampa. As he returns to the Straz Center on Nov. 30, he spoke with Jay Cridlin and reflected on the city that created him.

• In a week known for its hearty, meaty indulgences, our writer checked out the many meat-free options out there that could be classified as indulgent comfort food on their own.

• As you shop online over the next few weeks, here's something to keep in mind: Tampa Bay ranks No. 9 for metro areas with the highest numbers of thefts by "porch pirates," people who steal packages from in front of residences, according to a ranking released this week by home security company SafeWise. Read about the ranking in this report by Times business writer Malena Carollo.

• When the Wall Street Journal recently released a list of the nation's top airports, Tampa International was conspicuously left off the list. There was a legitimate reason for that. But that didn't stop @FlyTPA fans from protesting on social media. Business columnist Graham Brink explains what happened this morning at, and why we love our airport, on this day when many will be passing through it.

• Two St. Petersburg teens killed early Monday in the crash of a stolen car are remembered by relatives and friends as kids who held promise but took some wrong turns in life. Zachary T. Sampson has the story..

• On Tuesday afternoon, the entire Bucs offensive line spent two hours handing out Thanksgiving dinners — a turkey, sides, cooking and storage supplies, a pie and a $20 Publix gift card — to 1,000 families. Bucs beat writer Eduardo A. Encina reports on this great team tradition and how it got started. Also read his report about former Bucs stars John Lynch and Ronde Barber being selected as semifinalists for this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot.

• The Florida Gators' chances of making a prestigious New Year's Six bowl game improved last night with the latest round of the College Football Playoff committee rankings. They jumped two spots to No. 11. College football beat writer Matt Baker reports on how that may play out, given this weekend's schedule. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MBakerTBTimes

• Speaking of bowl games, how does Bulls vs. FSU in the Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium strike you? It could happen. Beat writer Joey Knight lays out the possibilities. Check for that and other Bulls news here. And follow Joey on Twitter at @TBTimes_Bulls.

• We've heard a lot about Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis, who will officially take office Jan. 8. But what about the rest of state government? Both chambers of the Florida Legislature elected their leaders Tuesday, and those folks have definite ideas about how they will govern over the next two years. Read capital reporter Emily Mahoney's report from Tallahassee.

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• On this we probably agree: Government records open to the public are generally a good thing, columnist Sue Carlton writes. Being able see for yourself online what public officials, those who would influence them and also your fellow citizens are up to — who's donating to which campaigns, who's getting arrested, what politicians will take up at their next meeting — all good. On the subject of online arrest records, maybe we can agree on this, too: You, person of the world, are smart enough to know the difference between an arrest and a conviction and that charges sometimes get reduced or dropped. So a recent change at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office that means you can no longer easily look up arrest records dating back decades online is worth talking about.

• For other news about Florida politics, make sure to check The Buzz.

• And read The Gradebook for education news in Tampa Bay and across Florida.

• Check out the latest business news from the Times on the economy, jobs, real estate and retail.

• The Times can keep you up-to-date on the Lightning's quest for the Stanley Cup: Click here for the latest news throughout the season. For the latest updates on @Twitter, follow Lightning beat writers Diana C. Nearhos at @dianacnearhos and Nick Kelly at @_NickKelly.

• Two former Bucs stars, safety John Lynch and cornerback Ronde Barber, are among 25 semifinalists on next year's Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot.The latest Times coverage of the Bucs is just a click away at For the latest team news on @Twitter, follow beat writers Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD and Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard.

• C.J. Cron, who hit 30 home runs for the Rays last season, appears to be on the way out as the team made room on its 40-man roster for five prospects late Tuesday. Rays beat writer Marc Topkin reports on the impact of the move. For other offseason news, click here and follow Marc on @Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

• Check out the latest episode of the Times sports podcast Sports Day Tampa Bay led by veteran sportswriter Rick Stroud.

• A new episode of our Life of the Party podcast is due out soon. But did you catch the last one? The topic: 5 books to never discuss at a party. Times staffers Stephanie Hayes and Brittany Volk discuss what's going on, from celebrity news to movies and music, plus offbeat info that will make you the most interesting person in the room.

• Don't just write the right way — write the Lane way. Keep up with Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Lane DeGregory's podcast, WriteLane, and learn about her approach to the craft of storytelling.