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The Daystarter: Latest on fiery semitrailer crash at I-75; Florida's governor's race is tied; the U.S. Senate race is getting ugly

Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published Oct. 3, 2018

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

• It's going to be another hot one. The record is 94 degrees at Tampa International Airport, set in 1990. But the forecast calls for 94, a tie, according to the National Weather Service. The average high is 86. Blame the humidity. And no rain expected to cool us down.

• Eastbound E Fowler Avenue remained closed early this morning after a deadly, fiery crash left one dead and shut down Interstate 75 for hours on Tuesday. The Florida Highway Patrol said the crash started when another vehicle struck a semitrailer, causing it to plummet over the interstate overpass and crush a vehicle below. Stay with tampabay.com for the latest details on the horrific crash.

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

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including Mean Girls on the Tampa Theatre's Rewind Move Series and Draq Queen Bingo.

• No surprise, the latest poll finds the contest for Florida's next governor to be tied between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis. Adam C. Smith writes that independents are evenly split between the two candidates.

• The first debate between U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger, Gov. Rick Scott, proved one thing: The most expensive U.S. Senate race in the country may also be the nastiest.

• For the latest in Florida politics, make sure to check The Buzz.

• Marlin Financial has stopped taking new customers as state investigators scrutinize its business practices, reports Malena Carollo. The website of the online auto lender said it is "no longer accepting new loan applications" as of the end of September.

• And read the Tampa Bay Times investigation into how Marlin's loan practices stuck consumers with more debt than expected, charged interest rates about state limits and deprived customers of access to repossessed cars.

• For the latest business news, check out the Times business section.

• St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is keenly interested in the latest attempt to pass a transportation sales tax in Hillsborough County. All for Transportation is trying to convince Hillsborough voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax to pay for transportation improvements. And if it can be done there, reports Caitlin Johnston, then could it happen in Pinellas too?

• For the latest in Tampa Bay politics, make sure to check The Bay Buzz.

• Back in 2000, when then-Gov. Jeb Bush proposed ending affirmative action in Florida's universities, he found himself answering to more than a thousand angry Florida A&M University students who descended on the Capitol. One of the students leading that protest was a future politician named Andrew Gillum. Political reporters Lawrence Mower and Elizabeth Koh recount how that chapter helped launch Gillum's political career and now has him aiming for the governor's mansion.

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Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

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• Hundreds of family and friends filled the Bell Shoals Baptist Church Tuesday morning to honor a life cut short too soon: Samantha Keithley, who was killed Sept. 24 when her husband, a Hillsborough sheriff's deputy, shot her and then committed suicide. Howard Altman was at the funeral as family and friends said goodbye and told mourners to live their lives to the fullest.

• The Red Tide algae bloom plaguing Pinellas County's beaches doesn't just affect marine life, but also human life. The bloom's toxins can get picked up by breezes and blown towards land. For those with respiratory problems, the toxins can produce more severe symptoms. But Craig Pittman reports that local and federal government agencies are working on a way to tell people when the beaches have bad air.

• Lightning center Tony Cirelli couldn't have asked for a better start to his NHL career last season: He played 17 games and scored two goals in the postseason. He'll be the team's third-line center for Saturday's opener, so the question now is, can Cirelli keep it up for an entire season as the Lightning take aim at winning the Stanley Cup?

• To keep up with the Lightning's quest for a Stanley Cup, make sure to click here throughout the season.

• Check out the latest episode of the Times podcast Sports Day Tampa Bay led by veteran sportswriter Rick Stroud. In this installment, hear about Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter's decision to name Jameis Winston the starting quarterback for the rest of the season, why the team shouldn't fire defensive coordinator Mike Smith, the end of the Rays' surprising 90-win season and the Lightning season-opener on Saturday.

• FitzMagic may be over (for now) but Bucs' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's early-season heroics still earned him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — or at least earned his jersey a place.

• The latest Bucs news is just one click away. Check out the Times coverage all season long.

• Instead of Taco Tuesday, our food editor has five recipe ideas here for National Taco Day

• Food critic Laura Reiley has some new restaurant openings of note incliuding a first of its kind in St. Petersburg, Sweet Stack Shack artisanal ice cream sandwich parlor, that lets you pick your cookies, your ice cream and toppings and Top Chef winner Fabio Viviani opens a restaurant in Tampa.

• For the latest education coverage, make sure to check The Gradebook.

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