The Daystarter: Read our Taylor Swift recap; what’s with that gigantic cube-shaped boat?; Jonchuck’s lawyers take novel approach ahead of trial

Taylor Swift performs at Raymond James Stadium on Tuesday night, bringing the Reputation Stadium Tour to Tampa. [TAILYR IRVINE   |   Times]
Taylor Swift performs at Raymond James Stadium on Tuesday night, bringing the Reputation Stadium Tour to Tampa. [TAILYR IRVINE | Times]
Published August 15
Updated August 15

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

• Scattered afternoon and evening showers expected, especially along Interstate 75, according to the National Weather Service. The high temperature will reach the upper 80s along the coast and the lower 90s inland.

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

• Did you go to Taylor Swift’s show in Tampa last night? Jay Cridlin reviews her emotional, heartfelt performance in our Soundcheck music blog.

• So what’s up with that gigantic, strangely cube-shaped boat that has been described as a Bond villain yacht? As it was sighted around the waters of Tampa Bay, rumors flew that it was owned by a celebrity or a pro athlete or someone who can’t set foot on U.S. soil. None of those stories turned out to be true. But it is a heck of an engineering marvel.

• In the coming trial of a father accused of tossing his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge to her death — and now faces the death penalty — nothing is normal. "It’s an unusual case," said Pinellas County Clerk Ken Burke. "Unusual rules generally apply." With the murder trial of John Jonchuck scheduled to begin in six weeks, his attorneys have begun filing a flurry of motions to give Jonchuck the best chance of acquittal — and, if found guilty, the best chance to remain alive. Some of the motions are routine in cases with the death penalty on the table, but some are very unusual.

• Food trucks, grocery stores, restaurants and any business that serves food and drink in the city could face some big changes in the way they use plastic and polystyrene products in the coming years. Imagine paying 5 cents for each plastic bag at a grocery store. And say goodbye to those Styrofoam to-go containers. Reducing plastic straws, plastic bags, and Styrofoam has remained a hot topic in St. Petersburg and nationally. Read about city council’s latest efforts to cut back on single-use plastics.

• Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Nash denied a claim from George Zachary Chronister that he should be immune from prosecution under Florida’s stand your ground law. Chronister, 24, is the son of Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. The judge ruled after seeing this video, Dan Sullivan writes.

• President Donald Trump is moving ahead on the Space Force. Vice President Mike Pence laid out plans for a sixth military branch during a speech this month at the Pentagon. But experts told Politifact the Space Force is probably not as exciting or likely to exist as the Trump team makes it sound.

• Mayor Bob Buckhorn is sounding more and more like a serious candidate for lieutenant governor, especially when he speaks about the prospect himself, and he has been closely aligned as a possible running mate with Gwen Graham. But a Buckhorn candidacy raises the prospect that he’ll be leaving the mayor’s job in September, eight months before his term ends — elevating City Council Chairman Frank Reddick to the position and giving Tampa its first African-American mayor. Charlie Frago has the details.

• The Aug. 28 primary is almost here Florida. Time to start researching the candidates using the Tampa Bay Times 2018 Florida Voter Guide. Find out everything you need to know about those running for governor, the Legislature and your local governments.

• The return the Rays got from the Pirates for Chris Archer already looked good. Right-hander Tyler Glasnow has been increasingly impressive in three starts using his high-octane fastball and cruel breaking balls, and outfielder Austin Meadows has shown the talent and skills at Triple-A Durham they are confident will translate when promoted, presumably in the next few weeks. And then the deal got better Tuesday, when the player to be named turned out to be named Shane Baz, a touted right-handed pitching prospect who was the No. 12 overall pick in last year’s draft. Read more from Marc Topkin.

• Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are having a flash sale this week that can save more than $50 on admission, but it expires Sunday.

• From our food editor: You’ll fall in love with this Blueberry Foole, a different take on dessert.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including stoner comic Doug Benson at the Improv and a preview performance of Jobsite Theater’s popular Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

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