Friday, November 16, 2018
News Roundup

The Daystarter: Sharpton, candidates call for stand your ground repeal; Meyer had a mess at Florida, too; Putnam and Big Sugar

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

 

• We’ll have isolated afternoon and early evening thunderstorms, mainly south of Interstate 4, according to the National Weather Service. High temperatures will be in the upper 80s and low 90s.

 

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

 

• Plan your week! Here are the top things to do this week in Tampa Bay including pop icon Janet Jackson in Tampa on Tuesday and Fetish Con returns to downtown St. Petersburg.

 

• On Sunday, as about 400 people filled a Clearwater church, the Rev. Al Sharpton and all five Democratic candidates for governor condemned Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law. Times staff writers Tracey McManus and Langston Taylor were there. You can read their story this morning on tampabay.com.

 

• Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is the only candidate for governor from either party this year who is accepting campaign contributions from Big Sugar. And they’ve poured a lot into his PAC, Craig Pittman reports. Putnam has been getting sugar contributions since he first ran for the Legislature in 1996. Now it’s as if Putnam’s interests and those of Big Sugar are identical — to the point where he’s even hired sugar’s favorite consultant as a state consultant on Everglades issues, and written rules for Lake Okeechobee runoff that let the sugar industry duck responsibility for pollution there.

 

• There’s no template guiding who gets paid what among city governments in the Tampa Bay area. In fact, the man who runs the smallest of the region’s Big Three cities makes a lot more than the man who runs the biggest. And two of them supervise payrolls that actually have shrunk in the past 10 years while one is paying out a couple of million dollars more. Read the analysis of city government payrolls by Charlie Frago and Connie Humburg.

 

• Columnist Ernest Hooper writes that there is an increased need for crisis counseling on college campuses, a point driven home this week by the suicide of a student at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland. For students heading off to college, and for parents preparing to say farewell to a young adult headed off to college, he writes that suicide is a topic we can’t shy away from.

 

• Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson said the Trump administration reached a new low by charging detained immigrant parents high fees to call the children they were separated from at the border. "The Trump administration has been charging detained parents, get this, as much as $8 a minute to call their children," Nelson, D-Orlando, said July 23 on the Senate floor. "And the children were separated from the parents because the administration separated them; $8 a minute if you want to talk to your child. That is a new low." Read PolitiFact Florida’s analysis of Sen. Nelson’s claim.

 

• Check out what happened at the big concerts this past weekend, including country’s Miranda Lambert, the last Vans Warped Tour ever and pop and rap stars Kesha and Macklemore in Tampa. Read the reviews on our Soundcheck music blog

 

• As kids across the Tampa Bay area prepare to return to school, physicians are gearing up for the start of the fall sports season and the head injuries that inevitably follow. Concussion diagnoses are on the rise, especially in youth sports in Florida, said Dr. Patrick Mularoni with AllSports Medicine, a program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital that serves youth athletes from Sarasota to Pasco counties. Over the last five years, the program has diagnosed and treated at least 3,000 concussions in children, he said. But other physicians say the concern goes well beyond children. Read Justine Griffin’s story later this morning on tampabay.com.

 

• Urban Meyer, who hit the heights at Florida, might lose his job as Ohio State coach over revelations in the Zach and Courtney Smith case. Meyer’s thousand-yard stare, winning at all costs, should cost him his job if he knew as much as he seems to have known about the domestic abuse allegations against now former Buckeyes receivers coach Smith. Sports columnist Martin Fennelly writes Meyer had a mess while Gators coach, too.

 

• You might not want to think about Halloween in August, but you can save money if you buy $29.99 Howl-O-Scream tickets before Busch Gardens ends the sale at midnight Tuesday. Meanwhile, Universal has an online ticket deal that can save up to $52 for Halloween Horror Nights.

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