The Daystarter: The FitzMagic is FitzGone as Bucs fall 30-27; businesses struggle to get Red Tide aid; DeSantis takes shots at media

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) prepares to stiff arm Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Jordan Whitehead (31) during the third quarter of the Bucs' 30-27 loss on Monday Night Football. [MONICA HERNDON  |   Times]
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) prepares to stiff arm Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Jordan Whitehead (31) during the third quarter of the Bucs' 30-27 loss on Monday Night Football. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published September 25 2018
Updated September 25 2018

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

• Expect a repeat today of yesterday’s weather pattern: Storms will start inland and push into the coat in the evening hours, according to the National Weather Service. There will be a 60 percent chance of thundershowers with temps also high in the low to mid 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.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including the breakout star of this season’s Love and Hip Hop: Miami giving a talk at USF, and Draq Queen Bingo.

• The FitzMagic is FitzOver. Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s magic seemed to wear off in the 30-27 Monday Night Football loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite throwing for 411 yards and three touchdowns, Fitzpatrick was outdueled by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It didn’t help that Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions or that the offense, defense and special teams all made crucial mistakes.

• Columnist Tom Jones writes that despite the Bucs’ loss, this should still be an interesting week over at One Buc. Tampa Bay has two capable quarterbacks to choose from, a potent offense and the team is suddenly relevant in the NFL.

• Columnist Martin Fennelly reflects on the induction of former Bucs coach Tony Dungy into the team’s Ring of Honor. Dungy never won a Super Bowl here and was fired. Yet he remains beloved, and indispensable.

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

• As the only liquor store on his stretch of Pinellas County beaches, Mark Wilson is used to a steady stream of tourists from the nearby condos and hotels. Other beachfront businesses affected by the spread of Red Tide have started leaning on loan programs: a county bridge loan designed to tide them over until the low-interest federal disaster aid that opened last week kicks in. But as Wilson — who estimates he is losing up to $500 a day — has learned, not every small business is treated the same. Sara DiNatale has the details.

• Has Red Tide’s grip on the Pinellas coastline started to weaken? Craig Pittman reports that on Monday officials started scaling back their response and isn’t even monitoring beach conditions daily right now. But officials said that doesn’t mean Red Tide is gone.

• For the latest Red Tide developments, make sure to check tampabay.com.

• The Rays’ postseason hopes, as unlikely as they had seemed, officially ended with Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Yankees, manager Kevin Cash speaking for many saying they should be proud of what they did. And that doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to play for over the final week. Marc Topkin has the details.

• To get the latest Rays’ news, check out the Tampa Bay Times coverage down the home stretch.

• Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is fed up with all the questions about racists or racial controversies associated with his campaign. "If I have a crowd of 500 people, how the hell am I supposed to know who’s in the crowd?" he told reporters on Monday after complaints that the right-wing extremist group the Proud Boys showed up to his Sarasota rally over the weekend. Adam C. Smith reports that while DeSantis disavowed all those racial comments and activities, he accused the media of manufacturing a controversy.

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

• Land O’Lakes residents awoke to a grim situation: A Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot his wife, then turned the gun on himself and died in an act of suicide with four children inside the house. Wife Samantha Keithley sent this text to a friend hours earlier about husband Kirk Keithley: "Kirk has lost his mind Kristin," reports Howard Altman and Tony Marrero.

• Columnist John Romano explores an age-old (and age-related) problem: Why won’t young people vote? In 2014, only 23 percent of eligible voters ages 18-34 cast a ballot. That age group, then, is three times more likely not to vote in a congressional election, Romano writes.

• It took 5˝ hours, punctuated by 90 minutes of breaks to work out the fiscal math, but the Tampa City Council approved a more than $1 billion budget Monday after striking a deal that allows city employees to keep their current health insurance plan. The council approved the third and final version of the night by a 6-0 vote. Chairman Frank Reddick was absent for the final vote, although he was present for most of the meeting. Read more from Charlie Frago.

• Michael Drejka, the man who shot and killed Markeis McGlockton in the infamous Largo "stand your ground" case, was released from the Pinellas County jail on Monday. Kathryn Varn reports live from the scene as Drejka walked out while wearing an ankle-monitor.

• In March, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue sent paramedics to help an unconscious man. But authorities say a fire captain refused to let two vehicles into a neighborhood that he believed was riddled with gangs and drugs. Now Christopher O’Donnell reports that the captain’s job is on the line.

• Before he plays the Ritz Ybor in Tampa on Friday, we talked to "Honey, I’m Good" singer Andy Grammer about his new podcast, diving deep on religion and self-doubt with other celebrities and what it’s like to get booed off the stage in Las Vegas. Read all about it on ourSoundcheck music blog

• Performing arts critic Andrew Meacham checked out Freefall Theatre’s production of "The Fantasticks." It may be the longest running musical ever, but the ingenious artists at Freefall found a new way of making maximum use of a simple set, he says, calling it "a first-rate production that deserves to be seen." It runs through Oct. 21.

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

• From our food editor: This fall, become a master in cooking dried beans. Here’s how.

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