1. A high-altitude balloon floats over Billings, Mont., on Wednesday. The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple of days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down due to risks of harm for people on the ground, officials said Thursday. The Pentagon would not confirm that the balloon in the photo was the surveillance balloon.
  2. This scanning electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows rod-shaped Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. U.S. health officials are advising people to stop using the over-the-counter eye drops, EzriCare Artificial Tears, that have been linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday night, sent a health alert to physicians, saying the outbreak includes at least 55 people in 12 states. One died.
  3. The Florida High School Athletic Association has a draft plan to require high school student athletes to provide information about their menstrual history.
  4. Michael Lapniewski, 55, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday afternoon on a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the 1987 slaying of Opal Weil.
  5. In this April 11, 2022, photo, Steve Dettelbach, then President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, speaks during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The most expansive federal report in more than two decades on guns and crime shows a shrinking turnaround between the time a gun was purchased and when it was recovered from a crime scene.
  6. Could recreational marijuana be on Florida's 2024 ballot? Proponents have cleared a first hurdle.
  7. From left to right: The BayWalk shopping plaza's movie theater in 2009, The Sundial sculpture and a rendering of the renovations coming to the Sundial this year.
  8. Courses in "fairness and diversity" will no longer meet a continuing education requirement for judges, the Florida Supreme Court said.
  9. Archive photo of death row at Florida State Prison and Union Correctional Institution.
  10. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri was recognized this week as the 2022 Sheriff of the Year for his contributions to law enforcement nationwide.
  11. The Reedy Creek Improvement District Administration Building in Lake Buena Vista is seen in 2022.
  12. An excavator made numerous attempts to free a whale from the shoreline and move it onto Lydgate Beach in Kauai County, Hawaii, on Saturday. Scientists suspect the large sperm whale that washed ashore in Hawaii over the weekend may have died from an intestinal blockage because it ate large volumes of plastic, fishing nets, and other marine debris.
  13. A Pinellas detention deputy was arrested Tuesday on a battery charge in Hillsborough County, jail records show.
  14. Traders on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange watch Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's news conference after the Federal Reserve interest rate announcement in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.
  15. The National Weather Service is predicting rainfall around late morning Friday, along with a cold front that will cool down Tampa Bay.
  16. Comedian Jim Gaffigan will brin "The Dark Pale Tour" to Tampa's Straz Center Feb. 9-11 for four shows that will be filmed for his next TV special. Photo courtesy Straz Center for the Performing Arts.
  17. Renderings of an improved Sundial shopping Center, courtesy of Behar and Peteranecz.
  18. Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, while Vice President Dan McGinley reads the scroll during the 137th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Thursday.
  19. The Tampa Police union announced its endorsements late Wednesday for City Council races in the March 7 election.
  20. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was searching for two people who fled a Temple Terrace shooting Wednesday in this black Kia Soul.
  21. The former home of "Cheers" actress Kirstie Alley was listed for sale. Alley died in December.
  22. State Rep. Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, has filed legislation to create universal education savings accounts for Florida K-12 children. Gov. Ron DeSantis did not include funding for the concept in his proposed 2023-24 budget.
  23. Life insurance companies aren’t automatically notified when someone dies.
Today's Featured Advertisers
Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Subscribe to our free DayStarter newsletter

We’ll deliver the latest news and information you need to know every weekday morning.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options