Daystarter: Bob Gualtieri the star cop in Florida politics; arming teachers bill law goes into effect Oct. 1; is JPP’s injury the greatest case of Bucs luck ever?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.
Published May 9
Updated May 9

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

• Expect the usual: Highs in the upper 80s to low 90s with scattered afternoon thundershowers and storms, according to the National Weather Service. Lows will be in the upper 60s to low 70s.

• It costs money to produce quality journalism. Please support the Tampa Bay Times by buying a digital subscription to Florida’s best newspaper and its redesigned website tampabay.com.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including Australian dance trio Rufus du Sol, the St. Petersburg Opera takes you on an exploration of music and comedian Kristina Kuzmic brings “parenting comedy at its finest.”

• A nationwide timeshare scam was run right out of Pinellas County and cost more than 100 victims millions. But Susan Taylor Martin write that the scandal also cost a St. Petersburg lawyer his name and reputation —until the cops finally caught the scammer.

• Kenneth Prince James Prince faces three counts of attempted murder. The 39-year-old man critically wounded two women in a shooting attack outside their apartment had a history of run-ins with those neighbors over noise complaints and threats of violence.

• The Pasco County Professional Firefighters Local 4420 filed a Chapter 11 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa on April 1 that, if granted, would allow it to reorganize its debts tied to a jury verdict and legal fees awarded to two firefighters who said they faced union retaliation after filing discrimination complaints a dozen years ago.

• Check out the Times online Business page for the latest on the economy, jobs, real estate, retail and workplace culture.

• Busch Gardens is a premier tourist destination. So why doesn’t Busch Boulevard reflect that? It’s time, for the city to transform that Busch Boulevard corridor and its neighborhoods into a proper “gateway to our best tourist attractions.” said Mel Lohn founded of Mel’s Hot Dogs.

A bicyclist was killed Wednesday night after she was struck by an SUV, according to the Clearwater Police Department.

• An investigation into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz will proceed, the Florida Bar said Wednesday, meaning the Panhandle Republican could face discipline for allegedly intimidating President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. Times Police Editor Steve Contorno reports that a grievance committee will next decide whether there is probable cause that Gaetz’s tweet broke the state Supreme Court’s rules for lawyers. Gaetz, one of Trump’s top allies in Congress, is licensed to practice law in Florida.

• Hepatitis A is on the rise in Florida, and Tampa Bay has the highest number of reported cases in the state. Justine Griffin explains what you need know about the infection and how it might affect you.

• There are plenty of disillusioned residents in the Panhandle as federal aid to help rebuild areas ravaged by Hurricane Michael remains stalled in Congress. Yet Emily Mahoney reports that didn’t stop several thousand people from showing up for President Trump’s rally in Panama City Beach.

• Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is now the star cop in Florida politics. Who is he, and how did he get there? The spotlight has followed him through immigration, stand-your-ground and Parkland.

Catholic churches in Pinellas launch program to improve access to mental health services. “We want to make sure we are giving the support people need. People do seem to be carrying more and more emotional baggage these days,” said the Rev. Gary Dowsey, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes.

• The Hernando County Commission received a dozen applications to choose its next county administrator, the list includes acting county administrator Jeff Rogers, who commissioners have said could have a good chance at the position. The salary range for the job was not in the job posting and will be discussed when a candidate is chosen.

• The Florida Legislature has finished the 2019 session. But what exactly did lawmakers do? The Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau has coverage of all the fallout coverage from the state capital at the The Buzz.

• With little fanfare, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Wednesday that allows teachers to be armed in classrooms of public schools. Emily Mahoney writes that, though it was one of the most contentious bills of the 2019 legislative session, DeSantis drew as little attention as possible to making it law, holding no news conference or ceremony. Instead, his office just sent out an email.

• Attorneys with the Southern Poverty Law Center named the state agency and Secretary Mark Inch as defendants in the lawsuit, which contends state prison officials “discriminate against people with disabilities in its use of isolation”.

• For the latest education coverage, make sure to read The Gradebook. And check out the Gradebook podcast as education reporter Jeffrey Solochek leads a weekly discussion about Florida education.

• While the House Justice Committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for failing to deliver an unredacted copy of the Mueller report and ignoring other subpoeanas, Times Political Editor Steve Contorno reports that a Republican group released video of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio making the case for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign after he was found in contempt of Congress in 2012. “No one can be above the law, not even the Attorney General,” Rubio says in the clip.

• A Hillsborough circuit judge ruled Wednesday that 3-year-old Noah McAdams must immediately resume the first phase of chemotherapy to treat his leukemia against the wishes of his parents, reports Tony Marrero. Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball wanted to use medical marijuana and other natural remedies to treat their son instead of chemotherapy. But experts say it’s the most effective treatment to keep the child’s cancer from returning.

Here’s an important fact about timeshares: It can be a lot easier to buy one than sell one. Unfortunately, most of the ways to unload an unwanted timeshare come with downsides. You can get rid of them, though.

• Wallet a little light? Here are 5 things to do under $5 this week, including Train Day at Tampa’s historic Union Station to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s golden spike, star gazin in the park and a comic convention in a library called LibCon.

• Sunday is Mother’s Day and we have a guide to brunches offered at Tampa Bay area restaurants. And there are a number of attractions offering free admission for moms this weekend so you can spend some time together.

• Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls. She recently learned that many moms want to fly solo on Mother’s Day. As shocking as it sounds, we do not want to be with our offspring. Of course we love our children to the moon and back, but for this day to truly be about us, we need to be free. In the spirit of self-preservation I am claiming a spa day and maybe a nice quiet hotel room where I can get a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

• The Broadway production of Anastasia is dazzling (if not historically accurate), but it’s running through Sunday at Tampa’s Straz Center.

• The Times online Arts and Entertainment page tells you everything you need to know about what to do, see, eat and experience around town.

Local craft beer of the week: Nitro Golden Stout, Carrollwood Brewing Company

• Check out the Times photo and video channels for the most compelling visuals.

• Read the Tampa Bay Times online Sports page with the latest news about the Lightning, Bucs, Rays, Bulls, Gators, Noles and high school sports. Times sportswriter Rick Stroud has the latest reaction and analysis from the whole team via our Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast.

• The Rays made too many mistakes in dropping a 3-2 game to the Diamondbacks, writes Marc Topkin, such as Tommy Pham getting picked off first in the bottom of the 12th with one out. But there were plenty of other mistakes.

• The Rays have started this season strong, but can they keep it up? Rays beat writer Marc Topkin will be there every step of the way. Follow him at @TBTimes_Rays.

• The Bucs’ best pass rusher, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, could be out for the season and the news is bad even by the Bucs’ historic standards. Learn about the 911 call Pierre-Paul made after he crashed his Ferrari into an Interstate 95 wall near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

• Donovan Smith offensive lineman brought several Bucs teammates out for bowling event on Monday to benefit Austism Speaks. His 10-year-old nephew Aiden has nonverbal autism, so working to raise awareness and money for research is something that’s become close to him.

• Sports columnist writes that Jason Pierrer-Paul may be the greatest example of Bucs luck in the history of the Bucs.

• Get the latest Bucs news as coach Bruce Arians gets ready for the 2019 season and follow Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD on Twitter and fellow beat writer Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard.

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