Daystarter: What Florida teachers have to say about guns in the classroom; read about Florida's great lovebug crisis; one doctor seeks vengeance against those who sued him

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.
Start your day with tampabay.com.
Start your day with tampabay.com.
Published May 10
Updated May 10

 

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

 

• Typical Mid-May weather arrives this weekend, heralding the return of summer. It’ll be warm and humid with an up to 40 percent chance of thundershowers today, Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures will reach the 90s. But at least it’ll be a big cooler at night, in the 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 thrash metal legends Slayer saying farewell to Tampa, a free Pops in the Park concert and Tom Jones plays a sold-out Clearwater show.

 

• We got a preview of the new feature at the Dalí Museum in which they have brought Salvador Dalí back to life. Watch the video and tell us if you think this is creepy or cool. It’s certainly entertaining.

 

• Guns could be in the classroom as soon as next year. We spoke with nine teachers from across the state to hear their thoughts on the prospect of arming teachers as part of the guardian program.

 

• Another accident involving a firearm has claimed a life: This time a construction worker moving his gun from his waistband to his pocket stumbled and fired the weapon, striking one of his coworkers. Paul Guzzo writes about what deputies are saying about Wednesday’s deadly incident.

 

• The national spotlight continues to shine on Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, this time in the form of an interview Thursday on National Public Radio. She talked about becoming the first gay woman to lead a major city in the Southeast. She covered her decision to leave the Republican party in 2015 and hinted that she might use her star power in the Democratic Party as leverage for Tampa in the coming presidential election.

 

• A former emergency room doctor Scott Plantz, M.D, who spent a decade fighting off a medical malpractice case is suing the lawyer who first sued him, a well-known Pinellas lawyer Wil Florin of coming after him in bad faith. Plantz is seeking to recoup $3 million in damages, and asking for $10 million in punitive damages.

 

Hillsborough County is one of the most at-risk areas threatened by a measles outbreak in the U.S. this year, according to a national study published Thursday. Measles is easily transmitted, highly contagious and can be spread through the air. Each county’s at-risk ranking was derived from multiple factors, including international air travel, county population, the incidence rate of measles outbreaks and the number of non-medical vaccine exemptions reported in that particular county.

 

• It was the crisis that time forgot: In the 1960s and 1970s, lovebug infestations were so bad in Florida that drivers couldn’t go more than a few miles without having to pull over and try to clean their windshields. Gabrille Calise writes about that messy chapter in Florida history.

 

• The promise of Busch Boulevard has gone unfulfilled, many complain. The two-mile stretch of Busch from the interstate to McKinley Drive, where Busch Gardens’ main entrance, is particularly embarrassing to them because it is lined with liquor stores, pawn shops and cheap motels, writes Paul Guzzo. Especially because that’s what many tourists see of Tampa. So what are they going to do about it?

 

• For those who need to stock up on disaster supplies like a generator, batteries or tarps, the 2019 tax “holiday” extends from May 31 to midnight June 6. Here’s what the weeklong exemption on sales taxes on hurricane supplies includes.

 

• Free beer is coming back to SeaWorld this summer, a fan-favorite perk that’s been credited with boosting attendance there and at Busch Gardens. Here are details.

 

Tallahassee bureau reporter Emily Mahoney joins education Jeff Solochek for another episode of the Gradebook podcast as they review everything that happened in the 2019 session and what might come in the 2020 session.

 

• 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.

 

• Zillow the online real estate giant announced Thursday that it will start buying bay area homes through its Zillow Offers program early next year. Homeowners can sell to directly to Zillow, with closing in as little as seven days or as many as 90.

 

• Arts organizations generally don’t rely wholly on state funding to stay afloat. But without it, they are forced to lean harder on donors and patrons, sometimes in the form of higher ticket prices. They might schedule fewer performances or nix certain philanthropic or educational efforts, like after-school programs. And they might hire fewer performers or cut staff. Here are five takeaways on arts funding from the state’s 2019-20 budget.

 

• 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.

 

• 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.

 

• The Bucs Jameis Winston have won 21 of the games in which Winston has started. They should have won seven more. Before you nod, know this: Wins are a terrible way to judge a quarterback. Sure, he plays the most important position, but there are 21 other paid professional athletes on the field at the same time.

 

• Tampa Catholic graduate Alec Barklage’s cancer conquest highlights Sneaker Soiree. Barklage’s award provided the culmination for an evening recognizing feats, fandom and community service on the local sports landscape. Seffner Christian senior Brylee Bartram, who became the nation’s career high school leader in 3-pointers (boy or girl) this past winter, was named a Sports Community Hero.

• A year and a half after his hire, Florida coach Dan Mullen has hit his first major, unexpected speed bumps in Gainesville. The looming loss of two blue-chip early enrollees, two blue-chip recruits and a backup defensive back’s battery arrest, threaten to derail Mullen’s progress rebuilding the Gators, writes Matt Baker.

 

• Get the latest on the Gators and Seminoles this spring from Times college football beat writer Matt Baker and follow him on Twitter at @MBakerTBTimes.

 

• The top two teams in the American League East meet this weekend at Tropicana Field in what could be an intriguing, seasonlong race, writes Marc Topkin. But that also raises an interesting, thought hardly new, question: Which is Tampa Bay’s home team? The Rays or the Yankees?

 

• 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.

 

• All the Bulls news you can use is right here from Times beat writer Joey Knight. Follow him on Twitter for the latest at @TBTimes_Bulls.

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