Daystarter: The Lightning must save its season in Game 4; the Jonchuck jury continues deliberating; Tampa Bay ferry service will return — but for good?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published April 16
Updated April 16

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

• Expect to wake up to clear but cool skies, with temperatures in the mid to upper 50s (and lower 60s near the coast), according to the National Weather Service. Then it gets hot with highs in the mid 80s but no rain. Tomorrow evening’s lows will be in the low to mid 60s.

• 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.

• Read the Tampa Bay Times online Sports page with the latest news about the bay area’s teams, and the only one you care about right now: The Tampa Bay Lightning. Times sportswriter Rick Stroud has the latest on Tiger Woods’ Masters win and the Lightning’s do-or-die Game 4 tonight via the Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast.

• For the latest on the Lightning’s quest to save its season, click here for the latest updates leading up to and after Game 4 and follow beat writers Diana C. Nearhos at @dianacnearhos and Mari Faiello at @faiello_mari.

• Nikita Kucherov was snide and short, but he was right. What can the Lightning do to get into this series with Columbus? Win a game, writes Diana Nearhos. Every NHL team who came back from a 3-0 deficit — and there aren’t many — will say that’s the key. You can’t win four games in one night, but the Lightning know the team can win one.

• The Lightning will wear this forever. A team too pretty to win. That’s your 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning in all its lovely disappointment, writes columnist John Romano. Tampa Bay were glamour boys in the regular season, but became pretenders when it came time to do the dirty work of the NHL postseason.

• In 2015, John Jonchuck dropped his dropped his 5-year-old daughter, Phoebe, off a St. Petersburg bridge. She plunged 62 feet to her death in the cold waters below. Now his fate is in the hands of the jury. Will they find him not guilty by reason of insanity? Or will they send him to prison for the rest of his life?Follow the Tampa Bay Times for full coverage of the Jonchuck verdict. Here’s the latest developments:

• JURY CONTROL: The Trial of John Jonchuck, Day 21: Deliberations continue.

• CLOSINGS: The Trial of John Jonchuck, Day 20: Watch closing arguments

• IN THE THE JURY’S HANDS: Now it’s up to the jury in the John Jonchuck case

LIVE BLOG: Follow today’s courtroom developments.

WATCH: Check out the live freed from the courtroom at tampabay.com.

THE FOCUS: The trial of John Jonchuck comes down to one question: Evil or insane?

FULL COVERAGE: Why is the Times covering the Jonchuck trial gavel-to-gavel? Senior Deputy Editor Amy Hollyfield explains why.

GOT QUESTIONS? Follow the Times coverage at tampabay.com/jonchuck and share your questions in the comments. We’ll answer as we go.

READ: The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck by Pulitzer-prize winner Lane DeGregory

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including a Lightning watch party at Sparkman Wharf and the Friends of the Jack Kerouac House present Howl.

• The ferry linking downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg is apparently here to stay. Caitlin Johnston reports that the bay area will apparently soon be linked by year-round ferry service. There will be a news conference at 2 p.m. today where Ed Turanchik, the former Hillsborough County Commissioner and a policy advisor for the ferry operator, will explain more details.

• St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Tony Love has come under heavy criticim after it was reported that he got a big raise from board members who hadn’t seen his evaluation, that he routinely yelled at and belittled his staff and that he even lived rent-free in an apartment for nine months in 2016. But now Christopher O’Donnell reports that the board is fighting back against attempts by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman’s plan to remove three board members whom he believes have been lax in overseeing the agency.

• Former police chief Jane Castor could be elected as the next mayor of Tampa. But what does that mean for her partner, Ana Cruz, a powerful lobbyist? Would she be in a position to influence development, city contracts and other big-money scores at City Hall. Charlie Frago reports that Cruz and Castor have said that Cruz will not be involving in any lobbying on the city’s half.

• The Tampa mayor’s race is headed down the stretch. Click here for full coverage of the race and follow Tampa city hall reporter Charlie Frago on Twitter for the latest developments.

• State officials expressed concern about how the Hernando County School District accounted for tax proceeds and distributed award money for teachers during the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to an audit released earlier this month. Superintendent John Stratton said last week that the district has resolved some problems noted in the audit and is working to fix others.

Dissolve Port Richey? Not so fast: Disbanding the city of Port Richey would require public hearings, a local bill and legislative approval in Tallahassee.

• The Florida Legislature is in session. The Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau has the latest coverage from the state capital at the The Buzz.

• After the events of last month, the obvious question was: Could WMNF 88.5 general manager Craig Kopp peaceably go back to working alongside a guy he’d fired? Christopher Spata writes that the answer is no: Kopp quit the community radio station Monday morning, about a month after the board of directors overturned his firing of news director Rob Lorei in a very public fracas.

• It’s the project that took nearly 20 years to get started, but only six months to finish. Richard Danielson reports that Port Tampa Bay’s $63 million dredging project to expand the Big Bend Channel has been completed a year ahead of schedule and explains what that means for the future of the port.

Judging by City Manager Henry Schubert’s near-perfect review, city leaders couldn’t be much happier with the direction Largo is going. Schubert, who has worked for the city since 1980 with the past three at the helm, received an overall score of 2.89 out of 3 last month. He also received a 3 percent salary increase, bumping his annual pay to $202,426.

• Firefighters declared success Tuesday morning in an over 12-hour battle to extinguish an inferno engulfing Paris’ iconic Notre Dame cathedral that claimed its spire and roof, but spared its bell towers. The world famous 18th century organ that boasts 8,000 pipes also appeared to have survived, along with other treasures, after a plan to safeguard heritage was quickly put into action.

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

• The Plato Academy charter school system, which includes nine schools in the Tampa Bay area, has terminated its contract with management company Superior Schools. Megan Reeves reports that the announcement was made on Friday, after the five-member Plato governing board voted to terminate its contract with Superior.

• 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.

• Just as the company was finally enjoying some good financial news, SeaWorld announced a round of layoffs, including some at Busch Gardens in Tampa, as part of an efficiency plan to shore up the troubled company’s finances.

• Here’s what’s newly opened and now closed in the Tampa Bay restaurant scene including the transformation of Champions Sports Bar into Garrison Tavern, and another Capital Tacos opens.

• Don’t want to cook this Easter? We get it. Treat you and yours to one of these festive meals instead. Here’s where to go for Easter brunch in Tampa Bay.

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

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

• What has 162 pages, hundreds of photographs of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s historic regular season and would look great on your coffee table? Why it’s the hard-cover book the Tampa Bay Times will produce about this most extraordinary Lightning season. Order your copy (or two, or three) by clicking here.

• Ask around the Rays clubhouse about what they learned about themselves over the first 2 ½ weeks of play, and you get some pretty obvious and, to be fair, honest answers. “That we’re pretty good,’’ Tuesday starter Tyler Glasnow said. “That’s probably the No. 1 thing.’’ Marc Topkin though, breaks down the five reasons why the Rays have a majors-leading 12-4 record.

NFL draft profile: Five questions for the former Tigers pass rusher Clelin Ferrell. He has everything you would want in a young edge pass rusher. Good size at 6-foot-4, 262 pounds with long arms that stretch more than 34 inches. He also has a quick first step off the football. The first-team all-ACC selection also was highly effective at Clemson, which has produced a good defensive lineman or two.

• Get the latest Rays’ news from Marc Topkin and follow him throughout baseball season on @Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

• The Bucs have a new head coach and the NFL draft is almost here. Keep up with the latest offseason changes by following the Times’ Bucs page which is just a click away at tampabay.com. For the latest team news on @Twitter, follow Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD and fellow beat writer Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard.

• 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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