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Daystarter: Trump to visit storm-battered Panhandle; Port Richey mayor's rise and fall; Rays rely on Glasnow's arm — but not too much

Published May 6

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

• We'll have partly cloudy skies today, with isolated to scattered showers along the coast and afternoon thunderstorms inland, according to the National Weather Service. Highs will be in the mid 80s to around 90.

Severe thunderstorms and damaging winds passed through the Tampa Bay area Sunday afternoon, causing thousands to lose power.

• 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

• A Tampa Bay Times examination of Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad's rise and fall shows that his growing instability was in plain sight of the city's leaders. But for nearly two years, none of them moved to determine the extent of his problems or to curtail his influence in the city.

• If Mayor Rick Kriseman has his way, three St. Petersburg Housing Authority board members will be removed from office by May 16 for what he describes as "misconduct" and "neglect of duty." But in what may be their last act on the board, the three are still likely to vote on a critical $22 million contract for the redevelopment of Jordan Park.

• President Donald Trump will visit the heart of his Florida base when he holds a campaign rally in Panama City Beach on Wednesday. Except, it is a much different place than it was when he last stopped there as a candidate in 2016.

• Accord to Pasco County deputies, a Publix shopper accidentally shot himself Sunday while inside a Land O' Lakes store.

Weekend rewind: Publix shopper shoots himself in store; Strong winds rip through Tampa Bay; and more.

• Columnist Sue Carlton writes that it makes sense that some Florida cities — particularly the coasts — have taken action against single-use plastic that is polluting the waters, threatening wildlife and ending up in landfills. But Florida lawmakers just banned cities from banning plastic straws for five years.

• Florida and Maryland are taking action to shut down a company that markets birth surrogates to same-sex couples, accusing the firm of failing to deliver on promised services. The office of Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a civil suit April 24 in Hillsborough Circuit Court alleging deceptive and unfair trade practices against The Surrogacy Group LLC and owner Gregory Blosser.

• Last summer, phosphate giant Mosaic suffered a crushing defeat when the DeSoto County Commission voted 4-1 to deny its bid to rezone 18,000 acres from agriculture to mining. The vote appeared to thwart a strategy 20 years in the making to shift the company's mining south from its longtime Polk County stronghold. The DeSoto County Commission votes 5-0 to wipe out its own zoning decision from last year, giving Mosaic another chance in four years.

• The city of Madeira Beach will spend $15 million to $20 million on projects that Finance Director Walter Pierce said will "take a big bite out of the problem we're facing with storm water in the city."

• A portion of Court Street in Clearwater was shut down early Monday morning following a crash reportedly involving a stolen vehicle, according to Clearwater police.

• State Rep. Chris Latvala crafted a bill, Jordan's Law, after speaking with doctors and experts about the death of Jordan Belliveau, the 2-year-old Largo boy who died last year after police say his mother struck him in the head and left him for dead. If the provisions in the bill had been in place, Jordan might be alive today.

• Chris Hoyer spent his law career, both public and private, going after bad guys. A prosecutor and lawyer who spent his career fighting crime and corruption in Tampa Bay, died April 27 of a heart attack. He was 74.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay.

• 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.

• When the dust cleared Saturday afternoon in the Florida Legislature, lawmakers had passed 195 bills. Most now await the signature of Gov. Ron DeSantis. Here's a roundup of some of the legislative session's most notable bills, and check out The Buzz as the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau has of all the fallout coverage from the state capital.

• 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.

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

• 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.

• 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 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 Tampa Bay Lightning have given 100,000 street hockey sticks and balls to elementary school students over the past four years. Now, the team wants to be sure the kids have a place to play with them. The NHL team and Pasco County are proposing to build two rinks — one on either side of U.S. 41.

• Tyler Glasnow has obviously pitched incredibly well thus far for the Rays, posting an MLB-best 6-0 record and AL-leading 1.47 ERA. Which makes it even tougher for the Rays to make sure he doesn't pitch too much.

• Rays GM Erik Neander has some thoughts on the team's start. In a Q-and-A on the team's play, Neander praises pitching, has faith in slow-starting players, is open to bullpen upgrade.

• 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 Lightning face a long, painful offseason. Follow beat writers Diana C. Nearhos at @dianacnearhos and Mari Faiello at @faiello_mari to see how Tampa Bay puts the pieces back together.

• 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.

• 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.


  1. Investigators say the women then took the man back to his hotel room where he passed out. SUE OGROCKI  |  AP
    The unidentified man was approached by the women while at the slot machines at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood.
  2. Shirley Joseph is named superintendent of Madison County public schools. Madison County school district
    The previous superintendent resigned amid conflicts with the School Board.
  3. President Donald Trump meets with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington. EVAN VUCCI  |  AP
    “It’s not between Turkey and the United States, like a lot of stupid people would like you to believe,” Trump said.
  4. In this image from a Pinellas County school district video, former School Board member Lee Benjamin motions to someone he knows while sitting with family members during at 2013 ceremony to name the Northeast High School gymnasium in his honor. Mr. Benjamin was the school's first basketball coach in 1954 and later became Northeast's principal in a long career with Pinellas schools that included 14 years on the School Board. He died Wednesday at age 92. Pinellas County Schools
    He was a teacher, coach and eventually the principal of Northeast High in St. Petersburg. Then he became a district administrator and later, a School Board member.
  5. FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2019, file photo, Yolanda Jacobs, a United Auto Workers member, walks the picket line at the General Motors Romulus Powertrain plant in Romulus, Mich. With the strike by factory workers against General Motors in its 29th day on Monday, Oct. 14, there are signs that negotiators may be moving toward an agreement. PAUL SANCYA  |  AP
    Details of the four-year agreement have yet to be released.
  6. Hernando County School District
    Local officials’ requests for legislators also include sewer project funding and teacher bonus reforms.
  7. A South Florida developer plans a condo tower on the parking lot between the Northern Trust building, left, and the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront. SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN  |  Susan Taylor Martin
    South Florida company plans a 35-story tower next to a Hilton hotel.
  8. Screenshot of Austin Davis from a Vice News documentary on Youtube. Vice News/Youtube
    The 20-year-old Keystone Heights resident has selective eating disorder believed to stem from childhood trauma.
  9. Kathleen Hudak, historian with the Brooksville Cemetery, tells the story of William Henry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Quitman Varn during a walking tour of the historic Brooksville Cemetery on Tuesday as part of Brooksville's Founders' Week celebration. The boy died from appendicitis in 1913 at the  age of 9. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
  10. Tech Data's headquarters in Clearwater. The company is one of the largest in the Tampa Bay area. TD AGENCY  |  Courtesy of Tech Data
    The Clearwater company’s stock price soared Wednesday following the report, which the news service based on information from “people familiar with the matter.”