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Daystarter: St. Pete cops carry rich memories from old HQ; bus driver killed in stabbing had complained about safety issues; Rays lose ugly in Big Apple

Check for the latest breaking news and developments.
Check for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published May 20, 2019

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

• Today we'll have mostly sunny skies with isolated afternoon showers and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. Highs will in the upper 80s along the coast to lower 90s inland.

• Forecasters are monitoring a large area of disturbed weather that has a 60 percent chance of developing into the first tropical system of the 2019 hurricane season over the next two days.

• 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

• Politics never stops in Florida, and neither does the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau. For the latest and greatest political coverage in the Sunshine State check out the The Buzz.

• This week, in response to hacking questions sent to every supervisor of elections in the state by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, two offices issued the same legalistic non-denial. Almost word-for-word, they gave the same response.

Clearwater residents are protesting the height of a Clearwater condo for its impact on surrounding homes. But they also doubt the developers' assurances that the Church of Scientology is not involved.

• A new algae bloom is threatening some of the same beaches that were affected by Red Tide last year. It's a type of blue-green algae known as "Lyngbya," which has long caused problems in the state's springs.

A man was killed early Monday morning outside a Tampa mosque. The shooting does not appear to be random and detectives believe the victim and suspect — who had just attended prayer services — knew each other, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

• Three Seminole-area golf course properties ( Bardmoor, Baypointe and Tides) with uncertain fates. Developers eye these properties as attractive possibilities, whether they're active golf courses or not.

• The University of Florida veterinarian X-rayed the carcass of a Florida panther that had recently been killed by another panther in Hendry County. The X-ray showed a bullet fragment in the dead cat, indicating that yet again someone had shot Florida's state animal.

• About six years ago, developer Taylor Morrison wanted to build 170 single- and multi-family homes on the land, which is adjacent to Boca Ciega Bay and Boca Ciega Millennium Park. The project would have required significant rezoning, which Pinellas County staff did not recommend, as the proposed development was inconsistent with the county's comprehensive plan and policies regarding open space.

• For nearly five years, owners of Baypointe Golf Course, 9399 Commodore Drive, have neglected the property, said Linda McDowell, founder of the Save Baypointe Golf Club. "They've basically abandoned it," she said. "Something needs to be done."

Hillsborough County should stop subsidizing developers. The county has not raised some of its development fees in 30 years. The fees often don't cover basic costs, including the time county employees spend reviewing development proposals.

• Strange stairwell, burst pipe and a ceiling escape. St. Pete cops carry rich memories from old HQ. Some 800 people have nearly completed their move to a new building. But, like all change, this one comes with a touch of wistfulness.

• 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.

• Robert F. Smith, this year's commencement speaker at Morehouse College in Atlanta, stunned nearly 400 graduating seniors by announcing he planned to pay off their student loans — estimated at nearly $40 million.

• 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 Rays made a mess in an ugly 13-5 loss to the Yankees Sunday. Too many walks, misplays, missed plays and other mistakes send Rays home (briefly) in second place.

• 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.

Willie Taggart was in Tampa on Sunday to talk with reporters and fans about the 2019 Seminoles.

• 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. Patrick Suiters, 10, left, and Gabriel Stanford, 9, both fourth-graders at San Jose Elementary School in Dunedin, fill out a survey after tasting falafel tots and nuggets during the 2nd Annual Student Food Connection taste test at Pinellas Technical College. About 120 students tasted and rated 28 new food items that could be added to school breakfast and lunch menus next year.
  2. People fill Community Cafe as drag queen Viktoria Sommers reads a Dr. Seuss book to children during Drag Queen Story Hour.  [Times (2019)]
  3. Tampa Electric Co. announced plans to double its solar capacity over the next three years.  Pictured is a Tampa Electric worker installing a solar panel on the roof of the Tampa International Airport economy parking garage in 2015. [James Borchuck | Times (2015)]
  4. Wawa and Coppertail partnered to create a craft beer that will only be at the gas station's Florida locations.
  5. George Zimmerman, was acquitted of murder in the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is suing Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg over tweets they posted to commemorate the teenager’s birthday.
  6. The Publix at Channelside (pictured) opened in late August. Now the new store at Westshore in Tampa will open later this month. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  7. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister supports decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.
  8. Layla Jade Buchholz was born on Leap Day in 2012, meaning she will only have an 'official' birthday every 4 years. Do you have a Leap Day birthday? Tell us about it.
  9. The Coast Guard said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue divers found the bodies of two women in a car that fell off the Fisher Island Ferry. Police later identified them as Emma Afra and Viviane Brahms.
  10. Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis
  11. Pasco School District headquarters in Land O' Lakes
  12. Cirila Diaz holds photos of her husband Agustin Pardo on Feb. 6. Pardo was fatally shot in Plant City on Jan. 14 while driving on Colson Road, not far from his home. His family described the retired farmworker as caring and hard-working.