1. News

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.
Published May 20

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. Authorities found 29-year-old Sharee Bradley stabbed to death on Aug. 5. The chief says she had three children; the 12-year-old and 3-year-old were found safe, but Nevaeh had disappeared. Sumter Police Department/Facebook
    DNA from the remains found Friday has been matched to Nevaeh Adams, Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark told reporters.
  2. Cars back up at a Tampa intersection last October, not long before Hillsborough County voters approved a one-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. This week, local officials detailed how the money would be spent, if the tax survives a legal challenge before the Florida Supreme Court. URSO, CHRIS  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Local governments have plans for $527 million in projects. But the Florida Supreme Court would need to clear the way.
  3. FILE - In this Sunday, April 22, 2018, file photo, a statue of a chained man is on display at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings, in Montgomery, Ala. Facing an impeachment inquiry that he and supporters claim is illegal, President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, that the process is a lynching. Some Republicans agree, but the relatives of actual lynching victims don’t. BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Made in a tweet that drew backing from some Republican supporters including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Trump’s claim was ill-informed at best and racist at worst, they said.
  4. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Damien Wiggins Jr. was found with a gunshot wound in the parking lot of a vacant business on Haines Road.
  5. FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2018 file photo, Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz listens during a status check on his case at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. As his death penalty trial draws closer, a hearing is set for school shooting defendant Cruz in the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people. The hearing Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, likely concerns the setting of timelines leading up to the planned January trial of the 21-year-old Cruz. AMY BETH BENNETT  |  AP
    The hearing Wednesday likely concerns the setting of timelines leading up to the planned January trial of the 21-year-old Cruz.
  6. FILE - This undated file photo released by the FBI shows 3-year-old Kamille McKinney, who police say has been missing since she was abducted while attending a birthday party on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Birmingham, Ala. Investigators searching through garbage found the body of McKinney, who was missing more than a week, and authorities are charging two people with murder, police said Tuesday, Oct. 22. AP
    The child, known as “Cupcake” to relatives, vanished while outside a birthday party on Oct. 12. Investigators know of no link between the suspects and the girl or her family, police say.
  7. An aerial view as police forensic officers attend the scene after a truck was found to contain a large number of dead bodies, in Thurock, South England, early Wednesday Oct. 23, 2019. Police in southeastern England said that 39 people were found dead Wednesday inside a truck container believed to have come from Bulgaria. UK POOL  |  AP
    “We are in the process of identifying the victims, however, I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process," Essex Police Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said.
  8. A top U.S. diplomat, William Taylor, departs the Capitol after testifying in the Democrats' impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE  |  AP
    Democrats said they were shocked and disturbed by what they heard. A look at the key takeaways from Taylor’s statement, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
  9. A Florida black bear (not this one) was found at a Marion County school and removed. CARLTON WARD JR  |  Carlton Ward Jr
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. Weeki Wachee Springs main entrance VAUGHN HUGHES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    From its iconic mermaids to its signature statue, Weeki Wachee Springs will be considered for historic designation.