1. Florida Politics

Joe Biden heading to Tampa Bay area during RNC

TAMPA — A tropical storm is still only a maybe, but Vice President Joe Biden appears to be a sure thing to hit the Tampa Bay area during the Republican National Convention.

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign confirmed Tuesday that Biden will come to the area Monday for a campaign event.

No other details were released, and RNC spokesmen did not respond — for now — to a request for comment.

Chris Christie to give keynote Tuesday night

The RNC released its schedule for Tuesday, the second day of the convention, which will have the theme, "We Built It."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will give the keynote address.

The roster of speakers includes former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Herman Cain to attend entrepreneurs lunch

Local black business owners and black Republican clubs have partnered to host former presidential candidate Herman Cain at a luncheon during the convention.

The Leadership Luncheon and VIP Reception will be held at A La Carte Pavilion from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The event aims to engage the local black community and black visitors during the convention, said organizer Frank DeBose, who sits on the Tampa Sports Authority Board and Housing Finance Authority of Hillsborough County.

Organizers also sought to use black-owned businesses as vendors for the events.

DeBose has partnered with the Ebony Elephant Foundation of Pasco County and the New Century Republicans of Hillsborough County.

The group, Convention Partners, also plans to hold a Law and Legacy Forum and Luncheon.

The forum, at Stetson University College of Law from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 29, will discuss the black history of the Republican Party.

For more information or to buy tickets for the events, go to or call (855) 737-2012.

Stephanie Wang, Times staff writer

School bus schedules set for RNC week

It can't be said enough if you live in South Tampa: Send your child to school on the bus if you qualify.

"We are trying to encourage parents to put their kids on the buses, if not today, then at least this week," said Linda Cobbe, a spokeswoman for Hillsborough County public schools.

Convention week schedules are already in place and using the bus this week will get kids ready for next week's routine.

But the district will adapt if it needs to. Twitter, Facebook and ParentLink robo-calls will be used to spread the word.

Absences could be high on Monday, which is when the district performs its five-day enrollment count for planning purposes.

If the kids have already enrolled, they will count, Cobbe said. That includes the Rampello K-8 Downtown Partnership School, which will be closed all next week.

Because Rampello called students back a week early, its five-day count took place Monday and was right on target.

Marlene Sokol, Times staff writer