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The Daystarter: A call for Rep. Spano's resignation; huge night for Steven Stamkos, Lightning; challenges ahead for Florida's housing market

Published Dec. 11, 2018

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

• The skies over Tampa Bay will be mostly cloudy this morning, with a slight chance of sprinkles, gradual clearing and a high in the upper 50s, according to the National Weather Service. Tonight, fireplace weather — clear with lows in the mid 40s.

• If he broke campaign finance laws, congressman-elect Ross Spano says it was an accident. Okay, we'll accept that for now, columnist John Romano writes. But the Dover politician still won a tainted election, and needs to resign, he writes.

• The red hot Lightning notched its NHL-best 24th victory of the season Monday night and Steven Stamkos got a hat trick, including a goal scored on a wicked one-timer from the left circle. He now has 700 career points. Lightning beat writer Diana C. Nearhos and photographer Dirk Shadd were at Amalie Arena to bring you color, quotes and images. Read Diane's report and click here for the latest Lightning news throughout the season. For updates on @Twitter, follow her at @dianacnearhos

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including guitar greats filling the Ruth Eckerd Hall stage for the Generataion Axe tour, with Nuno Bettencourt, alongside Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi.

• The state's housing market is digging out from the Great Recession thanks to rising home prices and now there are fewer underwater mortgages in Florida. But challenges remain, explains Times Business columnist Graham Brink.

• With the Seinfeld-created holiday of Festivus upon us, we are once again asking readers to share your grievances and complaints, no matter how petty or minutiae-related, and we will publish them. Extra points for funny grievances that aren't about presidential politics.

• Balmy St. Petersburg will have a real ice skating rink set up starting Saturday in Albert Whitted Park. Ice skates are provided, but be sure to bring socks. The rink will be open through January.

• Late Monday, a Pinellas County judge made a key ruling in the case of John Jonchuck, the man who dropped his 5-year-old daughter, Phoebe, from a bridge in 2015. At issue: whether a controversial psychiatrist can testify at Jonchuck's upcoming trial. Read our report here in case you missed it.

• Police have arrested two suspects in the July shooting death of 20-year-old Nicholas Mortazavi at a South Tampa McDonald's. Find out how investigators think it happened.

• Florida's incoming class of lawmakers gets its start at the 2019 legislative session today, as they kick off the first of six committee weeks leading up to March 5. Here's what to expect.

• ZooTampa officials said Monday a review found that a top veterinarian there is not responsible for killing two manatees with his medical treatment, but they are not ready to let him resume treating marine mammals. Senior veterinarian Ray Ball will be treating other types of animals at the zoo, while another vet, Lauren Smith, takes charge of treating manatees in its care, the officials announced during a news conference.

• The best journalism in the bay area is all in one place. Check out all the Tampa Bay Times investigations and special reports.

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