The Daystarter: Online gaming a tool for predators, where to celebrate a frigid MLK Day; Rams-Patriots: Who has the Super Bowl LIII edge?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.
For the latest on everything going on in the bay area, check
For the latest on everything going on in the bay area, check
Published Jan. 21, 2019

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

• After a frigid start to our morning, with wind chill values in the lower 30s, expect a sunny day with a high in the lower 60s, according to the National Weather Service.

• It's time to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. across the Tampa Bay region. Here's a slate of all the parades, services and family events you can attend during today's holiday.

• Last week's arrest of seven adults on charges that they kept two boys prisoner in a St. Petersburg mobile home serves as a warning that predators are using popular gaming platforms such as Fortnite and Minecraft to lure in children into pornography and human trafficking. At least one of those boys was contacted through the online gaming app Discord. Read Caitlin Johnston's story on this new social media vulnerability.

Read Kathryn Varn's story about a sailboat crew out of New Orleans battling high seas in their quest to find a missing boater. Capt. Gabriel Chapman and his crew, aboard a sailboat named after his mother called the Gwendolyn Leigh, followed the lights of a Coast Guard airplane flying circles and dropping flares to pinpoint the vessel in question.

• Feeding Tampa Bay is planning to launch a new hot and healthy free meal program this spring. With a 10-county operation that is estimated this year to move 60 million pounds of food to groups that feed the needy, Feeding Tampa Bay is the region's largest food rescue and distribution organization. But the one thing the non-profit couldn't do was provide cooked meals until it partnered with Trinity Cafe. Read Chris O'Donnell's story this morning on a plan to give families a healthy alternative to fast-food restaurants.

Hillsborough County staff have given an initial okay to turning a 19-acre cow pasture into a 1,000-vehicle used car lot. Its rural neighbors are aghast at the decision.

Tyndall Air Force Base, a key military base on Florida's panhandle, was hit by a tornado Saturday night — just three months after the base was devastated by Hurricane Michael.

• In suburbs across Tampa Bay, coyote sightings are on the increase. Last year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Wildlife Assistance Program received about 1,000 calls about coyotes statewide. That's about 200 more calls than in 2017 and about 300 more than in 2015 and 2016 officials said. The highest volume of calls has come from Pinellas County for several years, though Hillsborough and Pasco counties aren't far behind. Read Anastasia Dawson's story this morning on what can attract coyotes to your neighborhood and ways to keep them at bay.

• For the latest in Florida politics, make sure to check The Buzz.

• 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.

• Check out the Times photo and video channels for the most compelling visuals.

• • •

We now know the matchup for Super Bowl LIII. Visit the Tampa Bay Times online Sports page to see an instant analysis from data sports reporter Thomas Bassinger.

• The Lightning started the season with its hardest travel and now gets a 10-day break. Tampa Bay's bye week begins today after Saturday night's 6-3 win against the Sharks at Amalie Arena, and with the bye week leading into the All-Star break, that adds up to 10 days off before the Lightning's next game. The break couldn't come at a better time for a team that has spent a lot of its season out West.

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• The Rams will be playing in their fourth Super Bowl, the Patriots will be playing in their third straight Super Bowl and the Rams and Patriots will be playing in their second Super Bowl together. Just don't count on a 20-17 score this time around. Thomas Bassinger dives into the numbers to see who has the edge.

• The Times can keep you up-to-date on the Lightning's quest for the Stanley Cup: Click here for the latest news throughout the season and get the updates on @Twitter from beat writer Diana C. Nearhos at @dianacnearhos .

• The Bucs have a new head coach. Keep up with all the offseason changes and get ready for the NFL draft by following the Times' Bucs page which is just a click away at For the latest team news on @Twitter, follow Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD and fellow beat writer Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard.

• As the Baseball Writers of America prepare their Hall of Fame ballots, click here to get an explanation from Rays baseball writer Marc Topkin on how he voted. You also can follow Marc @Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

• • •

The Times online Arts and Entertainment page tells you everything you need to know about what to do, see, eat and experience around town.

• Listen to our new podcast, Life of the Party, so Stephanie Hayes and Brittany Volk can help you fake your way through a discussion of the latest celebrity news, entertainment headlines, gossip and other weird stuff that will make you the most interesting person in the room.

• Don't just write the right way — write the Lane way. Keep up with Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Lane DeGregory's podcast, WriteLane, and learn about her approach to the craft of storytelling.