The Daystarter: Blood and Truth: Finding a killer; DeSantis, Fried no friends of Big Sugar; Winston shines as Bucs end 4-game skid

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.
Published November 26 2018
Updated November 26 2018

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

• We’ll have mostly cloudy skies with a chance of showers and possibly a thunderstorm, according to the National Weather Service. Highs will range from the upper 70s to lower 80s.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay.

• In 1976, a jury convicted Tommy Zeigler of four murders. He continues to maintain his innocence, and has been trying — for more than two decades — to convince the state of Florida to allow for full DNA testing of the evidence in his case. Zeigler says it would help exonerate him. But the state has refused. Reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton and photographer Cherie Diez have been following the Zeigler case for years. For this series, they traveled around Florida and into Georgia to interview dozens of people, some involved in the police work or prosecution, others who believe in Zeigler’s innocence.

•. Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan this month marks one year as chief. Tony Marrero sat down with him to get his reflections on the year and what lies ahead. Two big takeaways: He says one of his biggest challenges will be navigating what could be a tricky six months leading up to the mayoral election, and he’s going to push to find funding for body cameras.

• The sugar industry has held sway over Florida politics for decades. Now, there’s a new governor and a new agriculture commissioner who are not at all friendly to the sugar industry, Craig Pittman reports. Environmental groups are ecstatic, hoping for a crackdown on pollution and a better chance at Everglades restoration. The sugar industry so far has no comment.

• About two years ago, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that juvenile offenders serving sentences so lengthy that they amount to life in prison must have their cases reconsidered. But in recent weeks, the high court has overruled its earlier decision, effectively barring parole-eligible inmates from being re-sentenced. Dan Sullivan reports on what this abrupt change could mean for many of those who have already done decades in prison for their juvenile crimes.

• On Friday, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said he now supports arming teachers and other school personnel as a line of defense against school shootings, a striking change of heart driven by his work with a state commission investigating February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Gualtieri said he changed his mind after watching surveillance video and studying the timelines of Parkland and other school shootings as chairman of the commission established to review what went wrong and recommend ways to make schools safer.

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

• For the latest in Tampa Bay politics, make sure to check out The Bay Buzz.

• Check out the latest business news from the Times on the economy, jobs, real estate and retail.

• Sinatra, a 5-year-old, brown-and-white, blue-eyed Husky, can’t explain what happened that took him on an 18-month, 1,200 mile journey from his home in Brooklyn to the streets of Seffner. Neither can his owners or the family who found him. Beloved by his teenage owner and her parents, Sinatra disappeared after the girl died in a tragic gun accident.

• 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. For the latest updates on @Twitter, follow Lightning beat writers Diana C. Nearhos at @dianacnearhos and Nick Kelly at @_NickKelly.

• Tampa Bay snapped their four-game losing streak Sunday, beating the San Francisco 27-9 in their first turnover-free game since the season opener.

• In the hours before Tampa Bay and San Francisco met on the field Sunday afternoon, the 49ers announced they would release linebacker Reuben Foster following his arrest for a domestic violence charge at a Tampa hotel.

• The latest Times coverage of the Bucs is just a click away at For the latest team news on @Twitter, follow beat writers Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD and Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard.

• Florida State University president John Thrasher defended Willie Taggart on Sunday in light of a racist social media post about the Seminoles’ first-year football coach. Calling the post “ignorant and despicable”, Thrasher’s statement did not specify the social media post or its content. But one post had a photo of Taggart pasted atop an image of a lynching. Taggart is the first black head football coach in FSU history.

• Check out the Times coverage of Gator football all season long and keep up with college football beat writer Matt Baker on Twitter at @MBakerTBTimes.

• 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.

• Check out the latest episode of the Times sports podcast Sports Day Tampa Bay led by veteran sportswriter Rick Stroud.

• Listen to our new podcast, Life of the Party, that keeps you caught up just enough to get by in small talk. Times staffers Stephanie Hayes and Brittany Volk will discuss what’s going on, from celebrity news to movies and music, plus offbeat info 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.

• Education reporter Jeffrey Solochek leads a talk every week on the latest in Florida education. Check out the Gradebook podcast.