Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.
• It's going to be another warm afternoon under sunny skies across Tampa Bay, according to the National Weather Service.
• Here are the top things to do in Tampa Bay including Cirque Vertigo kicking off Busch Gardens’ Real Music, Real Masters series and poet Meg Day reads from her work.
• Dabo Swinney kissed the championship trophy and proclaimed this Clemson team the greatest of all time. He's got a case. With stunning ease — and a freshman quarterback — Clemson toppled college football's greatest dynasty again to become the first perfect playoff champion. Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns and the second-ranked Tigers beat No. 1 Alabama 44-16 in the College Football Playoff national championship game.
• Ron DeSantis takes office today as Florida’s 46th governor. Inauguration festivities started Monday in Tallahassee. But don’t expect DeSantis to govern like Rick Scott. In the months and weeks ahead of the swearing-in, DeSantis has flashed signs of how state government will differ under a new chief executive.
• As Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis is sworn in, he’ll have a whole administration of offices and roles to fill with people of his own choosing. Here are some of the key hires the governor-elect has made so far.
• Richard Ivancic Jr. and Mike Ivancic find themselves in mourning after their father’s family was found dead just four days earlier. McKenna Oxenden spoke to the brothers about their father and what the family is going through.
• Taxpayers who are owed refunds will be paid on time, despite the government shutdown that has closed many federal agencies, a Trump administration official said Monday as concern mounted over the risk that the payments could be delayed. The acting director of the White House budget office, Russell Vought, said customary rules will be changed to make the payments possible. He told reporters that an "indefinite appropriation" was available for the refunds, which would go out as normal.
• Voting rights advocates plan to celebrate a watershed moment today, as Amendment 4 goes into effect across Florida, allowing most citizens who have finished a felony sentence to register to vote. Here’s how to register.
• After the DeSantis inauguration, Rick Scott will fly to Washington to take the oath of office for U.S. Senate. On his last day as governor, Scott allocated $18.3 million from a jobs fund to six regional projects.
• Amid a list of more than 70 appointments that outgoing Gov. Rick Scott made Friday night was the name of former U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff to be a state wildlife commissioner. Beruff is already facing an ethics commission complaint. Read about this unusual choice.
• In the three years since Nicole Nachtman was accused of killing her mother and stepfather, investigators have said little about what led to the slayings. But now, weeks before her scheduled murder trial, Dan Sullivan reports that her defense has hinted at one theory: They’ve asked for permission to introduce testimony that the former Florida State University student was abused by her parents and that she suffered from “battered child syndrome.”
• Tampa Theatre on Monday announced a new series of free, outdoor movies coming to parks around Tampa this spring, starting with Black Panther Feb. 2 at River Tower Park. You can find the whole lineup here
• The best journalism in the bay area is all in one place. Check out all the Tampa Bay Times investigations and special reports.
• For the latest in Florida politics, make sure to check The Buzz.
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Read the Tampa Bay Times new online Sports page with the latest news about the Lightning, Bucs, Rays, Bulls, Gators, Noles and high school sports.
• In the latest Bucs coaching news, Bruce Arians appears ready to return to the sidelines as Tampa Bay’s new head coach. Rick Stroud reports that it could happen as soon as today, but there are reports that the Glazer family made Arians undergo a complete physical at a Tampa hospital Saturday and included a discussion with his personal physician as part of the interview process. Remember: Arians retired as Cardinals coach in part because of health reasons.
• They play for what has been the NHL’s best team this season. But what’s the best team they’ve ever played for before this? That’s what Nick Kelly asked Lightning players in advance of their home game Tuesday against Columbus. Their response took them back to the roots of Tampa Bay’s success.
• 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 Diane C. Nearhos at @dianacnearhos and Nick Kelly at @_NickKelly.
• The Bucs will have a representative in this month’s Pro Bowl after all. Eduardo Encina reports that wide receiver Mike Evans will take Falcons wideout Julio Jones’ spot in the game, which will take place Jan. 27 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
• Not even a losing season, ongoing search for a new coach, or skepticism on Gerald McCoy’s return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next year, could distract the defensive tackle or prevent him from showing love to the community. Monique Welch reports that McCoy talked about his desire to return to Tampa Bay during some personal events,
• The latest Times coverage of the Bucs is just a click away at tampabay.com. For the latest team news on @Twitter, follow Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD and fellow beat writer Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard.
• Check out the latest episode of the Times sports podcast Sports Day Tampa Bay led by veteran sportswriter Rick Stroud.
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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, 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.
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Check out the Times online Business page for the latest on the economy, jobs, real estate, retail and workplace culture.
Looking for a new bank? Ask if it offers free checking, business columnist Graham Brink writes. Look at the interest rates on savings accounts. Check for hidden fees. Make sure it has conveniently located ATMs. Here’s another measure: How often do clients complain about the bank? Here are the banks you complained about the most in 2018 -- several with Tampa Bay ties.