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News Roundup

What you need to know for Tuesday, Oct. 24

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

• Get the fall wardrobe ready, a cold front is moving through, according to 10Weather WTSP. We'll see highs in the 70s and lows down to the mid 50s. Showers are possible this morning as the front moves through, and then the rest of the week should be dry.

• As you head out for your morning commute, check out our live blog for the latest traffic updates and road conditions across Tampa Bay.

• Hundreds of low-income children could have access to quality pre-school next year, according to a plan now under development in the Hillsborough County School District. Superintendent Jeff Eakins said Monday he has asked his assistant superintendent in charge of academic support and federal programs to scout out elementary schools in high poverty neighborhoods that have extra rooms that can be refitted to accommodate 3 and 4-year-old students. With 29,000 vacant seats, mostly in the urban areas, Hillsborough has the room. And, with some of the lowest reading test scores in the state, there is also a documented need for better preparation.

• Food critic Laura Reiley reports that the Seminole Heights neighborhood's hip circle of popular, well-regarded restaurants is feeling the squeeze in the wake of a recent killing spree. "When people are frightened they stay away."

• The third fastest-growing state, Florida's population is poised to grow to 21 million by 2020, with the majority being people of color, many of them children. Yet children in many racial and ethnic groups in Florida still are disproportionately affected by poverty relative to white children. The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2017 "Race for Results" report shows that persistent challenges to well-being and opportunities for success hinder children of color and those living in immigrant families.

• We dodged a bullet with Irma and flooding, columnist John Romano writes, but FEMA isn't going to save us. Neither is flood insurance, which might make it impossible for to rebuild a destroyed house in a flood prone spot unless it's elevated. We need to be thinking about building smarter and in better places, he says.

• There's an effort underway to expand the TECO Line Streetcar system that runs from Ybor City to the Channel District north through downtown all the way to Tampa Heights. Caitlin Johnston explains how transportation planners might do that.

• Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, will speak in Tampa on Tuesday about a program she supports, "Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network." The program uses creative arts as therapy at 11 military medical centers across the country, including the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa. Pence speaks at noon during a military and arts summit at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Check back this afternoon for a report on her presentation.

• Now only do we have news that Steve Martin and Martin Short are bringing their funny on-stage conversation to St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater, but we have an interview with the comedy legends. In it, Steve Martin says, "I want my life to be just touring around with Marty. I would be very happy for the rest of my life to do that."

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including Broadway's On Your Feet, the musical story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Also St. Pete Opera kicks off the season with Faust and there are lots of Halloween haunts and ghost tours to choose from. You can read performing arts critic Andrew Meachams review of the Faust show here.

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