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Friday, Aug 17, 2018
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The Daystarter: Alberto takes aim on Panhandle; how local Starbucks handle trespassing; Arlington National Cemetery’s Sentinels; Shania Twain here this week

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

• As Subtropical Storm Alberto continues on its north-northwest track to the Panhandle, today’s forecast for Tampa Bay calls for scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s.

• Stay with tampabay.com for the latest as we track Subtropical Storm Alberto, which is taking aim at the Florida Panhandle.

• And just what makes a "subtropical" storm, anyway? Kathryn Varn spoke with a meterologist to learn what distinguishes it from tropical storms. Read her story on tampabay.com.

• This morning, thousands of people will make their way to Arlington National Cemetery for the Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Few people know the meaning of Memorial Day more than Benjamin Bell. The Tampa resident once served as an honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Bell earned his place among this group in 2001, just a month before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Read Howard Altman’s story on Bell and the other soldiers who guard the monument, known as Sentinels.

• Memorial Day is a time to say "thank you" to our veterans. Check out our list of free offers for them to enjoy. Some even last all summer.

• In Florida’s Republican primary for governor, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis cast Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as not being conservative enough on immigration in a chat May 2 with radio host John Fredericks. "Well, we are very different in our approach to illegal immigration," DeSantis said of Putnam. "When he was in the Congress, he supported the McCain amnesty, he even supported the gang of eight Schumer-Obama amnesty when he was ag commissioner. He didn’t even have to vote on it but he supported it. He opposed bringing troops, putting troops on our southern border using the National Guard." PolitiFact Florida focused on the question of whether Putnam opposed "putting troops on the southern border using the National Guard.

• In fifth grade, Aleesha Mance wrote about her sister’s killer, explaining how peer pressure and drugs led him to make bad decisions. In high school, she searched his name online, typing Jessy Joe Roten into Google. She saw news articles about a neo-Nazi teen serving a life sentence for firing into a black man’s house in April 1999. She saw photos of her 6-year-old twin, Ashley, who died that night on the living room couch.

Roten, now 37, asked a homicide detective to pass along this message to Aleesha and her younger sister:

"I want them to know how very sorry I am for what I did."

Aleesha wrote back.

"I told him I did forgive him," she said. "I told him that if I could let him get out earlier or change anything about (his sentence), that I would."

This month, on the 26th birthday she would have shared with Ashley, she did. Read Laura Morel’s moving story on the power of forgiveness on tampabay.com.

• As Starbucks prepares to close its 8,000 locations for a national day of racial bias training for its nearly 175,000 employees tomorrow, we look at trespassing data on local Starbucks locations. The company wants people to think of Starbucks as a "third place" — coming after work and home. But for those without a job or a house, Starbucks is sometimes the "first place." The majority of trespass calls made by some of the busiest Starbucks in the Tampa Bay area were complaints about homeless people, the Tampa Bay Times found.

• When Steve Matzkin agreed to serve as executive producer on a movie project titled Not Alone, he set a condition: It had to be made in Tampa. For starters, the community provides a fitting backdrop for the independent horror film about a family who buy a mansion with a curse. But more importantly, Hillsborough County offers a sweet incentive program — 10 percent back as cash rebates on money spent in the county. According to accounting by the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court, incentives mean a better bottom line for Hillsborough County, Paul Guzzo writes.

• In the Tampa Bay Times’ latest installment on CareerSource: A few years back, the Pinellas County Science Center had fallen on hard times. Enter CareerSource Pinellas, which bought the center and its seven-acre site in St. Petersburg for $100 with plans to turn it into a STEM training center and one-stop shop for other services the jobs agency provides. The full board never approved the acquisition, and the building needed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of repairs. CareerSource had to take out loans to pay for it. Now, a balloon payment is coming due and county taxpayers could be on the hook. Read the latest story by Mark Puente and Zack Sampson on tampabay.com.

•Plan your week! Here are the top things to do this week in Tampa Bay including an appearance by country’s Shania Twain and eight Buddhist monks building a sand mandala all week.

• Go beyond a one-hour stretching class and consider the value of finding a yoga retreat to clear your mind and body. There are a number of choices in the Tampa Bay area or within driving distance.

• Keep these links handy as hurricane season approaches: Read our 2018 hurricane guide, keep track of storms with our live radar, download our weather app and sign up for weather alerts.

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