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Monday, Aug 20, 2018
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The Daystarter: Jeff Greene’s special money offer at Democratic debate; diver missing at dangerous Hernando cave; Publix, Kahwa change the coffee game

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

• Coastal showers will form this morning before moving inland, according to the National Weather Service. Expect highs to be in the upper 80s to low 90s.

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

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including a sunrise sale bringing shoppers in pajamas to downtown St. Petersburg and Metrocon anime convention.

• It’s time to plan your weekend! Our critics and writers have their top picks on our Weekend Planner page

• Jeff Greene, the billionaire newcomer to the Democratic governor’s race, made his debate debut by dangling his wallet before Democrat voters tired of losing. His riches will help elect Democrats up and down the ballot, the Palm Beach Democrat suggested. "I will spend my own money to get out there and fight these Republicans, and I will back up the down ticket races so we turn Florida blue — not just in the governor’s race, but in the Senate race and in the House race."

• Rescue crews will continue to search this morning for a diver who failed to resurface at a dangerous cave in Hernando County. The unidentified diver was free-diving at Eagle’s Nest, meaning he was not carrying oxygen, sometime before 7 p.m. when he went missing in a "possible drowning," according to a post on the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

• It’s the team-up of the decade: Publix and Kahwa are teaming up to install the popular local coffee shop in up to 130 Publix store cafes by the end of the year. Sara DiNatale reports that this has been Kahwa Coffee co-founder Raphael Perrier’s goal from the start.

• Columnist John Romano has some advice for St. Petersburg City Council members about the controversial Janet Echelman artwork the city is considering putting along the waterfront: "This isn’t the most important decision facing the city," Romano writes. "It’s a piece of art. It’s an investment. And it’s time to buy it, or move on."

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is the bay area’s No. 1 Batman fan and he proved that once again when he unveiled his custom Batman-themed black Rolls Royce on Instagram. Greg Auman has a look at the the latest Batmobile.

• Confused about President Trump’s ever-evolving remarks about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election? Well more than 100 protesters decided not to way for clarification. They showed up in downtown St. Petersburg to make a very specific and serious allegation against the president.

• New board members at a troubled job placement center received a call for oversight Wednesday — something all but absent in recent years at the agency. "Question, question, question," said CareerSource Pinellas board chair Jack Geller during an orientation. "That’s what didn’t happen before." The missive diverged from recent standards at the organization, which has drawn state and federal investigations under a disengaged board. The orientation came as the agency seeks to improve transparency over how it spends millions of tax dollars to find people jobs. Read more from Mark Puente and Zachary T. Sampson.

• The Rays made the inevitable move Wednesday of placing catcher Wilson Ramos on the disabled list while still looking for a replacement. Ramos, 30, strained his left hamstring Saturday in Minnesota, which forced him out of Tuesday’s All-Star Game. The next step: finding another catcher to pair with Jesus Sucre, Marc Topkin writes.

• Wallet a little light? No worries Here’s 5 things to do under $5 this week.

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