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Monday, Aug 20, 2018
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News Roundup

The Daystarter: Lightning back in DC for Game 6; crisscross interchange comes to I-75; persistent rain continues; Scott omits mentions of Trump in speeches

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

• The week ahead sees rain and storm chances every day with highs in the lower to middle 80s, according to the National Weather Service.

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

• Plan your week! Here are the top things to do this week in Tampa Bay.

• Driving on the wrong side of the road isn’t just for the British anymore under an innovative plan to move traffic through two new Interstate 75 interchanges. Soon, construction will begin on a $37 million, three-year project to turn I-75 and State Road 56 near Wesley Chapel into a "diverging diamond" interchange, Christopher O’Donnell writes. The crisscross road design briefly diverts traffic in both directions onto the opposite side of the road as it passes under or over a freeway.

• Howard Altman spent Game 5 of the Lightning-Capitals series in the radio booth with Lightning broadcasters Dave Mishkin and Phil Esposito. In their 16 years together, Mishkin and Esposito have developed a deep mutual respect, and they say at their core, they approach broadcasts as fans.

• A progressive super PAC slammed the congressional record of Democrat Gwen Graham as too conservative for Florida’s next governor in a 30 second spot. The ad portrays Graham, who served one term in the House representing North Florida’s District 2, as a contrarian to former President Barack Obama. "Gwen Graham says she is the progressive candidate for governor," the voiceover says, "but while in Congress she voted against President Obama 52 percent of the time." PolitiFact Florida wanted to know if about half of Graham’s votes really went against what the Obama White House wanted.

• Sunday’s Eckerd College commencement had its own brush with royalty — a student from the Republic of Congo who is an actual princess in her tribe. Following the ceremony, 23 family members who flew in for the occasion held a royal celebration. Read Paul Guzzo’s story on the princess and her plans for the future on tampabay.com.

• President Donald Trump was a big part of the Hillsborough County Republican Party’s major annual fundraising dinner Saturday — everywhere except in the keynote speech by Gov. Rick Scott, who’s running for the U.S. Senate. As he has been doing on the campaign trail, Scott, although he’s known as a political ally of Trump, didn’t mention him in a brief version of his stump speech delivered to about 400 excited Republicans at the dinner. Read William March’s story on tampabay.com.

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• Columnist Ernest Hooper writes that he’s disappointed that the Adam Putnam he’s eaten lunch with, the man who struck him as conservative and principled, now seems so eager to engage in strawman fallacies and the politics of division.

• The Capitals, who enjoyed a 2-0 lead in the series, face elimination tonight in Game 6 against the Lightning. That they play at home could be seen as an advantage, except the Capitals are 3-5 at home in these playoffs and lost their first two games there in this series. Catch the Lightning watch party at 6 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

• The winner of the Lightning-Capitals series will face the Vegas Golden Knights. Ryan Reaves scored the winning goal, Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves and the Golden Knights beat the Jets 2-1 on Sunday to wrap up the Western Conference final in five games.

• Despite the frustration of another Sunday loss — doing their best Bucs impersonation – in a 5-2 defeat to Shohei Ohtani and the Angels, the Rays have reason to feel good, or at least better, about themselves as they head into a series with the AL East-rival Red Sox on Tuesday at the Trop. Marc Topkin explains why.

• 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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