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Thursday, Aug 16, 2018
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News Roundup

The Daystarter: Lightning one win away from advancing; Steve Persall rides off into retirement; talking ‘St. Pete Pier’ funding; meet the Times’ new business columnist

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

• It’s more of the same with sunny skies and warm temperatures today. It’ll be a bit cooler at the beaches around the mid-70s, but east of Interstate 75 it will be in the mid to upper 80s. Humidity is creeping back up but it won’t be too bad. It should stay nice through Friday but rain could return by Saturday, according to 10Weather WTSP.

• 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.

• The Tampa Bay Lightning bounced back in Wednesday night’s Game 4 to hand the New Jersey Devils a 3-1 loss on the road. Tampa Bay takes a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series going into Saturday’s Game 5. Catch up on coverage of Wednesday night’s game and check out the Times’ coverage of the Lightning throughout the postseason.

• The newest trend for Tampa date nights? Indoor axe throwing Hurling axes across a room is perfect for date nights, family outings and corporate team building say the operators of Axe Throwing Tampa, which opened last week in Town ‘N’ Country.

• The St. Petersburg City Council today is set to approve $15 million to fund the next phase of the new Pier District, which is expected to open in the fall of 2019. Meanwhile, the city has applied to make "St. Pete Pier’’ a registered trademark. Waveney Ann Moore has the details.

• Upon retirement, Tampa Bay Times film critic Steve Persall looks back on 25 years of a dream job It was one that took him backstage with Channing Tatum while shooting Magic Mike and on stage questioning Sophia Loren, Al Pacino and Richard Dreyfuss. He recounts his highlights and ends with Muppets wisdom.

• A political fight over the makeup of Hillsborough County government could be heading to voters to decide. After a discussion divided along party lines, commissioners voted 5-2 Wednesday to move ahead with a plan to overhaul the structure of the Hillsborough County Commission including the addition of two seats. If approved by commissioners at an upcoming public hearing, the measure would go to a countywide referendum in the November general election. Read more from Christopher O’Donnell.

• The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teachers’ aides who help them master the English language. Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer positions for bilingual aides, according to a letter shared with principals and department leaders this week.

• Meet the Times’ new business columnist: Veteran reporter and editor Graham Brink. That will lead to changes in newsroom leadership as Deputy Managing Editor Amy Hollyfield takes on oversight for metro, politics and business.

• The head of Canada’s national Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business leaders Wednesday "everybody loses" in a trade war, so politicians — he meant President Trump, even if he didn’t mention him by name — should not interfere in trade between Canada and the United States. Perrin Beatty sat down with Times business reporter Richard Danielson to outline the concerns of Canadian business on NAFTA, tariffs and tourism.

• In the coming season, Freefall Theatre is rolling out a world premiere, a different take on Christmas, a sharp comedy and a recent work by Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage. The theme for the 2018-2019 season, "A Brighter Tomorrow," colors its half-dozen shows with a thread of hope. Andrew Meacham previews the upcoming season.

• It’s time to plan your weekend! Our critics and writers have mapped out their top picks this week for concerts, shows and family fun on our Weekend Planner page includling a look at The Producers, this year’s American Stage in the Park Production, as well as date night options and top concerts coming to Tampa Bay stages this weekend and the highly regarded Mainsail Art Festival in Vinoy Park.

• Tampa Bay Rays closer Alex Colome got the three outs to he needed to save Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers, but he didn’t make it easy. Marc Topkin writes about the Rays win and all things Rays’ related.

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