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Sunday, Aug 19, 2018
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The Daystarter: Race-baiter claims self-defense; Florida Republicans blast Trump’s performance; catching up with All-Star Blake Snell

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

• There is a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain today, with storms expected to start along the coast in the morning before moving inland, according to the National Weather Service. High temperatures will likely hit 90 degrees.

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

• Florida’s Republicans blasted President Trump after his Monday news conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, where the president said he took Putin at his word that Russia did not interested in the 2016 election. "What the president said today is not accurate," Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said. Find out what the other politicians said during an Atlantic Council event.

• Remember that Russian simulation showing missiles raining down on Florida? Despite a very clear view of Florida, where President Donald Trump spends a good deal of time, Russian President Vladimir Putin today denied it was even Florida. Alex Leary has details of Putin’s interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

• The Florida Department of Transportation announced that it will suspend all payments to the SunPass contractor until the troubled electronic tolling system is finally fixed. Hannah Denham reports that state officials have told the vendor that the improvements made are not enough to satisfy the contract it signed in 2015.

• Tampa’s 60-year-old race-baiting provocateur Tony Daniel was back on the same street corner Monday where he was arrested just days earlier. He denied assaulting the two women who confronted him last week over the racist slur-bearing sign he was carrying, reports Tony Marrero, and plans to contest the charges.

• Toby Knobel Fluek spent her teen years hiding from the Nazis, and went on to paint about her experiences after the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland. Now her 500-piece collection, which includes her own paintings, art and personal objects, has been donated to the Florida Holocaust Museum. Jimena Tavel explains the significance of that late artist’s work and why the museum welcomes the donation.

• As Amazon Prime Day continues today, Sara DiNatale tells the story of a Tarpon Springs woman who, after four years of selling sea sponges and spa products through Spa Destinations on Amazon’s marketplace, has learned to be prepared.

• When it comes to judicial appointments, Gov. Rick Scott is speaking out of both sides of his mouth, columnist John Romano writes.

• Marc Topkin caught up with Blake Snell, who made to tonight’s All-Star Game after all as an American League replacement.

• Meanwhile, sports columnist Martin Fennelly opines on why baseball’s Midsummer Classic is the only all-star collection that matters.

• There are collectors and there is this Tampa couple with a large home stuffed with coins, paper money, checks endorsed by celebrities, spoons, shadowboxes displaying classic toys. You walk into a room filled with coffee mugs, tiny hotel liquor bottles and what appears to be every promotional giveaway ever given away by the Tampa Bay Rays. We asked Mary and Dennis Schrader, a couple that seems to collect everything just what they are thinking.

• A critically lauded comedy is playing in St. Petersburg for the next few weeks. Performing arts critic Andrew Meacham says Bad Jews at American Stage is not to be missed.

• We were at Universal Studios in Orlando last night to see the world premiere of the park’s new nighttime lagoon show of fountains and lasers and videos. We have a photo gallery and video.

• From our food editor: This simple shrimp dish lets summer vegetables shine.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including $5 admission at the James Museum and a writing talk from two of the Tampa Bay area’s best.

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