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Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018
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News Roundup

The Daystarter: Seminole Heights suspect could face death penalty; soggy commute across Tampa Bay; Oscar nominations released today; Lightning shut out Blackhawks

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

• Those Monday evening showers could linger to saturate Tuesday morning’s commute, according to 10Weather WTSP. They’ll move out by the afternoon as a cool — not quite a cold — front pushes through. Temperatures Tuesday will top out in the low 70s, but the front is expected to drag highs into the 60s for the middle part of the week. So far, Gasparilla Saturday looks great: dry and temperatures in the mid 70s.

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

• Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren is expected to announce this morning whether his office will seek the death penalty for Howell Donaldson III, the suspect in the string of killings that terrorized Seminole Heights last year. Warren has called a news conference for 10:30 a.m. Read more at tampabay.com and follow Dan Sullivan at @TimesDan for updates.

• Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the county’s Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion program to help certain people facing some misdemeanor charges avoid having an arrest on their record is working. But a St. Petersburg lawyer is challenging the sheriff, saying the program failed to honor the bargain it made with his client. Laura Morel explains more at tampabay.com.

• Oscar nominations come out today. Keep checking here for updates and our film critic Steve Persall’s take on this year’s slate of films and artists nominated for an Academy Award.

• Have a strong stomach? You’re going to need it for the food offerings at this year’s Florida State Fair. We got a sneak peek a this year’s deep-friend food oddities, including a catfish "sundae" and a chicken and waffles pizza drizzled with syrup.

• Pinellas County school district officials have spent weeks analyzing bus routes and brainstorming ideas to see if later high school start times could be a reality this August. Today will tell how far they have come. Clint Herbic, associate superintendent of operational services for the district, will update the School Board on the work of a transportation task force. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

• Turns out, Andrei Vasilevskiy is all right. And, believe it or not, so is the Lightning’s penalty kill, which was the unlikely hero in Monday’s streak-snapping 2-0 win over the Blackhawks at the United Center. Joe Smith has the details.

• Nancy Tower, the new CEO of Tampa Electric Co., is speaking at the University of Tampa’s Business Network Symposium panel at 7:45 a.m. She will be joined by David Osterweil, CEO of Fitlife Foods, and John Couris, CEO of Tampa General Hospital, to discuss their upcoming plans for their companies. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter for updates.

• Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who turns 77 on Wednesday, is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50th anniversary tour.

• The bay area’s thriving glass art scene adds another member to its ranks Tuesday when the Imagine Museum officially opens in downtown St. Petersburg. We got a preview of the gleaming new addition.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including the world-infused orchestra Pink Martini and howling rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

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