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Friday, Aug 17, 2018
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News Roundup

The Daystarter: Tallahassee showdown on gun bills; schools contend with threats; legal lion Barry Cohen closes shop after cancer return; Rays open Grapefruit League play

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

• The 80s are here to stay, according to 10Weather WTSP. Weekend temperatures cool only slightly, to the low to mid 80s, with a low rain chance. Next week is just more of the same.

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

• There will be an increased police presence at East Lake High School today as authorities make sure there’s nothing to a written threat found on a bathroom wall warning students not to come to school. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office believes the threat is likely not credible. Meanwhile St. Petersburg police arrested a student Thursday for threatening to attack Lakewood High School and, while the mayor and police chief warned students at Northeast High School about circulating rumors about threats, a parent posted an unverified rumor on Facebook. Colleen Wright explains everything Pinellas County schools had to deal with.

• Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he supports arming school teachers, endorsing a controversial proposal a day after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio rejected it. "The concept of having teachers who are trained and have appropriate credentials being able to be armed to protect students, I would support that," he said Thursday. Despite pushback from teachers, Negron’s endorsement means that the proposal is likely to make it into a package of gun-related bills that will be made public today, in response to last week’s shooting at a Broward County high school that left 17 people dead. Stay with The Buzz for the latest.

• For the latest legislative coverage from Tallahassee — including today’s proposed changes by Rick Scott and the GOP to Florida’s gun laws — keep checking The Buzz, which is updated throughout the day by the reporters of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.

• Legal lion Barry Cohen, 78, has closed his office. He reveals his leukemia and discusses how it has altered his view of what matters most in life. Read about his conversation with reporter Christopher O’Donnell has the details.

• Michael Ippolito was an average musician in high school in Brandon. So how did he go on to compose the Florida Orchestra’s 50th anniversary piece? Read his remarkable story.

• Friends and family have a saying about Lee Thornton Davis Jr. Once you met him, even for just a moment, you knew him forever. "He was the most outgoing person I’d ever met," Dick Greco said. That’s something coming from Tampa’s gregarious, 84-year-old, four-time mayor. Mr. Davis, who served as commodore of the Davis Islands Yacht Club and never missed a Gasparilla invasion, died Feb. 12 at 92. Read more from Paul Guzzo.

• The Rays open Grapefruit League play with split-squad games in Port Charlotte against the Pirates and Sarasota against the Orioles. Follow Marc Topkin (Port Charlotte) and Roger Mooney (Sarasota) for updates before and after the 1:05 p.m. starts, and check the Rays channel Friday afternoon for Topkin’s first impressions.

• Meanwhile, all eyes will be on top prospect Brent Honeywell, who injured his prized right arm throwing live batting practice. He was diagnosed initially with a right forearm strain amid concern the injury could be significant, the worst-case scenario a ligament tear that requires Tommy John surgery. He undergoes an MRI today; stay with Marc Topkin for any updates.

• And throughout spring training, use our Guide to the Grapefruit League for game times, tickets and directions.

• The Lightning was encouraged it escaped Ottawa with a 4-3 win over the Senators. The Lightning (41-17-3) has navigated this stretch of 18 road games out of 25 overall with some success, going 14-9-1 with the end coming Saturday in Montreal. But some flaws still need to be fixed come playoff time, or aided by Monday’s trade deadline — in which the Lightning are not planning to trade from its current roster. Joe Smith has the latest; follow him @TBTimes_JSmith.\

• Get in the running community spirit for this weekend’s Gasparilla Distance Classic with a couple compelling reads from the Sports desk. Joey Knight tells the tale of how one of Tampa Bay’s best out-ran his troubles, starting with a moment of teenage audacity that immortalized Jon Mott at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg.

• Check back on the Sports channel Friday afternoon for Martin Fennelly’s column on the race’s most beloved fan, who stands in the same spot every year, plays music and cheers on one and all.

• If you have a ton of Gasparilla beads leftover you can trade them in for doughnuts on Saturday at a Tampa Krispy Kreme so the beads can be recycled.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay including a free show by The Romantics in downtown Clearwater and Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera at Tampa’s Straz Center.

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