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Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
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The Daystarter: Building a wall against Red Tide; PolitiFact on a proposed $1 billion tax hike; Dungy goes into Ring of Honor

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

• We’ll have scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. Highs today will be in the lower 90s.

• 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.

• The Bucs are on Monday Night Football tonight, playing against the visiting Steelers and inducting former coach Tony Dungy into the Ring of Honor. The Tampa Bay Times coverage of the Bucs’ is just one click away.

• A Hillsborough County deputy fatally shot his wife early Monday morning before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. In an early-morning news conference, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said four children — no older than 14 years old — were inside the home in the 17000 block of Terrazzo Way in Land O’Lakes at the time of the shooting around midnight. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

• A TV attack ad portrays Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum as so "far out" that he is on another planet. "Gillum wants to increase Florida taxes by a billion dollars. Disaster for the economy," says an ad by the Republican Governors Association showing Gillum’s headshot floating in space. Does Gillum want to raise Florida taxes by $1 billion? Read PolitiFact Florida’s analysis.

• Believe it or not there’s a Tampa Bay transit project that could actually become reality: The Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit line, which would connect downtown St. Petersburg to the beaches. It has local and state funding. But Caitlin Johnston reports that the transit project could be facing new roadblock: The Trump Administration.

• More than two months have passed since Michael Drejka shot Markeis McGlockton in the parking lot of a convenience store. While developments in the headline-grabbing case have slowed to a trickle as it crawls through the court system, the Tampa Bay Times obtained more than 400 pages of investigative documents from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Here are five new details that have emerged.

• To combat the waves of dead fish that keep washing ashore during the Red Tide bloom, some Pinellas County businesses and homeowners are borrowing a tactic from the president himself: They’re building a wall. Craig Pittman reports that Pinellas folks are resorting to building their own barriers and booms to keep the smelly fish kill away from their waterways.

• This St. Petersburg couple thought they did everything right when they spent $15,000 to build a driveway at their Historic Old Northeast home. But now Susan Taylor Martin reports that the city says they can’t park on their own driveway and could face a $500-a-day fine if they do? How did this happen?

• On Sept. 26, 1918, the USS Tampa had just left a convoy to refuel when a German U-Boat fired a torpedo, breaking the ship in half and sending it to the bottom. There were 131 men on board, including 24 from Tampa. Over the weekend, there was a commemoration of the worst maritime disaster of World War I and the worst in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard. We retell the story of the crew and its sinking through the U-Boat commander’s log, Navy and Coast Guard records and letters back home to loved ones. Read Howard Altman’s story on tampabay.com

• Columnist Ernest Hooper writes that Amendment 1, one of 12 amendments to the state constitution on the November ballot, increases the maximum homestead exemption from $50,000 to $75,000. It’s a jump, he writes, that will make it harder for municipal governments to afford to provide essential services.

•Gus Bilirakis was one of seven House members who cosponsored a bill in 2016 that made it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration to prosecute bad opioid actors — while he collected thousands in campaign contributions from opioid manufacturers. Now, two months before he faces reelection, he is trying to address concerns. He has filed a bill that lowers the burden of proof DEA needs to halt suspicious shipments of opioids — but he hasn’t stopped receiving opioid manufacturer money. According to Federal Election Commission filings, his peak contribution from the industry came in 2015, as lobbyists were pushing him to support the legislation the industry fought for. Read more from Tracey McManus.

• Blake Snell made his case for the American League’s Cy Young Award on Sunday, earning his team record and majors-most 21st win as the Rays beat the Blue Jays 5-2.

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