tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019
  • Home

The Daystarter: A contentious DeSantis-Gillum debate; arrest made in Tampa double-homicide; Bucs kicker makes amends in OT

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

• Is autumn finally here? It will finally feel like it, with our morning lows in the 60s throughout Tampa Bay, according to the National Weather Service. Expect partly cloudy skies with a slight chance of showers. Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s.

• Check out our weekend rewind for five stories you may have missed over the weekend.

• Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum had never met before Sunday night’s Florida governor debate. It was not the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Rather, it was a nationally televised brawl between the two candidates neck-and-neck in one of the nation’s most closely watched state races. They unleashed a torrent of attacks and accusations aimed at the other’s credentials, policy positions and those who associate with them.

• Is Florida headed for a blue wave in 2018? The answer comes into sharper focus as early voting gets underway this week in the state’s largest counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough and Pinellas. In many smaller counties, early voting won’t begin until Saturday. Early voting has long been favored by Democratic retirees, African-Americans and college students, who are clustered in Florida’s urban centers. Early voting takes on special significance this year because it’s the first time college students and staff members can cast ballots on campus, within walking distance of their classrooms and offices — initially over the opposition of Gov. Rick Scott’s administration. Voting will be taking place on the campuses of USF, UF, FSU, UCF and some of the state’s largest community colleges. Read more from Steve Bousquet.

• Mail ballots have already gone out for the 2018 election and early voting starts this month. Find out everything you wanted to know about local, state and federal candidates, where they stand on issues such as gun rights, opioids and education using the Tampa Bay Times handy-dandy "Know Your Candidate" voter guide. Remember: Election day is Nov. 6.

• Gov. Rick Scott has touted a strong Florida economy built up over his two terms in office. But Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate seeking to replace him, says the economy is "propped up" by low wages and people working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. In an interview on CBS Miami’s Facing South Florida, host Jim DeFede asked the Tallahassee mayor if he gave Scott any credit for the economy. "I give him credit for an economy that is largely propped up on low-wage work," Gillum said. "Of course you’ve got a low unemployment rate when people have got to work two and three jobs just to make ends meet." Is the low unemployment rate is propped up by people with multiple jobs? Read PolitiFact Florida’s analysis.

• For the latest in Tampa Bay politics, make sure to check The Bay Buzz.

• When it comes to education funding, Florida could not have two more different candidates for governor. Ron DeSantis sees a school system that is filled with "bureaucratic inefficiency" and "wasteful spending" and wants to take steps to tackle it. Andrew Gillum, on the other hand, wants to pour another $1 billion into the system, primary for teacher raises. We examine DeSantis’ proposal to implement a plan that would earmark 80 percent of public K-12 education spending on the classroom. Since there are many different ways to classify classroom spending, what does that mean? Who would decide? And how is he sure that the system is filled with waste, given given that state funding has not kept up with inflation and growing enrollment? At least one point in DeSantis’ favor: the state has documented an increase in per student spending on administration. Read more from Jeffrey S. Solochek.

• A Tampa man faces charges in the deaths of a 34-year-old woman and 10-year-old boy following a domestic dispute in an apartment complex on Sunday night. Tyrone Terell Johnson, 42, was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on Monday around 1:20 a.m. He is being held without bail on charges of first- and second-degree murder, firing aggravated child abuse, and shooting into or within a building. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

• Early Sunday morning, police say a wrong-way driver behind the wheel of a Ford F-250 pickup truck with its headlights off slammed head-on into the car Bamnet Narongchai was driving on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway. Narongchai, a 68-year-old grandfather, was killed. The pickup driver, Stephen Joseph Paleveda, tried to flee on foot after the crash but responders found him near the scene. Police say alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash and charges are pending against Paleveda, 27, of Seffner.

• The Diocese of St. Petersburg has launched a new website in response to the latest surge of revelations about the Catholic church’s widening sexual abuse scandal, Waveney Ann Moore reports. Prominent on the site are the biblical words: "Each of us shall give an account to God." The local diocese established the site last month, following the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report about the molestation of more than 1,000 children by at least 300 Catholic priests and the cover-up by church officials.

• After missing an extra point and a 40-yard field goal to win the game at the end of regulation, Chandler Catanzaro connected on a career-long 59-yard field goal with 1:50 remaining in overtime to give the Bucs a 26-23 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday.

• The latest Bucs news is just one click away. Check out the Tampa Bay Times coverage all season long.

• The Lightning shot 33 pucks at the Chicago net in the second, an NHL record for one period since shots by period became an official statistic in 1997-98. Tampa Bay used that high-shot volume to score three second-period goals en route to a 6-3 victory at the United Center. The win was the first on the road this season for the Lightning (5-1-1), which set a franchise record for shots in one game with 55. That eclipsed the mark of 52 set on Nov. 18, 2008, against the Panthers.

• To keep up with the Lightning’s quest for a Stanley Cup, make sure to click here throughout the season.

• Plan your week! Here are the top things to do this week in Tampa Bay including loads of Halloween parties, Tampa’s first KittyCon and Toto gets the last laugh now that Africa has gone from radio earworm to a pop music standard. They perform in Clearwater Wednesday.

• Listen to our new podcast, Life of the Party, that keeps you caught up just enough to get by in small talk. Times staffers Stephanie Hayes and Brittany Volk will discuss what’s going on, from celebrity news to movies and music, plus offbeat info that will make you the most interesting person in the room.

Weather Center