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Tuesday, Jun 25, 2019
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The Daystarter: How Cape San Blas weathered Michael; Medicare’s first day of open enrollment; Bucs stumble in Atlanta

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

• We’ll have partly cloudy skies today, according to the National Weather Service. Highs will be in the upper 80s and low 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.

• On the kind of sunny, no-clouds-in-the-sky day that usually brings tourists and dogs to frolic on the sand dunes of Cape San Blas in Gulf County, residents instead trekked over broken asphalt on a pilgrimage to find out what was left after Hurricane Michael tore through it last week. Nobody knew how bad the damage was, and the only access road onto the cape was destroyed. So people walked for answers. Read about how Cape San Blas weathered Michael.

• Just under 183,000 Floridians remained without power on Sunday evening. But as this number has decreased from its peak of about 400,000, the progress has remained concentrated in the lesser-hit areas like Tallahassee’s Leon County while the hardest-hit counties in the Panhandle remained largely in the dark. State emergency officials said it will take at least five more days to see progress in these stricken areas, but that estimate could be highly optimistic for places where buildings were reduced to rubble. Check back with The Buzz for the latest.

• President Donald Trump will be in Florida today to observe the devastation left behind from Hurricane Michael last week. Trump is scheduled to arrive at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle, just northeast of Fort Walton Beach, by mid-morning and is expected to tour those areas.

• Today marks the first day of Medicare’s open enrollment period, which means it’s time for the Tampa Bay Times annual Medicare Guide. Use it to get up to speed on your Medicare basics, or to sort through your health care options for 2019. Also, health and medicine reporter Justine Griffin outlines what’s new with Medicare coverage this year.

• Tyndall Air Force Base, south of Panama City, experienced widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Michael, including to aircraft that were left behind. Sen. Bill Nelson, who toured Tyndall Air Force Base on Sunday and witnessed the destruction firsthand, said he will recommend the base be rebuilt. Read Howard Altman’s story this morning on tampabay.come_SClB

• Plan your week! Here are the top things to do this week in Tampa Bay including the Clearwater Jazz Holiday and the St. Petersburg waterfront turned into kid-friendly science lab for MarineQuest and the St. Petersburg Science Festival.

• Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. Sears once dominated the American retail landscape. But the big question is whether the shrunken version of itself can be viable or will it be forced to go out of business, closing the final chapter for an iconic name that originated more than a century ago. Holdings will also close 142 unprofitable stores near the end of the year. Liquidation sales at these stores are expected to begin shortly. This is in addition to the previously announced closure of 46 unprofitable stores that is expected to be completed by November 2018.

• A Republican ad portrays Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum as a man on the run from law enforcement amid an FBI corruption probe in his city. "Andrew Gillum is running for governor and also from the FBI," the Republican Party of Florida ad says. PolitiFact Florida says that’s extremely misleading.

• As movements have surfaced across Florida to transform governments run by appointed city managers and instead put daily authority in the hands of mayors, it was often Beth Rawlins who would show up. She has been preaching the gospel of professional management through 20 years of political consulting, building a niche expertise around unglamorous grinds of road bonds, fire assessments and school taxes. So far she has fought nearly a dozen strong mayor initiatives across the state, extinguishing some before they got on a ballot, watching others go down at the polls. Her message against taking power away from a professional city manager hired for expertise and giving it to a politician elected on charisma and campaign promises never changed. Now that a movement is happening in her hometown of Clearwater, she’s the face of a No Boss Mayor movement for the first time.

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

• Atlanta scored on four of five first-half possessions, and Matt Ryan passed for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons beat the Bucs 34-29 on Sunday. Quarterback Jameis Winston, making his first start since his three-game suspension, almost brought the Bucs back from a 21-6 deficit.

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

• Check out the latest episode of the Tampa Bay Times podcast Sports Day Tampa Bay led by veteran sportswriter Rick Stroud.

• It was another big music weekend, from Kid Rock to Mary Chapin Carpenter. Find out what happened in the music scene on our Soundcheck music blog

• The Conners will be trudging along without matriarch and star Roseanne Barr. Read about what to expect come Tuesday, when the show premieres and all eyes will be on ABC’s ratings and whether the show’s decision to sever ties with Barr was also worth the risk.

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