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Monday, May 20, 2019
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The Daystarter: Spanish relic may be clue in death; the latest on ‘Zombie Campaigns’; Barber’s quest to be Bucs’ starting QB

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

• We’ll be partly sunny with scattered showers and thunderstorms developing, mainly in the afternoon and early evening, according to the National Weather Service. High temperatures will be in the upper 80s to 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.

• The federal agency that oversees elections announced months ago that it would finally crack down on a loophole that lets former lawmakers hoard and spend leftover campaign donations long after the leave office. It made little difference to former Florida congressman Cliff Stearns. In the weeks that followed, the Republican who lost his seat in 2012 and became a lobbyist used campaign donations to pay for internet service and to pay $2,000 to his wife. And former Californian congressman Gary Miller, who paid more than $79,000 to his wife as salary since leaving office in 2015, is still paying her from campaign funds, which he is also using to pay rent on a Laguna Beach office. But the Federal Election Commission’s April announcement doesn’t actually mean either of them are in trouble. Instead, it admits, it may not be until 2019 that it starts to hold former office holders like Stearns and Miller accountable for their spending, Christopher O’Donnell and Connie Humburg report.

• More than 50,000 people signed a petition to place a sales-tax hike for transportation on the Nov. 6 ballot in Hillsborough County. But many of the 17 candidates seeking seats on the Hillsborough County Commission say they’re still making up their minds. Less than two weeks before the Aug. 28 primary decides party nominees, many candidates appear wary of commenting on a plan on the heels of two failed measures — an aborted Go Hillsborough referendum that commissioners refused to place before voters in 2016 and a 2010 referendum that they did put on the ballot only to see it rejected by voters. One campaign tactic among commission candidates this time around: Blame commissioners past and present for inaction on transportation. Read more from Charlie Frago.

• For months, Christie New’s case has sat unsolved. She was found by a city worker badly beaten in Lake Maggiore Park this past spring, and she later died. But last week, police requested a warrant to collect DNA from the man they think did it. The warrant reveals previous unknown details about her death. But the warrant is filled with real "Florida" details, as well. The man detectives think did it was wanted by the ATF for a previous and unrelated armed robbery. Agents tracked him to Colorado where they arrested him. In his car, they found a gold medallion, which detectives say may be a relic from the Spanish vessel Nuestra Senore de Atocha, which sank off the Florida Keys in 1622. The medallion a href="http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/400-years-later-Spanish-coin-is-clue-in-mysterious-death_171035706" target="_blank">appears to be the same one New wore the night she was killed, as she was captured on surveillance video using an ATM, Josh Solomon reports.

• Professional golfer Jan Stephenson is known for her many accomplishments on the links, including 16 LPGA Tour wins and three major championships after her Rookie of the Year debut season in 1974. Off the course, Stephenson is proving to be as successful, with business and philanthropic ventures that include a line of award-winning wines, course designing and charitable work. Through Jan Stephenson’s Crossroads Foundation, which benefits Purple Heart, blind and disabled veterans and first responders, the Australian native is embarking on another endeavor — transforming Tarpon Woods Golf Club into a top-notch facility that caters to that group.

• Keep these links handy for hurricane season: Read our 2018 hurricane guide, keep track of storms with our live radar, download our weather app and sign up for weather alerts

• The Aug. 28 primary is almost here Florida. Time to start researching the candidates using the Tampa Bay Times 2018 Florida Voter Guide. Find out everything you need to know about those running for governor, the Legislature and your local governments.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow was the first song Lillia Raubenolt’s parents sang to her as a newborn, according to her uncle, John Reisinger. But on May 23, while the family was visiting Tampa from Ohio, Lillia and her mother Jessica Raubenolt were struck and killed by a car as they legally crossed the road at the corner of Bayshore Boulevard and W. Knights Avenue. Jessica Raubenolt, 24, died from her injuries shortly after the crash. Lillia, 21 months old, died the following day. On Sunday, as part of a birthday vigil for Lillia, chalk drawings of rainbows adorned the Bayshore Boulevard sidewalk near that same corner, Paul Guzzo reports. Lillia would have turned 2 years old today.

• In photos, Times photojournalist Brontë Wittpenn tells the story of 9-year-old DáVeon Anding, and others who are dealing with the scare of lead exposure in Hillsborough County Schools. If you missed it, here is our Times investigation.

• On Sunday, five Rays pitchers combined to shut down and shutout the majors-best Red Sox in a 2-0 matinee win to cap a winning three-city road trip. The Rays head home to open a four-game series against the Royals on tonight.

• Ask Peyton Barber his approach to training camp or preseason games, and his answer is meant to bull over the questioner as if it’s all that’s standing between him and the goal line. "I think the end-all goal for me is to be the starting running back for this upcoming season,’’ Barber said. "The way I approach it is I go into it as if it’s my last game that I’m ever going to play.’’ Maybe that’s why Barber’s last game always seems to be a little better than the game before. Rick Stroud details Barber’s quest to become the Bucs’ starting running back.

• The Tampa Bay Sports Commission along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lightning, Rays, Rowdies and University of South Florida have teamed up to host a two week, community wide Team Tampa Bay for Joey J 50-50 Raffle. The raffle began Aug. 13 and will conclude Monday (Aug. 27) when the winner is drawn. The raffle will help assist with the financial medical needs of 15-year-old Joey Johnston, the son of longtime Tampa Bay sports writer Joey Johnston, a Times correspondent. The raffle raises funds for the benefit of the Johnston family to assist in offsetting anticipated medical, personal and household expenses resulting from injuries he sustained in a debilitating accident in July.

• Plan your week! Here are the top things to do this week in Tampa Bay including an arena-style Monster Jam show in Amalie Arena

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