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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
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Daystarter: Gerald McCoy is a Buc no more; new Tampa Mayor Jane Castor gets to work; Subtropical Storm Andrea no threat to Florida

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

. It'll be in the low 70s in the morning, then warm up to about 90, according to the National Weather Service. No real chance of rain, but it will keep getting hotter and hotter this week.

. Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including a four-course dinner at the Don CeSar, a jam session with Ronnie Dee and the Super Stars and a screening of Nausicaa.

. The Bucs had two choices: Pay Gerald McCoy or release him. So, as expected, the Bucs plan to release one of the most popular members of the roster on Monday, informing the defensive tackle that they will part ways after nine years playing in Tampa Bay, reports Rick Stroud. McCoy's release leaves another huge hole in a defensive line that could be without leading sacker Jason Pierre-Paul, who suffered a cervical fracture in a car accident May 2.

. What legacy does McCoy leave behind as the Bucs' best defensive player for nine not-so-great seasons? Ernest Hooper asks the Times sportswriters to evaluate McCoy's time in Tampa Bay.

. Get the latest Bucs news as coach Bruce Arians gets ready for the 2019 season and follow Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD on Twitter and fellow beat writer Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard.

. Subtropical Storm Andrea no threat to Florida and will dissipate quickly, forecasters say. The weak system's disorganized showers and clouds began to form with winds up to 40 mph as it sat a few hundred southwest of Bermuda on Monday.

. Hurricane season officially starts June 1 but the first named storm of the season has already formed in the Atlantic Ocean, officials said, as an area of clouds and disorganized showers a hundred miles south of Bermuda had intensified enough to become Subtropical Storm Andrea.

. It's time for Tampa's new mayor to get to work. Jane Castor must identify winners and losers in the more than $1-billion budget due to City Council by Aug. 1. Meanwhile, all three city unions have their contracts up for renewal this year. But as Charlie Frago reports, the former police chief wants to hit the ground running. "I'm eager to implement some plans instead of being briefed," she said.

. A Ramadan gathering at a Tampa mosque ended in chaos early Monday when one man fatally shot another during an argument, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Tony Marrero reports that the victim, 36-year-old Rafat Saeed, is from Iraq and became a U.S. citizen last week. But no arrest had been made on Monday.

. Bianca Goolsby caused quite the stir when the 29-year-old business technology teacher blew the whistle on violence and disorder at Seffner's Jennings Middle School in a column in the Times explaining why she was quitting teaching. But Marlene Sokol reports that Goolsby said she'll continue to advocate for minority youth and improvements in the Hillsborough County school system.

. COLUMN: Why I'm quitting teaching by Bianca Goolsby

. For the latest education coverage, make sure to read The Gradebook. And check out the Gradebook podcast as education reporter Jeffrey Solochek leads a weekly discussion about Florida education.

. A father who said his 16-year-old son was handcuffed and searched by a Clearwater police officer because the child is black called the department racist in a Facebook post that has gone viral. Now police are looking into the incident, reports Kathryn Varn.

. A 49-year-old Pinellas County school teacher was arrested and fired on Monday after she brought a loaded gun and knives to her classroom, authorities said.

. Some Pasco schools are more popular than others for parental choice. Those with specialty programs attracted the most interest. District leaders have spoken about adding more programs to more schools.

. Hernando County officials question whether code violators should get a permanent pass on their zoning errors. Rezoning requests often generate controversy in a neighborhood, but Hernando County commissioners last week discussed their discomfort over a recent trend that some see as rewarding property owners for not following land-use law.

. After more than three years of planning, construction on Largo's first mixed-use project "West Bay Lofts" to begin on June 5. West Bay Lofts is a $48.8 million project that includes a five-story building on the 500 block of West Bay Drive and a three-story building on the 600 block.

. We were among the few allowed a sneak peak at the new Hagrid-themed attraction in the Harry Potter area of Universal's Islands of Adventure. Opening June 13, it will be the longest coaster in Florida, and the only one in the country with a free-fall vertical drop.

. It costs money to produce quality journalism. Please support the Tampa Bay Times by buying a digital subscription to Florida's best newspaper and its redesigned website tampabay.com.

. Deal alert! Busch Gardens and SeaWorld has free admission for veterans and their familes and there's a half-priced ticket available for college students at Adventure Island. Read the details here.

. From the food editor: Our tasters weigh in on new snacks for the summer.

. Politics never stops in Florida, and neither does the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau. For the latest and greatest political coverage in the Sunshine State check out the The Buzz.

. Read the Tampa Bay Times online Sports page with the latest news about the Lightning, Bucs, Rays, Bulls, Gators, Noles and high school sports. Times sportswriter Rick Stroud has the latest reaction and analysis from the whole team via our Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast.

. The Rays are 27-17 and just a half-game out of first place in the American League East. But Marc Topkin reports that the real season is about to start: After what team officials privately call a soft opening, the Rays enter what looks to be a defining segment of their schedule on Tuesday. It will either validate them as legit contenders, and worthy of additions to the roster, or expose weaknesses that will prove them unfit for contention.

. The Rays have started this season strong, but can they keep it up? Rays beat writer Marc Topkin will be there every step of the way. Follow him at @TBTimes_Rays.

. FSU's DeCalon Brooks: "Playing with the guys I'm playing with now, I know we can get it back to where it was once before," linebacker DeCalon Brooks said during the Seminole Boosters' local stop Sunday. "I'm very confident in that."

. When sports-talk radio host Steve Duemig died last week, he took with him the lion's roar in all of us. He left behind a family and friends. He left behind an army of lover and an army of haters. He left behind: "You hear what Duemig said today?". Steve Duemig was, as his trademark said, the Big Dog.

. What they're saying about the Bucs releasing Gerald McCoy. The Bucs waited this long to release McCoy because they truly believed he had trade value, but general manager Jason Licht couldn't find the right deal.

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