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THE DAYSTARTER: YOUR EARLY LOOK AT TODAY’S HEADLINES


Rick Perry misunderstood in role as energy secretary

WASHINGTON — When President-elect Donald Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador …

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Babysitter arrested in death of 2-year-old boy in Zephyrhills train accident

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  1. Forecast: Dry, warm trend continues across Tampa Bay before severe thunderstorms, gusty winds arrive Sunday

    Weather

    Tampa Bay is in for another bright, sunny, and dry day Thursday with afternoon temperatures near 80, forecasters said.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast [WTSP]
  2. Collapse of burning Iran high-rise kills 30 firefighters (w/video)

    World

    TEHRAN, Iran — A high-rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire collapsed on Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring some 75 people, state media reported.

    Iranian firefighters work to extinguish fire of the Plasco building in central Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. A high-rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire collapsed on Thursday as scores of firefighters battled the blaze. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: Tax credit scholarships, attendance audits, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    TAX CREDIT SCHOLARSHIPS: The Florida Supreme Court tosses the Florida Education Association's lawsuit challenging the state's tax credit scholarship …

  4. Trump Treasury pick Mnuchin facing criticism over foreclosures

    National

    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's pick to lead the Treasury Department, Stephen Mnuchin, built his reputation and his fortune as a savvy Wall Street investor. But one of those investments has put him in the crosshairs of Democrats as he heads into his confirmation hearing Thursday: sub-prime mortgage lender IndyMac …

    Steven Mnuchin arrives in Trump Tower in New York in December 2016. President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Treasury Department, Mnuchin, built his reputation and his fortune as a savvy Wall Street investor. But one of those investments has put him in the crosshairs of Democrats as he heads into his confirmation hearing Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017: sub-prime mortgage lender IndyMac bank. [Associated Press]
  5. George H.W. Bush remains in intensive care with pneumonia; Barbara Bush hospitalized

    National

    HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, remain hospitalized in Houston, where he was in intensive care for pneumonia and she was being watched after complaining of fatigue and coughing.

    Former President George H. W. Bush, right, and his wife, Barbara, are greeted before a Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston in Houston in February 2016. On Wednesday, the former president was admitted to an intensive care unit, and Barbara was hospitalized as a precaution, according to his spokesman. [AP photo]
  6. NASA study in Hawaii paving way for human travel to Mars (w/video)

    Space

    HONOLULU — A group of NASA-funded researchers are poised to enter an isolated geodesic dome on a remote Hawaii volcano to study human behavior in long-term space exploration, including a planned voyage to Mars.

    Lucie Poulet, right, uses a geotechnical tool while Annie Caraccio records the data during a previous study outside the domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, in 2014. The group will enter the dome Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, and spend eight months together in the 1,200-square-foot research facility in a study called Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS). They will have no physical contact with any humans outside their group, experience a 20-minute delay in communications and are required to wear space suits whenever they leave the compound. [Ross Lockwood | University of Hawaii via AP]
  7. Billy Joel band alumni reunite at Clearwater block party

    Blogs

    Talk about Big Shots: The Lords of 52nd Street are coming to the free Blast Friday party in downtown Clearwater on  March 31, and this is just not a Billy Joel tribute band. These are the original musicians who backed up the Piano Man from 1976 to 1981. And they’re still playing …

    The original members of Billy Joel's band in the late '70s and '80s, from left, Richie Cannata, Liberty DeVitto and Russell Javors, have reunited as The Lords of 52nd Street
  8. Florida's GEO Group gets boost from Trump victory

    Blogs

    From Beth Reinhard of the Wall Street Journal:

  9. New Hall of Famer Raines once eyed Gators football career

    Blogs

    Tim Raines could have been a Florida Gator running back rather than one of baseball's newest Hall of Famers.

    Tim Raines poses for a photograph after a TV interview Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Goodyear, Ariz. shortly after being elected to baseball's Hall of Fame. Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion.
  10. Thousands lined the streets of Central Avenue during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg on June 25, 2016. The parade's board voted on Tuesday to move the event to the St. Petersburg waterfront, saying it offered more space, better security and more shadem, but Mayor Rick Kriseman said he will withhold $45,000 that would help pay for security because the parade has moved from its traditional route. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times]

Florida's GEO Group gets boost from Trump victory

From Beth Reinhard of the Wall Street Journal:...

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Signature kick: Tar Heel who beat FSU popular with Gators fans

Nick Weiler made 193 kicks in three years as North Carolina's kicker, but he's known best for just one, a 54-yard field goal as time expired to give the Tar Heels a wild 37-35 upset of Florida State in October, ending a 22-game home winning streak for the Seminoles....

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Tonya Harding in 1994.

Margot Robbie is unrecognizable in first photos as Tonya Harding

As we already know, Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie has no issues with roles requiring elaborate costumes, but her latest on-screen look as the disgraced Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in the upcoming I, Tonya is simultaneosly subtle and extreme at once....

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