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MORNING WATCH: HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY


Tropical Storm Matthew bashes Caribbean islands and forecast to turn north, east of Florida

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Tropical Storm Matthew swirled westward into the open waters of the Caribbean early Thursday after hitting islands at the sea's southern entry with heavy wind and rain …

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Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, survivor of 2011 shooting, set to appear at St. Petersburg rally

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Tampa looks to sell city block to New Orleans developer HRI Properties for $7.5 million

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  1. Commuter train hits New Jersey station; no word yet on injuries

    Nation

    HOBOKEN, N.J. — A commuter train has crashed into a rail station in New Jersey.

  2. The Morning Watch: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in St. Pete, and creepy clowns are everywhere

    Briefs

    Here's a look at what we'll be watching around the bay area today:

    Mollusk tableware by Salvador Dal? is on display during a media preview of the "Ferran Adri?: The Invention of Food" exhibit. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  3. U.S. Senate candidate wants some votes, like Zika funding, to be 'secretive'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — One of the independent candidates running for Florida's U.S. Senate seat this fall says he favors blind voting as a solution to the "hyper-partisanship" and gridlock of Congress.

    Coral Gables aviation businessman Tony Khoury is an independent candidate in Florida's U.S. Senate race.(Miami Herald)
  4. Forecast: Want it to feel like fall? Tampa Bay will have to wait in the rain a little longer

    Weather

    The cold front previously forecast to bring slightly drier air to the region will probably not extend to Tampa Bay, forecasters said Thursday.

  5. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, survivor of 2011 shooting, set to appear at St. Petersburg rally

    State Roundup

    ST. PETERSBURG — Former U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a 2011 assassination and mass shooting that left six people dead in Arizona, is set to appear at an anti-gun violence rally on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, left, holds the hand of  Pulse nightclub shooting survivor Angel Colon during a meeting Tuesday in Orlando. Giffords and her husband, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, kicked off a multi-city tour Tuesday to reform and prevent gun violence. Giffords survived an assassination attempt on Jan. 8, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and 13 injured. Gifford and her husband are set to appear Thursday on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
  6. Rebuilt Publix highlights new retail options coming to St. Petersburg's Skyway Marina District

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — For shoppers missing their neighborhood Publix near the Sunshine Skyway bridge and Pinellas Bayway, the wait is almost over.

    As Publix nears completion in Bay Pointe Plaza, nearby businesses are getting makeovers and a marina is being redeveloped.
  7. Florida poll: Clinton 45%, Trump 43%. Johnson 3%

    Blogs

    The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling is out with new battleground state robo polls, including one in Florida showing Hillary Clintin edging Donald Trump 48 percent to 45 percent in a two-way race and in a four-way race 45 percent for Clinton, 43 percent for Trump, 3 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 1 …

  8. Tampa looks to sell city block to New Orleans developer HRI Properties for $7.5 million

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — New Orleans-based HRI Properties emerged Thursday as the winning bidder for a city-owned block in the heart of downtown that has sat vacant for nearly 20 years.

    Tampa officials are interested in selling this city block along N Florida Avenue, just east of City Hall, between E Kennedy Boulevard and E Jackson Street. Officials hope for a mixed-use development with residential, plus retail, offices or restaurants. They also want the developer that buys the block to provide 200 spaces for public parking in its garage.
  9. Officials: Firefighter halted teen who killed father, shot three

    Nation

    TOWNVILLE, S.C. — A volunteer firefighter stopped a teenager who shot two students and a teacher outside a South Carolina elementary school after killing his father at their home, authorities said.

    Lilly Chapman, 8, cries after being reunited with her father, John Chapman, at Oakdale Baptist Church on Wednesday  in Townville, S.C. Students were evacuated to the church following a shooting at Townville Elementary School. [Associated Press]
  10. After Vin Scully, here are Martin Fennelly's favorite voices of summer (w/video)

    TV and Radio

    Vin Scully's departure makes us think of all those other voices of summer who we hold in our hearts and heads. Who are the best of the best baseball voices?

    I have no idea.

    But I do have my personal favorites.

    Hall of Fame Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully speaks during Vin Scully Appreciation Day before the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, in Los Angeles. [Associated Press]
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein speaks to about 200 in the Cuban Club in Ybor City on Wednesday.

In Tampa, Green Party nominee Jill Stein calls for 'voter revolt'

Upon taking the stage in Ybor City on Wednesday night, an illuminated Jill Stein looked out on the crowd in the dark and smiled....

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Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, trying to put a good finish on an inconsistent rookie season.

For starters: Rays at White Sox, delayed until 8:30

UPDATE, 8:00: The Sox announced a tentative start time of 8:30 Tampa Bay time.

UPDATE, 7:05:
RHP Chase Whitley will get to start Sunday's season finale, as the Rays will give him the opportunity as something of a reward for his hard work in returning from Tommy John surgery. LHP Drew Smyly was slated to start....

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Bucs' Mike Evans eager for Broncos' physical corners

Bucs WR Mike Evans is off to a strong start, ranking among the NFL's top five in yards (301), receptions (21) and touchdown catches (3), but he'll have a real challenge this week as Denver comes to Tampa with two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris....

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