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The latest news and developments to help you get ready for the day ahead.4 Hours Ago1 Hour Ago1 Hour AgoFor the first time since the travel and trade embargo was imposed by the United States more than 50 years ago, a Cuban boat with Cuban sailors — the...

Morning Watch: Yacht race to Havana continues; Reeves testifying in 'stand your ground' hearing; social media to drive legislative agenda; battle lines drawn in Madeira Beach

The latest news and developments to help you get ready for the day ahead.4 Hours Ago1 Hour Ago1 Hour AgoFor the first time since the travel and trade embargo was imposed by the United States more than 50 years ago, a Cuban boat with Cuban sailors — the...

Morning Watch: Yacht race to Havana continues; Reeves testifying in 'stand your ground' hearing; social media to drive legislative agenda; battle lines drawn in Madeira Beach

The latest news and developments to help you get ready for the day ahead.

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For the first time since the travel and trade embargo was imposed by the United States more than 50 years ago, a Cuban boat with Cuban sailors — the Micara — will participate in a U.S. regatta, Commodore José Miguel Díaz Escrich of Havana's Marina Hemingway told the Tampa Bay Times. Some 550 sailors aboard 81 yachts were scheduled to set off at 10 a.m. for a journey from the St. Petersburg Pier to Marina Hemingway. They will travel for a day or two across 284 nautical miles.

For three years, the man at the center of a Pasco County theater shooting has sat in silence at the center of one of the area's most high profile court cases. But this morning, for the first time, Curtis Reeves will speak publicly about what happened the day he fatally shot 43-year-old Chad Oulson. Stay with tampabay.com for live updates from the courtroom.

Social media is changing how state lawmakers conduct business.

For better and worse, social media is reshaping the political agenda in Tallahassee in ways never seen before. The session that begins March 7 is destined to be the most tweeted session ever, and the early signs don't bode well for harmony. (Add a hashtag, uh-oh). Senate President Joe Negron sees a positive trend in the social media explosion, as people are more engaged in state government, tracking lawmakers' votes, watching debates and downloading information on their laptops and phones.

A lawyer faces a grand theft charge after an investigation found he stole more than $100,000 from a Clearwater law firm. John Smitten, 47, deposited about $115,500 of cash and checks into his personal bank account from at least 82 clients of McGuire Law Offices between February 2012 and July 2014, according to arrest documents. He is listed as a lawyer with Carey Leisure & Neal in Clearwater.

For the second consecutive day, top members of the Florida Legislature will meet behind closed doors with Sen. Marco Rubio. An itinerary obtained by the Tampa Bay Times shows topics Monday included flood insurance, the Affordable Care Act then a "social hour" and dinner with Rubio and Rep. Vern Buchanan.

Presidents from a majority of the country's historically black colleges and universities are in Washington this week, calling for $25 billion in the upcoming budget to help address priorities including infrastructure, college readiness and financial aid as President Trump prepares to sign an executive order aimed at signaling his commitment to the schools.

In contrast to recent elections, the future character of Madeira Beach may be at stake this year as voters decide whether to ratify the path chosen by the current commission. Seven candidates on the March 14 ballot are vying to either change or retain balance of power.

A Clearwater-based military contractor has big plans for 2016 which include hiring about 800 people worldwide, doubling its annual revenue and moving its headquarters to Tampa's Westshore area. CWU, Inc. is relocating its 30 Clearwater employees to a $2.5 million office space in the Westshore Technology Center, off of West Laurel Street near Tampa International Airport. The government contractor will add about 20 people to the Tampa office by the end of the year, with hopes to more than double its $32 million revenues from last year.

EVERYDAY ENTERTAINING: FRESH PASTA AND PESTO ARE A GREAT WAY TO SAY THANK YOU

ILEANA MORALES VALENTINE | Special to the Times

The fresh egg noodles are wrapped into a nest of noodles until it's time to cook them.

One way to say thank you is with a card. Another way to say thank you? Homemade pasta. Ileana Morales Valentine offers a few suggestions.

Ever since a commercial jet took off Friday morning from Houston minus two prominent passengers, the public has been fed one prevailing narrative, Joey Knight writes. Two USF players asleep near the gate, an entire USF staff asleep on the job. Result: Bulls veterans Troy Holston Jr. and Geno Thorpe left stranded as the rest of the team made its flight to Tampa. Now, that version — alleged by Holston's mother during a Twitter rant Friday afternoon —is starting to crumble under heavier scrutiny.

A 22-year-old man was fatally stabbed Monday night after he got in an argument with an acquaintance in St. Petersburg, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department. According to police, the dispute began after Thomas Ryan Peruchi, 21, drove to Trevor Scott's home at 939½ 45th St. N to pick him up around 7 p.m.

A Brandon man faces charges after deputies say he walked up to a person at an ATM in Brandon on Saturday, pulled out a gun and demanded money. Around 8:10 p.m., deputies say Estevan Lerma, 20, approached the victim while they were using the Suncoast Credit Union ATM at 1370 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. No injuries were reported.

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