Tuesday’s News Roundup: Meet The Press in Tampa, Early Voting Numbers, and More

By Hafsa Quraishi

Here are some of the news stories from around the Tampa Bay Area that you need to know this Tuesday.

“Meet The Press” Live Show from Tampa

MSNBC’s “Meet The Press” hosted a show in Tampa on Tuesday, as part of their Meet The Midterms Road Trip. The show broadcasted live from Whiskey Joe’s Barefoot Beach Bar. During this two-week road trip, Chuck Todd talks to locals about the upcoming senate and gubernatorial elections. Tampa is his last stop before he finishes the tour in Dallas tomorrow.

Todd isn’t the only TV show host paying attention to Florida’s elections. Earlier this month, MSNBC Anchor Katy Tur hosted a live show at the University of South Florida, and talked to USF students for her ‘Battleground College Tour’. Also, last weekend CNN hosted a one-hour debate between Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum for Florida’s Governor race in Tampa, marking the first instance the candidates have gone head-to-head.

Early Voting Surges in Florida

Over 1 million Florida voters have already chosen their new governor, just two weeks before election day. Nearly 114,000 people voted on Monday, the first day of early voting. Returns are coming in for early voting and vote-by-mail ballots. Democrats accounted for 44 percent of all early ballots cast, while Republicans accounted for just 40 percent. However, Republicans lead in vote-by-mail totals.

This year, early voting participation is higher in most Florida counties than years past. Tampa Bay Area voters can check if their county has early voting sites here. Nov. 4 is the last day to vote early. General elections are on Nov 6.

USF Among Top Colleges for US Veterans

Military Times named USF as one of the best universities for US Veterans in its latest report again. The magazine evaluated nearly 500 four-year institutions on a wide array of aspects related to veteran culture and services offered students who spent time in the military, including financial incentives, special policies, and accommodations.

USF dropped from its overall top ranking from last year, coming in second place after Georgia Southern University. The university serves nearly 2,000 veteran students. You can learn more about veteran culture at USF here.

The top five universities for veterans, according to Military Times.

Traffic Project Widens Lanes

Hillsborough county is looking to widen the segment of Bell Shoals Road between Bloomingdale Avenue and Boyette Road. They want to change the section of the road from being a two-lane street, to a four-lane street. Officials hope the $65 million project will ease traffic congestion and increase safety.

The county is asking for public input on the traffic project at an open house on Tuesday night at the Bloomingdale High School cafeteria.

Renderings of the traffic project.

Lakeland Swans Visit the Doctor

Lakeland Parks and Recreation employees are gathering up swans from Lake Morton as part of their 38th Annual Swan Roundup. The swans will be confined in large holding pens for their annual veterinary check-up.

The roundup allows the city to check on the health of the swan population. The original swans on Lake Morton were donated by Queen Elizabeth in 1957.


Anchor: Ashley Schiedenhelm

Director: Annette Gutierrez

Producer: Yara Zayas

Technical Director: Destiny Wiggins

Graphics: Malika Sutton

Audio: Lydia Dorsey

Prompter: Andrew Fabacher

Camera Operator and Floor Manager: Kyle Cooper

Teaching Assistant: Dakota Galvin

Graduate Assistant: Kelsey Baker

Faculty Advisor: Cathy Gugerty