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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Keith Morelli

Tribune Staff

Smooth sailing, if not any faster, on rebuilt I-275

- Last week, motorists on Interstate 275 from downtown to the State Road 60 interchange were taking their chances on what felt like an extended motocross track with sharp turns and jutting hills.

Center helps endangered elephants after circus

- The largest memory of Asian elephants this side of Vietnam roams Polk County's Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Center for Elephant Conservation.

Answers remain elusive in Hudson sibling deaths

- Pasco County detectives were quiet today, not answering questions about how the 12-year-old boy who shot and killed his brother and wounded another got access to the gun.

FAA warning letter chilling to Lutz drone owner

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— Jayson Hanes likes to fly his drone over the Tampa Bay area and record stunning videos of downtown Tampa, cruise ships, boat races and construction projects. Anything and ever...

Florida manatee census up 25%, at record high

- This year’s count comes a week after an environmental group filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over an emerging eco-tourist industry in Crystal River that allows people to swim with man...

Tampa police release more details in fatal teen shootings

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Tampa police homicide detectives are continuing to investigate two separate shootings over the weekend that claimed the lives of two 16-year-old boys.

FHP has new lead in 2001 Road Ranger fatality

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Florida Highway Patrol traffic homicide investigators want to kick-start some faded recollections in the hit-and-run fatality of a Roa...

Florida Aquarium hitting stride after 20 years

- From its rocky beginnings, the Florida Aquarium has emerged as a jewel in downtown Tampa. Over the next five months, the attraction will celebrate its two-decade mark with exhibits, special events and a display of aquarium...

‘Queen of tax fraud’ request denied, sentenced again to 21 years

- A federal judge rejected a defense argument that Rashia Wilson, the self described “queen of tax fraud,” had mended her ways. and sentenced her — again — to 21 years in prison.

Regional reservoir finally full, just in time for dry season

- Drained for more than two years because of an expansive renovation project, the 15.5 billion gallon C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir brims with water now, ready to slake the thirsts of more than 2 million customers during...

Strip club where man was killed a sore spot for neighbors

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A Town ’N Country strip club where a 22-year-old patron was shot ...

Water transportation options growing in downtown Tampa

- From rentals to tour boats to a plain ol’ get-from-one-end-of-the-Riverwalk-to-the-other water taxi, the waters around downtown are alive with the sounds of motors.

Volunteers take to streets for Hillsborough's annual homeless count

- Some 300 people with pens and clipboards fanned out around the region to count - one by one and face to face - those without homes in the annual Point in Time Homeless County.

Ship traffic moving again after foggy few days

- The impenetrable sea fog that has strangled the shipping lanes between the Gulf of Mexico and Port Tampa Bay began loosening up today.

No charges filed after target practice leaves bullets in woman’s home

- No charges will be filed against a Hillsborough County sheriff’s detention deputy, a local firefighter or several of their friends who were taking target practice when a Lithia woman’s home was damaged by bullets.

Cruise ship returns as fog halts port traffic

- The late arrival of the cruise and a forecast for more fog over the coming days forced Royal Caribbean to cancel the next departure of the Brilliance of the Seas.

Cargo ships waiting in Gulf because of dense fog

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The sea fog that smothered the coastline of West Central Florida over the past two days did more than slow rush-hour traffic. Shipping lanes between the Gulf of Mexico and Por...

Missing woman’s death hard for friends, family to accept

- Friends of Apryl Foster, whose disappearance sparked widespread community concern and a massive search, were struggling Monday to come to terms with her apparently accidental death.

Vets’ agency snubs three Fla. Confederate soldiers

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Three Florida soldiers who rose through the ranks in the heat of combat and who entered public service after their military careers were over are being snubbed by the state ve...

Record lows in Bay area, but weekend will be warmer

- This morning’s record and near-record cold — with some areas freezing or below — will be just a memory by Saturday, when highs in the Tampa area roll back into the 70s.

Winter's last hurrah hits Tampa area with freezing cold

- Tampa's official low of 34 set a record for the day, but the city officially didn't reach freezing. However, it did drop below 32 in other Bay area locations. The downward turn in the temperatures will be short-lived.

$15,000 in rewards offered to find Brandon woman

- The Gonzmart family, who own Ulele restaurant where Apryl Foster worked, is offering a $10,000 reward for information about her whereabouts. Premier Beverages has pitched in another $4,000 and Foster’s parents offere...

Triple-slaying suspects in jail after returning to Pasco

- Christopher Duncan and Dora Delgado have a new set of booking mugs after they were brought back from Jacksonville, where they were arrested after a four-day manhunt.

Phoebe's death exposes child protection division shortages

- The Hillsborough County sheriff’s division that has been investigating child abuse and neglect cases since July 2006 remains woefully understaffed, and many of those that do work there have been in the division for le...

Sheriff: Moon Lake slayings may be ‘targeted hit’

- Found dead were Justin Huckeby, 25, Shane Newland, 42, and a third unidentified person. Authorities are searching for suspects Christopher Lee Duncan, 26, and Dora Delgado, 38.

Report: State fails Phoebe before she was killed

- The people and agencies meant to help children in need failed 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck nearly every step of the way before her father threw her to her death last month, according to a report from a task force created to l...

Tampa Bay area in its fifth winter without a freeze

- Despite mystical polar vortexes that bring waves of unfathomable frigid temperatures and monster snowstorms to the Midwest and Northeast, Tampa appears again to have escaped the icy grasp of Old Man Winter.

Same-sex marriages mark one-month anniversary

- The crush of same-sex couples at marriage license counters across the state one month ago was just that: near overwhelming numbers the first day, with smaller numbers since.

Family of man who died after diabetic seizure sues Tampa police

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The family of a man who s...

Officials: Church fire doesn’t appear suspicious

- A fire that gutted the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church early Monday does not appear to be suspicious, fire officials say. The blaze started in an area where electrical connections typically are found.

Hyde Park church led by Henry Lyons gutted by fire

- Tampa firefighters are battling a blaze at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa, led by controversial pastor Dr. Henry Lyons.