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Friday, Aug 01, 2014

Morelli, Keith

Tribune Staff

Researchers keeping eye on unusual red tide north of Tampa Bay


State wildlife officials and environmental researchers are watching a large bloom of red tide north of the Tampa Bay area, trying to predict where it will go and the impact it will have on wildlife.

Scientist takes on 4-foot lizards in Riverview

- It appears the tegu, a cold-blooded, fork-tongued interloper that has muscled its way into the Florida landscape, is here to stay. Tegu sightings have more than doubled since April.

Leaky reservoir finally ready to be filled again


The massive C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, which has been nearly empty for more than a year while construction crews repaired the leaking liner, is ready to be filled, according to

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas, Tampa Bay to merge


Two local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies are merging and, as of Jan. 1, will combine to mentor about 3,350 children from Polk County to Pinellas, from Hillsborough County t...

Gym owner charged with theft of sales tax funds


The co-owner of a Lutz gymnasium has been accused of collecting thousands of dollars of sales tax from his customers and not paying that money to the state.

Gov. Scott takes spin in driverless car

- Despite a glitch, Gov. Rick Scott enjoyed his trip on the Selmon Expressway in a sleek German car with fancy driverless technology.

Mosquito-borne chikungunya threat growing

- July is cresting in West Central Florida, and mosquitoes, with their piercing proboscises and nerve-wringing whine, are on the prowl for red-blooded victims. This year, they may leave behind more than an itching welt: chiku...

'Driverless' car testing on Selmon Expressway

- The elevated lanes of the Selmon Expressway will be closed during the day Sunday and Monday so Audi can test a car that doesn’t require someone to steer, brake and accelerate.

Video raises more questions in boy’s death

- Police say Marterrance Albury, 4, was run over by the SUV, but a surveillance video has police questioning whether he fell from the vehicle or was wandering the street.

Detroit Tigers loyal to Lakeland, will stay

- After 78 years of spring training in Lakeland, the Detroit Tigers have signed for 20 more years.

Experts: Defendants’ looks sway juries

- The latest to employ the subliminal strategy of a courtroom makeover is Richard McTear. who is accused of throwing a baby out of a car window.

Recent drop in gas prices is not done yet

- Over the weekend, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline fell for the 16th consecutive day, according to industry observers.

Thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses flock to Tampa gatherings

- Known by many as those sharply dressed, well groomed souls who come knocking on doors offering copies of “Awake!” and “The Watchtower,” Jehovah's Witnesses are flooding Tampa for a series of regional...

Program goal: Keep inmates off drugs, out of jail


— A dozen women, all dressed in bright orange jumpsuits, gathered this week in a room somewhere deep in the guts of the

Manatee fatalities show decline


If it’s not reckless boaters chopping into the backsides of manatees, it’s the red tide. Or the cold. Or some mysterious bug along the southeastern coast that is...

County settles synthetic pot case


Hillsborough County has reached a tentative settlement with a convenience store fined well over $1 million for selling synthetic drugs, a move that should allow the county to ...

State’s reputation as lightning capital well-deserved

- Two fishermen were among the 49 people injured in lightning strikes in the United States last year and nearly became the fifth and sixth killed in Florida in 2013. Their story also serves as a warning for others as the summ...

St. Louis advocate named new Hillsborough homeless director

- A St. Louis shelter director says new director Antoinette Hayes Triplett has changed the culture of how that city deals with people on the street.

Brother: Osmakac ‘easy target’ for feds

- A handful of protesters staged a demonstration in front of the federal courthouse in Tampa, accusing the government of making bogus criminal cases against American Muslims and anti-war demonstrators.

Court ruling a victory for Largo employer

- The electrical manufacturer welcomed a decision by the Supreme Court allowing companies to deny contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

In local offices, World Cup trumps work

- World Cup fever has flooded the nation, and Tampa, usually known for football, not fútbol, was no exception during today's U.S.-Germany match.

Hillsborough County plans $20 million redevelopment program


That was the message from Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill to the commission during the first and maybe only workshop on his $3.96 billion operating budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

Autopsies reveal Avila father intoxicated

- Darrin Campbell was drunk when he killed his family and burned down his house, but investigators can’t say whether that played a role in his behavior.

Fired Tampa detective denied reinstatement

- Eric Houston, who is under federal investigation, filed a grievance to get his job back. Tampa police denied the request.

Website links worthy causes, donors

- Got a good community-enrichment idea but no money? Citizinvestor, a Tampa-based startup, is an online service that drums up cash for worthy ideas.

Toll booths to vanish on Veterans

- Motorists traveling between Linebaugh and Hillsborough avenues on the Veterans Expressway this weekend might notice something missing: tollbooths.

Fired detective asks for reinstatement

- Eric Houston, who is under investigation by federal authorities but not charged in an identity theft-tax fraud case, argued for reinstatement at a grievance hearing.

‘Drop an F-bomb’ targets sex trafficking

- The “F” refers to “friend” — not the more commonly used vulgarity — and the program targets Tampa area teens who may be susceptible to recruitment into the sex industry.

Lightning sparks Carrollwood fire

- A two-alarm fire at the Grande Oasis of Carrollwood causes heavy damage to 16 units and forces several residents from their homes.

Motive remains elusive in Avila murder-suicide


A month after firefighters found a family of four, including two teenagers,

Motive remains elusive in murder-suicide

- A month after firefighters found a family of four dead inside a burning Avila mansion, law enforcement investigators continue to dig for answers.

Officials hope state bear population roaring back


Ursus americanus floridanus is reclaiming its territory in the Sunshine State.