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Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015

Mike Salinero

Tribune Staff

Starbucks squeezed for more by local advocate for disabled

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TAMPA — When Rob Rowen sees someone park illegally in a handicapped parking space, he swings into action.

Fight the Blight cleaning up communities one lot at a time

- One muggy morning last week, the roar of chain saws and a small front loader cut the thick air in the hardscrabble Orient Park community east of Tampa.

Hillsborough businesses ready to cheer sales tax hike for transportation

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Business organizations are gearing up to lead the campaign to pass a half-cent sales tax for transportation projects if county commissioners agree to put the tax on the Novemb...

Tea party and Sierra Club both ask for more money for roads

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TAMPA — A small group of Sierra Club and tea party members asked Hillsborough County commissioners Thursday to commit money to fixing roads now instead of waiting for a

Taxable property values rise nearly 7.8% in Hillsborough

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Taxable property values in Hillsborough County rose by nearly 7.8 percent this year, the third straight year of recovering values since the end of the recession.

Hillsborough provides new money for jobs training in manufacturing

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TAMPA — A 2013 study indicated manufacturers in Hillsborough County were having a hard time finding workers with the skills to operate modern factory equipment.

In fight over access to Alafia, score one for the neighbors

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Neighbors who say a landowner has tried to block their access to the Alafia River won a small victory Friday before Hillsborough County code enforcement special magistrates.

Transportation leaders advance half-cent sales tax plan

- A proposed half-cent sales tax increase for transportation projects inched closer to the ballot, though its endorsement by a group of Hillsborough County political leaders was less than ringing.

Hillsborough rejects recommendation to privatize probation

- A private probation company accused of human rights violations in Georgia and poor performance in California was eliminated Wednesday from consideration for a Hillsborough County contract worth $2.4 million.

Hillsborough commissioners vote to remove Confederate lobby flag

- County commissioners voted to remove a Confederate flag from the lobby of the county center 20 years after it was put on display as part of a compromise to remove the “Stars and Bars” image from the county seal.

Giant reefer float raises eyebrows at Temple Terrace parade

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Nothing says Fourth of July like an orange stretch limo pulling a giant marijuana cigarette down Main Street.

Record of probation service hired by Hillsborough is iffy

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A company in line to receive a $2.4 million contract to supervise probationers in Hillsborough County has been fired in one California county and scolded in another for losing...

Panel upholds fines for Lyft drivers who lack permits

- The Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission on Tuesday upheld a previous ruling that the commission can fine the ride-sharing company Lyft for allowing drivers to operate without a county permit.

Sierra Club wants hike in gas tax for transportation projects

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— On the eve of a long-awaited decision to seek a sales tax increase for roads and mass transit, one of the key groups in the pro-transit alliance is now calling for an increase...

Hillsborough commissioners vie over yanking county's Confederate flag

- Les Miller said he was not even aware the flag was flying in the county center until this month. He wants the banner removed. Stacy White, the newest commissioner, sent out a news release opposing Miller's proposal.

Ex-stripper school cited again

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— Hillsborough County code enforcement officers are again cracking down on the owners of a north-county mansion that once housed a finishing school for strippers.

Board shoots down proposal to expand Hillsborough County Commission

- A move to add two Hillsborough County commissioners to the current seven-member commission was soundly defeated by the county’s Charter Review Board on Tuesday night.

Giant reefer float raises eyebrows at Temple Terrace holiday parade

- Local members of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws used a float in the Independence Day parade to promote their views. The reaction from anti-drug groups was anything but mellow.

Company leading bid process in Hillsborough a target of Georgia lawsuits

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— A private company accused of violating the rights of poor, low-level criminal offenders is on the verge of winning a contract to supervise misdemeanor probation in Hillsboroug...

Accounting errors could cost Hillsborough County $143,000

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— Hillsborough County government is on the hook for $143,000 because of accounting errors that led to a shortfall in a firefighters’ union leave account.

Democrats Scott, Frank enter Hillsborough County races

- Democrats Tom Scott and Pat Frank formally file to run for Hillsborough County offices. Scott will become the third Democrat in the race for county commission District 6. Frank is seeking a fourth term as Clerk of Circuit C...

Does ferry’s fate depend on transportation tax vote?

- Proponents say waiting until a November 2016 vote on a half-cent tax proposal could endanger a $5.3 million federal grant, which is contingent on Hillsborough providing 20 percent matching funds and spending the money befor...

Hillsborough eyeing ways to make growth to pay for itself

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As Hillsborough County leaders get ready to sell residents on a new transportation tax, part of their sales pitch will be a promise that new subdivisions will pay their fair share for roads and transit.

Hillsborough residents could benefit from increase in county’s revenue

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— Hillsborough County’s proposed budget for next year calls for a 5 percent increase, enough to fund new parks, increased road resurfacing and redevelopment projects with...

Company’s gone, but its equipment might do USF some good

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— Local leaders hoped a partnership between Hillsborough County, the University of South Florida and Draper Laboratories would kick-start a thriving biosciences industry in the ...

Disabled access to aquarium’s eco-cruise boat elusive

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— The Bay Spirit II, The Florida Aquarium’s eco-cruise boat, offers visitors an affo...

Hillsborough half-cent tax increase for transportation gains support

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— Hillsborough County political leaders expressed nearly unanimous support Wednesday for putting a half-cent-per-dollar sales tax increase on the November 2016 ballot to finance...

No support seen, so tax for county transportation plan slashed

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— Hoping to bolster voter support for a sales tax referendum on transportation projects, Hillsborough County leaders plan to scale back a proposed tax increase to pay for them &...

Tampa construction fuels rise of 7.3% in county property value

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— Driven in part by a construction boom in the city of Tampa, taxable property values in Hillsborough County increased to $73.6 billion at the end of last year — 7.3 perc...

Water managers, Hillsborough at odds over selling preserve land

- More than 170 acres of Hillsborough County conservation land, purchased in part with county taxpayers’ dollars, are on the verge of being declared “surplus” and eligible for sale or trade by state water au...

No vote on proposed Hillsborough wage theft ordinance

- A long debate among Hillsborough County commissioners today boiled over with accusations and recriminations but didn’t produce an ordinance to help workers who are cheated out of their wages.

Hillsborough coalition’s anti-violence plan targets east Tampa

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At the same time East Tampa is reeling from a rash of street shootings, a Hillsborough County violence prevention group is ready to act on a pla...