Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

Salinero, Mike

Tribune Staff

Mormon-affiliated group buys 143 acres in Hillsborough for farming

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— A non-profit corporation affiliated with the Mormon Church has purchased 143 acres of state-owned land in south Hillsborough County that the corporation says will be used for ...

Homeless man interviewed in arson case

- Tampa police have identified the suspect wanted for questioning in an arson at that killed several animals at the Animal Coalition of Tampa Bay early Saturday morning.

Some doubt ride-sharing has it covered liability-wise

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— Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies tout their services as quicker, cheaper and more convenient ways to get around town.

Cab drivers ask board to ticket Uber, Lyft

- Angry cab and limousine firms want the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission to ticket drivers for Uber and Lyft, because they are unregistered and uninspected.

Gangland boss’ daughter writes about upbringing

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TAMPA — As daughter of one of America’s most powerful crime bosses, Sandi Lansky grew up in opulent New York hotels and regularly ate at the side of her father, Meyer, in famous Gotham restaurants such as D...

Democrat Kemp enters Hillsborough District 7 race

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TAMPA — Former Hillsborough County Democratic chair Pat Kemp said today she will enter the countywide District 7 commission race.

Higginbotham's ties paved way for Bollywood awards

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TAMPA — By all accounts, Tampa landed the 2014 Bolly­wood Oscars because a Hills­borough County delegation flew to the Chinese island of Macau last July to make its pitch during the 2013 event.

Vehicle tag renewal gets easier

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TAMPA — It’s getting a little easier to work through the task of renewing a Florida driver’s license.

Hillsborough shelter probing dog death

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TAMPA — A veterinarian at Hillsborough County’s animal shelter remained on administrative leave Tuesday while managers investigated whether the vet was responsible for the death of a female dog and its pupp...

I-275 project, repair went south

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All lanes on northbound I-275 near downtown Tampa are now open after overnight work that caused headaches over the weekend - snarling Rays postgame traffic - and into Monday.

City, county app aims to improve connection

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TAMPA — For anyone in Tampa and Hillsborough County who has been frustrated trying to reach someone in local government, your frustrations may soon be eased.

Economists challenge state, local film incentives

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TAMPA — State and local governments around the nation are racing to outdo each other in handing out cash to lure movie and TV productions that are touted as major job creators.

Manatees and ship wrecks force county to ask for dock variance

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TAMPA — A strange scenario that includes a manatee gathering spot and a submerged Civil War ship wreck forced Tampa officials to seek a variance Wednesday from the Hillsborough County Commission to build a dock at...

Hillsborough red-light camera report cites safety, not revenue

- Red-light cameras, which critics say are a way for governments to raise revenue without raising taxes, are really about saving lives, a Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy said Wednesday morning.

Hillsborough works to make roadways neater

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TAMPA — Hillsborough County roadways, which were overgrown and strewn with trash last year, should look trimmer and neater this summer as county officials prioritize mowing and litter pickup.

Debate over Civil Service Board still raging in Hillsborough

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TAMPA — An employee with Hillsborough County’s Civil Service Board was forced to apologize last week for a statement she made recently before a legislative committee, implying that the county Sheriff’...

Leaders want to hear citizens’ voices on the future of transit

- After nearly nine months discussing what Hillsborough County’s future transportation system should look like, county leaders are now ready to hear from the people.

Lawmakers take aim at Hillsborough transportation board

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TAMPA — State Sen. Jeff Brandes has opened up several fronts in his battle to diminish the authority Hil...

Video to reinforce safety upgrades on Fletcher Avenue

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Hillsborough County is spending $4.4 million to make Fletcher safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and will also produce a video to make sure people cross the street safely.

Castor may stay despite retirement rule

- Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor has a mandatory retirement date approaching May 6, but Castor and city officials are mum about her plans.

MOSI closes cafe after reports of sanitation problems

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TAMPA — The Museum of Science and Industry has temporarily closed its cafe in the wake of news reports about sanitation problems there.

MOSI financial woes prompt county scrutiny

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A discussion of filthy conditions at the MOSI Cafe led into thee museum’s trouble paying back county loans, and now a consultant is reviewing the facility’s operations.

Hillsborough commissioners give attorney raise, extension

- Hillsborough County commissioners showed their appreciation today for their county attorney, Chip Fletcher, extending his contract by three years and bumping his salary 3.5 percent.

Brandon store owner runs for Hillsborough commission

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TAMPA — Lela Lilyquist, a Brandon health food store owner, has joined the crowded race for Hillsborough County Commission District 4.

Fired social services manager trying to get job back

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TAMPA — A former Hillsborough County social services manager who was fired last year when the county cleaned house over problems in its homeless housing program is trying to get his job back.

Program aims to bridge manufacturing gap

- Hillsborough County is ready to spend $1 million in a bid with education agencies and manufacturers to train students in the technology skills.

Askew led Florida into modern era on integration, ethics, environment

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TAMPA ­­— Reubin O’Donovan Askew, Florida’s 37th governor, died at age 85 early Thursday after a career in which he helped lead Florida into a new era of racial integration, standards of go...

Hillsborough administrator shakes up staff

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TAMPA — In the last two years, Hillsborough County commissioners have thrown one big policy initiative after another at County Administrator Mike Merrill, asking him to lead the charge on economic development, tra...

Democrat Elizabeth Belcher Seeks District 2 Commission Seat

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TAMPA — Democrat Elizabeth Belcher said she is a candidate for Hillsborough County Commission District 2, a seat now held by Republican Commissioner Victor Crist.

Hillsborough OKs incentives for two film projects

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While state lawmakers consider beefing up Florida’s incentive program for film production, Hillsborough County commissioners created their own small incentive fund Wednesday to try to lure two motion pictures to Ta...

Lawmakers face new scrutiny over living in right district

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TALLAHASSEE — State lawmakers will look more closely than ever at a group of citizens who may have been less than precise in reporting personal information so they could obtain certain government benefits.

Computer firm claims Hillsborough changed rules to aid vendor

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TAMPA — A computer installation company says Hillsborough County changed its rules to reject the company’s bid to provide services, costing taxpayers more than a quarter-million dollars.

Hillsborough youth violence survey is 1st step to fix

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TAMPA — More than 738,000 young people ages 10 to 24 were treated in emergency rooms for assault-related injuries in 2010. More than 30 percent of high school students reported involvement in at least one physical...

Should pot be a civil offense for teens?

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Circuit Judge Jack Espinosa is against easing the penalties for first-time marijuana possession by juveniles saying a suspect gets an assessment with an arrest, that can detect more serious drug use.