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Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015

Mike Salinero

Tribune Staff

Hillsborough commissioners exploiting term limits loophole

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Term limits, popular among Florida voters, have shown limited success in breaking the cycle of career politicians.

‘Stripper mansion’ owner faces fines for code violations

- A northwest Hillsborough mansion that once housed a school for strippers was found to be out of compliance with county codes for holding special events and running a business in residential zoning.

Sales tax hike for transportation moves closer to ballot

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— A sales tax referendum for transportation projects in Hillsborough County moved closer to reality Wednesday.

Higginbotham cleared of ethics charges in winery dispute

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— The Florida Commission on Ethics has cleared Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham of charges he used his influence to stop a Plant City winery from brewing and sel...

Hillsborough residents: Fix existing roads first

- The 1,000-plus people who participated in Go Hillsborough meetings gave an narrow edge to maintenance over new roads or expanded mass transit. The next step? Figuring out how to pay for it all.

Hillsborough launches new online services center

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— The hip dude with the black leather jacket is driving a Chevy, not a Lincoln, but he’s doing a decent-enough imitation of

County wants to make sure stripper school is shut

- If it wasn’t for the loud parties, the owner of a $2 million mansion in northwest Hillsborough might have continued operating a training school for strippers next door to an exclusive gated community.

Pat Kemp cites transportation in making another run for commission

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— Tampa attorney and political activist Pat Kemp announced Monday she’s running for Hillsborough County Commission District 6, a countywide seat now held by Kevin Beckner...

‘Stripper mansion’ didn’t sell, on TV or with neighbors

- Canadian millionaire Gordon Lownds bought a 12,000-square-foot mansion bordering the Cheval enclave to produce and film a reality television show about strippers. Raucous parties and loud music, however, have brought him th...

New Environmental Protection Commission leader will need to be smart, savvy

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— The last time Hillsborough County went looking for someone to lead the county’s one-of-a-kind environmental agency was nearly 15 years ago, when county commissioners ch...

Transit advocate Willis will seek Beckner’s seat

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— Attorney and mass transit advocate Brian Willis has filed to run for Hillsborough County Commission in the countywide District 6 seat now held by Kevin Beckner.

HART buses generate 2,700 complaints in 2014

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— It was Saturday evening and a bus rider was waiting for the No. 57 at Fowler Avenue and 56th Street. But the bus didn’t stop, didn’t even slow down, so the rider...

Beckner to run against Pat Frank for clerk of court

- Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner has filed to run for Clerk of Circuit Court, setting up an intra-party clash with current clerk and fellow Democrat Pat Frank.

Hillsborough ready again to raze Friendship TrailBridge

- Commissioners approved a budget amendment that includes $6 million for demolition of the former Gandy Bridge span connecting Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Added to money previously appropriated, the county will have u...

Best sites for ferry landing are worst for environment

- A new analysis of potential locations for a high-speed ferry terminal in south Hillsborough County shows that most of the sites pose environmental challenges such as sea grasses or heavy manatee traffic

Poll: Bush, Rubio popular in Florida - but Bush more so

- Former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio both enjoy high popularity rates among Florida Republicans, but Bush is an overwhelming favorite to win if they face off in the state’s GOP presidential primary, accordi...

Judge upholds minimum fare for limos in Hillsborough

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— A judge has upheld Hillsborough County’s right to impose a $50 minimum fare for limousines, a small victory for the county’s Public Transportation Commission in ...

50-acre park a dream come true for Carrollwood Village

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— For years, Carrollwood Village residents told their civic leaders they’d like a park where their dogs could run and play with other dogs.

Tampa lawyer’s estate wants records on heart transplant

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— Steven Burton, a Tampa attorney and former chairman of the Hills­borough County Aviation Authority, received a heart transplant on April 13, 2013, at Tampa General Hospit...

More than 6,000 participate in transportation call-in event

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— Litha wanted to know why she and other older citizens can’t find good transportation to nursing homes.

Hillsborough to bid out youth soccer complex

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— After more than two years of study and discussions, Hillsborough County is taking the first concrete steps toward becoming a destination for youth sports tournaments.

Problems revealed in homeless audit may spark staff shakeup

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— Hillsborough County’s Homeless Services program, which had rebounded after a scandal in 2013, failed to perform promised inspections at agencies that contract to house ...

Hillsborough looks into carbon credits to generate conservation cash

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— Hillsborough County is considering a move that could generate cash for land conservation while reducing the county’s contribution to global warming.

Cluttered Alafia River right of way rankles neighbors

- Neighbors are upset after a property owner said he put up a fence to keep out hoodlums who used drugs and trashed the area, blocking their way to the scenic Alafia River.

Hillsborough transportation debate takes to the phones

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— For at least two years, an ongoing debate has raged about the future of Hillsborough County’s transportation system.

County land conservation program’s well is running dry

- Hillsborough County’s land conservation program is a voter favorite, winning 70 percent approval on three different occasions.

Hillsborough moves ahead with law to get back stolen wages

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— Monica Vargas was making about $200 a week in a Tampa pizza restaurant when her boss quit paying her. At the same time, Vargas’ workload increased as she was forced to ...

Renderings offer glimpse at $25M Amalie Arena upgrades

- The Tampa Bay Lightning announced a nearly complete reconstruction of the club level at the Amalie Arena, including plans to add up to 160 loge seats at the north end, new concession stands, remodeled restrooms and a larger...

Hillsborough OKs $2.1 million to bring Johnson & Johnson jobs

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— Hillsborough County commissioners on Wednesday approved giving $2.1 million in incentives to bio-science giant Johnson & Johnson in return for the company creating 700 job...

Hillsborough, Pinellas counties among worst in state for wage theft

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Every year thousands of Floridians are cheated, one way or another, out of wages they’ve earned on their jobs.