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Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

Mike Salinero

Tribune Staff

Tampa’s new courthouse may stay downtown

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Court administrators, who were looking at building a new county courthouse on Falkenburg Road, have now expanded their options to include downtown Tampa after hearing concerns...

New leader turns around Hillsborough’s homeless program

- After years of floundering, Hillsborough County is picking up steam in its efforts get homeless people on a new track and officials give much of the credit to a new leader.

Long road ahead to fund Hillsborough transportation needs

- Property taxes, sales taxes and other revenue sources have increased two years in a row, a reflection of improving real estate values and job growth.

Hillsborough commissioner says he violated state ethics laws

- Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan has admitted he violated state ethics laws by failing to list individual stock investments on his yearly financial disclosure statements.

Environmental groups stood up by Florida Forever panel

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— More than 70 people showed up in Bradenton last week for a meeting of the panel that recommends land purchases for the Florida Forever conservation program.

Hillsborough looks to carve a niche in competitive amateur sports market

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— Hillsborough County is joining communities around Florida and the nation in trying to capitalize on amateur sports complexes as tourist attractions.

Hillsborough leaders move to build cultural center in New Tampa

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— Political science students could have gotten a glimpse of old-fashioned ward politics if they had attended Wednesday’s Hillsborough County Commission meeting.

Tampa homeless shelter may face federal probe

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— Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner has asked the federal government to investigate allegations of worker exploitation at a Tampa homeless shelter.

Palm River's brown water close to being tapped out

- Residents have been trying to get better water for decades. Hillsborough will now extend water lines to the area, but can they afford to hook up?

Hillsborough gets tough on blighted properties

- Many Hillsborough County neighborhoods continue to be victimized by illegal dumping, overgrown lots and dilapidated houses.

Rogel quits as Tampa Bay Partnership chief

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Stuart Rogel, the only leader the Tampa Bay Partnership has known since it was formed in 1994 to promote regional economic development, resigned Friday as president and CEO.

Hillsborough moves ahead on amateur sports complex

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Two years after pledging $15 million for an amateur sports complex, Hillsborough County commissioners are ready to start searching for land and seeking bids from companies int...

Election snafu could leave Dist. 64 constituents without representation

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— Florida’s House of Representatives voted last week to reject the results of an election, something the grayest of old timers had never seen happen in their decades roam...

Hillsborough continues land search for ferry service

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— A high-speed ferry service connecting South Hillsborough County with MacDill Air Force Base has been delayed as Hillsborough County continues to look for a ferry terminal site...

State fails to deal with invasive plants at Cockroach Bay, critics say

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— Local conservationists say a new management program for Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park falls short of what’s needed to reverse a growing invasion of exotic plants.

UT asks ride-share drivers to stay away

- Hillsborough County authorities are throwing up more roadblocks in an effort to stop ride-share companies Uber and Lyft from operating in the county without proper licenses.

Abe Brown Ministries gets $1.5 million to help ex-cons start over

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— Abe Brown Ministries, a non-profit Tampa agency that has been working to help ex-convicts rejoin society since 1976, is putting to work $1.5 million in state money for a train...

Sharpe leaves commission with moderate’s philosophy intact

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— In 2010, Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe spoke anywhere someone would give him a platform, advocating an unpopular sales tax increase to fund transportation impro...

Hillsborough appraiser can now review property from air

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— Add the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s office to the host of government agencies snooping with the help of modern surveillance.

Higginbotham, Crist re-elected to Hillsborough County Commission

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— Riding a tidal wave of campaign cash and connections he built through eight years in public office, Republican Al Higginbotham narrowly won a third term Tuesday on the Hillsbo...

Group starts effort to educate public about Hillsborough Children’s Board

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— Television is still saturated with attack ads for Tuesday’s general election but already, advocates for children are thinking ahead to the 2016 vote in Hillsborough Cou...

Greenway will elevate area below expressway

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— A new walk and bike path under construction in downtown Tampa will deliver the added benefit of beautifying some desolate spaces in the city’s core.

Nelson urges automakers action on faulty air bags

- Sen. Bill Nelson threatens to seek financial penalties against car manufacturers if they don’t provide loaners or other transportation to customers with defective airbags.

Concession companies donate to airport board campaign

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— Next year, the board that runs Tampa International Airport will approve new concession contracts worth $1.3 billion.