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Q&A: Tampa Bay shoe designer Lindsay Phillips says, trust your gut


  1. Travolta thrills Clearwater crowd with donation


    CLEARWATER — John Travolta was complimenting Saturday's audience at the Capitol Theatre for supporting the arts with their attendance, when the announcement came that $38,000 was raised for the Marcia P. Hoffman School for the Arts.

    Actor John Travolta appears on the red carpet on Saturday evening at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater for a screening of his new movie, The Forger.
  2. Florida Orchestra presents diverse set at latest concert


    Three different sorts of musical stories comprised the Florida Orchestra's concert Friday evening in Tampa, one more deeply pleasing than the rest.

    The Florida Orchestra performing in 2013 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. [LARA CERRI  |  Times]
  3. Tell Me About It: Couple's registry embarrasses family


    Q: I'm hoping you can calm my panic: I just got the "save the date" for my brother's wedding, and it has directions to their "wedding website" — which is a "fund our honeymoon" page! My parents are backpacking outside of cell service, but I have to imagine if they had known about this they would have said …

  4. Editorial: Positive news on slowing Medicare costs


    Targeted Medicare cuts by the Obama administration, waste reduction and a shift toward rewarding efficient care have produced positive results. The Medicare cost report released this week shows that per-patient expenses have all but stabilized. Meanwhile, a refreshing bipartisan agreement in Congress has put doctor …

    A refreshing bipartisan Medicare agreement in Congress has put doctor payments on a more sensible trajectory.
  5. Column: Bill makes it harder for children to find a home


    There are few things more heart-wrenching than a child in need of a family. Unfortunately, in Florida, as in all states, there are too many children in foster care who lack a stable, loving family to care for and nurture them. Finding a suitable foster or adoptive home can be a challenge, particularly for older children …

    Bucs used St. Attorney's office to background check Winston

    The Bucs exhaustive background check of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston included discussions with Georgia Cappleman, the assistant state's attorney for Leon County, the Times confirmed....


    DOC says whiste-blower testimony was erased because it allegedly violated HIPAA

    Doug GlissonThe Department of Corrections concluded that the name of an inmate should be erased from the video testimony of an whistle-blower at a Senate committee because of federal HIPAA privacy laws, an agency spokesman told the Herald/Times....


    Rays DFA Balfour despite $7-million salary

      After veteran reliever Grant Balfour pitched poorly in Saturday's 9-0 loss to the Yankees, the Rays designated him for assignment, a procedural step to likely releasing him and eating the remainder of his $7-million salary.
         Brandon Gomes was called up and will take his place in the bullpen.
       "Tonight was embarrassing for me,'' Balfour said.
        Balfour, 37, said he was a bit surprised by the decision and that his arm feels good, but he acknowledged he doesn't "have the same fastball" and that some time off may help. He was 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA last season to start a two-year, $12 million deal and had a 6.23 ERA this season through six games.
       The Rays were down 4-0 when Balfour came in and made things considerably worse in the seventh, walking Alex Rodriguez to load the bases, then allowing a sac fly, hitting a batter and, after starting 0-2, giving up a grand slam to Chris Young, then two more walks before getting out of the inning.
       "You're one pitch away from getting out of a tough situation and you sort of think to yourself, wow, you could have struck the guy out there, had him 0-2, and you walk out of there thinking you did a good job tonight, you haven't given up a run all season, six outings,'' Balfour said.
       "Instead you have a terrible outing. You walk some guys, it wasn't a good outing. It's not really something I want to finish on. ... I always told myself I wanted to be the one to leave this game, not someone else. So we'll see, we'll see where it goes.''
       Balfour said his arm felt better than his radar gun readings looked, that he tough he should have been clocking 92-93 when it said 88-91. As a result, he acknowledged, "I've been shying away from using my fastball as much.''
       He had the same issues much of last season, but felt he finished strong, with his velocity up to 94, and it would carry over this season.
        He worked out much of the winter at the Trop and reported to camp in good shape, but then missed two plus weeks to go to Australia to attend to his father, who died in March.   
       Balfour, who was emotional in a room off the clubhouse after gettinf the news, thanked the Rays for the opportunity in his first stint.
       His return to the Rays was somewhat unexpected, as he was a free agent coming off a successful stint in Oakland, and had agreed to a deal in Baltimore that the Orioles then backed out of based on something that showed up in his physical, a decision that became somewhat controversial. The Rays had him examined and felt he was in good shape.
            "I would like to have been a lot better,'' he said.
         Balfour, 37, said e would take some time before deciding whether to pursue other opportunities if they arise.
      "We'll see what happens,'' he said. "Maybe a little bit of rest will be good for me. ... I'm not thinking too far ahead. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't.''...