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THE DAYSTARTER: YOUR EARLY LOOK AT TODAY’S HEADLINES


Could you lose your job for testing positive for marijuana if you're a patient in Florida? Maybe

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Florida lawmakers consider new auto insurance system. Here's who wins, loses with changes.

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Romano: Want a sure thing? Bet with someone else's money

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Times recommends: Vote yes on St. Petersburg soccer referendum

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  1. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg on Trump Tower, financial advice and who should play the Trop

    The Heater

    Entering his 12th season as the Rays principal owner, Stuart Sternberg sat down during spring training for his annual Q&A session. Some excerpts:

    Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg talks with reporters before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. on Thursday, March 23, 2017.
  2. Scientology leader David Miscavige ups offer for aquarium property before Clearwater vote on land deal

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The city may be poised to vote next month on whether to buy a vacant downtown lot from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but that hasn't stopped the Church of Scientology from trying to acquire the property.

    The Clearwater Marine Aquarium owns the vacant downtown lot between City Hall (bottom) and the Church of Scientology's Oak Cove religious retreat (above.) The church really wants that lot.
  3. Under new leadership, Pinellas construction board starts judging contractors again

    Local Government

    LARGO — For years, a Pinellas County committee judged complaints against contractors without legal guidance, or transparency, or even rules.

    Gay Lancaster, interim executive director at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, leads a committee meeting Wednesday where the agency ruled on homeowners' complaints against contractors. It's the first time the panel has met in weeks, after a Tampa Bay Times investigation raised questions about the way the agency operates and treats consumers and contractors. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Could you lose your job for testing positive for marijuana if you're a patient in Florida? Maybe

    Economic Development

    As Florida legislators consider passing laws this year to regulate the new and growing medical marijuana industry, employers in the state are still faced with mounting grey areas in how to handle employment policies related to drug use.

    Gregory A. Hearing is a shareholder for Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing, P.A. He practices employment & labor law for public and private sector clients across the country. 
[Photo courtesy of  Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing, P.A.]
  5. Joint Pinellas effort has reduced number of unwanted pets and strays that are euthanized

    Local Government

    A five-year effort by Pinellas County animal welfare agencies coordinating data and resources helped lower the number of unwanted and stray animals being euthanized and trapped in shelters.

    A five-year effort by Pinellas County animal welfare agencies coordinating data and resources helped lower the number of unwanted and stray animals being euthanized and trapped in shelters. Euthanasia is down 40 percent and stray pickup has dropped 25 percent since 2012 between Pinellas County Animal Services, Humane Society of Pinellas, SPCA Tampa Bay and Friends of Strays. This stray cat and her litter were brought to animal services in 2013. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  6. Want to learn more about Tarpon Springs' Greektown district? Now there's an app for that

    Human Interest

    TARPON SPRINGS

    The connections to Greece are everywhere. You can spot them as you watch workers fill wooden tubs with sponges outside the tourist shops on Dodecanese Boulevard. You can smell them as the scent of fresh Greek pastries floats down the sidewalk on Athens Street. You can hear them as you stand …

    Tourists are helped from the deck of the St. Nicholas VII, a sponge-diving exhibition boat at the Sponge Docks. Visitors can learn much about the area’s history by using the new tour app.
  7.  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium owns the vacant downtown lot between City Hall (bottom) and the Church of Scientology's Oak Cove religious retreat (above.) The church really wants that lot. [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times]
  8. Stamp of disapproval: Investigation ends suspected unlicensed engineering

    News

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The job skills of civil engineer James Tippens had never been in question.

    David Wayne Renczkowsk faces myriad charges, including being an unlicensed engineer.
  9. Review: Dual shows at Leepa Rattner map beauty in Florida and beyond

    Visual Arts

    TARPON SPRINGS

    You can't blame Florida's landscape for being a little camera-shy.

    Rick Bravehart, “Companions Through Time,” Badlands National Park in South Dakota, archival pigment print on baryta,
  10. Rubio, still seeking Tampa Bay home, has staff hold office hours at libraries

    Politics

    TAMPA — It's been two months since a landlord notified Sen. Marco Rubio that the lease on his Tampa office would not be renewed because of weekly demonstrations staged there.

    Protestors gather in front of the Tampa office of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Jan. 3. Rubio's staff is still looking for a new home after the building owner declined to renew the lease because of the demonstrations. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]

Rep. Michael Bileca, R-Miami, the House education policy chairman.

House education chairman: I’ve been clear where I stand on school recess

The only lawmaker on record still opposing state-required daily recess in Florida’s elementary schools wields a lot of power over education policy this session....

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3 takeaways from Wednesday's win against the Orioles

3 takeaways from Rays 15-6 win against the Orioles:...

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Jimmy Fallon brings his Tonight Show to Universal Orlando April 3-6, celebrating the opening of Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Jimmy Fallon brings Vin Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal and Jay Leno to Orlando for taping of 'The Tonight Show'

Next week Universal Orlando hosts one of the kings of late night TV, and he's bringing a slew of stars with him....

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