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So much for 'unprecedented openness' as Corcoran, Negron cut budget deal in secret

TALLAHASSEE — After promising unprecedented openness, House Speaker Richard Corcoran has spent long days and nights negotiating an elaborate budget deal in secret with Senate counterpart Joe …

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Romano: Florida loves its booze, but not its medical marijuana

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HSN CEO Mindy Grossman resigning to head Weight Watchers International

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  1. Romano: Florida loves its booze, but not its medical marijuana

    Politics

    Glad to see your dedication to the free market, Rep. Larry Ahern.

  2. Tampa International Airport holds meeting for public to view major expansion project

    Airlines

    TAMPA — Anyone who wants to take a gander at the $543 million second phase of Tampa International Airport's expansion can get a closer look at plans during a public meeting today starting at 6 p.m.

  3. A cruise with Pitbull? Family getaway a surprisingly good time

    Travel

    My mom pitched the weekend getaway: a three-night cruise out of Miami with Pitbull.

    Pitbull gives a performance on the pool deck of the Norwegian Pearl on Sunday, March 12. It was his second performance during the cruise and pretty much a repeat of the first.
  4. Treasure Island looking for a 'seasoned professional' to be the new city manager

    Local Government

    TREASURE ISLAND — The city has begun a national search for a new city manager with hopes of hiring someone by August.

    Treasure Island City Manager Reid Silverboard announced his resignation after a March 2017 in which voters chose two new city commissioners who have been critical of city operations. The commission has begun looking for a "seasoned professional" to replace him. [Times files]
  5. Rays go from bad to good to worse in 5-4 11-inning loss

    Blogs

    BALTIMORE - A night that started poorly and then looked promising ended cruelly for the Rays.

    After overcoming a sloppy second inning that put them down three, after getting two home runs from Tim Beckham, after watching Alex Cobb battle his way through five innings, after seeing Erasmo Ramirez fight off …

  6. Museum of Fine Arts adds three paintings to its permanent collection

    Visual Arts

    ST. PETERSBURG — The permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is three works richer after Friday's Collectors Choice Gala, adding paintings by Marguerite Zorach, Edward Gay and Margarett W. Sargent.

    A member looks at the oil painting “Under the Birches”, 1872, by Edward Gay, during the Collectors Circle, “Collectors Choice XVI” event at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg on Friday. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  7. Rep. Larry Ahern, R- Seminole, brought proposed legislation back to life that would help reform the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board. But that's news to the Pinellas County Commission and the agency's interim director. Ahern, a longtime pool contractor, had also said he would wait until the completion of a grand jury investigation before reforming the agency. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Tampa Bay Times
  8. So much for 'unprecedented openness' as Corcoran, Negron cut budget deal in secret

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — After promising unprecedented openness, House Speaker Richard Corcoran has spent long days and nights negotiating an elaborate budget deal in secret with Senate counterpart Joe Negron, keeping most other lawmakers and the public in the dark.

    Florida's proposed budget is now in the hands of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. [SCOTT KEELER | TIMES]
  9. HSN CEO Mindy Grossman resigning to head Weight Watchers International

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — HSN chief executive officer Mindy Grossman, one of the revered names in the retail shopping industry, is leaving the St. Petersburg TV/digital shopping company after 11 years to become president and CEO of Weight Watchers International Inc.

    Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN Inc. since 2006, said late Wednesday she is stepping down. [Company handout]

More warnings from Rick Scott's office against cutting Visit Florida

As the Florida Legislature steams towards a budget deal that increasingly looks like it would gut funding for Visit Florida, Gov. Rick Scott's office put out a letter warning of dire fiscal consequences if lawmakers don't change course....

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Rays go from bad to good to worse in 5-4 11-inning loss

BALTIMORE - A night that started poorly and then looked promising ended cruelly for the Rays.

After overcoming a sloppy second inning that put them down three, after getting two home runs from Tim Beckham, after watching Alex Cobb battle his way through five innings, after seeing Erasmo Ramirez fight off trouble to post four zeroes, after taking the lead in the top of the 11th, the Rays ended up losing 5-4 Wednesday to the Orioles.

And on a walkoff walk.

"We did a really good job battling back,'' third baseman Evan Longoria said. "Being down like that with (Dylan) Bundy pitching a good game, we chipped away, we had a chance to win the game, we were in position to win. We have to win those games like that, especially on the road in the division. ... We've got to be able to close that one out somehow.''

After the Rays took the lead in the top of the 11th on a broken-bat single by Jesus Sucre, manager Kevin Cash asked Alex Colome to work a second inning, and he was eager to oblige.

But Colome wasn't as sharp, allowing a leadoff single to Chris Davis, a one-out single to Wellington Castillo and a walk to Hyun Soo Kim to load the bases, then a Jonathan Schoop fly ball to score the tying run.

After Colome walked Ryan Flaherty to reload the bases, Cash decided 32 pitches were enough, especially since Colome, their All-Star closer, had thrown 17 on Tuesday.

"I'd asked a lot of him going into that,'' Cash said. "His workload has been fairly heavy.''

Colome said afterward he was surprised to be pulled: "It surprised me. I thought I would get one more hitter.''

But Cash opted for Danny Farquhar, and it didn't go well as he walked lefty Seth Smith on four pitches to force in the winning run, starting with a curveball, then missing with fastballs

"It (stinks),'' Farquhar said. "It's the walk of shame into the clubhouse, and it's a tough night's sleep, tough two nights because we have an off-day. You've just got to learn from it.''

Before all that, the Rays definitely had some things to be pleased about.

Fill-in shortstop Beckham continued his overall impressive play by socking a pair of home runs and a double.

Cobb again overcame a lack of stuff, and a brutal second inning that included five straight singles and two throwing errors - one by him - netting three runs, to battle his way through five innings.

And reliever Ramirez, pitching with no rain in sight, did a tremendous job weaving his way through trouble - including a Beckham error that put the go-ahead run on second to start the eighth - to post four scoreless innings.

And a night that started poorly looked like it was going to end well Sucre's singled with two outs in the 11th that gave the Rays a 4-3 lead.

The rally started innocently, with a one-out walk by Logan Morrison off Alec Asher. With two outs, Shane Peterson was hit by a pitch. Then Sucre, who came in when Derek Norris was pinch-run for the in the eighth, delivered the key hit.

The Rays were in that position, in part, for familiar reasons, as they failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity, this one in the eighth when, down 3-2, they loaded the bases with no outs but got only the tying run.

The Rays dropped to 11-12 as they are off today, then play Friday in Toronto to open a stretch of 33 games in 34 games, with only one day off (May 18) until June 1.

Beckham continued his overall impressive play and sizzling show at the plate as he extended his hitting streak to seven games.

"Probably just finding his rhythm," Cash said before the game....

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Mindy Grossman has been CEO of HSN Inc. since 2006.

HSN's Mindy Grossman to be president, CEO of Weight Watchers

HSN chief executive officer Mindy Grossman, one of the revered names in the retail shopping industry, is leaving the St. Petersburg TV/digital shopping company after 11 years to assume a “leadership position with another public company,” the company said....

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