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Links from the Times: FCAT scores, Oil spill special report, Zobrist in school, Dunedin sinkhole

[BP /]

LATEST ON THE OIL SPILL: While government officials are saying so far, so good on the "top kill," the latest attempt to plug the oil spill, USF scientists have discovered an oil plume deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Bookmark our special report for the latest reporting from the Times and our wire services, plus informational graphics, photos and video. Finally, this Associated Press interactive report explores our hurricane history and the possible ugly mix between a big storm and the oil spill.


CONTEST WINNER: Thursday was "Take Zobrist to School" day for Braeden Johnson, 9, a fourth-grader at Frontier Elementary School. The young Largo resident really lucked out because second baseman/-rightfielder Ben "Zorilla" Zobrist has been his favorite player all along.

[EAMONN KNEESHAW | Special to the Times]

DUNEDIN SINKHOLE: Today, Colin Niven is cancer free, but the health scare two years ago gave him perspective, he said. Especially on Wednesday night, when Niven and his wife returned from dinner with friends to find a sinkhole expanding rapidly in front of their home.

FCAT SCORES: After years of impressive gains, Florida's third-graders seem to have hit a wall in reading and math. Seventy-two percent of third-graders are reading at grade level this year, up 1 percentage point from last year, but the same as 2008, show the latest results released Thursday by the Florida Department of Education. Meanwhile, 78 percent of third-graders are doing math at grade level, the same as last year. See the school-by-school results for reading and math.


PRISON PROBE: An inmate was still unable to speak Thursday after collapsing during a prison-ordered exercise regimen in sweltering heat at a youth facility in north Florida. As state investigators looked into whether the prison handled the incident properly, two prison guards were suspended with pay.

HURRICANE NEWS: Experts from NOAA forecast an "active to extremely active" hurricane season — 14 to 23 named storms, 8 to 14 hurricanes, 3 to 7 major hurricanes (111 miles mph and above). Officials are worried that too many people are unprepared. A survey of residents in hurricane-vulnerable states found that most feel they are invulnerable and are unprepared for the hurricane season, which begins Tuesday and runs through Nov. 30. Get ready with help from our Hurricane Guide.

[Hillsborough Sheriff's Office]

TWIN ROBBERIES: Four men, two armed with semiautomatic pistols, robbed a 7-Eleven at 9817 U.S. 301 S in Gibsonton at 12:14 a.m., according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. About 15 minutes later, the same group robbed a 7-Eleven at 7711 Causeway Blvd. in Tampa.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 10:18am]


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