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On the runway for a cure


The 9th Annual Bright House Networks Fashion Funds the Cure was presented by Neiman Marcus and Mercedes-Benz to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The annual fashion fundraiser features a runway show with young models who are currently battling, or have battled, cancer. View the photo gallery.

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Previous coverage: Life Force Academy

Times staff writer Drew Harwell reported Sunday that some parents and former teachers at Life Force Arts and Technology Academy, which receives about $800,000 a year in public funding, say the Pinellas County charter school has become a Scientology recruiting post targeting children. Pinellas school district officials said Wednesday they will try to close the Life Force Academy.

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Dinosaur World has some new moves

Dinosaurs are still extinct, but the look of Dinosaur World is brand new, thanks to a 12-acre, nearly $4 million expansion that opened Wednesday. The renovation includes a new museum, a gift shop, a playground area and lifelike dinosaurs that move. Take a look at what's changed.

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GOP convention organizers release venue list

Looking to throw a big party during the Republican National Convention? The official list of sites has something for everyone: Tampa Yacht and Country Club, St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, Czar Vodka Bar and Nightclub, and even a bowling alley. Organizers will market the list of 73 venues to delegations, associations, media organizations and others looking to book events during the convention.

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Chat with Times Editor Neil Brown on Wednesday

Got a question about the Tampa Bay Times or its various websites? Want to make a suggestion or offer a story idea? Chat live with Times Editor Neil Brown Wednesday, February 29, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Can't make it? Leave a question in advance in the "Comments'' area below, then check back afterward to replay the chat. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Tampa Bay farms feed appetite for locavores


Locavorism is finally happening in the Tampa Bay area, and chefs are taking the lead. What's locavorism, you ask? Simply explained, it's using locally grown produce, herbs, meat, dairy and poultry on the menu. Times food critic Laura Reiley has written this story about the movement and reviewed Tampa restaurant Boca Kitchen Bar Market. You might want to pay a visit there at the Mariott Waterside after viewing these lush photos of some of the foods grown locally.

And here's Laura on WFLA-970 talking about the locavorism movement:


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ER dental work is painful to the wallet

A new study says more people are seeking emergency room treatment for dental problems, and that's costing as much as 10 times the expense of preventive care. Reporter Steve Nohlgren chronicled a local case that ended up costing a man more than $1,300. "I learned my lesson --- never enter the emergency room alive," said Kalyan Sircar. You can read his tale of woe here.

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Two words: baby owls


Photographer Jim Damaske was on vacation, but he couldn't resist taking this picture of a couple of baby great horned owls cuddling together out of their nest in Clearwater at Kapok Park.

"Great horned owls do not build their own nests, they take them from other species, and are particularly fond of bald eagle nests but can also be found in osprey and hawk built nests," says Barbara Walker f the Clearwater Audubon Society. "Overall, we are seeing an uptick in the number of great horned owl nests, not just here, but also in Hillsborough.

"If someone finds an owlet under a nest and the parents are still around they should call the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary [(727) 391-6211] right away, and arrangements will be made to get the bird back up in the tree, even if that includes making a makeshift nest. Bucket trucks, tree climbers and people experienced with birds of prey are all needed to coordinate this type of rescue. The owlet may need to be examined prior to being returned to its nest. Even though an owl might look fine, there is always the potential that it has scratched an eye or has a minor fracture somewhere." …

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Are you a Leap Year baby? Contact us

We're working on a story about how people born on the once-every four years date of Feb. 29 celebrate their birthday. Do you go the early route and bring out the cake on Feb. 28? Or do you figure that you were born the day after Feb. 28, so that's March 1 for the majority of the time?

Message us in the comments below, or send us an email. Please put LEAP YEAR in the subject line. But hurry, because unlike those of you who have four years to plan a birthday celebration, we only have one day to work on this story.

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A history of implosions in Tampa Bay

Progress Energy is ready to set off charges to bring the smoke stacks at its Weedon Island plant down on Tuesday at 10 a.m. But it won't be the first time the bay area has witnessed the spectacular controlled explosions that are designed to bring the structures down in a collapsed heap without sending debris flying. Here are some other implosions that awed spectators:

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Audio: Craig Pittman on the 'Jurassic Park' zoo plan

Reporter Craig Pittman has written about a pair of bills being pushed through the Legislature by the Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums would allow the association's 16 members — including Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa — to lease state-owned land for breeding hooved anaimals. Think rhinos, giraffes and maybe even some elephants. Critics, fearing unforeseen ecological havoc, have dubbed it the Jurassic Park plan, after the movie about rampaging dinosaurs. Here's Craig on WFLA-970, talking about the proposal.


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84th annual Academy Awards

What were the most glamorous Oscar fashions at Sunday night's ceremonies for the 84th annual Academy Awards? What were some of the craziest dresses that celebrities wore at the Oscars? And what about the men's fashions at the Oscars? Click through our photo gallery to see the winners and sinners from the 2012 Oscars.

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Oh no, J Lo! (and other buzzworthy Oscar moments)

Whether you watched the Oscars Sunday night or not, you'll probably get sucked into the post-mortems today, either through your Facebook feed or the conversation at work. We've captured some of the best Twitter commentary and photos from last night in real time -- from J Lo's "slip" to the Adam Sandler Haterade Brigade. Enjoy!

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Brooksville couple win Grammy

They didn’t get the same stage time as Adele or Foo Fighters, but Brooksville’s Tim and Laura Battersby can share the same distinction: Grammy Award winners. The couple, who perform as the Battersby Duo, were among those who received the award for Best Children’s Album on Feb. 12 for contribution of their song I Know a Kid to the compilation album All About Bullies ... Big And Small. “Winning a Grammy is flattering for any musician,” Tim Battersby said. “But to win for a project we really believed in is incredibly satisfying for us. It’s something we’ll always treasure.” Read the full story here.

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Brooksville couple win Grammy Award

battersby.jpgOver the past three decades, they have performed on Sesame Street and on NBC's Today show, entertained a half-dozen times at the White House and played before thousands of schoolchildren.

Tim and Laura Battersby can now add an accolade they have coveted for a long time. They're Grammy Award winners.

The Brooksville couple, who perform as the Battersby Duo, were among those who received the award for Best Children's Album on Feb. 12 for contribution of their song I Know a Kid to the compilation album All About Bullies ... Big And Small.

Click here to read more.


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