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Wednesday: Chat with Times editor Neil Brown

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, May 2, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Can't make it? No problem. 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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Photos: Dragon Boat, Touch-a-Truck, St. Anthony's Meek & Mighty triathlon

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The 9th Annual Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races took place in Tampa on Saturday. The race was run by the Pan American Dragon Boat Association, which marked a 450 meter course with buoys to make five race lanes. For more information, visit the Tampa Bay Dragon Boat website.  See photos from the event.

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Photos: Outer Banks

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The Outer Banks of North Carolina come alive in the summer.  See photos.

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Pasco deputies tend to graves of those lost in the line of duty

Members of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and agents from ATF hit the pavement early Friday with gloves and cleaning supplies. They headed down dirt roads, squeezed through fences and rolled up their shirt sleeves to clean the graves. These graves were marked with names like Bo, Fleece and Sheldon — fellow law enforcement officers who had been killed in the line of duty in Pasco County.

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Fire department saves kitty (sort of)

Reporter Kameel Stanley checked out the story behind this video to see what the outcome was for the kitty in this video. (Important journalism afoot!) Make sure you have your sound on to watch is all we're saying about it.

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Florida Supreme Court validates Senate's redrawn redistricting map

In a major victory for Florida's Republican-led Legislature, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday validated the redrawn map of the Florida Senate, allowing the boundaries to serve as the political borders for the next 10 years. Check out the ruling and the our full report.

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Cute pic! Unexpected find in osprey nest

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Strong winds on Monday launched an osprey chick out of its nest in East Lake. When volunteers from the Clearwater Audubon Society put the bird back up in the nest to join its two siblings (it’s the one standing up), they discovered someone’s morning paper in the nest as well. So, if you didn’t get your newspaper recently, an osprey might have snagged it. Finding miscellaneous items in an osprey nest is not uncommon. “Mostly I see trash,” says Barbara Walker of the Clearwater Audubon Society. “Plastic bags in particular.” What’s the funniest thing she has seen? A pink size 7/8 women’s flip-flop.

Got a funny caption for this photo? Leave it in the comments below.

[Photo provided by Clearwater Audubon Society]


 

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Scott's drug testing ruled unconstitutional

A Miami federal judge on Thursday slammed Gov. Rick Scott's order requiring random drug testing for tens of thousands of state government employees as "unconstitutional" because his policy failed to specify any "public interests" to justify the invasion of privacy. Read the ruling.

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USF Poly documents

Two top administrators at the University of South Florida Polytechnic are facing dismissal following an investigation into complaints about financial mismanagement at the Lakeland campus. And the former leader of the school, Marshall Goodman, could soon be under investigation himself. See a summary of the interview that claims many of the suspect purchases came when "MG" "went on trips and saw things he wanted like a beer tap." We also have other documents from the investigation. To see a profile of Marshall Goodman, click here. He was removed from his post in December.

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Largo man shoots wife, self

A Largo man shot and killed his wife and then shot himself in a pharmacy parking lot Wednesday afternoon, after the couple got into a fight while traveling in a car on Roosevelt Boulevard, police said.

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Minor League baseball

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There is an obscure baseball archive located in the offices of Minor League Baseball in north Pinellas County, which houses handwritten and typed player record cards of multiple famous players. These cards record every single salary related change in a player's career. The archive includes players from about 1920 to the early 1990s.  See the cards.

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Earth Day

The images swept across the Internet last month like cool breeze over a sun-scorched parking lot. People called them “mesmerizing” and “hypnotic” and “wondrous” and “mind-blowing.”

One was a NASA-created video showing all of the world’s ocean currents. Called “Perpetual Ocean,” the 20-minute video tracks all the ocean surface currents that satellites had detected from June 2005 to December 2007. 

The other, created by Google’s “Big Picture” visualization research group, was an animated map using National Weather Service data to show all the wind currents blowing around the United States.

A ship, the Okeanos Explorer, has remote-operated vehicles scanning the bottom and sending video back to the surface to be posted to a website where the public can watch.

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To see the U.S. wind map, click on: http://hint.fm/wind/

To view the three-minute version of NASA’s “Perpetual Ocean” currents video: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/perpetual-ocean.html

To view the Okeanos Explorer video from the Gulf of Mexico through April 28:  http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/media/exstream/exstream_04.html

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Photos and video: RNC preparation at Tampa strip clubs

Across Tampa Bay, many of the area's estimated 50 strip establishments are upgrading lighting, hiring dancers and creating private nooks to cash in on some of the 50,000 visitors expected for the GOP convention.

Long one of Tampa's signature industries, strip clubs are preparing for the RNC as earnestly as the city has been repairing bridges, repaving streets and planting park benches downtown.  See photos.

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Video: YouTube campaign gets bay-area breast-cancer patient experimental drug

 

A YouTube video is giving a local woman dying of advanced breast cancer access to an experimental drug that she hopes will give her more time.

Darlene Gant, 46, has advanced breast cancer that has spread to her liver. Diagnosed six years ago, she is a patient at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.

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Video: George Zimmerman apologizes to Trayvon Martin's parents

During his bail hearing Friday (April 20, 2012), George Zimmerman apologizes to the parents of Trayvon Martin under question from a prosecutor. This is unedited video of the apology provided by the Wall Street Journal. A judge released Zimmerman on $150,000 bond at the close of the hearing.

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