Florida's vanishing springs

A century ago Florida’s gin-clear springs drew presidents and millionaires and tourists galore who sought to cure their ailments by bathing in the healing cascades. Now the springs tell the story of a hidden sickness, one that lies deep within the earth. Read Times staff writer Craig Pittman's investigation here.

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Assisted living

 Gov. Rick Scott promised to throw his weight behind proposals to protect ALF residents, vulnerable elderly and disabled people. To see the Miami Herald's full report, click here

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Remembering an artist, friend

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Truth about fluoride doesn't include Nazi myth

The Pinellas County Commission Tuesday voted to put fluoride back into the county's drinking water. The vote came after more than three hours of public comment from an overflow crowd, most against adding fluoride into the water supply. They cited health concerns. They referenced Hitler. They said dentists can't be trusted. Read a PolitiFact ruling on one theory about fluoride and the Nazis here.Full Story

An online poll for online shoppers

It's Cyber Monday!
Retailers make a big deal about online holiday shopping on the first Monday after Thanksgiving. What does it mean for you? Vote below: Full Story

Video, photos: Black Friday shoppers

Black Friday shopping came gradually this year, starting on Thursday with early store openings, then culminating at midnight and slowing down by mid-morning. You can see a photo gallery here.

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Video: Tampa police to use RNC equipment at malls

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Photos: Florida Legislature

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The Class of 2012 arrived at the Capitol in Tallahassee Monday ahead of a one-day organizational session. On Tuesday, they will take the oath of office, greet each other for the first time and maybe even figure out where the nearest bathroom is.

There are 44 freshmen in the 120-member House and 15 newcomers (a modern record) in the 40-member Senate, though most new senators have experience as House members.  See photos.

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Corporate cauldron of misconduct alleged

At Citizens Property Insurance Corp., a corporate culture plagued by inter-office scandals, sexual impropriety, lavish spending, alleged cover-ups and big severance checks for disgraced employees has simmered under the radar for years, according to hundreds of internal documents obtained by the Times/Herald. Read the documents here.

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Video: Jury finds Dooley guilty

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Letter: Gov. Scott fires 1,890 prison workers

Nearly 2,000 state workers are being displaced from Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration because of the nation’s biggest outsourcing of prison health care." Due to the outsourcing of this function, your position will be deleted,” reads a dryly-worded dismissal notice from the Department of Corrections, sent to 1,890 state employees in the past two weeks. Read the letter here

 

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Video: National Adoption Day

 

New families are formed on National Adoption Day in Tampa. 

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Friday's developments: Gen. David Petraeus' CIA sex scandal

Kelley and her husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, not only lavished attention on top officers from MacDill Air Force Base, but cultivated friendships with Florida politicians — even if it meant being pushy. She also attempted to trade on those friendships, on one occasion claiming her status as an honorary consul entitled her to special protection, for example.

kelley-kiss-1116.jpgN.Y. Daily News — Petraeus accepted an award in a ceremony at the Kelleys' home last year: A photo (right) shows Petraeus kissing Jill Kelley on the cheek after he was presented with an award in the summer of 2011. [Image credit: New York Daily News]

Merriam-Webster Online — Trend watch » 'Inviolable': "Lookups spiked on November 14, 2012. The word was used by Jill Kelley, a figure in the scandal surrounding former CIA Director David Petraeus. When she saw reporters gathered in front of her house in Tampa, Ms. Kelley … called police and requested protection. On the widely reported 911 call, Kelley said, 'I'm an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability.' … It turns out that Jill Kelley's honorary title is just that: honorary. She was not entitled to any special protection or immunity." …

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From today's Times: Jill Kelley's emails to Tampa city officials

Kelley asks mayor to help: Jill Kelley cultivated social relationships with politicians — including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn — in addition to generals. Read her emails to Tampa public officials (PDF).

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Look back at the BP Deepwater Horizon gulf oil spill

 A day of reckoning arrived for BP on Thursday as the oil giant agreed to plead guilty to a raft of charges in the deadly Gulf of Mexico spill and pay a record $4.5 billion, including the biggest criminal fine in U.S. history. Three BP employees were also charged, two of them with manslaughter.

Our coverage of the April 20, 2010, explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and subsequent spill that took 85 days to stop included many photo galleries showing the devastation along the Gulf Coast. 

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