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Features

  1. At end of newsman's career, 'family movie' celebrates tiny town where John Wilson got started

    Human Interest

    By Jay Cridlin | Times Staff Writer

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.

    Longtime WTVT-Ch. 13 news anchor John Wilson stands outside his family’s home in Big Stone Gap, Va. The bridge leading to the property is named for his father.
  2. FSU shooter's friends tried to get help for him months before the shooting

    College

    When she met him in the parking lot, the sight of him jarred her. Gone was the dapper, carefully dressed man who had taken her on dates for most of the past year.

    Myron May, the FSU shooter, stayed here in Wewahitchka during the three weeks before the shooting. May, far right, is engrossed in a book while friends socialize.
  3. Trauma fees growing across the nation at 'absurd' rate

    Health

    Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston runs one of America's most distinguished trauma centers, taking on thousands of severely injured patients every year.

  4. Natalie Khawam, Jill Kelley's twin sister, opens up about effects of Petraeus scandal

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The scandal swept through Tampa society like a late-season hurricane, taking down no less than the retired four-star general running the CIA.

    Natalie Khawam, left, Gen. David Petraeus, Scott and Jill Kelley and Holly Petraeus attend a party Jan. 30, 2010, at the Kelleys’ home on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa to watch the Gasparilla parade.
  5. 19th Florida panther killed by car, tying all-time record

    Wildlife

    On a Collier County road on Thursday, biologists found a female Florida panther that had been run over by a car or truck. The death of that 3- or 4-year-old panther marks the 19th roadkill death of one of Florida's official state animals this year.

    Cliff Coleman photographed a Florida panther on the Black Boar Ranch, a hunting preserve he manages which located just south of the newly created wildlife passage called the Lone Ranger Track, east of LaBelle. [Photo by Cliff Coleman]
  6. Heroin gaining ground among addicts in Tampa Bay

    Crime

    Stephanie Otero sat on a bucket behind a duplex with a needle and two plastic bags of heroin.

    Stephanie Otero, 23, right, holding her 4-month-old son, Matthew, talks to Julia Prince, 68, of Tampa, before worship service starts at City Life Church in north Tampa on Oct. 22. Otero got treatment for her addiction to heroin and Roxicodone.
  7. Data shows wrong-way crashes aren't a new phenomenon in Tampa Bay (w/video)

    Accidents

    TAMPA — In February, four University of South Florida fraternity brothers died after a wrong-way driver slammed into their car on Interstate 275. Two weeks later, a man driving the wrong way in the same area killed himself when he smashed into a box truck. In August, another man died in a wrong-way crash on the …

    Chase Kaleb Leveille of Riverview died in this wrong-way crash on I-275 in February.
  8. Streams of checks from big donors break records in Florida

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — It's now official: This year's state elections are not only the costliest in Florida history, but are also the nation's most expensive.

    Months of mudslinging and millions of dollars in negative campaign ads comes to fruition Tuesday: Florida's Election Day. [iStock]
  9. Amy Hepker embraces transgender identity, but at great cost

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG

    At about midnight, Amy Hepker parks her 1993 Nissan 200SX directly under a light pole in the very back of a strip mall parking lot. A skittish little black cat she named Shadow jumps in the back window to watch her grab a few extra layers of clothes from the trunk.

    She feels old.

    Amy Hepker, 58, is transgender, but is now homeless and struggling to find a job and love as a woman. But she has faith.
  10. A girl falls for her teacher …

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Addison Allen was 16, about to start her senior year at Tampa's Robinson High School, when the police called. They wanted to talk about the rumors.

    Addison Allen, 19, in her dorm at New College of Florida in Sarasota. She says that during her junior year at Tampa’s Robinson High School, she had a sexual relationship with her history teacher, Robert Lunsford. Lunsford denies it, saying Allen is lying because she was obsessed with him.
  11. At college football's lowest rung, games are matter of faith and creative financing

    College

    Earlier this fall, someone posted a question on reddit.com: Are there two fake schools operating on the periphery of college football? One was called the College of Faith, in Charlotte, N.C., and the other was called the University of Faith, here in St. Petersburg.

    Anthony Givins, head football coach at the University of Faith, holds practice Oct. 9 in St. Petersburg. The school is not affiliated with any recognized college sports governing body.
  12. Perspective: On the run but not yet running

    Perspective

    On paper it is the ultimate team play: Two of the biggest names in Republican politics lending their imprimatur to midterm candidates across the country, showing up at rallies, dinners and raising money. All for the common good of the Grand Old Party.

  13. Maxwell: Florida's vital challenge: to save the Everglades (w/video)

    Columns

    EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK — The health of Florida's environment never should have become a partisan issue, but we keep electing officials who make it partisan. As a result, we see the continued degradation of our water and land and serious threats to many plants and animals.

    Historically, the Everglades ecosystem encompassed 18,000 square miles. Because of urban
and agricultural development, half of that remains. Scientists call it the “remnant Everglades.”
  14. From brassy writers to fussy publishers, Florida journalism had it all

    Human Interest

    When I started at the Miami News in 1966, I remember that reporters typed their stories with two fingers on cheap paper. If they needed to move paragraphs around, they did so with scissors and glue. They impaled finished stories on metal spikes for a psychopathic editor who forbade talking until sunrise.

    Miami News reporter Milt Sosin calls in his story about a hurricane from Jacksonville beach on Jan. 1, 1962. 
  15. Meet Bill Koch, the other Koch brother (w/video)

    Human Interest

    "I'll let Mr. Koch know you're here," says the man at the door.

    Bill Koch poses in the back yard of his Palm Beach home. Brother to polarizing political figures David and Charles Koch, with whom he has had a tumultuous relationship, Bill, 74, owns energy company Oxbow Carbon and is estimated by Forbes to be worth $3.2 billion.
  16. Dry Tortugas are pure Florida, but for how long?

    Human Interest

    In June, photographer Carlton Ward Jr. went to the Dry Tortugas to illustrate a story on the Gulf of Mexico for Nature Conservancy magazine. He picked the national park because the health of its reefs is an exception among reefs in Florida. Coral reefs are in bad shape worldwide, especially in the upper …

    Courtesy of Carlton Ward Jr.
  17. A Q&A with the Dr. Doug Stein, vasectomy king

    Human Interest

    One day several years ago in Kenya, Dr. Doug Stein performed vasectomies on 53 men who had fathered a combined 358 children. Afterward, the men were waiting beneath a corrugated roof for a bus to take them back to their villages when a filmmaker who was making a documentary on Dr. Stein gathered them together to take a …

    Dr. Doug Stein, 61, has performed almost 34,000 vasectomies in his career. He believes every vasectomy affects the planet, controlling population growth and reducing our carbon footprint.
  18. There's a wealth of difference, and similarity, between rich and us

    Human Interest

    “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me." That might rank as one of the most promiscuously misused quotes in all of literature. It's F. Scott Fitzgerald, of course, but it was hardly his intention to glorify the wealthy or to suggest that they possessed talents as well as bank …

  19. Perspective: The Colorado pot experiment (w/video)

    Perspective

    DENVER — Drive around here for a few days and you can't shake it: Is the smell real or in my head?

    Different marijuana strains for sale at Cannabis Station in downtown Denver.
  20. Q & A: What exactly can the CDC do about Ebola? (w/video)

    Health

    The Ebola epidemic in Africa and fears of it spreading in the U.S. have turned the nation's attention to the federal government's front-line public health agency: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But as with Ebola itself, there is much confusion about the role of the CDC and what it can and cannot …