Breaking news

  1. Florida Hospital gives $2M for theater upgrade at MOSI

    Science

    TAMPA -- The Museum of Science and Industry will receive a $2 million grant from Florida Hospital to update its IMAX theater with digital technology, the museum announced Friday.

  2. Vinik starts master-plannning a master plan for Channelside

    Business

    TAMPA — The new owner of Channelside Bay Plaza is about to get to work.

  3. Pope Francis lines up for lunch at workers' cafeteria

    Religion

    VATICAN CITY — Do you make the pope pay for lunch?

    Pope Francis, bottom right, has lunch at the Vatican workers' cafeteria, Friday. Pope Francis got a free meal when he popped in unannounced at the Vatican workers' cafeteria and lined up, tray in hand, along with stunned diners. [Associated Press]
  4. Deadly laurel wilt fungus attacking Everglades trees

    Wetlands

    MIAMI — A fungus carried by an invasive beetle from southeast Asia is felling trees across the Everglades, and experts have not found a way to stop the blight from spreading.

    A dead tree stands beside a highway near Miami in the Florida Everglades. Laurel wilt, a fungus that follows an invasive beetle from Asia, is killing trees across the Everglades, and there's no way to stop the blight from spreading. [Associated Press]
  5. Derrick Brooks named as appeals officer for NFL

    Bucs

    Soon-to-be Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, already a busy man in his retirement, has added another job to his work week, announced Friday by the NFL and NFLPA as a new appeals officer for the league.

    Derrick Brooks will serve as an arbitrator for on-field discipline against players, hearing player appeals for fines levied for actions during games. [DANIEL WALLACE | Times]
  6. WellCare shares drop sharply after disappointing earnings report

    Corporate

    Shares in WellCare Health Plans plummeted nearly 20 percent in early trading Friday after the Tampa managed care company released second-quarter earnings and lowered expectations for the remainder of the year.

  7. Ready for 'Sharknado 2'? Here are 5 ways to dive right in

    The Feed

    When Sharknado premiered on the SyFy network on July 11, 2013, it hit the Internet like a tidal wave.

    Get your chainsaws ready! Here's Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard  in a scene from 'Sharknado 2: The Second One.'
  8. Florida's swollen ranks of lawyers scrap for piece of a shrinking legal pie

    Business

    Ask Jason Fraser how many jobs he applied for after graduating from a St. Petersburg law school last year and this is what he says:

    Mindful of the job crunch for lawyers, Stetson University' College of Law cut the size of last fall's entering class to 229 full-time students, down from a pre-recession peak of about 280. That means fewer graduates looking for work two years from now. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times] 
  9. Spared prison, 550-pound man sought freedom; judge weighs in

    Criminal

    TREASURE ISLAND — A morbidly obese man whose poor health helped him avoid prison time had his request for a shortened sentence denied this month.

    Steven Goodman, 70, arrives at federal court in West Palm Beach in 2012 for sentencing on charges he sold more than 1 million prescription meds to fake pain management clinics. RICHARD GRAULICH/ZUMAPRESS.COM
  10. Florida's medical marijuana proposal: Five things to know about Amendment 2

    Elections

    Floridians will vote Nov. 4 on whether to legalize medical marijuana. What could it mean for patients, the health care industry and the burgeoning pot industry if the required 60 percent of voters say yes to pot? Here are some key facts to keep in mind:

  11. Downtown Tampa tries free ping pong in the park

    Features

    TAMPA — To enliven its downtown, Tampa has tried:

    Pretty in pink, the table awaits. The table features a pink plastic skirt decorated with the city's skyline
  12. Tampa woman gets prison for immigration marriage fraud

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A Tampa woman who arranged at least 10 fraudulent marriages intended to let Jamaican nationals gain citizenship in the United States has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.

  13. Tampa boy hit while riding scooter dies at hospital

    Accidents

    TAMPA — A 6-year-old boy died Friday, days after he was hit by a car while riding a scooter near his home.

  14. Auto title lender TMX Finance skirts Florida's ban on high-interest loans

    Autos

    When Florida lawmakers banned high-interest car title loans in 2000, then-Gov. Jeb Bush proclaimed that the new law would protect Floridians from lenders "who prey on the desperate."

    This InstaLoan in Brandon is one of 1,470 TMX stores in 18 states. A typical Florida contract carries an effective annual rate of 144 percent.
  15. Warped Tour arrives in St. Pete

    Events

    Downtown St. Petersburg will look considerably younger today as the Vans Warped Tour rolls into town.

    Warped fans line up to get a coveted front row spot when the music starts at 11. This photo was taken around 7:45 a.m. SCOTT KEELER | Times