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  1. Lufthansa, admitting it knew of co-pilot's depression, is under pressure

    FRANKFURT, Germany — Lufthansa was supposed to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of its postwar rebirth this month.

  2. British couple win a $1.5 million in lottery for second time

    World

    LONDON — A couple from northern England has defied the odds — again — by winning a million pounds ($1.5 million) in the lottery for a second time.

  3. Fundraising in California, Jeb Bush issues softer backing of Indiana's 'religious freedom' law

    Blogs

    Jeb Bush has been fully drawn into the debate over Indiana’s “religious freedom” law, and he softened his endorsement while fundraising in California on Wednesday.

  4. Florida Senate moves to temporarily suspend school grades

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate took a critical step Wednesday toward temporarily suspending school grades in response to the outcry statewide among parents, teachers and superintendents who want a smoother transition as the state shifts to new standards and tests.

  5. Tampa man accused in $637,622 tax refund scam

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A Tampa man faces federal charges after authorities say he schemed with others from 2010 to 2013 to collect $637,622 in fraudulent tax refunds using stolen identities.

  6. Florida Senate passes sweeping prison reforms

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Responding to allegations of abuse and corruption in Florida's prison system, the state Senate voted Wednesday to create an independent oversight commission with subpoena powers to investigate wrongdoing at the Department of Corrections.

  7. St. Pete-Clearwater airport spared as Allegiant pilot strike averted at last hour

    Airlines

    CLEARWATER — A strike by Allegiant Air pilots that could have virtually shut down St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport was averted at the last hour.

    Allegiant Air is expanding its flight network, offering five new nonstop routes into St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. Passengers from Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Richmond, Va., Hagerstown, Md., and Omaha will be able to fly directly into Tampa Bay on the new routes beginning in February and March.
  8. Downtown St. Petersburg businesses undergo shuffle

    Briefs

    ST. PETERSBURG

    3 downtown shops close while 1 opens

    The King and I Thai restaurant at 445 Central Ave. served its last meals on Sunday. The restaurant was a staple for years for quick service and food including sushi, spring rolls and fresh soups.

    Marine veteran Gilbert Mays fishes under the John’s Pass Bridge on Monday in an attempt to catch redfish, snook or “anything that will bite.” He was using live shrimp on an incoming tide. He is framed by the bridge supports.
  9. Tampa City Council names Reddick its new chairman

    Local Government

    TAMPA — For all the political intrigue, it took the Tampa City Council just one anticlimactic minute Wednesday to elect Frank Reddick as its new chairman.

    Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick said he hopes past chairman Charlie Miranda can help guide him in his new position.
  10. Kentucky man sentenced to life in 2012 murder of Pinellas Park man

    Criminal

    CLEARWATER — A Kentucky man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday after he was found guilty of first-degree murder and arson in the May 2012 killing of a Pinellas Park man.

  11. Eleven former Atlanta educators convicted in cheating scandal

    Testing

    ATLANTA — In one of the biggest cheating scandals of its kind in the U.S., 11 former Atlanta public school educators were convicted Wednesday of racketeering for their role in a scheme to inflate students' scores on standardized exams.

    Defense attorney Robert Rubin, left, and former Former Atlanta Public Schools school research team director Sharon Davis Williams, listen as the verdicts are read in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating trial, Wednesday in Atlanta. [AP photo]
  12. $5,000 reward offered to anyone with information on missing Plant student

    Crime

    TAMPA —A $5,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information on Thomas Reffue, the 17-year-old Plant High student who went missing early Sunday with his mother's car.

  13. Mac and cheese, bacon highlight new foods at Tropicana Field (w/ video)

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — One thing is clear at Tropicana Field: Mac is king. And bacon is the crown prince.

    Centerplate will offer the half-pound, footlong Mac Dog in the Rays’ 2015-16 season.
  14. Hudson boys remembered with Catholic Mass

    Human Interest

    PORT RICHEY — In the week when parents should have celebrated two sons' birthdays, they instead endured the boys' joint memorial service Wednesday.

    Trevor Pimentel, in wheelchair, leaves the funeral service for his brothers Brady, 6, and Kevin, 12, Pimentel at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church on Wednesday in Port Richey. 
  15. Mayor Buckhorn starts second term with fanfare for Tampa

    Politics

    TAMPA — After taking the oath of office for his second term as Tampa's mayor, Bob Buckhorn started his speech, as usual, with a quip.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn thanks supporters after he was sworn in and delivered his address Wednesday at the Tampa Convention Center.