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  1. Charges dropped for man accused of growing 'medically necessary' marijuana

    Criminal

    Matthew Young won't be spending any time in jail for growing medical marijuana, but he says each day continues to be a battle without the drug.

    Matthew Young paid a lawyer $799 to help him get paperwork.
  2. Being a Florida lawmaker a path to wealth for many

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — In the wake of the Great Recession, which left the average Florida family struggling to make ends meet, at least one group of people continues to get richer: It pays to be elected to the state House or Senate.

  3. St. Pete Police gets (needed) help on crime lab, traffic

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — When crime scene technicians process evidence at the St. Petersburg Police Department, they huddle in a cramped area on the ground floor of an 85-year-old building.

  4. After detour through St. Petersburg thrift store, cremated remains bound for family

    Bizarre News

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sorting through piles of incoming donations a few weeks ago, workers at the PARC Thrift Store came upon a box they knew would never be slapped with a price tag.

  5. Officials explain, and hear about, proposed school rezoning plans in Hernando

    K12

    BROOKSVILLE — The eight glossy, color-coded maps handed out to parents all had the same basic goal, said Tony Akers.

  6. Sloppy all around, Rays fall to Red Sox

    The Heater

    BOSTON — If the Rays keep playing like this, arguing over whether they should have done more at the trade deadline won't be worth a spit.

    BOSTON, MA - JULY 31:  Logan Forsythe #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays congratulates Mikie Mahtook #27 after he scored a run against the Boston Red Sox  during the second inning at Fenway Park on July 31, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) 538587721
  7. A case of bed bugs shuts down Tampa library branch for the weekend

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — The North Tampa Branch Library has closed for the weekend after officials confirmed Friday evening that bedbugs were found in an upholstered chair.

  8. Rays deal Jepsen, otherwise stand pat at trade deadline

    The Heater

    BOSTON — Rather than add to an offense that ranks among the American League's worst, the only deal the Rays made by Friday's nonwaiver deadline was to trade one of their top relievers, Kevin Jepsen, to the Twins for a pair of lower-level minor-league pitchers.

    Rays reliever Kevin Jepsen is dealt to the Twins for two minor-league pitchers.
  9. Coast Guard ends search for missing Florida teens

    Nation

    OPA-LOCKA — After hundreds of rescue workers fanned out across a massive swath of the Atlantic for a full week, the Coast Guard's search for two teenage fishermen ended Friday, a heart-rending decision for families so convinced the boys could be alive they're pressing on with their own hunt.

    Perry Cohen, left, and Austin Stephanos, both 14, were last seen Friday afternoon, July 24, 2015, in the Jupiter area buying fuel for their 19-foot boat before embarking on a fishing trip. [U.S. Coast Guard via AP]
  10. Former wrestler 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies at 61

    Wrestling

    "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, the kilt wearing trash talker who headlined the first WrestleMania and later found movie stardom, has died, the WWE said Friday. He was 61.

    WWE had no additional details.

     Wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper gestures to the crowd after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at the Induction Ceremony in Universal City, Calif., on April 2, 2005, The WWE said Piper died Friday, July 31, 2015. He was 61. [Associated Press]
  11. 19-year-old man shot while riding bicycle in St. Petersburg

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A 19-year-old man was shot Friday while riding his bicycle on Highland Street, police said.

  12. Five people charged in mailbox pipe bombings in Brooksville

    Crime

    Times staff

    BROOKSVILLE — Five people were arrested this week and accused of blowing up mailboxes with pipe bombs last month.

  13. With possible date change for 2016 Grand Prix, local businesses are adjusting — for better or worse

    Tourism

    ST. PETERSBURG — Local special events don't get much louder or bigger than the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

    Juan Pablo Montoya races toward the finish line in winning the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March. [Luis Santana | Times]
  14. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush Super PACs outline donors behind their hauls

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — In a stunning illustration of the shift in the financing of political campaigns, a Super PAC supporting Jeb Bush for president disclosed Friday it had raised $103 million from an array of rich donors and special interests.

    Sen. Marco Rubio's Super PAC reported $16 million in donations. The take was concentrated among a handful of donors who wrote huge checks. Miami auto magnate Norman Braman, a longtime benefactor, gave $5 million. Oracle founder Larry Ellison gave $3 million. Besilu Stables, a thoroughbred company in Miami, gave $2.5 million. Laura Perlmutter, wife of Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac Perlmutter, gave $2 million. Rubio also got money from a number of corporate interests, including $100,000 from Florida Crystals Corp. and $100,000 from a group related to the private prison company Geo Group, based in Boca Raton. [Associated Press]
  15. When the rain falls, some Tampa Bay businesses get busy

    Business

    This week, when the rain fell hardest, Cardinal Roofing was flooded with as many as 50 calls on one day from damp, desperate Tampa Bay residents whose roofs were in dire need of repair. That's five times the calls the Valrico business usually gets.

    Jose Palacios, left, and Wilmer Puerto of Cardinal Roofing cover the roof of an Apollo Beach home in plastic to protect it from the rain Friday. This week, the company got as many as 50 calls a day from homeowners whose roofs were in need of repair.