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Breaking News

  1. State regulators approve Duke Energy's proposal to build a $1.5 billion natural gas plant

    Energy

    TALLAHASSEE – State regulators today approved Duke Energy Florida's proposal to build a $1.5 billion natural gas plant in Citrus County that would come online in 2018.

  2. Despite fire, annual charity Pasta Fest will take place Tuesday at Papa Joe's

    Business

    BROOKSVILLE — Only the foundation has been poured for the new Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant rising out of the ground east of Brooksville, but that won't stop the family-owned dining mainstay from carrying on with an annual tradition.

    Papa Joe’s Italian Restaurant was destroyed in a fire Jan. 24. Proceeds from this year’s Pasta Fest will go to churches that helped the restaurant’s employees who lost work because of the fire.
  3. Pasco baseball complex developer wants changes in deal

    Local Government

    WESLEY CHAPEL — The Tampa developer proposing a youth sports complex in Pasco County says he's nearing a deal with private investors to bring millions to the project, but two obstacles are slowing the deal.

  4. New PHSC law enforcement academy director settles into role

    Public Safety

    DADE CITY — Capt. Steve Hartnett hardly looks comfortable in his new desk chair. He leans forward, his hands resting on a marked-up calendar while he talks about improvement.

    Steve Hartnett’s appointment ended a conflict between the college and the Sheriff’s Office.
  5. Review: 'The Good Lie' is not what you think

    Movies

    Movies about cooperating Africans and Americans often take a condescending risk of great white saviors making everything better for poor black folks. The Good Lie isn't that sort of movie, except in its marketing.

    From left, Arnold Oceng, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Baker appear in a scene from The Good Lie.
  6. Polk deputies seek help finding Alzheimer's patient, possibly armed

    Public Safety

    AUBURNDALE —— The Polk County Sheriff's Office asked for the public's help in locating Wayne Francis Wietting, 68, after he went missing Wednesday morning.

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office asked for the public's help in locating Wayne Francis Wietting, 68, after he went missing Wednesday morning. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  7. Another wrong-way driver arrested, this time on Suncoast Parkway

    Public Safety

    LUTZ — A trooper arrested another wrong-way driver Thursday morning who told him she thought she was on Interstate 75 instead of where she really was — driving north in the southbound lanes of the Suncoast Parkway, authorities said.

    State trooper Ronald Evans performs a field sobriety test on Lori Lee Downard, 49, of Zephyrhills early Thursday morning after she was found driving north in the southbound lanes of the Suncoast Parkway. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  8. Jeff Vinik's downtown Tampa hotel plan is set for City Council vote

    Local Government

    TAMPA — The rezoning for a 400-room hotel proposed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik comes up for final approval today at the City Council.

    An artist's rendering shows a 400-room hotel proposed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik beside Amalie Arena. [Trammell Crow Company]
  9. Clearwater official pushes for beach parking garage near his business

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — Now that Clearwater has decided to put a seven-story parking garage north of the Clearwater Beach Roundabout, some elected officials are already talking about where the next public parking garage on the beach should go.

  10. Replay Amusement Museum brings video game, pinball nostalgia to Tarpon Springs (w/video)

    Retail

    TARPON SPRINGS — Dodge ghosts with Ms. Pac-Man and smack pinballs until your fingers go numb, but don't call it an arcade. Visitors won't pay by the quarter at Brian and Becky's Replay Amusement Museum, opening today (Oct. 3).

    Brian Cheaney plays pinball Monday at the Replay Amusement Museum that he and his wife are opening in Tarpon Springs. Collecting machines started as a hobby, then turned into a business.
  11. Pinellas County gives awards for fire service distinction

    Briefs

    First-Responders honored: The Pinellas County Commission announced the recipients of the inaugural Fire Service Professionals of the Year awards at its meeting Sept. 23. The awards honor those who provide exceptional service to the community. Pinellas County 911 Telecommunicator Patrick Lavender was named …

    Fire Service Professionals of the Year awards went to, from left, Largo Fire Rescue District Chief Keith Daliendo; Palm Harbor Fire Rescue vehicle extrication team members Lt. William M. Fisher, Joshua Lovetere, Matthew Quinn, Ryan Fisher, Kyle Drozdowski and Andrew Bittner; and Pinellas emergency dispatcher Patrick Lavender.
  12. Pinellas Park council okays affordable apartments on Park Boulevard

    Local Government

    PINELLAS PARK — Council members narrowly approved a zoning change to transform a used car lot into low-cost apartments.

  13. Some Treasure Island residents annoyed the homeless use gazebo

    Human Interest

    TREASURE ISLAND — Some downtown business owners are asking the city to demolish a gazebo used as a tourist welcome center. They say the homeless are using it as a shelter.

    The welcome center in downtown Treasure Island is a source of tension.
  14. St. Petersburg police to change uniforms from green to blue

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg police are happy to turn blue.

    CAPTION: St. Petersburg police officers model the department's new test uniforms. 

SOURCE: St. Petersburg police
  15. Largo commission says car dealer can have bigger sign

    Local Government

    LARGO — City commissioners narrowly approved a car dealer's request to put up a bigger sign than allowed by Largo rules.

    The current sign at the Dick Norris dealership at 18200 U.S. 19 N is 127 square feet. The business was granted a variance for a 226-square-foot sign.