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  1. Families slammed by steep rate hikes in the Healthy Kids plan can seek refuge in Obamacare

    Health

    Jim Fike was among the thousands of Floridans who feared their families would be stuck with a Florida Healthy Kids insurance plan — even though the rates will double come Oct. 1.

    But this week brought some good news.

  2. Weeks later, flood-damaged Tampa Bay still waits for federal disaster declaration

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The pounding rains stopped nearly three weeks ago, yet pleas for federal assistance from flooding damage still haven't been answered for some Tampa Bay residents unable to return to their homes.

  3. Tampa snags Johnson & Johnson corporate services headquarters with 500 jobs

    Business

    TAMPA — Johnson & Johnson, the giant pharmaceutical company best known for its Tylenol and Band-Aid brands, on Thursday said it has picked Tampa as its headquarters to house key corporate services including finance, human resources and information technology.

  4. Tampa Premium Outlets job fair draws a crowd of 1,000 people

    Retail

    TAMPA — Just finding a place to park at the Tampa Premium Outlets job fair was itself a job worthy of a paycheck.

    People peruse business stations for applications Thursday at the Tampa Premium Outlets job fair hosted by the Embassy Suites in Tampa. CareerSource Pasco Hernando is partnering with the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce to fill more than 800 jobs at the Tampa Premium Outlets in Lutz, which will have a grand opening in late October. [SCOTTY SCHENCK | Times]
  5. Teacher shirts in Hillsborough strike a nerve when they advertise a church

    K12

    TAMPA — More than 2,000 Hillsborough County public school teachers received t-shirts this week that advertise a megachurch with conservative values, fueling a backlash from some who said the gesture was inappropriate.

  6. Bucs' Russell Shepard drives toward 2nd career for long haul

    Bucs

    TAMPA — When receiver Russell Shepard hauled in a touchdown pass in the Bucs' preseason win Monday night, he showed a flash of promise that his elite play on special teams could carry over to offense as well.

  7. David Letterman struggles with love for racing

    Auto racing

    This kind of list makes David Letterman sick to his stomach and question his love of auto racing.

    Team owner and television host David Letterman listens in to his driver at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. (3/29/2014, St. Petersburg, FL)    [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  8. Challengers ask court to take over Florida's redistricting

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Equating the Legislature's redistricting failure to a strikeout, the challengers to the state's congressional map on Thursday called on the Florida Supreme Court to redraw the districts it invalidated and reject the Legislature's call for more time.

  9. Tampa council delays votes on stormwater fee increases

    Local Government

    TAMPA — After 90 minutes of impassioned pleas on both sides of the question, the City Council paused Thursday to get more information and take more time before voting whether to increase stormwater fees.

  10. Ex-NBA star Darryl Dawkins dies at 58

    Nba

    Darryl Dawkins, whose board-shattering dunks earned him the moniker "Chocolate Thunder" and helped pave the way for breakaway rims, has died. He was 58.

    In this Oct. 6, 2013, file photo, former Philadelphia's 76ers' Darryl Dawkins, center, receives a tribute before a match against Bilbao Basket, during an NBA Global basketball game in Bilbao, northern Spain. [AP photo]
  11. Here's the story behind all that tension between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush (w/video)

    State Roundup

    Donald Trump spent a day in January 2014 hobnobbing with politicians at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. The billionaire mogul touted legalizing gambling with state House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and two other wired Florida Republicans, plugging his properties as potential sites for casinos.

    Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate on Aug. 6 in Cleveland. The feud between the two leading Republicans, which has escalated in recent days, is shaping up as a defining dynamic at this early stage of the race. And considering Trump's dominant status in polls and Bush's fundraising dominance, the tensions between the two are likely to be a factor for weeks or months to come as each candidate attempts to topple the other on his way to the nomination. [Associated Press]
  12. Scott on Tropical Storm Erika: 'Hope for the best; prepare for the worst'

    Hurricanes

    Emergency officials in Florida readied Thursday for the potential effects of Tropical Storm Erika, which lashed the small island of Dominica with flooding and landslides, still hundreds of miles away in the Atlantic Ocean.

    [Weather Underground Inc.]
  13. New chef at Tampa's Roux makes things more Cajun, less Creole

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — She won them over from the stomach up.

    Bonnie Breaux says she got her “culinary training at the institute of life.”
  14. Governor's Conference on Tourism comes to Tampa for the first time

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Tourism boosters from Key West to Pensacola will head to Tampa next week to talk about the future of the state's biggest economic driver — its visitors.

    The annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism comes to the Tampa Bay area next week for the first time in the event’s history. Visit Florida, the state’s tourism industry agency, will unveil its strategic plan on how to market the state as a destination over the next five years at the conference. 
  15. PSC rejects call to focus on utilities' hedging losses

    Energy

    Florida's investor-owned electric utilities have lost $6.1 billion in bad bets on the cost of fuel since 2002, a river of cash deep enough to build at least three natural gas power plants from scratch.

    Florida Power & Light has lost $4.1 billion to hedges since 2002, making up the majority of the $6.1 billion in losses from Florida utility companies to hedges. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times (2013)]