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  1. USF Board of Governors approves land purchase from Poynter Institute

    Business

    The USF Board of Governors voted Thursday to approve spending $6.2 million to buy 3.7 acres of vacant land in St. Petersburg from the Poynter Institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times. The deal is still not complete, said Lara Wade, director of public affairs at the university. The vote by the board was one step …

  2. Birth of a charter school and Jeb Bush's vision for education

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE —After a bruising defeat in the 1994 gubernatorial race, Jeb Bush approached a well-known civil rights leader in Miami with an ambitious plan.

    Florida Gov.-elect Jeb Bush gets a hug from 8-year-old David Tice after he and members of his third grade class recited a poem for Bush during a visit Nov. 4, 1998, to the Liberty City Charter School in Miami. Bush co-founded the school with T. Willard Fair. [Associated Press (1998)]

  3. Tampa police unveil 60 body cameras for patrol officers

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — As Officer Cliff Griffin pulled over a white PT Cruiser Friday afternoon on Nebraska Avenue, his hand moved to the pocket on the front of his Tampa police uniform. A tone sounded as he hit a button on a battery pack underneath. From that moment, everything Griffin did was recorded through a tiny lens …

  4. Pier survey's value to be determined

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For weeks, the city nudged residents to complete an online survey to choose up to three of seven pier proposals they like best.

  5. Outgoing chief judge: Spate of recent murders shows need for better mental health care

    Courts

    The chief judge for Pinellas and Pasco counties says he can't remember a stretch with so many brutal murders.

    Thomas McGrady, the current chief judge of Pinellas and Pasco counties, will not run for a third term as chief judge. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  6. Authorities target kratom as herbal supplement being abused as a drug

    Public Safety

    After the recent crackdown on prescription and synthetic drugs across the state, authorities are now focusing on controlling an herb currently legal in Florida and believed to elicit the same effects of some narcotics.

    An opened capsule containing Kratom.[JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  7. Consumer advocates: Duke Energy trying to collect more money

    Energy

    In a filing late Thursday, consumer advocates state that Duke Energy Florida is positioning itself to collect more money from customers by seeking to change past orders regarding the canceled Levy County nuclear plant.

  8. Sen. Bill Nelson: State shouldn't expect LIP money

    Blogs

    Florida lawmakers shouldn’t expect federal money for the Low Income Pool program to fill a $2 million hole in next year’s state budget, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Friday, issuing a call for the state to instead expand Medicaid.

  9. FOIA rules to guide review of Clinton emails for publication

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that it will apply the legal provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to determine what parts of Hillary Rodham Clinton's official emails when she was secretary of state will be released publicly from her private account. The law contains nine exemptions to …

  10. To help protect Everglades, feds ban import of four large constrictor snakes

    Wildlife

    LOXAHATCHEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE — Four large constrictor snakes will be illegal to import or move across state lines, the federal government said Friday, while stopping short of including the popular boa constrictor among the banned.

    In this November 14, 2009, photo provided by the University of Florida, UF researchers hold a 162-pound Burmese python captured in Everglades National Park. Therese Walters, left, Alex Wolf and Michael R. Rochford, right, are holding the 15-foot snake shortly after the python ate a six-foot American alligator. [Associated Press]
  11. For sale for $3 million: St. Petersburg home where Babe Ruth stayed

    Real Estate

    Exactly 90 years ago this week, Babe Ruth made his first-ever trip to St. Petersburg for spring training as a marching band played Hail to the Chief and half the town turned out to greet the nation's most famous baseball player.

     The house Babe Ruth used to stay in during spring training  is on the market for nearly $3 million, The 1928 home with views of Boca Ciega Bay is on  211 Sunset Drive in St. Petersburg,.
  12. For Billy Donovan, it's a season of wrestling with Gators

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Billy Donovan collapsed into his seat, shook his head in disgust and clearly mouthed the word "unbelievable."

    Billy Donovan's Gators (15-15 ) will begin postseason play this week in the SEC tournament, and it's very possible the season will be put out of its misery. Without a .500 record, the Gators most likely wouldn't be invited to the NIT. [The Gainesville Sun]
  13. When state testing goes awry, here's how it feels to the kids

    Testing

    Tampa Bay Tech freshman Jude Cineas didn't have high hopes as he sat for his state writing exam on Tuesday morning.

    Ninth-graders at Land O’Lakes High wait to get started Wednesday on the new writing test that is part of the Florida Standards Assessments. Earlier in the week, Pasco County Schools suspended testing after the system malfunctioned.
  14. The Melting Pot hopes new menu items can help its fondue adapt to diners' changing tastes

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Melting Pot in St. Petersburg is ready to serve you FonDONE, an alternative to fondue.

    Lemon Pepper Chicken With Tricolor Quinoa
  15. Big music weekend: Follow our reviewers for Wild Splash, Strawberry Fest, Ginuwine, Gasparilla Music Fest and more

    Events

    This is a massive music weekend in Tampa Bay, and the Tampa Bay Times is all over it. Head to our Soundcheck blog at tampabay.com/soundcheck for reviews of Loretta Lynn's concert at the Florida Strawberry Festival and the Spring Jam with Keith Sweat, …

    Ginuwine, pictured, Keith Sweat and others will perform at the Spring Jam at the USF Sun Dome. [Getty Images]