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  1. Activists protest symbols of oppression in Tampa, burn American flag

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Surrounded by nearly 50 activists, Crystal Wilson steadied a small American flag in one hand, and a lighter in the other.

  2. For some PTSD combat veterans, Fourth of July fireworks are painful reminder


    VALRICO — As the night sky erupts with flashes and booms in celebration today, Russell Cook will probably be nestled away in his bedroom as George Strait blares from his headphones.

    Russell Cook, 33, of Valrico, an Army combat veteran who suffers from PTSD, placed a sign in his yard to let neighbors know of his condition leading up to Independence Day. While others celebrate, Cook will be listening to music on his headphones.
  3. Genetic study leads to an intriguing question: Do blue eyes make you a drinker?


    As she polished off a piña colada at a St. Petersburg tiki bar called The Getaway, Shay Anthony pondered whether her striking blue-green eyes had anything to do with her social drinking habits.

     comment on a study that links blue eyes to heavier drinking at The Getaway bar in St. Petersburg. [KATHLEEN MCGRORY | Times]
  4. New Haley VA director had controversial reign at Mississippi VA hospital


    TAMPA — Three years ago, Department of Veterans Affairs manager Joe D. Battle got the unenviable job of turning around the Jackson, Miss., VA hospital, a facility critics called a dysfunctional mess.

    Joe D. Battle is expected to take over the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, one of the nation’s busiest veterans hospitals, within the next 40 days.
  5. Brief thunderstorm tears down power lines, trees and walls in Temple Terrace


    TEMPLE TERRACE — A severe thunderstorm breezed through the city early Friday afternoon, tearing the wall off of one company and knocking down numerous trees and power lines, according to WTSP-Ch. 10 meteorologist Jim Van Fleet.

  6. Tampa charities get bonus money from Alex Rodriguez milestones


    TAMPA -- Two Tampa-based charities will help split a $1 million donation from the New York Yankees, part of a settlement over bonus payments owed to Alex Rodriguez for reaching an historic milestone in baseball.

  7. Rubios and Christies to join the Romneys for a slumber party in N.H.


    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and his wife, Jeanette, will join New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Christie's wife, Mary Pat, tonight at the Romney estate on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee, the Jeanette Rubio and her husband, Sen. Marco Rubio, are expected to be in Wolfeboro, N.H., over the holiday weekend.

  8. Top-ranked Serena Williams narrowly avoids being upset at Wimbledon


    Serena Williams erased three breaks in the final set to stave off an upset bid by British home favorite Heather Watson in the third round of Wimbledon.

    Serena Williams celebrates a point in her Ladies' Singles Third Round match against Heather Watson of Great Britain during day five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Friday in London. [Getty Images]
  9. Reddit moderators shut down parts of site over employee's dismissal


    Hundreds of sections of Reddit, the popular online message board, were down early Friday in what appeared to be a protest by many of the sites moderators after the abrupt dismissal of a high-ranking employee in the company.

    Hundreds of sections of Reddit, the popular online message board, were down early Friday in what appeared to be a protest by many of the sites moderators after the abrupt dismissal of a high-ranking employee in the company. The move affected nearly 300 individual discussion areas - so-called subreddits that focus on individual topics like technology, art and business. Subreddits are generally moderated by self-appointed members of the community, not official Reddit employees. The shutdowns, which began Thursday evening, appeared to be expanding rapidly Friday. They began shortly after Victoria Taylor, Reddit's director of talent, was dismissed Thursday afternoon. 

  10. Gov. Rick Scott has spent nearly $300,000 on political consultants since April


    TALLAHASSEE — For someone who cannot seek re-election, Gov. Rick Scott is spending a whole lot of money on political consultants, adding fuel to speculation that he is aiming to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018.

    Gov. Rick Scott, facing a state term-limit law, has never hid his interest in national politics.
  11. More on Jeb Bush's income: His firm made him rich and built a nest egg for his family

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — Shortly after Jeb Bush left the Florida governor's office in 2007, he established his own firm, Jeb Bush & Associates, designed to maximize his earning potential as one of the country's more prominent politicians.

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush released 33 years of income tax returns this week. Those returns revealed that the business he formed after leaving office not only made him rich but also provided a steady income for his wife and one of his sons. [Associated Press]

  12. Bernie Sanders turns into force on presidential campaign trail


    The biggest obstacle to Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic presidential nomination is a rumpled, white-haired grandfather who doesn't even call himself a member of the Democratic party.

    Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders pauses during a political rally in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, July 1, 2015. (Michael P. King/Wisconsin State Journal via AP) WIMAW112
  13. A mayor on a chair and other Tampa tales


    Was that former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman standing barefoot on a chair at the fancy Mise en Place restaurant this week?

  14. Alligator kills 28-year-old Texas man during late-night swim


    ORANGE, Texas — A man was killed early Friday when an alligator attacked him during a late-night swim at a Southeast Texas marina, according to police.

  15. After record-breaking flight from Japan, solar-powered plane lands in Hawaii


    KAPOLEI, Hawaii — A plane powered by the sun's rays landed in Hawaii Friday after a record-breaking five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.

    The Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered airplane, lands at the Kalaeloa Airport on Friday in Kapolei, HI.  The plane, piloted by Andre Borschberg, is attempting to fly around the world without fuel. [Associated Press]