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  1. Hillsborough clinic offers kids much-needed dental care with help from NY medical center

    Health

    PALM RIVER — Last month a woman searched four days for a dentist who could help her 18-month-old daughter. The child had barely eaten after falling and breaking her front tooth in half.

  2. Gov. Rick Scott promises $1 billion in tax cuts for second term

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott is promising Florida voters a $1 billion package of tax and fee cuts in a second term including new limitations on property tax increases and another cut in auto tag fees.

  3. Hernando schools consider GPS tracking system for buses

    K12

    BROOKSVILLE — Only three days into the school year, a kindergartner from Brooksville Elementary School walked off his bus at the wrong stop and briefly went missing, triggering a frantic search for the child and moments of sheer panic for his family.

  4. Without Walls church leaving its campus

    Religion

    TAMPA — After years of financial troubles, Without Walls International Church is finally leaving its West Shore campus.

    A real estate developer that plans to build multifamily apartment units on the W. Columbus Drive property. [Times files (2007)]
  5. Motocross land issue in Hernando lands back in hands of Swiftmud

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The ongoing controversy surrounding a motocross track carved into a 13.5-acre site on Spike Road near Hickory Hill has landed back in the hands of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

  6. Shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge off the air at 102.5-FM

    The Feed

    Shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem is off the air at WHPT-FM 102.5 the Bone.

    WHPT-FM 102.5 the Bone will discontinue airing the Bubba the Love Sponge Show effective immediately.
  7. MS patient talks about relief she finds with marijuana (w/ video)

    Health

    SEMINOLE — Peggy Alcorn, a 68-year-old retiree, exercises every day in her swimming pool. • She hangs onto the edge for an hour — bouncing, swaying, kicking and singing to a mix of 1980s hits streaming from her computer. Every 15 minutes or so, she picks up a pipe and takes a few puffs of pot. • …

    Peggy Alcorn, 68, suffers from multiple sclerosis and smokes marijuana in her pool between songs as part of her daily dance workout. She says dancing in the pool for about an hour and smoking a small amount of pot is enough to make her able to move without pain for the day.
  8. Potential health risk of medical marijuana: It's complicated

    Elections

    Humans have cultivated marijuana for thousands of years — using fiber for cloth, oil for food, smoke for ceremonies and chemicals for medicine.

    Jim Buresch, 45, who is HIV positive, poses with a year’s worth of bottles that contained marijuana he bought from an unofficial, unlicensed dispensary when he lived in Seattle. Pictured right are a year’s worth of bottles of medication he takes for symptoms now.
  9. Why they smoke: Medical marijuana and Floridians who use it

    Elections

    Floridians will decide Nov. 4 whether to add medical marijuana to the state Constitution, testing if a cultural change fostered in the liberal West and Northeast can penetrate the South.

    Toby (right) waits while his owner Jim Buresch, 45, who is HIV positive, smokes marijuana to help with joint pain before taking their daily morning walk. Buresch says the drugs he takes to fight HIV disease made him vomit and eliminated any interest in eating. Pot minimized nausea, restored appetite, helped with joint discomfort and helped his frame of mind. "I wasn't as depressed. I wasn't as traumatized. I wasn't just sitting around waiting to die,'' he said.
JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times

  10. Crocodile that bit 2 swimmers dies during capture

    Wildlife

    CORAL GABLES — An American crocodile suspected of biting two swimmers in a South Florida canal has died.

    Trapper Todd Hardwick, of Pesky Critters, sets out snare traps in Coral Gables on Thursday. Hardwick had been trying to catch a crocodile named Pancho, suspected of biting two swimmers in a South Florida canal. Wildlife officials say Pancho died Friday morning while fighting capture by two trappers. [Associated Press]
  11. Clearwater deputy chief resigns after four years with agency

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Deputy Chief Sandra Wilson is resigning from the Clearwater Police Department.

  12. Before and after: What losing 63 trillion gallons of water looks like

    Water

    A new study says that California's drought is so severe it's causing the ground to rise. Angela Fritz of the Washington Post reported scientists estimate 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost in the past 18 months.

    Boaters launch their boats hundreds of yards away from designated boat ramps at Folsom Lake on Aug. 19 in Folsom, Calif. As the severe drought in California continues for a third straight year, water levels in the state's lakes and reservoirs is reaching historic lows. Folsom Lake is currently at 40 percent of its total capacity of 977,000 acre feet. [Justin Sullivan | Getty Images]
  13. Tony Stewart says Kevin Ward's death will affect him forever

    Auto racing

    HAMPTON, Ga. — Speaking quietly and his voice trembling, NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart said Friday that the death of Kevin Ward Jr. will "affect my life forever" as he returned to the track for the first time since his car struck and killed the fellow driver during a sprint-car race in New York three weeks ago. …

    Tony Stewart said he could not answer questions about the incident - it remains under police investigation - and he left the news conference after reading a short statement. [AP photo]
  14. Discovery Cove deal adds free admission to SeaWorld, water park and Busch Gardens

    Florida

    With Labor Day comes theme parks turning their focus to Florida residents, and that means deals. First up is a Florida resident deal at Discovery Cove in Orlando. The theme park, which features swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with thousands of tropical fish and hand-feeding exotic birds, has an all-inclusive package …

    Tampa Bay RaysÕ outfielder, Wil Myers took a break from baseball to swim with dolphins, meet real-life rays at Discovery Cove in Orlando 

ORLANDO, Fla. Ñ April 25, 2014 Ñ Tampa Bay RaysÕ baseball player, Wil Myers, traded in his rigorous practice and game schedule to immerse in the tropical oasis of Discovery Cove ̈ in Orlando. For the day, the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year swam with real-life rays, dolphins and tropical fish. The mini-getaway left him refreshed and refueled to step back on the field, and deliver a powerhouse performance. Discovery Cove Orlando was ranked #1 in the 2013 TripAdvisorÕs TravelerÕs Choice Awards under ÒTop 25 Amusement Parks & Water Parks in The WorldÓ category. For more information, visit www.discoverycove.com.
  15. Mentally handicapped are held for years without trial

    Crime

    BARTOW — Dreek Drayton spent nearly a decade locked up because of a crime he says he didn't commit.

    Dreek Drayton, 55, is intellectually disabled and ewas deemed incapable of facing trial. Through an obscure and complex mechanism of law, state authorities were able to keep him in custody for four years after his charges were dropped.
 [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]