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  1. Loney homers in return as Rays rout Jays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — For all the waiting left-hander Drew Smyly did — until Friday he hadn't pitched a game for the Rays since Sept. 6, 2014, as he recovered from shoulder tendinitis — he couldn't have asked for a better start to his first game back.

     R.A. Dickey delivers in the fourth during the Tampa Bay Rays game against the Toronto Blue Jays Friday, April 24, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL.
  2. Clinton charities review tax returns amid scrutiny of foreign grants

    National

    The Clinton family's namesake foundation and signature health initiative are reviewing several years of tax returns following questions about the charities' reporting of tens of millions of dollars in grants from foreign governments, foundation officials said Friday.

  3. Deputies searching for suspects who tried to rob man answering Craig's List ad in Clearwater

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — Deputies were searching Friday for two suspects who tried to rob a man at gunpoint after he responded to a Craig's List ad for a motorcycle.

  4. Jury convicts 3 of manslaughter in Florida A&M hazing death

    Criminal

    ORLANDO — The last three defendants in the death of a Florida A&M drum major were convicted of manslaughter and hazing Friday, ending a 3-year-old case that shined a light on ritualized hazing within the school's famed marching band.

  5. 24-hour wait for abortion wins final approval in Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A bill that would impose a 24-hour waiting period on women seeking an abortion is headed to Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

  6. The Florida House approves a prison reform plan as lawmakers commit to creating a joint committee to finish the job

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The investigative staff at the Department of Corrections would face an overhaul, officers who injure inmates could be subject to felonies, and the state would start a pilot project to put body cameras on prison guards, under a prison reform bill unanimously approved Friday by the Florida House.

  7. Despite $600 million offer, Florida Senate refuses to back off Medicaid expansion

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — It was intended to be an offer the Florida Senate couldn't refuse: Give up the quest to expand Medicaid and the Florida House would set aside $600 million in state money to protect hospitals and county health departments facing extreme budget cuts.

    Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, said he’s not surprised the House refused to budge on Medicaid.
  8. A slimmer Jeb Bush seems intent on staying that way

    State Roundup

    Steak Tips Susanne, the $21 entree at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manchester, N.H., arrived as a carefully composed plate: strips of sirloin, sautéed peppers and caramelized onions atop a bed of linguine with a side of garlic bread.

    Jeb Bush eats a slice of blueberry pie at "Politics and Pie," a town hall-style event in Concord, N.H., on April 16, 2015. As he prepares to challenge a mostly younger and svelter field of Republican foes, Bush has adopted the in-vogue Paleo diet, losing pounds at the expense of regular bouts of dietary crankiness. "I am hungry all the time," Bush said. [Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist | New York Times]
  9. Saturday only, Tampa car dealer gives free oil changes for blood

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Car dealers want your blood. Of course they do.

  10. As U.S. Sugar flexes muscle, Amendment 1 supporters fret about less money for land purchases

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Supporters of Amendment 1, an environmental ballot measure that passed last year with a resounding 75 percent of the vote, are bracing for a legal battle with legislators over how to spend a $740 million windfall.

  11. Developer proposes apartments and garage near University of Tampa

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — A South Florida developer wants to rezone 2.5 acres south of Kennedy Boulevard near the University of Tampa for an apartment block with 272 units and more than 500 parking spaces.

  12. As more jobless rates stall, Tampa Bay holds its own

    Working Life

    Times staff

    Florida's latest unemployment rate remains unchanged at 5.7 percent even as the country's third-largest state added 30,600 jobs in March. But Florida is not alone. It's one of 15 states whose March jobless rate did not change from February. Meanwhile, 23 other states and the District of Columbia …

  13. Growler bill passes after three years of debate

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — After a battle that lasted three years and pumped more than $1 million to lobbyists, craft breweries will soon be allowed to sell their beer in half-gallon growlers.

  14. 15 loose buffaloes that crossed New York highway are killed (w/video)

    Nation

    COEYMANS, N.Y. — Fifteen buffaloes that escaped from a farm were intentionally shot and killed Friday after they dashed past a group of police, crossed a major highway and ended up near some schools, authorities said.

    A herd of buffalo crosses a road, Friday, April 24, 2015, in Bethlehem, N.Y. About 15 of the animals got loose Thursday from a farm in the Rensselaer County town of Schodack, on the river's east bank a few miles southeast of Albany. [Associated Press]
  15. Deputies arrest Brandon man for exposing himself to children

    Crime

    TAMPA — Deputies arrested a Brandon man Friday afternoon for three incidents in which authorities say he exposed himself to children.