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Five big stories of the past week

1. Delta and Northwest

tie the knot

The proposed merger would create the world's largest carrier.

What it means: Combining two of the biggest players in the struggling airline industry could spark more mergers and possibly higher fares.

2. Talbots turnaround gets tougher

Two banks are cutting

back credit lines for the chain, which has seven stores in the bay area.

What it means: The apparel retail industry has yet to recover from a weak holiday season.

3. A holiday from gas taxes?

Sen. John McCain and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist float the idea of a summer break from paying federal and state taxes at the pump.

What it means: Such a reprieve, which could shave off more than 30 cents a gallon when filling up, has some popular appeal but is unlikely politically in a budget-cutting climate.

4. Odyssey unveils its secrets

Tampa treasure hunter Odyssey Marine is forced in court to reveal details of its sunken treasures.

What it means: Disclosing the identity of the "Black Swan'' ship found off the coast of Spain only intensifies Odyssey's

battle with Spain over ownership of the ship's estimated

$500-million cache of coins.

5. Blockbuster goes

after Circuit City

The troubled video store chain offers $1.1-billion for the

troubled electronics store chain.

What it means: Blockbuster paints the happy picture of

creating one-stop shopping convergence for home entertainment retailing. It's a long way from happening.

Compiled by Jeff Harrington, Times deputy business editor

Five big stories of the past week 04/19/08 [Last modified: Saturday, April 19, 2008 4:33am]
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  1. Tampa International named among least expensive airports

    News

    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  2. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]
  3. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  4. Pinellas commission set to discuss next budget, licensing board

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday.

  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]