Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

Legal dispute over 'Taj Mahal' artwork ends with payment approval

TALLAHASSEE — A two-year legal dispute ended Thursday when the Legislative Budget Commission approved $514,884 in payment for framed artwork for the "Taj Mahal" courthouse for the 1st District Court of Appeals.

The original tab was $357,000, but it ballooned after two lawsuits and seven appeals when chief financial officer Jeff Atwater and his predecessor Alex Sink balked at the cost for the nearly 400 framed photos by Signature Art Gallery.

Atwater and Gov. Rick Scott agreed to pay the gallery last month on the premise the artwork would go to the Department of State's Division of Cultural Affairs. The commission, made up of seven state representatives and seven senators approved the settlement with no discussion. The gallery will be paid next week.

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Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

TAMPA — The season started in August with “Hard Knocks,” packed bleachers at training camp and cheers for coach Dirk Koetter.It ended Sunday with a 24-21 loss to the Lions, a lot of empty seats and chants of “We want Gruden ba...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Updated: 11 minutes ago
Police make arrest in South Tampa home invasion of 77-year-old

Police make arrest in South Tampa home invasion of 77-year-old

TAMPA — Police have arrested a teenager in connection with an armed home invasion around the Hyde Park area.Leo W. Butler, 19, was arrested Friday and faces a charge of robbery of less than $300. He is being held on a $15,000 bond.According to Tampa ...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon then on to Mars

Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon then on to Mars

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon — and on to Mars. Trump signed a policy directive Monday instructing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to "refocus America’s space program on human explorat...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

TAMPA — With the Republican tax bill poised to eliminate the opportunity, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority on Monday said it had refinanced a big chunk of its debt to save money in the future.The authority borrowed $152 million from the bo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Alabama Senate race, unlikely nail biter, races to finish line

Alabama Senate race, unlikely nail biter, races to finish line

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In a blur of television ads, conflicting polls and presidential tweets, Doug Jones and Roy Moore raced Monday to make their final pleas in Alabama’s special election for the Senate, with both candidates focused on turning out their...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Those sonic booms heard across the state Saturday afternoon were likely from two F-15 fighter jets protecting President Donald Trump during his visit to Florida, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.The jets, which belong to the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
JW Marriott Clearwater Beach project still on target despite some bumps

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach project still on target despite some bumps

CLEARWATER BEACH — While Tampa is excited about its first JW Marriott hotel, plans are moving ahead for a $130 million JW Marriott property on Clearwater Beach, despite some hiccups. "We’ve done really well in our opinion," Uday Lele, developer of t...
Updated: 1 hour ago

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Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

CLEARWATER — A 38-year-old tree trimmer is in critical condition after he was shocked by a power line Monday, according to Clearwater Fire & Rescue.The trimmer, of Largo, was on a ladder cutting trees with a pole saw when he was shocked just before 1...
Updated: 2 hours ago