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  1. Murder investigation under way in death of retired UF professor

    Crime

    GAINESVILLE — Police have apprehended a suspect in the death of a retired University of Florida professor who was initially believed to have died in a house fire before autopsy results showed he had been bludgeoned to death before the blaze.

  2. Ringling Museum's conservation lab preserves, protects vast art collection

    Visual Arts

    SARASOTA

    King Philip IV of Spain is looking good considering his age. His portrait, nearly 400 years old, by the great 17th-century Spanish artist Diego Velazquez, sits on an easel in the conservation laboratory at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. It is being readied for its trip to Paris for a Velazquez …

    Chief conservator Barbara A. Ramsay dusts the surface of the Velazquez portrait of Philip IV, King of Spain, in the conservation laboratory at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The   painting is being prepared to be sent to an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris.
  3. SeaWorld bringing Toby Keith, Skynyrd to BBQ

    Florida

    SeaWorld doesn't announce the artists performing at its spring Bands, Brew & BBQ concert series until right before the show (with good reason, it seems after animal rights protests last year prompted numerous artists such as Pat Benatar and the Beach Boys to cancel because of the park's portrayal in the film

  4. Rare Everglades plants in peril, study finds

    Wetlands

    FORT LAUDERDALE — A landmark report — 10 years in the making — looked at critically imperiled plants at Everglades National Park and found that 16 of them may already have vanished from there.

    This photo taken by Roger Hammer in 2011 at Everglades National Parkshows a cyrtopodium punctatum orchid, also known as the cowhorn orchid, which is considered endangered. The park commissioned the Delray Beach-based Institute for Regional Conservation for a 10-year study of 59 endangered plant species. [Associated Press]
  5. IT firm ReliaQuest expands Tampa headquarters, adding up to 55 jobs

    Economic Development

    Information technology firm ReliaQuest is creating up to 55 new jobs in an expansion of its corporate headquarters in Tampa, state officials said Friday.

  6. Florida team seeks to study blacktip sharks' movements via transmitters

    Wildlife

    FORT LAUDERDALE — On a violently pitching boat just outside Singer Island's surf zone, Stephen Kajiura and a crew of students set out baited hooks for sharks.

    Florida Atlantic University associate professor Stephen Kajiura implants a tracking device into a blacktip shark caught off the beaches of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. [Photo by Mark Randall | Sun Sentinel/TNS]
  7. House overwhelmingly passes water management bill

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Dismissing pleas from environmental groups, the Florida House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed an agricultural industry-backed overhaul of the state's water management and preservation system that could force taxpayers to pick up more costs.

    Rep. Matt Caldwell, R- Lehigh Acres, takes a sip of bottled spring water after his water bill passed the Florida House on Thursday. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  8. Florida House Republicans eager to rebuke Obama on new Cuba policy

    State Roundup

    A rebuke to President Barack Obama for re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba received the full-throated support Thursday of a committee in the conservative Florida House of Representatives.

    Nuñez
  9. Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus to eliminate elephant acts (w/video)

    Nation

    Power to the pachyderms and the people who love them. • Citing pervasive public outcry against the use of elephants in its shows, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus promised on Thursday that it will stop making its biggest stars — literally and figuratively — tour and perform for the masses. …

    In this March 19, 2013 file photo, a performer waves as elephants with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show, pause for a photo opportunity in front of the Capitol in Washington, on their way to the Verizon Center, to promote the show coming to town. [Associated Press]
  10. El Niño finally here; but this one is weak, weird and late (w/video)

    Hurricanes

    WASHINGTON — A long anticipated El Niño has finally arrived. But for drought-struck California, it's too little, too late, meteorologists say.

    In this Feb. 24, 1998 file photo, a woman waits for a tow truck on the hood of her brother's pickup after a wall of mud plowed down Laguna Beach Canyon Road in Orange County, Calif. forcing her to evacuate her home, in background. A long anticipated El Nino weather warping is finally here. But for drought-struck California, it’s too little, too late, meteorologists say. The National Weather Service Thursday proclaimed the somewhat infamous weather phenomenon El Nino is now in place. It's a warming of a certain patch of the central Pacific that changes weather patterns worldwide, associated with flooding in some places, droughts elsewhere, a generally warmer globe, and fewer Atlantic hurricanes. El Ninos are usually so important that economists even track it because of how it affects commodities. This year's El Nino that has arrived isn’t big and is late so it’s unlikely to do much to alleviate the current California drought. [Associated Press]