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Plant City

  1. Botched executions argue for restrictions on Florida's death penalty


    Florida has sent a lot of despicable people to the state's execution chamber. Men like Ted Bundy, Danny Rolling, and Oscar Ray Bolin made the world a little brighter by their forced departures from this planet.

    Nearly 400 people occupy death row at the Florida State Pris?on in Starke. Since 1979, when John Spenkelink was elec?trocuted, the state has executed 90 men and two women.
  2. Success of Pig Jig fundraiser overwhelms kidney patient who inspired it


    TAMPA — Each year Will Wellman attends the Pig Jig in downtown Tampa, he climbs to one of the highest points of Curtis Hixon Park and comes close to tears as he admires the size of the crowd.

    Friends of Will Wellman, who has a rare kidney disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, launched the first Pig Jig as a backyard barbecue. Now, the event draws crowds each year to Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa.
  3. State House candidate Toledo vague on Trump, but spokeswoman slams him


    Last weekend, Tampa Republican state House candidate Jackie Toledo, like many Republicans, issued a statement condemning sexist remarks by Donald Trump but stopping short of saying she opposes him.

    Jackie Toledo, Republican candidate for Florida House District 60, had nothing to say about whether her spokeswoman should have trashed Donald Trump on Twitter. [Courtesy of Jackie Toledo]
  4. To know the candidate, know the associates


    When we vote for a candidate, we select more than the man or woman whose carefully enhanced or debased image appears on the television commercials or the cardboard flyers that come in the mail. We are showing our support for a whole posse of people — power brokers who approach and are approached before hats are …

  5. Effective as leader during hurricane, Scott fumbles on its voting ramifications


    Since 2010, when Rick Scott was first elected governor of our fair state, he has been at the forefront of multiple efforts to suppress voting rights.

    Lynn Suarez, left, and her husband, Raymond Suarez, stopped by the West Tampa Library on Union Street to participate in early voting on Aug. 15 for the primary.
  6. Lake Park fans pour back in after sinkhole forced closure 10 months ago


    LUTZ — Hillsborough County may soon commemorate the opening of Lake Park 50 years ago, but a bigger celebration is greeting the news that the regional recreation area is no longer closed.

    The serene sanctuary that is Lake Park was even more serene during the 10 months it was closed to the public. Blame a small sinkhole and a big intergovernmental dispute over who is responsible. Now, the park's natural offerings are available for enjoyment once again. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times (2015)]
  7. Henderson: DOT shift on Howard Frankland counts as a win for citizens


    I spent a pleasant hour and 15 minutes last Monday with Pat Kemp, who is running for the District 6 seat in the Hillsborough County Commission. There may be other issues on her mind as she squares off against Republican Tim Schock next month, but it's fair to say transportation tops them all.

    The Florida Department of Transportation, under heavy public and political pressure, abandoned plans to turn “free” lanes on the Howard Frankland Bridge into express toll lanes.
  8. Henderson: Christian school fighting for loudspeaker at football games should be wary


    The First Amendment is a brilliant, but pesky, gift from the Founding Fathers. Basically it says citizens of this great nation can say what they want, worship God as they want, and print all kinds of stuff in the newspaper. The government can't stop them.

    Greenberg Traurig lawyer Adam Foslid, left, Cambridge Christian head of school Tim Euler, center, and First Liberty Institute lawyer Jeremy Dys announce the federal lawsuit in Tampa alleging that the Florida High School Athletic Association violated the school’s constitutional rights.
  9. Phosphate plant sinkhole raises larger questions about water supply


    The ground collapse last month at a phosphate plant near the Hillsborough-Polk county line serves as a reminder of the care we must take, with so much at stake, to understand and protect the underground aquifer that provides most of the water we use in Florida. There are reasons for concern. An estimated quarter-billion …

  10. Tea party would like to move Merrill out as Hillsborough county manager


    Depending on the outcome of the Nov. 8 election, some tea party-style Republicans are hoping for a move by the county commissioners to replace Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill.

    Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill, right, speaking here in 2009 with former Commissioner Mark Sharpe, is a target of tea party interests.