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  1. Bowen: 911 center discussion must breed action

    Localgovernment

    Pasco County is going to get a revamped emergency communications center. Sheriff Chris Nocco saw to that this week. Pasco County is not going to get a new county administrator. Commission Chairman Ted Schrader saw to that. Brilliant. …

    County Administrator Michele Baker, left, listens as Sheriff’s Capt. Brett Landsberg lays out complaints about the communications center.
  2. Coroner: Rat raised to feed family's snakes fatally bit baby

    Incoming

    CARLISLE, Pa. — A rat being raised to feed a family's pet snakes ended up biting a 6-month-old boy and transmitting diseases that killed him, authorities said Thursday.  …

  3. Traffic delays after truck hits biker on Courtney Campbell Causeway

    Accidents

    CLEARWATER — A bicyclist suffered serious injuries after being hit by a truck on the Courtney Campbell Causeway about 4:30 p.m., according to the Clearwater police. All westbound traffic was being diverted by the Tampa Police Department, and eastbound traffic was sluggish as police investigated. …

  4. Saudi Arabia, allies open air campaign against Yemen rebels

    Military

    SANA, Yemen — Saudi jets pounded neighboring Yemen on Thursday and Egyptian warships steamed toward its coast in the start of an Arab-led offensive against Shiite rebels that has become a showdown between the major powers in the Middle East. …

    People search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes Thursday targeting military installations in Yemen held by Shiite rebels who were taking over a key port city in the country's south and had driven the embattled president to flee by sea, security officials said. [Associated Press]
  5. Boehner off to Israel; Netanyahu's ties to Obama hit new low (w/video)

    World

    WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner is heading to Israel as already strained relations between the White House and newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit a new low this week.  …

  6. The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition's long journey comes to an end

    Perspective

    Editor's note: The three members of the second Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition have filed weekly dispatches of their 1,000-mile, 10-week journey to highlight the value of keeping an open pathway through the state for wildlife. Here is the story of the 10th and final week.  …

    Once occupying 90 million acres of the southeastern United States, longleaf forests, one of the most biologically diverse habitats on the planet, now cover less than 3 percent of their historic range. The largest contiguous one survives in northwest Florida and southern Alabama on Nokuse Plantation, Eglin Air Force Base, Blackwater River State Forest (pictured) and Conecuh National Forest.
  7. Clearwater High teacher accused of murdering ex-husband has bail halved

    Criminal

    LARGO — Cara Ryan, the Clearwater High School teacher charged with murdering her ex-husband earlier this month, was expected to be released on bail Thursday night, her lawyer said. …

    Meghan Rush testifies at the hearing, at which she said Ryan and her father had often fought during their marriage.
  8. Wrong-way driver collides head-on with St. Petersburg police officer

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A 21-year-old woman was charged with driving under the influence Friday after she collided head-on with a police officer's marked cruiser while driving on the wrong side of the road, St. Petersburg police said. …

    Madison Pratt Best, 21, of St. Petersburg was charged with driving under the influence Friday after she collided head-on with Officer Antonio Romeu's marked cruiser while driving on the wrong side of the road. [St. Petersburg Police Department]
  9. Fugitive treasure hunter leaves Florida, returns to Ohio for legal fight

    Criminal

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A deep-sea treasure hunter who spent years as a fugitive has returned to Ohio to face the investors he's accused of bilking out of millions of dollars in gold, according to court documents filed Wednesday.  …

    In this Aug. 29,1991, photo, Tommy Thompson, left, stands at the helm of the Arctic Explorer as Bob Evans, center, and Barry Schatz look on in Norfolk, Va. Thompson, a deep-sea treasure hunter who spent years as a fugitive, has returned to Ohio to face the investors he's accused of bilking out of millions of dollars in gold. [Associated Press]
  10. Man charged with murder in Riverview stabbing death

    Crime

    TAMPA -- A man was charged with murder Monday after deputies said he cut another man's throat in the parking lot of a Riverview grocery store because he thought the man was hitting on his girlfriend. …

  11. Florida taxpayers pay ranchers millions to hold water back from Lake Okeechobee

    Water

    For generations, Florida's farmers and ranchers have used their land to grow oranges, sugar, tomatoes and beef cattle, among other things. But now they've added a highly profitable new crop: Water. …

    The Caulkins Citrus Co. in Martin County is being paid to retain 6,780 acre-feet of water at $76 per acre-foot. By contrast, an audit found putting the water on public land instead of private would cost the taxpayers just $8 per acre-foot.
  12. Chimp attack survivor helps out the military

    Incoming

    Charla Nash was horribly disfigured, not in combat, but in an attack by a rampaging chimpanzee. The Pentagon, though, is watching her recovery closely.  …

    Charla Nash checks the messages on her answering machine from a speakerphone in the bedroom at her second-story apartment in Boston.  Nash, who is blind with only one digit remaining on both hands, lost her face, eyes and hands after being mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009. [Associated Press]
  13. Perspective: At Eglin Air Force Base, the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition takes a walk on the wild side

    Perspective

    Editor's note: The three members of the second Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition are filing weekly dispatches of their 1,000-mile, 10-week journey to highlight the value of keeping an open pathway through the state for wildlife. Here is the story of the ninth week.   …

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fisheries biologist Bill Tate nets an Okaloosa darter from a creek on Eglin Air Force Base. The darter is a special case — 95 percent of its entire population lives within the base. With help, the darter has rebounded. Eglin protects 464,000 acres of land — more than half open for public recreation — and is a key hub of the Florida Wildlife Corridor in the Panhandle. 
  14. Run from Cuba, Americans cling to claims for seized property

    Nation

    OMAHA, Neb. — The smell of Cuban coffee drifts from the kitchen as Carolyn Chester digs through photos, faded with age, that fill four boxes spread across the dining table. Friends linked arm-in-arm on the sands of a Cuban beach. Men in suits and women in evening gowns at a Havana nightclub. …

    Edmund and Enna Chester and their daughter, Patricia, arrive in Cuba on a flight from Florida. When Fidel Castro's government began confiscating the property of thousands of U.S. citizens and companies in 1959, the Chesters lost an 80-acre farm and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock. [Photo courtesy of Carolyn Chester via AP]
  15. 50 years after Selma, America retreats on civil rights

    Opinion

    Half a century after the Selma march, the United States is turning its back on civil rights. …

    Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965: Alabama state troopers use clubs against participants of a civil rights voting march in Selma.
  16. Ferguson police chief resigns in wake of scathing federal report (w/video)

    Nation

    FERGUSON, Mo. — The police chief in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson resigned Wednesday in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report prompted by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.  …

    Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson discusses the fatal shooting of Michael Brown during a news conference last August. Jackson, who has become the focus of bitter complaints over racial profiling by his department, announced Wednesday he is resigning. [New York Times]
  17. Robert T. Pittman, 27-year Times editor of editorials, dies at 85

    Obituaries

    ST. PETERSBURG — Robert T. Pittman, whose courtly Southern demeanor could soothe the rough edges created by the bluntly worded editorials he wrote for the St. Petersburg Times in four decades, died Saturday at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg after a lengthy illness. He was 85. …

    U. S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole is queried by the Times and Evening Independent editorial boards on Oct. 13, 1983. Listening closely to her in the board room are, from left: Robert T. Pittman, Times editor of editorials; Martin Dyckman, chief editorial writer for the Times; and Kay Masters, Evening Independent editorial writer. Also at meeting were Times Editor and President Gene Patterson, Charley  [Times (1983)]
  18. Pentagon hopes to learn from patient who got face transplant after chimp attack (w/video)

    Research

    BOSTON — Charla Nash never served in the military. She was horribly disfigured, not in combat, but in a 2009 attack by a rampaging chimpanzee. The Pentagon, though, is watching her recovery closely.  …

    A framed photograph of Charla Nash, taken before she was attacked by a chimpanzee, sits on a bookshelf at her second-story apartment in Boston. [Associated Press]
  19. Pulitzer Prize-winner Claude Sitton, who covered civil rights movement, dies at 89

    Obituaries

    Claude Sitton, a son of the South whose unwavering coverage of the civil rights movement for the New York Times through most of that era's tumultuous years was hailed as a benchmark of 20th century journalism, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday in Atlanta. He was 89. …

    Claude Sitton, editor of the News & Observer, works in his office in Raleigh, N.C. Sitton won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary with the Raleigh paper in 1983.