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  1. Pinellas construction licensing board investigator resigns after road rage allegation


    PALM HARBOR — An investigator with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board resigned Wednesday after being accused of threatening two people with a baseball bat during a road rage incident on Tampa Road. …

    Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Investigator Anthony DeBernardi resigned Wednesday after he was accused of thertening two motorists with a baseball bat in a road-rage incident. He was not arrested or charged with any crime. The other people declined to press charges. [MARK PUENTE   |   Tampa Bay Times}
  2. Fire at Clearwater storage facility causes nearly $1 million in damage


    CLEARWATER — A fire at a storage facility Wednesday night damaged 18 units and caused an estimated $1 million in damage, authorities said. …

  3. Ruth: No good will come from amateur python hunting


    And this, dearest reader, is why this state is known as Flori-duh, which is an old Spanish term for, "Oh boy, what did they do now?" …

    Florida wildlife officials have announced a “Python Pickup Program” with rewards including a T-shirt.
  4. Sheriff's Office: Deputies roll up to house party as intoxicated teen jumps off roof


    Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies said they were already called to the house in unincorporated Largo twice for complaints about a loud party. They issued two warnings and told the host, 20-year-old Salvador Andres Contreras, to keep it down, according to his arrest report. …

  5. Video: Deputy wrestles feisty alligator


    MACON, Ga. — An alligator has been apprehended at a park in central Georgia after a sheriff's deputy wrestled the creature.  …

  6. Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days," dies at 56


    NEW YORK — Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died. She was 56.  …

    A Burbank, Calif., native, Erin Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had nearly a decade's worth of experience when she was cast in 1974 as Joanie on <i> Happy Days</i>.
  7. Actress Erin Moran, Joanie from 'Happy Days,' dead at age 56


    Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, died Saturday in Indiana. She was 56.  …

    A Burbank, Calif., native, Erin Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had nearly a decade's worth of experience when she was cast in 1974 as Joanie on <i> Happy Days</i>.
  8. Imprisoned Egyptian-American aid worker released


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump met in the Oval Office on Friday with Aya Hijazi, the Egyptian American charity worker whom Trump worked to get released from a Cairo prison, where she spent three years on child abuse and trafficking charges widely seen as false. …

    Aya Hijazi met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Friday.
  9. Man charged with making threatening calls to Jewish centers, including in Tampa


    ORLANDO — An 18-year-old man with Israeli and U.S. citizenship has been formally charged with making threatening phone calls to Jewish community centers in the United States. …

  10. Republican state senator Frank Artiles, R-Miami, resigned Friday for using racial slurs and obscene insults in a private after-hours conversation with African-American colleagues. [Associated Press]
  11. Largo Walmart evacuated after reports of chemical smell inside store


    LARGO — Emergency hazardous materials crews were dispatched to a Walmart Supercenter on Friday afternoon after receiving reports of a chemical smell in the store, according to Largo Fire Rescue. …

  12. Perspective: How we nearly stumbled into to nuclear war in 1983 and the Reagan-era lessons that Trump should heed


    One of the Cold War's great mysteries is how the world survived the second week of November 1983, when the Soviets mistook a NATO war game for the prelude to an actual nuclear attack. …

    President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed treaties at the White House in 1987 to eliminate intermediate-range missiles, which could strike within minutes. But the Russians have once again deployed these missiles, and tensions on both sides are on the rise.
  13. Review: Unger's 'Red Hunter' a compelling tale of aftershocks of two crimes


    How long does a crime victim remain a victim? …

  14. China issues stern warning to U.S., North Korea over growing tensions


    TOKYO — China issued a stern warning Friday to both the United States and North Korea, urging them not to push their recriminations to a point of no return and allow war to break out on the Korean Peninsula. …

    Han Song Ryol, North Korea's vice foreign minister, listens to a translator during an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Han Song Ryol said the situation on the Korean Peninsula is now in a "vicious cycle." [Associated Press]
  15. Trump retreats to Mar-a-Lago over and over, but at what cost?


    PALM BEACH — A light, warm breeze rolled off the ocean a block away. The pianist at Café L'Europe, a standard poodle at his feet, entertained a capacity crowd, dressed in blazers and pastels, buoyant with champagne. Out front, black and red Ferraris were lined up with a vintage Bentley and a Rolls. …

    The losses at the county airport in Lantana have hit $1 million due to the airport effectively being shut down when President Donald Trump is around. No private flights are allowed within a 10-mile radius of Mar-a-Lago, and wealthy plane owners go elsewhere.
  16. U.S. berates Syria at OPCW meeting on chemical weapons; Assad denies attack


    THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Syrian authorities — "abetted by Russia's continuing efforts to bury the truth" — still possess and use chemical weapons, an American diplomat told the international chemical weapons watchdog on Thursday. …

    Syrian President Bashar Assad says the U.S. "fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack." [Associated Press]
  17. District tennis: East Lake, Pasco split 3A-6 titles


    WESLEY CHAPEL — East Lake came within four points of a second straight sweep in Tuesday's Class 3A, District 6 boys and girls tennis finals. The Eagles won a second straight boys title, but fell short in the girls division after being outscored 17-13 by Pasco. …

  18. Video: Florida sheriff's stern warning to heroin dealers goes viral


    A Florida sheriff stood among his deputies — clad in all-black tactical gear, masks and sunglasses — describing his plan to combat a devastating opioid epidemic. …

    In a new public service announcement released last week, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell takes a stern approach in talking about the heroin problem in his community, telling dealers to "run." The video has since gone viral. [Image from video]
  19. Mystery shrouds death and disappearance of Tarpon Springs fishing captain


    TARPON SPRINGS — It began as a fishing trip like any other. Gregory Lasnier stocked the commercial fishing boat he captained with ice, bait and groceries. He waited for a deckhand who never showed. A friend hugged him goodbye. …

    Gregory Lasnier, 53, takes stock of the boat he captained, the Daniel I. Lasnier was found dead in the boat&#8217;s cabin 10 days after he set off from Tarpon Springs on a commercial fishing trip.
  20. Suicide bombers kill 44 at Palm Sunday services in Egypt


    TANTA, Egypt — Suicide bombers struck hours apart at two Coptic churches in northern Egypt, killing 44 people and turning Palm Sunday services into scenes of horror and outrage at the government, leading the president to call for a three-month state of emergency. …

    Relatives and onlookers gather outside a church after a bomb attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, Egypt, Sunday, April 9, 2017. The attack took place on Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week leading up to Easter, when the church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta was packed with worshippers. [Associated Press]

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