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  1. Florida education news: Testing, finances, overdue repairs and more

    The Gradebook

    PRIORITIES: On his first official day, Hillsborough superintendent Jeff Eakins talks about his goals for the school district. COMMUNICATION: Pasco Pine View Middle leaders scale back their aggressive scheduling and curriculum plans after listening to parent concerns. …

  2. House's adjournment was well-planned, but some House members didn't get memo

    The Buzz

    The decision by the Florida House to adjourn early was known among a small handful of members of the lobbying corps, who positioned themselves in the chamber for the historic announcement. …

  3. Men's tennis: Bulls repeat as AAC champions


    The USF men's tennis team earned its second consecutive American Athletic Conference tournament crown Sunday, dispatching Tulsa 4-0 in the championship match on the Golden Hurricane's home court. Senior Oliver Pramming, named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, clinched the crown for the No. 21 Bulls with a straight-sets victory against 80th-ranked Alejandro Espejo at No. 2 singles. …

  4. Meet Marco Rubio's campaign team

    The Buzz

    By Alex Leary and Adam C. SmithMarco Rubio is waiting until April 13 to announce his presidential campaign, but his core team is in place, mostly employed by Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC. Strategists …

  5. Bill Nelson steps up fundraising for 2018 re-election

    The Buzz

    Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, is beginning to ramp up fundraising as he prepares to seek a fourth term in 2018. …

    Fundraising notice for Sen. Bill Nelson
  6. Pinellas to start using public safety radio system

    The Gradebook

    The Pinellas County School District has signed onto the county's public safety radio system. The School Board voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of using the radio system. The cost will be based on usage, but (by contract) can't exceed $100,000 this year.  …

  7. Florida education news: Testing, accountability, school grades and more

    The Gradebook

    TESTING: Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart launches a review of standardized testing. NCLB WAIVER: The U.S. Department of Education gives in on Florida's plans for using English-language learners' test scores for accountability. More from the Miami Herald. …

  8. Nordstrom Rack coming to Clearwater in 2015

    Deal Divas

    Sometimes here at Deal Divas, our regular beat jobs intersect with our roles for you guys. Did you see this dispatch in the paper by Deal Diva Keyonna (also a reporter in North Pinellas) about some big retail news? Nordstrom Rack is coming to Clearwater next fall! From Keyonna's story: …

  9. Rubio headed back to Iowa as Ernst mounts strong campaign

    The Buzz

    Marco Rubio will return to Iowa later this month for a Reagan Day dinner and to campaign with U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst. …

    Sen. Marco Rubio with Joni Ernst in Iowa in June
  10. Rubio: 'America cannot avoid its role as a global leader'

    The Buzz

    Sen. Marco Rubio did not hold back criticism -- of the president, Congress or a potential 2016 presidential rival -- in foreign policy speech today that called for aggressive U.S. engagement in the world's hot spots. …

  11. Florida's a dangerous place


    No. 1 for highest risk of property damage loss from natural hazards! Florida ranks as the U.S. state with the highest level of risk exposure to multiple natural hazards, according to new data released Thursday by CoreLogic. …

  12. Tallahassee police release new details in murder of FSU professor

    The Buzz

    Florida State University law professor Dan Markel was shot in his car, police said Monday, after releasing notes from the Tallahassee Fire Department dispatch log. …

  13. Bill Sutton and the power of helping people not forget


    Bill Duryea's column in the July Floridian set for Sunday's Times: …

  14. Bulls CB Durden transferring


    USF CB Kenneth Durden, arrested in January on a marijuana-possession charge, told the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday evening he's transferring to Division I-AA Youngstown State.A fourth-year junior from Valdosta, Ga., Durden confirmed his departure via text message, adding he will be eligible for the 2014 season. He is expected to have two years' eligibility remaining.A starter in 11 games last season, Durden recorded 32 tackles and an interception, and appeared poised to anchor a promising young Bulls secondary in 2014 prior to the drug charge.According to an arrest affidavit, USF police were dispatched to his on-campus residence in mid-January in response to a complaint of possible drug use. Durden ultimately acknowledged to having cannabis in his room, the report stated, producing a clear bag of the substance later weighed at 21.7 grams. He was indefinitely suspended by Bulls coach Willie Taggart, but was listed on the spring roster. "He's got things he's got to take care of, much bigger than football," Taggart said following the first day of spring drills. "Those are his issues, and if he works those things out, he can come back and talk to us then." …

  15. I've said it before and I'll say it again: We need a Villages beat writer!


    How awesome is Florida? Here's the clicky sticky deck of the British Daily Mail's dispatch from America's fastest-growing metropolitan area: …

  16. Did you see the piece in the new Time about the Florida-based religion Terasem?


    The date here says April 17, but it ran in the magazine that showed up at my house on Saturday, and you should go ahead and give it a read: …

  17. Bunny Yeager, South Florida pinup model turned portraitist, is dead at 85


    Here's the Margalit Fox obit in this morning's New York Times. And here's what Jeff Klinkenberg wrote about her not quite three years back: MIAMI — My courtship of Bunny Yeager began last summer when I punched her number into my phone and felt like a nerdy kid asking Gaga out on a date. …

    In the 1950s, Bunny Yeager took lots of pictures of model Bettie Page, including this one for a postcard.
  18. Bus drivers demand respect in Hillsborough

    The Gradebook

    Respect was the prevailing theme at Monday night's town hall meeting for school bus drivers in Hillsborough. Driver after driver at the Beulah Baptist Church in West Tampa told five School Board members they're not respected by school administrators and they're not respected by students. …

  19. Bus employees speak out in Hillsborough

    The Gradebook

    Three town hall meetings have been held so far in Hillsborough County to address transportation issues in the public schools. School Board member Susan Valdes hosted the first one in Town 'N Country. Guests could talk about transportation or any other issues that concerned them. April Griffin hosted the second one in Valrico, which was focused more specifically on transportation. Griffin and Candy Olson co-moderated the third meeting in Apollo Beach, with Cindy Stuart attending the second and third. A fourth is planned April 28 at the Beulah Baptist Church in West Tampa.So what’s being said? …

  20. Uber launches new campaign to get bill across the finish line

    The Buzz

    With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, Uber is making an aggressive push to get its priority bills across the finish line. The luxury-car mobile-dispatching service is throwing its considerable heft behind SB 1618 and HB 1389. …

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